the t.bone RM 700: What is it?
German retailer and manufacturer Thomann has recently relaunched its affordable ‘the t.bone’ product line, which includes a large range of microphones, headphones and wireless systems including in-ear monitoring.
Up for review is the RM 700 ribbon mic. The kit comes in a small flight case which comprises the mic inside its own padded wooden storage box and a bespoke low-profile suspension cradle.
As you will have spotted the mic has a lollipop shape and looks a lot like a bottle-style capsule module.
However, this is in fact the whole mic, with the output electronics cleverly contained in the stem section, so at just under 17cm long, it’s pretty compact.
If you scout the online shops, you’ll find very similar-looking mics from other vendors indicating the case at least is a bulk manufactured part.
the t.bone RM 700: Performance and verdict
When setting up, the suspension cradle is a spring-loaded low-profile design, so you simply squeeze the arms and slide the mic into place, which is nice and quick. Given the stem design, you could probably also use a regular clamp-style mic clip. Either way, the clamp and mic create a reasonably compact unit that’s easy to position and orientate.
The mic and clamp are both finished in satin silver and the overall construction and finish are reasonable, although the headstock did look marginally off-centre to us. The lollipop has a 75mm diameter and if you remove the grille you can see the rectangular ribbon capsule is positioned vertically, occupying most of this space.
The ribbon itself is about 45mm long and both sides of the capsule incorporate a thin protective gauze. The headstock grille is made from multiple layers of material, adding further wind diffusion.
The RM 700 quotes output sensitivity of 2mV/Pa, which is reasonable for a passive ribbon, meanwhile with self noise at 18dB (A-weighted) it should be good for most applications.
In tests, it’s certainly noticeably quieter and also has a more healthy output level than their retro-styled RB 500 ribbon mic.
Sonically, the RM 700 has a contemporary sound and a very different sound to the t.bone’s much more retro RB 500.
First up, the high-frequency tail-off begins at a reasonably high frequency, delivering decent though not hyped top end. Meanwhile, the low mids and lows are quite strong.
In fact, we found this aspect could be a bit overbearing, and this was particularly obvious with acoustic guitar, where careful mic placement and a bit more distance were needed for a balanced sound.
Similarly, for speech and vocals, if you don’t want rich low frequencies then this probably isn’t the right mic. The RM 700 is excellent for electric guitar and bass guitar amps, with the rich low mids delivering plenty of weight.
It really captures the punchiness of the amp and room sound. What’s more, for more crunchy overdriven sounds, the top end has just enough sparkle to capture the fizz without the need for EQ.
Overall, the RM 700 delivers a lot considering its incredibly modest price tag, and although some aspects have clearly been made to budget, it provides a very decent entry point for anyone interested in expanding their mic cupboard.
MusicRadar verdict: The RM 700 delivers a contemporary sound and is a great affordable option for bass amps, guitar amps and beyond.
the t.bone RM 700: Hands-on demos
Callum Edwards Drums
the t.bone RM 700: Specifications
- Type: Dynamic
- Transducer: Ribbon
- Pickup pattern: Figure 8
- Sensitivity: 2mV/Pa
- Nominal impedance: 600 Ohm
- Max. SPL: 148 dB 1% THD
- Frequency range: 20Hz to 10kHz
- Equivalent noise level: 18 dB (A-weighted)
- Accessories: Shock mount, wooden box and aluminium flight case
- Size: 76(d) x 165(h) mm
- Weight: 794g
- CONTACT: Thomann