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Gizzmo0815
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Joined: 28/07/2010 21:18:43
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66d35 wrote:You are assuming that I was assuming. I wasn't. I've handled one and tried one. It is an yellow-orange LED that is giving that 'glow' not the tube.

The microphone sounds quite nice. I would not call it up there with the best established brands (Lewitt has only been around since 2009), but it is a respectable sounding microphone. I would say not vastly dissimilar to the SE Electronics tube mics when in that mode - and those can be very good indeed. The FET mode is also entirely workable. Personally, I did not think it stacked up too well against the U87 I tried it with, and in tube mode I thought Brauner, Neumann (M-147) and BeesNeez all had it beat, but it certainly was not bad. There were a few things turned me right off it, however.

1) Unnecessarily complex (and long-term, untried) circuitry and multiple switches of a rather sensitive nature (illuminated, push type)
2) Very unusual 11-pin XLR/Cable. Looked quite fragile to me. Very thin pins. Easy to bend.
3) Styling. Trying too hard to look 'vintage' and using cheap fakery to do it (just like Behringer have on occasions).
4) Again, complex and unnecessary 'auto' controls for pads, clipping. Given the specified headroom, it is hardly required (unless you are going to record gunshots at close range, possibly). Seems to be there for marketing reasons...

As I said, decent, good sounding microphone. Designed by ex-AKG guy (hence the Austrian connection), but built in China. Clearly they must have identified a market for something like this... but it isn't me. Might appeal to the kinds of studio where impressing clients is important, however....it does look kind of nice with the room lights turned down.



To be clear it's designed in Austria, manufactured in China at a factory owned by Lewitt...which, these days doesn't mean much since Chinese manufacturing has long since surpassed the place where quality wasn't equal to western manufacturers. As if there weren't U.S. or German made products that aren't good quality.

And there's nothing complex looking about the controls. It's quite simple really. Not all that different from any other multi-pattern microphone.

11 pin cables aren't all that unusual for tube designs. I've got several.

According to Lewitt themselves there is no LED. I sent them an e-mail directly so the tube itself does in fact "glow".



From: mike van der logt
7:37 PM (27 minutes ago)
To: me

Hi Nate,

Thanks for your email and interest in our Lewitt products.

The Tube in the LCT940 lights up the window and so it is the actual glow of the tube and not some other source

Let me know where you are from if you need help in finding this microphone

Best regards,

Mike


Which may not be important to you, but it doesn't mean the product is bad. It just means that you don't consider asthetics important in a microphone...or that your personal tastes disagree. It doesn't, however, make the microphone unprofessional either.

Styling is completely subjective, so your "trying to hard" is my "looks fantastic". Reviews from multiple sources all seem to agree though that it's an excellent sounding microphone.

One thing, however, that I do find to be potentially very useful is the ability to combine the two types of microphones at the source...something I do very often post production after having used two microphones to record. It's a unique idea which I applaud. Price...high...looks debateable...but unprofessional? I don't understand that judgement.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/03/2014 16:37:57

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66d35
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The mic is capable of 'professional' results. No doubt at all. However, I stand by my comment that fake tube glows, and some of the other 'extras' this thing has are not what you'd expect on a microphone in this price range (multi-push buttons to 'lock' users out, for example? What's that all about?). They cheapen it and the complexity of those connections, and little push buttons, has to give rise to concerns about real long-term reliability. There are vintage Neumann's 60+ years old still going strong... for one reason, very simple build to very high standards using (where possible) standard components of the best quality. Servicing is straightforward. Construction is well-documented. How will one of these be in, say, 10-15 years time? You say the switches are no different from other multi-pattern microphones. Sorry, but simply not so. These are logic-based switches. Press and hold for 4 seconds, that kind of thing - not physical, hard-wired contacts. That introduces a whole new layer of complexity. I am not aware of any other microphone using this level of switching. You also say that 11-pin connections are not unusual on multi-pattern mics. Well, actually, yes they are. 11-pin is not even part of the XLR standards specification. Every tube mic I have ever seen that used an XLR connector had no more than 7 pins. Seven pin XLR's are part of the recognised standard, so you are dealing with a unusual cable here. I don't believe RS Components or Markertek even list 11-pin XLRs...so good luck obtaining a replacement quickly if you ever break it.

