My gear guy sent me two racks of gear to try out and included the Lauten Audio Horizon mic.
I had just spent money on another valve mic from another dealer and was rather pissed that I hadn't waited a week as the other mic does not get used at all. The Horizon is cheaper and way better sounding.
Their support is really great. My Horizon started giving of a low level noise so I mailed Lauten. Within hours Brian Loudenslager mailed me himself as he was concerned that one of their mics was doing this. Uncertain of the problem they dispatched an entire mic without the body and a spare tube. As I'm all the way in Africa and am not used to this sort of service it totally blew me away. Turned out it was only the tube.
As a bonus Brain sent me a heavy duty shock mount for the mic. It's a prototype called the HTSM-1000 that the company is considering as an optional extra. This is great as the standard shock mount is rather flimsy. Brian has mentioned to me that they're only considering it, so those of you with Horizons or planning on getting one should drop them a mail and encourage it's release.
Got to say if this is their entry level product then I can't wait to hear the "bigger" mics.
Some suggested uses include:
Female & male vocals, voice over, acoustic guitar, electric & bass guitar amps, drums including; snare, tom toms, floor toms and bass drums, percussion, overheads, piano, brass, strings, live sound; including amps, piano, drums and overheads.
That always makes me smile. Why not just put "Everything?"
Mics are ALWAYS a thorny thing to be subjective/objective about because I think they are application specific/dependent. I've found myself using $300 mics in place of $3,000 on various records because it gave me what I was looking for in the context of the song/application.
I always say there is NO HOLY grail mic... and for this reason I have a fairly large (at least by African standards) collections of dynamics, condensers and ribbons... cause you never know what will work until you try it.
With that disclaimer I will share what I have shared with Brian from Lauten, and have given him permission to use on his website.
Recently a local musician was wanted some help setting up a home studio and since I have a fairly extensive collection of new and old bits and bobs I offered him my room to do some shoot outs and it gave me an opportunity to put up some of the mics and pres I deal in along side competitors.
This particular singer has quite a pronounced mid range which can sound VERY nasal with the wrong mic/pre combo. I threw up a bunch of mics through one of my Neve pres (softened his vocal, adding some body to the lows and that 'oh so good smooth' high end) and just had him sing the same line over a couple times and flipped between various mics in a price range from around $200 to $3000.
Once we tracked all the mics we 'blind tested' them with numbers and just flipped between them, unaware of the mics stature or price point and some were quickly eliminated and we wittled it down to 2 of them, though the concensus was there was one true winner on his voice... the Lauten Horizon.
4 different engineers/musicians and everyone picked #5, which was the Lauten... at the time I didn't even know what it cost as it just arrived via the Aki, the local gear pimp and all round 'Mr. Nice Guy' with no indication of price point.
I gave him a call and I truly was floored when I found out it lists for around +-$799.99 (though streets around $720) Stateside, a little more here, but still VERY affordable.
I don't even own one but was impressed enough to let Brian at Lauten know that I think he has a GREAT mic on his hands.
Something this mic is not is CLONE! It isn't trying to be another 'U67'. It has a VERY different design and while the mic is assembled in China it uses a custom capsule and a rareN OS military grade 6J1 tube and very different electronics and is ANYTHING BUT AN OEM 'GENERIC' that have flooded the market, giving it unique and very usable tonal qualities.
From what I understand each mic is made under the watchful eye of the the Lauten guys in China in short runs and they are then shipped to the Summit Factory (the distributors of the mic) for further tests before shipping out to stores/owners etc.
I have a U67 and this mic sounds very different, not better or worse, just different. It is quite open and musical with a bright, though not brittle top end and compliments the U67.
Take a listen to one if you get chance and evaluate it with your OWN ears, in you OWN setting and matched to YOUR application, you just might like it.