Telefunken TD300 (AKG DK11 capsule)

The “reporter mic” TD300 by Telefunken sure is something to see – with its built-in windscreen, its bulky, heavy head on a plastic handle, a fully functional (at least if used with a Telefunken magnetophone tape recorder) VU-meter, and a purely mechanical M/S switch that simply closes the bass inlet on the backside of the capsule, it sports all the bling-bling an amateur field recording enthusiast can wish for, and more.

Quite a sorry mess! But the TD300 and the TD11C share the same capsule, and this picture vividly illlustrates that point, I guess?

What a sorry mess! But the TD300 and the TD11C share the same AKG DK11 capsule, and this picture vividly illlustrates that point, I guess? Solder snake for scale (I guess?).

Quite anticlimactically, opening up a non functional TD-300, we discovered that what’s inside is just the same old pill box style AKG DK11 capsule as in the Telefunken TD11 table microphone (which is the same as the Grundig GDM 15). This is by no means a bad thing, the capsule has a nice large diaphragm and can handle quite some abuse – think distorted guitars – but the TD11C and the GDM15 are considerably more common and a lot cheaper than the TD300, so don’t get fooled by the pro looks of this microphone, or by the name Telefunken. Plus, the table mic versions are easier to rewire because you don’t have to untangle the VU meter. There is also a rather common stereo microphone OEM’d by dozens of brands, which looks like two metal thimbles. It’s sold as Saba D88, Telefunken D77, AEG D77 and goes under many, many more namens and brands and supposedly also contains AKG DK11 capsules.

An interesting side note: The guys at elektroakustika.cz (they also have a scan of the manual, so head on over there and check out their great page!) have observed that the plastic handle is the same as on the cheaper Uher reporter mics, such as the M516 or M517 – it sure did look familiar! And one of those similar looking microphones, quite possibly the Uher M514, even contains the same capsule. Stay tuned while we try to untangle the Uher jungle in other posts.

Specs!

  • Impedance: 200 Ω
  • Frequency range: 60 – 14000 Hz
  • cardioid pickup pattern
  • VU meter and mechanical highpass filter
Style: (4.0 / 5)
Sound: (3.0 / 5)
Uniqueness: (3.0 / 5)
Usefulness: (2.5 / 5)

Trash:Gold ratio 3:1

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