Pre-release of LEWITT’s latest flagship microphone LCT 540 SUBZERO at AES NY
Austrian microphone manufacturer LEWITT flexes its muscles yet again, teasing its latest impressive flagship: the single-pattern large-diaphragm condenser LCT 540 SUBZERO. Its specs show that the R&D team went totally bonkers – giving “super-low self-noise,” “highly sensitive,” and “huge dynamic range” a whole new definition.
“My urge for perfection usually leaves behind a slight undertone of, ‘If only we’d done this-and-that instead of or in addition to…’ – but with the LCT 540 SUBZERO, it’s really hard to find anything that hasn’t been done to make this thing epic. Even for me,” admits LEWITT CEO Roman Perschon. “We questioned A LOT of our endorsers about what they want in a single-pattern microphone. All of them are leading experts in their fields, and they had a huge influence on the final outcome. Their requirements plus lots of very helpful feedback went into developing the LCT 540 SUBZERO, shaping and fine-tuning its crisp, clear sound and turning it into the hero-mic that it now is. From a technical standpoint, “just max out everything” would’ve obviously been a dream assignment for any R&D department – if it weren’t for the caveat that the price shouldn’t be out of this world. But even that worked out just fine. We’ve done a great job on this microphone, and I’m really happy with the result!” concludes Perschon.
The most important feature of any microphone is its overall sonic character – and LEWITT has stuck with its well-known and widely appreciated modern, crystal-clear sound, making the LCT 540 SUBZERO a very capable tool for almost any application. Its premium-quality capsule, together with some very clever circuit design, drops the electrical self-noise to an almost uncanny -1 dB (A) at a sensitivity of 41 mV/Pa, -28 dBV/Pa, and it increases the dynamic range to 132 dB (A) – a true benchmark for studio-grade large-diaphragm condensers. Head of Product Management Moritz Lochner explains: “Everybody thinks 0 dB SPL is the hearing threshold, but that’s in fact only true at 2 kHz. At this point, the LCT 540 SUBZERO actually has self-noise of below -7 dB SPL – hence the name. The acoustic self-noise of 4 dB (A) is caused by random molecules bouncing against the diaphragm. But that’s a cumulative value; if you look at self-noise across the full frequency spectrum, you’ll see that the LCT 540 SUBZERO is all the way below the hearing threshold. It’s literally better than your ears. Describing something frequency-dependent in one single value is nowhere near detailed enough at this level of engineering. We even went and redesigned our self-noise measuring equipment especially for this microphone. To make a long story short: if you want to capture everything without ANY compromise, you’ll need to get an LCT 540 SUBZERO – because ultimately, it’s the details that turn a good recording into something magical.”
EXPERIENCE ALL DETAILS
The engineering of this particular piece of cutting-edge audio technology asked for a forward-thinking approach towards capsule and circuit design. As a result, a way of experiencing sound at infinite depth and absolute precision came to life; its name, the LCT 540 SUBZERO. Get involved with tone and sound in ways unheard and bring your recordings to perfection by capturing all the fine-grained characteristics that constitute each moment of your performance. Rediscover your instrument and voice on a whole new level of musical detail.
// 1″ true condenser studio microphone with cardioid polar pattern
// Developed in close cooperation with world-renowned producers and audio engineers
// First and foremost designed to be an outstanding vocal microphone.
// Naturally, thanks to its specifications, it is suitable for almost any application.
BETTER THAN HUMAN HEARING
SUBZERO SELF-NOISE ARCHITECTURE
To see how good our hearing is in a purely technical way we can look at the threshold of hearing. Bear in mind that our hearing threshold is very frequency dependent. Human hearing is less sensitive towards low and very high frequencies and most sensitive around 2 – 5 kHz. Comparing the hearing threshold to the self-noise values of the LCT 540 SUBZERO, you can clearly see that our microphone is always below the threshold of hearing. To look at the self-noise of a microphone in a single value is just not detailed enough when discussing high-end sound transducers.
