In a discussion thread on a well known gear forum, a user named DaMead asked about how the TD20 and the TD200 compared, both of them similar looking Telefunken bakelite/plastic microphones with fixed cables. I can add the TD25 to this Telefunken conundrum and tell you a little bit more about it; also, that they don’t compare too well.
The TD25 is a strange little microphone, I can’t really tell what purpose it was originally intended for. We have two of them that came with a stereo bar – although, judging from the shape of them, I would have suspected that they are conference / intercom microphones, but then why the stereo bar? To order a new cup of coffee in stereo? For intimate ORTF stereo shorthand dictation?
In most pictures you see of them, they are placed standing up, with the larger part of the grille facing the camera.
Actually, they are most sensitive exactly at the edge, where the smaller and the larger part of the grille meet in a 45-degree-angle. The capsule inside is mounted on an angled piece of plastic, so it actually points where nobody would ever have suspected, judging from the form of the mic – right between the tip and the large front grille.
Of course Telefunken, never too modest in their ad blurbs, pride themselves of having invented the “Zwei-Richtungs-Einsprechmikrofon” (Two-direction-microphone, as awkward in German as it sounds in English) which gives you perfect results, no matter which angle you talk into it! Well, in fact they have invented a microphone that doesn’t sound good in either of the two directions. Good job! Add to this (once again!) the filthy lies about the frequency range of the mic (18,000 Hz! Once again, good lord, if only!), and you have a disillusioned Telefunken customer with two dictaphone mics on a stereo bar, out in the Peruvian jungle in 1971, trying in vain to record some super rare birds that went extinct shortly thereafter. Yes, this actually happened, Telefunken! Or at least I hope it did and I hope it taught you a valuable lesson!
Ok, well. One rather convenient side of the TD25 is the aluminium stand which contains a 3/8″ screw thread for standard mic boom stands – this makes it one of the more flexible old microphones in terms of positioning.
But: Another issue with the TD25 was severe defoamation, and the only way to open them up was to forcefully pry the metal grille (which also doubles as the microphone’s ground) loose. Afterwards, there was no way to put them back together again but to shut them with a healthy dose of hot glue, yuck.
And the bottom line comes from the manual itself, found on poppop.nl:
“Because of its highly directional characteristics the noise of the typewriter is strongly suppressed”. Eugh. Telefunken, geez.
- Impedance: 800 Ohms
- Frequency range: 50 – ??? Hz (Hint: It’s not 18,000)
|Style:||(3.5 / 5)|
|Sound:||(2.5 / 5)|
|Uniqueness:||(3 / 5)|
|Usefulness:||(2.5 / 5)|
Trash:Gold ratio – 3:1