Today, we’ll be reviewing the Lewitt LCT 1040 microphone. Lewitt’s output has impressed us over the last few years, and this recent release has been highly anticipated.
It was well received at NAMM a few years ago when Lewitt was showing off their prototypes, and we’ve all been waiting to see the final results.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Our verdict on the Lewitt LCT 1040
The LCT 1040 is one of the most innovative microphones on the market. This microphone is essentially 100 microphones in one, and it brings a versatility and flexibility to the studio that is simply unmatched. If you have the means to afford having it in your arsenal, then by all means, buy it.Available at: SweetwaterAmazon
Polar pattern and frequency response
The LCT 1040 has a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz, and has a max SPL of 137 dB with 0 dB attenuation.
The microphone comes with a remote control unit, which can be used to alter the polar pattern, filters, attenuation, and even the blend of tube and solid-state signal paths.
That being said, the LCT 1040 can be adjusted to have either an omni, hypocardioid, cardioid, supercaridioid, or figure-8 polar pattern.
What’s even more interesting is that there is an additional mode which switches the two diaphragm outputs so that the front essentially becomes the rear, effectively reversing the cardioid pattern.
The microphone comes with four separate filters: flat, 40 Hz, 80 Hz , and 120 Hz. There are also four attenuation levels available (0, -6, -12, as well as -24 dB).
As we already mentioned, the output of the valves can be blended with the FET signal paths. On the remote, this feature has been labeled Circuit. The parameters of the circuitry can be altered in four distinct modes: Clear, Warm, Dark, and Saturated.
Also, since the chosen valve sound can be blended with the FET signal path, a huge amount of tonal variance is available.
In a practical sense, this feature cuts out the process of auditioning microphones, seeing as you can substantially alter the mic’s performance instantly at the flick of a switch.
The LCT 1040 was specifically designed as a vocal microphone, and its performance is top notch.
Aside from its high-quality specs, what makes this microphone invaluable is the amount of flexibility and versatility it provides in the studio.
Its multiple features and settings essentially make the LCT 1040 a hundred microphones in one. Meaning that you won’t have to go through the screening process of setup and breakdown often required when finding which microphone is best for a specific vocalist.
While the microphone could certainly handle live applications, we probably wouldn’t suggest using a $3.4k microphone as your live mic of choice.
Yes, it can be set to have amazing off-axis rejection, and yes, it’s SPL could certainly handle the loudness of a live show, but why would you want to risk ruining such a great microphone with the abuse of touring? Even multi-millionaires like Paul McCartney opt for an $100 SM58.
The LCT 1040 can be altered to act as a flat broadcast microphone such as the RE20, or conversely made to perform as a room microphone.
In terms of general application, this microphone could be used well on snare (top or bottom), floor toms, and could be used well to flesh out the body of the kick.
It could be made to use as a room microphone, and while it might not act exactly as a ribbon microphone, experimenting with its tonality could yield amazing results.
Likewise, there’s no reason why the LCT 1040 couldn’t be used to record electric guitar. Even though it was designed as a studio vocal mic, guitars generally sit within the same range as the human voice.
Again, the amount of variance that is achievable with this microphone make it more than capable of capturing nearly any tone imaginable. Its high SPL is also helpful when attempting to record loud, distorted guitar parts.
While you may want to use another microphone in conjunction with the LCT 1040 that is better capable of capturing the low sub frequencies of a bass amp, the LCT 1040 can certainly hold its weight as a bass amp microphone.
The amount of flexibility the microphone gives you, and the precision with which you can sculpt its performance, makes it ideal for nearly any sound imaginable.
You can tame it to get the warm rumble of a Hofner or the slinkiness of an Ibanez.
If we haven’t made it clear enough, obviously the LCT 1040 could be used on an acoustic guitar.
Switch the circuitry to a bright setting and just point it at the sound hole and there you have it – a good guitar sound.
As an amazing vocal microphone, the LCT 1040 is ideal for podcasters looking for the best sound possible.
The microphone can easily be trained to handle proximity effect and it also comes with a double mesh pop filter to help with plosives and sibilance.
Anyway, it’s just as good for spoken word as it is for anything else.
The LCT 1040 has a rugged build, and is somewhat heavy. Its look is pristine and sharp, and the same goes for the remote control.
The microphone comes with a shock mount, as well as a double mesh pop filter.
Overall, the quality of its design is equal to the quaLity of its performance.
Compared to other microphones
Here are a few other options to compare against the Lewitt LCT 1040.
LCT 1040 vs. Neumann U 87 Ai
The Neumann U 87 is one of the most popular microphones of all time. It has a reputation for sounding good on just about everything, and it notoriously is very light on EQ and compression.
The LCT 1040 is just as valuable as a microphone, and is roughly the same price. However, the LCT 1040 has the added benefit of being able to perform like other microphones.
This may be the first and only time we can say that there is a microphone more versatile than the Neumann U 87.
LCT 1040 vs. LCT 940
The Lewitt LCT 940 is the older sibling of the 1040. Much of what the 940 is capable of is the same as the 1040, although perhaps to a lesser degree.
Lewitt enacted a number of upgrades on the LCT 1040, to enhance its performance and overall design.
Truthfully, the LCT 1040 is the better of the two as Lewitt has ironed out many of the kinks with the performance of the LCT 940.
LCT 1040 vs. Neumann U 67 Ai
The Neumann U 67 is a perfectly good mic, and just as valuable as the U 87 and the LCT 1040.
To be honest, if you have the resources, you should just have all of these microphones. All of them are insanely invaluable and offer amazing performances for nearly all applications.
Again, if you are going to buy one of them, either the U 87 or the LCT 1040 is probably the better option, but you really can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
Who is the Lewitt LCT 1040 best suited for?
This is a microphone for any serious audio engineer. The LCT 1040 is particularly great for any engineer trying to cut down time that is usually spent auditioning microphones when recording.
The LCT 1040 is incredibly versatile, and offers an amazing workflow for the engineer working against the clock.
- Excellent sound quality.
- Great workflow.
- Amazing build quality.
- Not the cheapest mic in the world.