PUSH IT TO THE LIMIT
9900 POUNDS OF MEASUREMENT
The better the microphone, the more difficult self-noise measurement gets. You need a place where no outside noise will interfere with the measurement result. This is especially difficult for lower frequencies. To measure the self-noise of the LCT 540 SUBZERO, we needed to build a unique measurement device that is more than ten times more massive than conventional ones, weighing over 4500 kg or 9900 pounds in total. It heavily dampens frequencies up to a 1/10,000th of their sound pressure. The whole frequency range of a microphone from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz is dampened by 60 dB, up to 80 dB on the higher frequencies.
THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG
WHY IS LOW SELF-NOISE IMPORTANT?
When you climb a mountain, and the weather is clear, your reward is a fantastic view. If it is partly cloudy or foggy, the payoff is profoundly reduced. The same goes for recording. Some peaks stick out of the noise floor (fog), but if you remove as much noise as possible, you will be rewarded with details that were buried before. This microphone can pick up the subtlest details in vocals or instruments, an almost inaudible whispering can be pushed up and sound crystal clear. Many noise issues only reveal themselves in post-production. Once you start compressing the signals a previously inaudible noise floor can appear; not with the LCT 540 SUBZERO.
THE BEAUTY OF UNLIMITED DETAIL
INFINITE DEPTH. ABSOLUTE PRECISION.
// Subzero self-noise circuit design
// Dynamic range of 132 dB, Max SPL of 136 dB
// Ultra-resolution sonic images
// Excellent transient response
The LCT 540 SUBZERO captures every sound source with absolute precision – because it is built with absolute precision; not even the tiniest detail of your recorded source will get lost. To guarantee its ultra-resolution sound and first-class sonic imaging, every 3 μm gold-sputtered, 1″ Mylar diaphragm underlies the strictest quality controls.
FUNCTION AND DESIGN
// Integrated Clipping Indicator
// Automatic Attenuation
// Clipping History
// Low-cut filters
PERFECT MATCH TECHNOLOGY
Every single LCT 540 SUBZERO undergoes a series of measurements followed by adjustment of the polarization voltage to achieve the same sensitivity in every LCT 540 SUBZERO we will ever produce.
WHAT IS IN THE BOX?
The LCT 540 SUBZERO comes in a military-grade protective case, with a shock mount that reduces structure-borne noise to a minimum, and a magnetic pop-filter that integrates perfectly with the design of the microphone. Box Content: Protective case, LCT 40 SHx, LCT 50 PSx, LCT 40 Wx, DTP 40 Lb
Acoustical operating principle: Pressure gradient transducer, externally polarized
Diaphragm: 3 micron gold sputtered Mylar
Transducer Ø: 25.4 mm, 1 in
Polar pattern: Cardioid
Sensitivity: 41 mV/Pa, -28 dBV/Pa
Equivalent noise level: 4 dB (A)
Max. SPL for 0.5 % THD: 136
Signal / noise ratio: 90dB (A)
Dynamic range: 132dB (A)
Pre-attenuation pad: 0dB, -6dB, -12dB
Low-cut filter: linear, 8Hz (6dB/oct), 160Hz (6dB/oct)
Internal impedance: 68 Ω
Supply voltage: 48 V +/- 4 V
Current consumption: 3.6 mA
Mic enclosure: Zinc die cast
Connector: Gold plated 3-pin XLR
Microphone dimensions: 158 x 52 x 36 mm
Microphone net weight: 371 g
Microphones measured according to: IEC 60268-4
Phantom power according to: IEC 61938
Noise measurement according to: IEC 60268-1
Low-cut: Linear, 80 Hz, 160 Hz
Polar graph frequency: 125 Hz – 250 Hz – 500 Hz – 1.000 Hz – 2.000 Hz – 4.000 Hz – 8.000 Hz – 16.000 Hz
The initial small batch of microphones will be available within the next couple of weeks, with final roll-out planned for January 2018. LEWITT is aiming for a very competitive price point, so a street price well below USD 1,000 is to be expected.
More info at www.lewitt-audio.com/LCT540SUBZERO