We would love to be able to say that the awesome Lucas CS-1 microphone is the only one you'll ever need...but we can't.
As great as it is, and as great as any mic might be, none is "the perfect microphone" for every single sound source.
Enter The Lucas CS-4 Microphone...
Again the brainchild of Oliver Archut and Terry Manning.
We would humbly posit that there are at least two basic "Sonic Families" of sound capture (in regard to the large diaphraghm condenser microphone) that are highly useful, if not absolutely necessary, in recording music and voice.
The first of these we often refer to as the "Sonically Pure" family. Classic (vintage, in perfect working condition) microphones such as the C12, ELA-M251, and to some degree the M49 might fall into this category. For example, if you are standing out in your studio listening in person to a vocalist (or a piano, etc.), then enter the control room, and you hear that same sound reproduced accurately with depth and clarity, this is what we mean by "Sonically Pure." In other words, you get what is there, recreated in as near-perfect realism as is possible.
That Sonic Purity was our vision when we created the Lucas CS-1 (but with a little twist), based in part on those above-mentioned classics (although certainly OUR take on that methodology, NOT a clone, and not trying to re-create any one microphone). And the veracity of our vision has been borne out, in that the number one comment we hear from our beloved end users is "Wow, it sounds like you are right in the room." Much appreciated praise, indeed!
But that brings us to the "Other Sonic Family," one that does not necessarily reproduce with exact realism what one hears with one's ears. No, this Sonic Family reproduces a changed waveform...and has been well represented over time by the much-beloved U47 / U48 series of microphones. We sometimes envision a waveform from such a microphone that does not look like "the perfect sine wave," but rather, has a series of tiny "wiggly teeth" along the wave, especially in the midrange...what we like to call "The Wiggly Waveform™."
In fact, what is happening in such a case is distortion...but a pleasing, mellifluous type of distortion...something that, on the right sound source actually improves it, rather than reproducing with total accuracy.
This anomaly, coupled with high resolution (or "depth") borne of great capsule and simple electronics from the highest grade components traveling through the correct transformer, makes for what some like to call "The Magic."
Such was our goal in creating the Lucas CS-4 Microphone. Once again, we refused to "clone" any microphone...yes, even the venerable U47. We will not participate in the current war...The "Our 47 is More 47 Than Their 47" War that rages throughout the microphone industry. Firstly, it is nearly impossible to EXACTLY recreate the U47 in every tiny detail, and especially so at any reasonable price. Secondly, why? It's been done. But what would those august German or Swiss designers be doing today if they had not been stifled in their primes?
Our goal was to make a microphone that, whilst paying tribute to the lofty classic, would be a great and original microphone in its own right, successor to the heritage...yet harbinger of this Century's capabilities.
Several years ago, an awful incident occurred at Compass Point Studios. Terry's favourite microphone of many years, Vocal Mic to The Stars, a near-perfect U48, was stolen during a session. It had been rented to the client, singing had ensued by one of the client's artists...but at the end of the day, the microphone had disappeared from the stand. The client was notified, and was likewise horrified...he immediately paid the studio for the loss, no further questions asked. But Terry didn't want the money...he wanted the microphone! An alert was put out on various Internet Fora, but nothing further was heard about it.
Oliver had come across the story, and after he and Terry had started the now-famous Lucas CS-1 project, Oliver kindly presented Terry with a custom made replacement microphone based on the 47/48 type of sound. Terry was thrilled on several counts...of course, he was most appreciative of the gesture, and greatly thrilled with the quality of the microphone, but he was especially excited about the further possibilities of a new CS Series mic...in other words, he wanted some more of these...
After a couple of small changes resultant from much real world studio testing, Oliver and Terry both were thrilled with the outcome.
But how could such a microphone be made in today's world?
The body was a "no brainer." When you have a friend around like Jeff Roberts, whose Latch Lake company had already made the most beautiful microphone body ever for you, why think of anything else? Lucazite™ it must be!
The grille problem was solved when Oliver disappeared into his metal shop and displayed his further amazing capabilities by making a new grille, by hand, from scratch...solid brass, handmade, and then beautifully nickel plated by Jeff...perfect.
The capsule was a special labour of love and persuasion. Dipl. Ing. Siegfried Thiersch, who had worked for Neumann for a total of over 35 years (for one thing, making K54/94 and PVC M7 capsules, the finest ever made!) was a long-time friend of Oliver. Oliver was able (by speaking in German) to coax Mr. Thiersch to push his new reintroduced M7 PVC capsule-making capabilities to new heights, and now for the first time in many years, there would actually be Thiersch's modern-day interpretation of an amazing brand new PVC M7 capsule! The version we will use has been carefully customized for the CS-4 system, and will not be available to anyone else.
