Get yourself a more affordable Telefunken microphone in the TF 11: a large diaphragm condenser with a tasty CK12-style capsule. We tested this out with the help of the band Salarymen.
Telefunken has been in the audio game for over a century and their large diaphragm condenser mics are one of the reasons they have an exceptional reputation. On the other end of their products are dynamic microphones — like their M80 — that Tame Impala use live for vocals, and we all love Kev’s gear choices.
With their classics like the u47, c12, and Elam 251, Telefunken microphones uphold a high standard, so it’s no surprise that this year their Telefunken TF 11 took out the recording microphone at the Namm show this year. We had the pleasure of Renee and Thom from the band Salarymen come in and try this out on vocals and acoustic guitar running through their latest single “Young Guns”.
Unboxing the Telefunken TF 11, the crew in the Happy office were impressed. The design is stunning — think midnight blue, the accessories are on point with a shock mount AND a stand mount, microphone sleeve and a very stylish microphone box to keep it in pristine condition.
Laying down some acoustic guitar first, we found that the mic really shined when pointed the 12th fret of Thom’s guitar. There was a noticeable sheen, and enough low end to both satisfy and not blow out in those ‘woofy’, low mid tones. The stand mount, — as opposed to the shock mount — was much easier to get in tight without getting too close to Thom’s left fretting hand.
Moving over to Renee’s vocals next — and risking it without a pop filter — it confirmed that the Telefunken TF 11 is the perfect all-rounder. You could hear clarity, you could hear warmth, and thanks to Renee for controlling her vocal technique, we captured an excellent performance without having to ride the fader.
With a price point that’s not eye-watering, this large-diaphragm FET condenser feels exactly like one of their top-tier products. In fact, inside this mic is a CK12-style capsule which is also found in their TF51 — that’s a 3 and a 1/2 thousand dollar tube condenser microphone.
The CK12 capsule that was first seen in the infamous AKG c12. It’s described as having an open high-end — making it perfect for picking up all the nuances of vocals and acoustic instruments.
Sitting firmly in the affordable all-rounder category, it’s great to have another contender in this price range. I’m talking about mics that Billie Eilish and James Blake use — and they have won Grammys!
The mic has just the one polar pattern, just like most in this price range, a cardioid polar pattern and you can see the frequency chart on their site. Just in case you were wondering about the size, the unit fits comfortably in your hand. Quite a good size, not too big, not too small.