When I was contacted about reviewing the LD-2ube and was told that it was a tube mic for $300, I said, "Huh? yeah! I'll check that out." I've used it on every vocal session since then. This mic is within the stream of mics made in China that are knock-offs of other "name" microphones. I just look at it this way: for $300, it's got to sound at least as good as an SM57. And it does sound good! I used it on vocals (natch), acoustic guitar, piano, drums, and noises. I even put it up against an AKG C3000B, Neumann TLM 103, Shure KSM32, Audio- Technica AT4050, and Shure SM57! It won't blow your mind in comparison, but it holds its own against these common, current mics. The people at Pacific Pro Audio told me they put it up against another big-name tube mic, and it didn't really float well-but then, what does? Hell, you could just put a Neumann sticker on this thing and most wouldn't know the difference from sight. It comes in a nice metal case with a shock mount, cable, windscreen and power supply. The power supply box also houses the pickup-pattern selection switch. This mic starts as an omni and proceeds to cardioid and finishes as a figure-8 in nine steps. The off-axis rejection in figure-8 mode is pretty damn impressive as is the completeness of the omni pattern (no holes). It's a bit bright for vocals without the windscreen, but too dull with windscreen on piano, guitar, etc. The shockmount is a little difficult to manage. Mine actually broke, but PPA replaced it right away and already improved on the original design. There is also a tube upgrade available; and although I didn't notice a big difference, I did notice the noise level go down. All in all, a fine mic at a fine price with various applications. You really can't go wrong. ($299, www.pacificproaudio.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

Or Learn More