It is not a spectacularly expensive microphone as such, but it is quite expensive for a Chinese microphone that feels the need to provide artificial 'glow' for its tube! That's what I meant when I said "worthy of a bling-covered toy". I have nothing against Chinese microphones, by the way - I use some myself regularly, it is the fake 'tube glow' on a $1500 mic that really surprised me.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/03/2014 16:38:23

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Gizzmo0815
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See my edit above...I contacted Lewitt...the "LED" you're talking about, according to them, is not present, the tube is the source. My previous assertion that it was present was from a Sound on Sound article. I've quoted the article to them, they've responded that it's not accurate.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 07/03/2014 16:43:24

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Who cares if there's a LED inside. The fact that they thought a window in front of the tube would be any good just shows, that this mic is all about marketing, as if the presence of a tube would somehow magically make any mic sound better. Maybe it does sound good after all, but this marketing scheme certainly turns me off..

Also I've yet to hear a capsule out of China that sounds any good.
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66d35
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I had one here for a day. There is something very strange going on with that 'tube glow'. It is highly abnormal. It appeared to me to be semi-backlit and far brighter than that tube would normally run at. I did not take it apart to find out, as it did not belong to me, but I have been around microphones for 40 years, and I know something odd when I see it. This was distinctly odd. Furthermore, doing a search, I found another (German) magazine review that also stated quite unequivocally that a LED was involved.

http://www.bonedo.de/artikel/einzelansicht/lewitt-lct-940-authentica-test.html

If it is not a LED, it is certainly not a 'normal' amount of visible light output from that tube. Are they over-running the heaters? No idea... but it is very strange indeed. There is a good photo here....see how most of the light is around the top of the tube?

http://www.electronic-star.pl/Lewitt-LCT-940-mikrofon-lampowy_i53762.htm

I'd like to know what is really going on....


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Gizzmo0815
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66d35 wrote:I had one here for a day. There is something very strange going on with that 'tube glow'. It is highly abnormal. It appeared to me to be semi-backlit and far brighter than that tube would normally run at. I did not take it apart to find out, as it did not belong to me, but I have been around microphones for 40 years, and I know something odd when I see it. This was distinctly odd. Furthermore, doing a search, I found another (German) magazine review that also stated quite unequivocally that a LED was involved.

http://www.bonedo.de/artikel/einzelansicht/lewitt-lct-940-authentica-test.html

If it is not a LED, it is certainly not a 'normal' amount of visible light output from that tube. Are they over-running the heaters? No idea... but it is very strange indeed. There is a good photo here....see how most of the light is around the top of the tube?

http://www.electronic-star.pl/Lewitt-LCT-940-mikrofon-lampowy_i53762.htm

I'd like to know what is really going on....




I'd like to know why you claimed to know what was really going on already? You either do or don't know that it's fake...from your statement above...it's clear that you don't. Which is partially what you based your initial judgement that the microphone was "unprofessional" on.

Either way it doesn't really matter, specs indicate that in fact the tube is an important design element in the microphone. I suspect any LED use would be to ensure that the glow doesn't disappear when the tube circut isn't being used...which would likely ruin the asthetic effect they were trying to achieve.

Either way...unprofessional...Lewitt audio? Right.

As for the comment about "no good sounding Chinese capsules...I disagree, I've heard many. But what does that prove?

I'll tell you what it doesn't prove...it doesn't prove that either of us has a better sense of audio quality...it doesn't prove that Chinese capsules are bad or good. It also doesn't prove that if this particular microphone is made in China...that it sounds bad.

My point is that there seems to be a lot of grandstanding going on here. Something that's pretty common in audio forums. I just wonder why so many feel the need to appear to have the "best" opinion on these things...

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/03/2014 17:37:36

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Gizzmo0815 wrote:As for the comment about "no good sounding Chinese capsules...I disagree, I've heard many. But what does that prove exactly? That we both have an opinion?


Sorry if this comes across as harsh or patronizing, I don't mean it this way. But it proves you've never heard these Chinese capsules next to a Neumann or AKG, or you're basically deaf. Seriously, I've done a lot of building and modding Chinese mics and their weakest spot was always the capsule, none of them could hold a candle against the classics, not by a hundred miles. Once you upgrade such mics with a good capsule, some of them are quite usable.

