We have been working our way through the Lewitt product range and have now finally reached the top with the LCT 940. In essence this is a large-diaphragm nine-pattern condenser with a feature-packed external power supply/control unit. The package comes in a smart black flightcase with a bespoke suspension mount, foam windshield and an interconnect cable.
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Working on the premise that “changing microphones and adjusting settings takes valuable time” thus interrupting “the creative flow of a session”, the sonic characteristics of the LCT 940 are designed to be so versatile and controllable that it “will revolutionize modern studio recording procedures”. These claims are frankly a bit silly and detract from a design concept that is unusual and innovative enough to do without the hyperbole.
The preamp/impedance-conversion sections of all the industry-standard condenser microphones fall into two component categories – valve and Field Effect Transistor (aka FET) – with most featuring transformers to balance the output signal. The LCT 940 contains valve and FET circuitry, and it’s transformerless. But the really exciting thing is that users can choose between a valve or FET signal path or blend them to taste via a continuously variable Blend control.
The nine polar patterns include Lewitt’s five ‘standard’ polar patterns – omnidirectional, cardioid, figure-8, wide cardioid and super-cardioid – plus four intermediate patterns. Four levels of attenuation and four switchable high-pass filter settings are provided and, like the tube/FET blender, they operate noiselessly. Another neat feature, which we’ve seen before on Lewitt microphones, is automatic attenuation that kicks in if the mic clips due to excessive SPLs. The LCT 940 also has a clipping history display and the automatic attenuation can be de-activated if you prefer.
Into The Blender
Using the 940 up-close and pushing it harder emphasises the differences and we honed in on two-parts tube to one-part FET as our default setting. Further tone-shaping accompanies the pattern switching. For instance, the midrange thins out as you move towards cottage-loaf and figure-8 patterns. You may also notice changes in the presence frequencies as you explore the areas between omni and cardioid.
The LCT 940 is a very usable and likeable microphone with few drawbacks. Given the level of flexibility and the high build quality, we think it offers excellent value for money. It would also be a canny choice if you need only one high-end mic.
+ Unusually flexible response
+ Multiple pickup patterns
+ Low self-noise
+ HPF switching
+ Switchable pads
+ Excellent sound quality
+ Impressive and practical suspension mount
– Doesn’t quite achieve vintage valve vibe
– Interconnect cable tends to twist
A fine-sounding large-capsule condenser with blendable tube and FET circuitry, nine pickup patterns, HPF and attenuation switching.