The name of this affordable pencil condenser lets you know you’d best get a pair
Review by Paul Vnuk Jr.
With Austria’s LEWITT, it’s all about capturing the details. That tradition continues with one of the newest condenser microphone models in the LCT series, the LCT 040 MATCH. It is so named because even though you can buy single mics, they are best purchased in pairs, because they are—you guessed it—expertly matched.
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The LCT 040 MATCH is a full-sized pencil condenser in diameter (0.9″), but at 3.3″ length it is one of the most petite pencil condensers I have used. It is also one of the lightest, weighing a mere 1.6oz. Its body is made of CNC-milled aluminum, which while feather-light is quite durable. It is finished in black with LEWITT green and white lettering and offers no controls or switches of any kind.
Internally it uses a 0.67″ (17mm) permanently-polarized cardioid capsule. It is voiced for detail and clarity with 6+ dB boost starting at 4kHz and peaking at 15kHz. It features a neutral, even midrange, and a healthily rolled off low end, from 200Hz sloping down to –8dB at 20Hz.
Whether alone or in pairs, it comes in a foam-lined box with mic clips, foam windscreens, and a carrying pouch.
Austrian design, affordable build
Like all LEWITT microphones, the LCT 040 MATCH is designed in Austria and built overseas. As such, you may fear the words “bright” and “overseas”, but it is important to note that the clarity and top-end capture is by design, not the result of poor craftsmanship as was the case with many import condensers from a decade ago.
The LCT 040 MATCH is pristinely built like all LEWITT fare, and purposely designed to be detailed and open. Its top end is all about clarity and detail, and is in no way harsh or tizzy.
In use: Drums
I have been using a pair of the LCT 040 MATCH on drum overheads, with both darker Zildjian K series and brighter Zildjian A custom cymbals, for over a month now, and never once has a client complained about the cymbals being too crisp. On the contrary, this mic has made it easy to dial just the right amount of cymbal presence into the mix.
They also are a great choice for live work, as they do not need to be cranked too high in the mix to capture the detail of the kit—or the ride, hats, or crashes when spot-miked, which is often a better choice for live work.
In use: Acoustic Guitar
The LCT 040 MATCH also is well-suited to acoustic guitar, especially when you want hyper-detailed strings, as with fingerpicking. Thanks to their small size, they work well to stay out of the way of the player.
They are very well-suited to stereo miking techniques, from X/Y to spaced-pair setups. Because these also excel at capturing the sound of the room and the space around the instrument, you will need to be conscious of the quality of the environment in which you are recording.
Game, set, and MATCH
Honestly, I don’t know why LEWITT sells single mics, or why you would purchase just one, especially when a pair can be had for under $200. The LCT 040 MATCH is a great choice for a first pair of pencil condensers for studio or stage, or for any seasoned engineer wanting to capture a source with extreme detail.
Polar pattern: Cardioid
Sensitivity: 18.8mV/Pa, –34.5dBV/Pa
Equivalent noise level: 20dBA
Internal impedance: 203Ω
Rated load impedance: 1000Ω
Price: $99/single mic, $189/pair
More from: Lewitt, www.lewitt-audio.com