Maybe Lewitt have pulled it off, I don't know. I'm just saying I've never heard one, but then it's probably just a matter of time, until something usable comes along..
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Gizzmo0815
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Beauvais wrote:
Gizzmo0815 wrote:As for the comment about "no good sounding Chinese capsules...I disagree, I've heard many. But what does that prove exactly? That we both have an opinion?


Sorry if this comes across as harsh or patronizing, I don't mean it this way. But it proves you've never heard these Chinese capsules next to a Neumann or AKG, or you're basically deaf. Seriously, I've done a lot of building and modding Chinese mics and their weakest spot was always the capsule, none of them could hold a candle against the classics, not by a hundred miles. Once you upgrade such mics with a good capsule, some of them are quite usable.

Maybe Lewitt have pulled it off, I don't know. I'm just saying I've never heard one, but then it's probably just a matter of time, until something usable comes along..


No...not it doesn't prove that at all.

It proves that you have an opinion...that's it. It doesn't actually say anything about my hearing. I've done a lot of recording with LOTS of microphones from the Neumans to the MXLs...there's a wide variety and a lot of subjectivity. I suspect your brand allegiences are as strong as your sense of hearing.
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I have no brand allegiances at all, just the experience over the years that good quality costs good money. When corners are cut, it's usually audible. You seem to be the one with some sort of allegiance to Lewitt, I mean it's just another mic, probably not the holy grail of audio and the company employs a marketing scheme I find rather ridiculous. But if you get your kicks out of glowing tubes, by all means go for it. I'd rather use my ears..
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Gizzmo0815
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My brand allegiance if anything would be with Audio Technica...but I've used the Lewitt LCT 640 and 840 several times. Both are excellent both in build quality and in result. And I didn't imply any kick from a glowing tube...nor did imply that I didn't use my ears...what I did imply was that it seems that people often feel the need to make very declarative statements about very subjective things. Why bother except to feel superior?
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Sorry if I came across that way, wasn't my intention. I merely meant to comment on the apparent marketing gimmick by Lewitt, which I do find ridiculous and unnecessary if the mic is any good. The other thing I said, was that I've never heard a really good Chinese capsule and I stand by that and I'm quite sure you would too, had you done the same experiments and tests I have. And by this I mean not just using different mics, but listening to different capsules in the same mic.

Also I have nothing against Chinese mics in general, it's just that their capsules suck (sorry to say it again). But my preferred cheap trick tube mic would be a MXL V69 modded with a NOS tube and Neumann or Thiersch capsule. The V69 is transformerless so there's no need to upgrade a (usually undersized and crappy) transformer. Anyone with two hands can do this him/herself, the tube is socketed and to exchange the capsule, you have solder three wires. Such an upgraded V69 costs significantly less than 1k$ and is a seriously good mic which will outperform the 'middle class' like Peluso and the like..

I would much rather go that route than invest in a company with such a ridiculous marketing approach.
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LMike
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Gizzmo0815 wrote:It proves that you have an opinion...that's it.


Yep.

How did a thread about what seems to be a potentially really great mic that nobody has to even buy turn into an argument?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 07/03/2014 18:56:09

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LMike wrote:
Gizzmo0815 wrote:It proves that you have an opinion...that's it.


Yep.

How did a thread about what seems to be a potentially really great mic that nobody has to even buy turn into an argument?


Because I think this "potentially great" mic is just another Chinese mic at a rather steep price point for what it is. Also I find the manufacturers marketing scheme rather dislikable, exploiting all kinds of clich├ęs about tubes and their mistery, which some of the less experienced around here might fall for.

I for one find it rather appalling, but I guess everyone is free to have his opinion about this gimmick.
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It's just a mic man. It's ok not to like it. It's nothing to be "appalled" by, it's just one of a kazillion things companies make and sell.

It's - really - not that important imo. I'm appalled by some things in this world too, but not really ever microphones or the companies who make them.

Anyway, it's out of my budget. I only posted it for anyone who hasn't heard of these mics.
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The poor mic is not to be blamed, but I do dislike the marketing scheme

Also I've explained above how to get a better (yes, that's IMO) mic for less money and I'm not talking out of my ass here. This is based on experience.
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