1. Dear Guest, if you haven't already... enter to WIN Samplitude Pro X5!
    Dismiss Notice

Anyone own a Lauten LA-320 ?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by pcrecord, May 6, 2020.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. cyrano

    cyrano Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2018
    Location:
    Brussels
    Rode is quite popular in non-pop/rock genres. Like opera and other classical music.

    The very first Rode NT1' electronics were designed by Jim Williams. Better than the U87. Keep in mind that the U87 used transistors from the sixties. Only the very first NT1 series came with a Chinese capsule. It's certainly not a bad mic at all, but it has a presence peak, like all LDCs. Easy enough to EQ out. The NT1a corrected that a bit and had a capsule made by Rode. Then Rod came out again with an NT1, adding to the confusion.

    People always forget that the preamp has tremendous impact on the way a mic sounds. And the first Rode NT1 is one of the prime examples. Connected to my RME FF400, it almost sounds harsh, clinical, unforgiving. Connected to an old Tascam, it's almost mellow. That Tascam is a strange beast, fed with +/- 24V in stead of the usual +/- 18 V. It has tremendous headroom. No opamps, all discrete. The NT1 has a lot of output and doesn"t mate too well with a preamp that doesn't have a lot of headroom. Especially when driven hard, like with metal or hardrock. I do love it with "angelic voices". Lots of "air", because of the bump in the chart.

    IMHO there are no bad mics. You just need to find the right source. I seem to prefer SDC omni over LDC cardio. I think that is because omni usually has a much flatter off-axis response.

    And, after all is said and done, it's the performance that matters, followed by the room. No mic will make a bad performance or a bad room sound good. No matter what the slutz might tell you...
     
    audiokid and Kurt Foster like this.
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    what model of Tascam?
     
  3. cyrano

    cyrano Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2018
    Location:
    Brussels
    MX4. Hardly known, except in broadcast...
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    thanks!
     
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Interesting. I know they are also popular in the hip hop world too.
     
  6. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Home Page:
    This is a becoming a nice discussion !! :)

    I'm not sure that all parts coming from china are bad..
    Many makers order them with high specs and do intensive quality control when they get them..
    The I'm better than you game is fierce in this industry and many highend brand are forced to go cheaper or offer new affordable products to appeal to home studios.
    Big names may suffer overtime because of this.. But what I always wonder is what is the real cost of these high price units..
    How much is it the name price and how much is the parts and design price.
    I mean the great great LA2A, when sold at 2.5k, is the making cost 2k or 1k and they just exagerate the price for no reason than making more money..
    It lets you think that if they just boost the price, clones may as well be as good with similar parts and designs.. just more affordable..
    The corporate profit sickness is affecting every companies... and customers..
     
    Kurt Foster and kmetal like this.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    I owned 6 UA LA2A and they were all slightly different but all what I would consider the ultimate in a vocal chain. That being said, opened up they look like they should only cost hundreds, not thousands. I replaced a few tubes in two units for stereo matching and the tubes cost me $400.
     
    pcrecord and kmetal like this.
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    i figure a 50% mark up for the manufacturer and then another 25% for the retailer and i don't think either are unreasonable. some companies have a small workforces and pretty much do everything by hand. they make quality products for discerning customers who can afford an investment in a quality product. good on them. they should be supported.

    some manufactures simply exploit Asia's highly automated facilities and CHEAP LABOR. they don't care about audio. they are only interested in any value added process where they can essentially print money. the real bottom feeders repackage or worse just rebadge existing products and advertise different feature sets to stand out in the crowd.

    in a new twist, a handful have figured out that they can specify and source assemblies from Asia to hold down costs and then assemble them stateside in their own facilities for the best of both worlds. QC can be better maintained while offering lower cost and increased value to the end user. i think that is where it's all headed.

    the bottom will remain the bottom, the middle markets are expanding at the expense of the boutique high end manufacturers. i think there will always be a demand for very high end products but not as much in the home studio and hobby end of it. where a large expenditure can be justified / recouped, vintage and big ticket will continue to prevail but for the average consumer who is not necessarily earning a living at audio, the middle of the road products are quite appealing.
     
    kmetal, pcrecord and audiokid like this.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Something like an LA2a or pultec i think has a significant price for namesake, and reputation, relative to the parts and assembly.

    When you get into converters or new designs, we have to account for R and D. So while it might use a fairly low cost dsp chip, integrating it can take alot of time and effort.

    Patent and licensing issues can also make clones more expensive, or force design compromise. I think heritage audio or someone like that got sued by neve for using the same knobs.