The tube...oh my, what to do for the tube? We all know about the infamous VF-14 situation...a special sound, not to be duplicated ever again in a newly-made tube...and not many left at any price anymore...certainly not enough to make 100 to 300 new microphones, and have spares for the future! Once again Oliver was able to call upon his select group of friends back in the Homeland. Dipl. Ing. R. Wohlleb, The Last Living Telefunken Tube Engineer, designer of several incredible audio tubes, part of the original design team for the AC-701, and the man who had helped to find the awesome Mullard tube we were able to employ in the CS-1, came to the rescue once again. He knew of a glass Telefunken German-made tube...technically identical to, and after several tests we concluded very similar in sonic character to, the VF-14...made for the military of a certain European country's defense programme, that was not only little known to the audio world, but also available in quantities! It seems that right when the last of the 12,000 tubes were made, the Iron Curtain fell, and there was no longer a military need for these tubes. Once again, they had sat waiting, sealed in airtight boxes, for many years...waiting we now assumed, for the Lucas CS-4 to arrive.
The transformer...need we even say it? No better transformer knowledge in the world today than Oliver's...and he has the actual machinery that wound many of the classic ones "in the day." AMI/TAB-F. Case closed.
The electronics...custom designed by Oliver, hand wired in Kansas.
The swivel mount...already designed and manufactured exclusively for us by Latch Lake!
The Power Supply...done, we merely needed to slightly modify the supply already being built for the CS-1.
Research and studio testing...how about by Terry and a couple of other very well known Producer / Engineers on actual sessions at Compass Point Studios in Nassau? OK, done...six months of it.
Good to Go.
Again. Not a Clone. Calling upon aspects of classic design such as the 47 / 48. But also completely original. And absolutely awesome sounding.
In total honesty, we are in this to make a great and historical instrument, something that will one day be cloned itself, and to prove that it can be done today...not to rape an already ravaged recording industry. Of course we all have to make a living, but our primary goal is an ultra quality microphone, the best that can be made today, not just making buckets of cash.
We will have no dealers, no distributors, no middlemen, no advertising.
So there is no ethical need to outlandishly make this microphone sell for $10,000 - $12,000.
But it certainly performs like it costs that much, or more.
We will only guarantee now that we will make 100 of these microphones. We certainly hope to make more, and will make every effort to do so, but only if the demand is there, and we can continue to source the proper components.
We hope to soon be announcing a 2nd 100, and if we are all fortunate, even a 3rd 100. That part is up to you.
The 1st 100 of The Lucas CS-4 Microphone are available at a cost of $4,490 US.
NB: This price is guaranteed for the first run of 100 microphones. With so little markup, and with our costs being so dependent upon such factors as the US Dollar vs. the Euro, the price of further sets of 100 may slightly increase, or even slightly decrease.
To get one's name on our order list, email now...we will send a return email with instructions for a 50% deposit. When your microphone is nearing completion, you will be notified to pay the remaining balance. The microphones will be delivered in sequential order, from the list.
Email your order to:
Serial Numbers still available in the First 100 are:
*No Spots are available on the 1st 100 list, barring any possible cancellations.
Serial Numbers still available in the Second 100 are:
137 through 158
161 through 170
174 through 192
194 through 198
Any serial numbers are available as a sonically matched pair.
*First Artist to sing on CS-4 Prototype: Jerry Joseph, Stockholm Syndrome
*First Artist to sing on CS-4 Production model: Jesse Harris
*First Lead Vocal sung in entirety on CS-4: Jake Shears, Scissor Sisters
*First Voice over for motion picture on CS-4: Nicolas Cage
*First Voice over for international cartoon on CS-4: Sir Sean Connery
*First CS-4 to be ordered and delivered: SN 001: SN 001 (part of their stereo pair inc SN 002) to The Audities Foundation, Museum and Studio dedicated to preserving electronic instruments and recording gear.
*Many more facts to come, and much recording history to be made...
DISCLOSURE OF PARTS MANUFACTURE
Electronics: USA (Lucas/TAB-Funkenwerk)
Capsule: Germany (Thiersch)
Tube: Germany (NOS, made by the "Original" Telefunken company)
Body: USA (Latch Lake)
Swivel Mount: USA (Latch Lake)
PSU: USA (AMI/TAB-Funkenwerk)
So we can proudly say,
"Handmade in Gaylord, Kansas, USA."