error
GearEVU Giveaway Contest

Review a product for chance to win?

Learn More

Review: Lewitt LCT 640 Condenser Microphone

0
Submitted On October 30, 2013 by Contributor:
LCT640

Rating

Sound
95%


Build Quality
90%


Ease of Use
85%


Versatility
90%


Overall Value
85%


Total Score
89%

89/ 100

Review Details

Price: $799
 
Manufacturer:
 

Positives:

The LCT 640's top "pluses" are a sound that's accurate and "real" - inviting comparisons to the venerable AKG C414 series. But the LCT 640 is much more than an "updated C414." While the 640 excels at anything for which a C414 is often considered to be a solid choice, its sound has a certain "realer than real, larger than life" quality that I've never heard from any 414. I currently use a pair of C414 B-ULS for drum overheads, but after trying my first LCT 640, I'm hoping (someday, budget permitting) to replace them with a pair of LCT640's to leave up as drum overheads - there's that much of an improvement in sound, with all the detail, much lower self-noise, and much less of the thinness, harshness, or tinniness that the C414 can sometimes exhibit. And where the AKG 414 is often said to be "not a great vocal mic for most vocalists, but on the right vocalist, when it works, it can really work," the LCT640 seems to me to be at least "pretty good" on any vocalist, and fantastic on some - but always usable. 

 

Negatives:

Pronounced proximity effect in cardioid pattern settings can be a blessing or a curse - great if you want to 'work the mic' for a deliberately 'warm' or bassy vocal take, or to bring out the fullness or low-end of an instrument, but more of an obvious proximity effect than some other large- or medium-diaphragm condenser mic choices. Mic can be prone to sibilance on some vocalists, particularly when singing in very close proximity to the microphone. While the included shockmount seems to be a fantastic design, it is constructed of a nylon or plastic material (reminiscent of the AKG C414's typical shockmount, or the plastic clip of a Sennheiser MD421), which may worry some - but it doesn't seem flimsy or delicate, in spite of the choice of material.

 
by 
My Review

Lewitt is a (relatively speaking) newcomer to the microphone manufacturing scene, having introduced their first products to the market as recently as the January, 2010 NAMM show in Anaheim, California. But the people that came together to found the Lewitt brand name are far from newcomers – led by a veteran of a certain well-known Austrian microphone manufacturer, in partnership with a respected Asian microphone manufacturing expert, the Lewitt microphone company was reportedly founded out of frustration – specifically, founder Roman Perschon’s frustration with being discouraged from incorporating innovative ideas, improvements, and features into the product line of his former famous-Austrian-microphone-manufacturer employers. 

It may come as no surprise, then, that what was initially Lewitt’s flagship large-diaphragm multipattern condenser, the LCT 640 (Lewitt’s product line has since been expanded “upmarket” with the LCT 840 and 940, and “downmarket” with simplified, single-pattern models like the LCT 240) is often compared, fairly or unfairly, to AKG‘s C-414 condenser microphone.

Indeed, the LCT 640’s top “pluses” are a sound that’s accurate and “real” – inviting comparisons to the venerable AKG C414 series. But the LCT 640 is much more than an “updated C414.” While the 640 excels at anything for which a C414 is often considered to be a solid choice, its sound has a certain “realer than real, larger than life” quality that I’ve never heard from any 414. I currently use a pair of C414 B-ULS for drum overheads, but after trying my first LCT 640, I’m hoping (someday, budget permitting) to replace them with a pair of LCT640’s to leave up as drum overheads – there’s that much of an improvement in sound, with all the detail, much lower self-noise, and much less of the thinness, harshness, or tinniness that the C414 can sometimes exhibit. And where the AKG 414 is often said to be “not a great vocal mic for most vocalists, but on the right vocalist, when it works, it can really work,” the LCT640 seems to me to be at least “pretty good” on any vocalist, and fantastic on some – but always usable. 

If the suspicion that the LCT 640 was designed to be “the next C-414” has any merit, Mr. Perschon and Lewitt have far surpassed even the most recent technology-and-features updates to the latest versions of the 414, with a sound that is far more versatile, engaging, and exhilarating than most if not all versions of the AKG classic. Where certain versions of the AKG C-414 are well-suited to particular tasks, such as drum overheads, close-mic’ed drums and percussion (if you can afford the risk of damage from hands and drumsticks), piano, or certain vocal recordings, the Lewitt LCT 640 seems to work “pretty well” on nearly any vocal or instrument source, and inspiringly well on many – I wouldn’t be heartbroken if LCT 640’s were my only choice for condenser mics in the studio (although I’d prefer to have a variety of different dynamic microphones, and maybe a ribbon or two, to complement such an imaginary “shelf of 640s” kit).

In terms of technology and features, the LCT 640 also innovates in several interesting ways. The backlit controls step through three high-pass-filter options plus bypass, three pad options plus bypass, and  five polar pattern settings (tight cardioid, figure eight, omni, and two “in between” settings) – plus a couple unusual but why-didn’t-somebody-think-of-that-before settings that may or may not come in handy to you: a “button lockout” setting to prevent performers, studio lackies, or other “newbies” from changing microphone settings, a “clip history” feature that lets you know if acoustic levels have clipped the mic’s electronics in the past, and an “auto pad setting” feature in which the microphone will set the signal-level pad setting for you, at progressively increasing pad levels, if it detects clipping. Set up the mic, hit the drum, sing, or play as loud as you can, and if the microphone needs a pad to prevent clipping, it pads itself. Probably handy in some applications, if perhaps a little creepy in a Skynet sort of way.

Pronounced proximity effect in cardioid pattern settings can be a blessing or a curse – great if you want to ‘work the mic’ for a deliberately ‘warm’ or bassy vocal take, or to bring out the fullness or low-end of an instrument, but more of an obvious proximity effect than some other large- or medium-diaphragm condenser mic choices. Mic can be prone to sibilance on some vocalists, particularly when singing in very close proximity to the microphone. While the included shockmount seems to be a fantastic design, it is constructed of a nylon or plastic material (reminiscent of the AKG C414’s typical shockmount, or the plastic clip of a Sennheiser MD421), which may worry some – but it doesn’t seem flimsy or delicate, in spite of the choice of material.

Recommend to a friend

About The Contributor

chrisrnps



0 Reviews



Be The First To Review!


You Must Be Logged In To Post A Review.

About us

Gearevu.com is a one stop review site for all your audio gear research and recommendations to buy. Whether you are looking to research, evaluate, compare or buy….you’ve come to the right place!

Recommend to a friend

Subscribe to our newsletter 

Latest Reviews of Products

  • on Shure SM7b Dynamic MicrophoneSimply a must have for any mic collection! Sound: I use this with great results on Male Vocals (which sound GREAT through a tube amp
  • on Universal Audio UAD-2 Fatso Plugin"Though I no experience with the actual hardware, I am absolutely IN LOVE with the UAD Fatso! It is simply one of the best plugins

TOP REVIEWS BY TYPE

Copyright © 2017 Recording Gear Reviews, All Rights Reserved.