    Whats interesting to me is that it seems your in the same price range as "the real thing" when talking clones of equal quality (by general consensus). A pultec and the Cartec, and Tube Tech versions are all considered equal quality, and similar if not a direct replacement. They are all in the same price range. Sure smaller volume production means higher costs, but i wonder if they are able to charge a premium just because they are based on a pultec. It seems to me if they could sell them significantly cheaper, they would. I actually dont think its a cash grab. A Brent Avril, isn't much cheaper than a neve.

    Someone with skills and patients, could bypass the retail, and corperate costs, and i would estimate build a unit for about 30%.

    One thing i enjoy about SOS reveiws is they dig into the ultra technical stuff often with hardware. They will note that BAE omits a gain stage compared to neve, or stuff that someone like me would never know.
     
    Kurt Foster likes this.
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    i think you are spot on. about 70 to 80 % of the price goes to overhead, cost of construction and retailing. i imagine there's a huge amount of satisfaction in using something you built with your own hands.
     
    kmetal likes this.
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Off shore manufacturing may look close enough but slight alterations can make something designed great not so great, which is why some products can and should cost more than others. It takes time and smarts to figure out detail too. I recall @Boswell mentioning a design of his wrongfully altered to save costs by the manufacturer that was just enough of change his design.

    We all want a good deal but that shouldn't justify us thinking its right to support products that are ripped off. How would we feel if a song of ours was ripped off just enough. I think intellectual property is worth as much as the designer wants or deserves and sleazy marketing who take advantage of that should be shunned or prosecuted. Long live those who are inventors of greatness. Some people spend a lifetime making one thing that may only cost pennies. What is that worth?
    Being said, I do think there is a lot of precision off-shore manufacturing.
     
    Kurt Foster likes this.
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    just found this so i edited my post of 8:56.

    from SOS:" Mojave Audio, the brainchild of David Royer, have managed in just a few years to create quite a buzz for their line of reasonably priced capacitor mics. Royer, known for his ribbon-mic designs, has applied his craft to an assortment of USA-designed, assembled-in-China microphones, including the subject of this review, the Mojave MA301 FET. The mic's capsule employs a three-micron-thick, gold-sputtered diaphragm approximately one inch across, and is modelled after the K67 capsule found in Neumann's classic U67 tube mic. Being a solid-state design, however, the mic as a whole is perhaps closer to the U87."
     
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    It will be cool if or when they and others get products assembled here. That would or could put people that are okay making an average wage back to work here again, let alone, slow down intellectual property from being ripped off. one day a hero, next day a zero.

    I know a few microphone manufacturers who have had to go to China many times to keep an eye on quality control, it’s been a long process getting it done to their standards. If you keep an eye on them.... I guess it’s worth their trouble.
     
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    i doubt that's ever going to happen. any new manufacturing being built anywhere in the world is going to be automated. people are obsolete.
     
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Mass Automation and AI is indeed growing. What a world eh.
    The town I just left used to have hundreds of fallers supporting the timber industry there. All those fallers bought homes, local shopping and even liked recording music.
    Then Finning Cat made machines that cost hundreds of thousands to buy, that cut more than all the men put together. The steel was made in China (we shut down mining here :sneaky:o_O) and the wood was sold to them as well. Then we saw the town slowly die but the unemployed were happy to get cheap furniture from China. I think most of those workers are now too broke to buy cheap furniture. But, they can still sell their homes to who made it all possible lol.
    I guess it wasn’t such a good deal after all, so they say. But it was good while it lasted.
    I’ve heard the economy is great (or was) in China. They love high end gear.
     
  16. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    That was a rather different situation, where the design, prototypes and pre-production review models were done in Europe, while main production was sent East. I was later told the main production was apparently preceded by a cost-review process, which is where the corner-cutting was carried out. It still makes me angry to think about it, particularly the reviewers getting models that performed substantially better than the production units.

    In the case of the microphone parts, I don't have any direct knowledge of this type of behaviour. However, I heard that at least one European manufacturer was offered a range of ready-built capsules at different (ridiculously low) prices to try, and they had to choose the one or ones that they liked best at the amount they were willing to spend. That's the way it is these days.
     
  17. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    I remember an interview with an amp builder, Mesa Boogie i believe, who said in the early days amp builders would use what was available in the shop, if they ran out of parts. So different xformers and capacitors, ect would be interchanged. He was specifically talking about fender, where he cut his teeth, and based his mesa designs off of.

    I know this is a bit different than what we are talking about, but relavant. I think it would be a "big deal" today and ruinous for a company if they did that. The forums would run wild!
     
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice