Audio / Hands-on Review

Latch Lake: Mic Stands and Guitar Slides Built to Last

As with most creative pursuits, well-made accessories for guitar playing and recording can be worth their weight in gold. Latch Lake is committed to offering that value, and it’s a new brand here at B&H. Focusing on producing boutique guitar slides, sturdy, versatile microphone stands, and smart-device integration, Latch Lake’s product line is admittedly niche, but one that fills an important demand for musicians and recording studios.

Mic Stands You Can Trust

In many respects, the most import pieces of equipment in a home or professional recording studio are the microphone stands. All the vintage and boutique preamps, EQs, compressors, and, of course, microphones will not be of much use if you have a mic stand that does not keep your mic in place, or worse, tips over when a heavy, large diaphragm condenser microphone is attached.

"...the most import pieces of equipment in a home or professional recording studio are the microphone stands."

Latch Lake’s arrival into the mic stand world came from an experienced company founder (and sound engineer) Jeff Roberts had when he was in the studio. While tracking piano with a pair of AKG 414s, he discovered that the stands could not support the weight of the mics. He realized he needed more robust stands, and then immediately realized no one was really manufacturing such stands. From there, the micKing line of mic stands was born.

The micKing 3300 is the company’s flagship stand and can serve in a variety of applications, but thanks to height adjustability of up 10' 4", and boom adjustability of up to 9' 7", it will shine for orchestral or choir use. The stand employs Latch Lake’s Lever Lock system, which allows you to adjust the height and boom length with a locking lever for secure placement that will not slip when your mic is attached. One area Roberts paid close attention to was the boom clutch (where the boom arm meets the vertical stand). The boom clutch on the 3300 is equivalent to a double automotive disc brake, to prevent the boom from slipping. The tail end of the boom has a 7-pound, machined steel counterweight that can be removed if needed. The base of the stand gives you 29 pounds of stability within 16", with a clever design that allows multiple micKing stands to be positioned very closely together. Built-in wheels help when you need to move the stands.

One of the cooler features of the 3300 is its Spin Grip Mic Mount. The mount is seated on a 3-inch disc brake that provides 295 degrees of adjustable range. It also has a free spinning thread system that allows you to spin the threads of the connector into your mic clip or spider mount, rather than having to spin the clip or spider mount onto the stand. The Spin Grip Mic Mount proved to be such a popular feature on the micKing stands, Latch Lake has made it available so you can use the mount on non-Latch Lake stands.

Realizing that the 3300 is a lot of mic stand for many applications, Latch Lake debuted the micKing 2200 boom mic stand (available in Black or Chrome) for applications that would benefit from the 3300’s stability, but do not need its height, length, or heft. The 2200 gives you up to 6' 11" of height and 7' 10" of boom length. Its base features the same basic design as that of the 3300 (wheels and all), but within a 14" diameter and at 28 pounds. Both the 3300 and 2200 are also available in straight versions, without the booms, for vocal applications.

Future-Proof Smart Device Mounts

When dealing with smart devices such as phones and tablets, it is hard to take the claim of “future-proof” seriously. As we all know, technology changes on almost a daily basis, and most major smart device manufacturers refresh their product lines at least once a year. However, Latch Lake’s iOxmount and accompanying iOxboom seem to have accomplished a future-proof system for attaching your tablet or phone to a mic stand.

The iOxmount connects to any stand with a 5/8"-27 thread and has a magnetized plate that can support your phone or tablet. Simply apply one of the included steel discs to the back of your device (or case, which seems to be the more logical option) and you can attach it directly to the iOxmount for secure and adjustable support. The iOxboom includes an iOxmount with an extra boom arm, allowing you to use the system without the need for a dedicated mic stand. When the inevitable happens and you get a new smart device, you only need to apply a new steel disc to its back to integrate it into the system.

Unbreakable Guitar Slides

Latch Lake also produces a variety of guitar slides for both electric and acoustic guitars. Their flagship AcoustaGlide is an acoustic brass slide designed with legendary slide player/finger-stylist Leo Kottke, and features a polished finish. Keeping a similar design as the AcoustaGlide, but catering to electric players is the brass SlideRite, which provides a tapered opening and flared shape to help tame buzzing while providing brighter tone.

Leaving the realm of the traditional-style slide, the company created the Dynamic Diffusion finish, a chemical heat finish process that was designed to provide increased sustain with the tonal qualities of a more delicate glass slide.

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The product description claims that this mike stand is "Assembled in the USA". Obviously, it is made in China and shipped here in pieces. Two minutes' work to "assemble" it, and that gives it the odor of "made in the USA"?

No, it does not. We'll save our money for products actually and honestly made here.