Lauten Audio LA-320 Review

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The Lauten Audio LA-320 Large-Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone is simply excellent: well built, great price and quality sound. 

Getting a nice, warm sound with DAWs has always been an issue. Plug-ins don’t do it, and various preamps can help, but a tube mic can get you there, right from the start. Lauten’s LA-320 tube condenser microphone not only provides that warmth, but also isn’t in the multi thousand-dollar range.

German microphones are the benchmark, in terms of design, construction and tone, and the Lauten LA-320 hits all three of these marks. The overall build quality is great, with an all metal construction. The two switches (High and Low Pass Filters) feel super solid, while providing 120Hz on the high, and 12kH on the low end. It’s a condenser with a cardioid pattern, with a max SPL of 130dB, so it can handle plenty of musical ranges, even at extreme settings.

Lauten LA-320

Lauten LA-320

Size-wise, it’s not ungainly, and placement on instruments like acoustic guitars is not an issue getting on the desired sound source. The 1” capsule captures all that Dual Triode goodness with a 12AX7 tube! Sound quality is amazing; the warmth and range of depth really brings out all sorts of great, musical, even order harmonics. Some may think warmth means soft, but there is still plenty of edge and attack, just none of the harshness. Any sound source loses those harsh, ear fatiguing harmonics, but still retains the punch and clarity with this mic. Compare this to a non-tube mic, and the difference is like night and day; there just seems to be “more” coming through the signal. The HPF and LPF can help tune the mic for the room, as well as the sound source, and for recording vocals this is a must (and a welcome bonus). Not having to rely on all sorts of external EQ options means more time creating and recording, and this mic can get it done right from the start.

The street price is $499, and the package contains the mic, shock mount, cables, power supply, and carrying case. For singer/songwriters looking to take demos to that “good enough for the album” sound quality, this is the simplest and most direct method. Studios should consider making room in their mic lockers, but in all reality it will probably spend more time in front of guitars, vocals, and drums than it will in its case!

PROS:

Great price, well made, excellent sound.

CONS:

None.

PRICE:

$499

Lauten Audio LA-320 Features

-20Hz to 20kHz frequency response

-Versatile cardioid pickup pattern

-Independent, selectable 120Hz highpass and 12kHz lowpass filters

-External power supply included

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