Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone


(3 reviews) Write a Review
Product Code: 9999-09023
Adding to cart… The item has been added
Ships From Manufacturer

This item ships directly to you from the manufacturer so give us a day or two to get it heading your way. Go ahead and place your order and we will let you know as soon as it ships. If you have a deadline then please contact us before placing the order so we can meet your expectations.

Got Questions? Need Support?

888-228-4530 Contact Us!

The Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone features a rich tonal balance and liquid character that is consistently admired for instruments such as guitars, drum overheads, saxophone, and especially vocals!

The Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone shares the same electronic attributes as the Gold Reference Series, but has a center-fixed cardioid-only capsule with a thicker gauge (6 micron) gold sputtered diaphragm. With the similar film thickness and construction, similar high frequency resonance (a little edge), similar proximity effect and pretty good immunity from pops and sibilance problems, Manley's Reference Cardioid more closely recalls how many of the vintage European tube mics such as the beloved U47 sounded when they were new. Its rich tonal balance and liquid character is consistently admired for instruments such as guitars, drum overheads, saxophone, and especially vocals. With your present mic, if you find yourself leaning on your compressors and boosting 5 or 10K to score a bit more testosterone, then the Reference Cardioid just might be the mic you're looking for to cure what ails you. If you seem to be constantly boosting 12-18K and trying to get a clean, intimate sound, then probably the Manley Reference Gold would be the safest bet.

Driven by Manley Power
The power supply was designed for Manley, designed for vacuum tubes, and designed especially for audio fidelity. Numerous listening comparisons again prove the sonic superiority of this power supply. All lines are regulated, all rails come out at super-low impedance, and there is zero 50/60 Hz ripple component present in the chassis as the module runs at a much higher frequency well above the audible range. It is an efficient design in the high 90th percentile, and it functions it any mains input voltage from 90 to 250 V AC meaning no reconfiguration is necessary when traveling around the world. Just plug it in! It is a well-smart invention light years ahead of older linear power supply designs.

Proprietary Precision Suspension System
A proprietary precision suspension system is provided with each Reference Microphone (the capsule itself is mounted onto a rubber shock-mount.) Because the entire working "guts" of the microphone may be removed for service in one piece from the housing, it is envisioned that the microphone need not be removed from the suspension. Manley also provides a very useful swivel of their own design with every REFERENCE MICROPHONE; its T-bar handle and locking clutch action require no tools to adjust. And no MANLEY microphone would be complete without a genuine leather capsule protector which slips (and ties) onto the end of the microphone to protect the capsule when not in use.

Hand-Assembled in the USA
Like the other Manley Reference Microphones, all of the metalworking and construction is hand-assembled in the USA by our experienced staff in our Chino, California factory, located just 35 miles east of Los Angeles.

Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Specifications

  • Frequency Response: 10Hz-30KHz
  • Sensitivity: 17mV/Pa
  • Noise Typically: -120dB EIN
  • Max SPL: 150dB
  • Output Impedance: 250 Ohms
  • Size: mic body 2" diameter x 9.7" long x 4.5" (mic suspension outside diameter)
  • Shipping weight: 15 lbs

Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Includes

  • Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone
  • Shock Mount
  • Power Supply
  • Rugged Carrying Case
  • 7-Pin Cable
  • Leather Capsule Protector
  • Manufacturer Warranty

3 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Larger than life sound!
    Daniel Dennis

    Right out of the box, the Manley Cardioid Reference sounds mixed and ready to go! It has a larger-than-life, 3-D sound that always impresses my clients. Highly recommended for pop/country/rock!

  • 5
    The mic of my dreams

    You know how we often look for perfection in our gear. Well I think I may have found it. This mic looks great and sounds stellar. Nice clear highs and a big bottom. If you want nice modern sounding vocals, this is the mic for you.

  • 5
    This is the bomb on male vocals
    jay matheson

    If you are looking for a world class vocal sound, this mic is the ticket. It sounds huge with and unmistakable classy top end. When you use this thing you'll recognize it's sound. You've heard it on everything from your favorite classic rock vocals to more old school stuff like Sinatra. I don't prefer it for screamers but for really good singers, the attention to detail, design and top quality construction by Manley is clearly audible.

What We Think


The Manley Reference Cardioid microphone is one of the most-gorgeous sounding microphones you'll come across. Seriously, if you're after a microphone designed to simply cut a vocal right up the middle and out front with the smooth, detailed clarity of a vintage 47-voiced classic that has been refined into a quiet rocket-ship of a microphone. This mic has some serious output! You just about plug it straight into a recorder and be fine. But with the PAD engaged, the RefCard will behave more like other tube microphones and sound lovely with an appropriately high quality microphone preamplifier of your choice. Regardless of anything else, the Manley Reference Cardioid emerges the winner in shootouts. It's got a quality that cannot be denied when compared to other microphones that confidently lets you know that it can, actually be someone's one and only vocal microphone - something that doesn't happen often. It's simply big, bold, and beautiful. The Ref Card is an absolute killer from displaying the subtleties of a jazz vocalist all the way through rock and blues' rough and ready throaty gravel to hip-hop's need to be up front and in your face with a smooth cut. The thing that impresses us the most is the clarity of the image throughout the frequency spectrum. The lows are tight and well defined while also being big. Many mics with big-bottoms can be muddy down there. Hearing the Manley by contrast makes one quite aware of the 'Reference' portion of it's name... and by aware of it, we mean - makes one fall head-over-heels in love with it. Lastly... the Manley Reference Cardioid was the microphone of choice of the most celebrated voice-over/movie-trailer talents of all-time: Don LaFontaine ('In a world...'). Really... need we say more!? ;-)

Front End Audio, Your Ultimate Pro Audio Dealer

Got questions? Call us at 1-888-228-4530 we are here to help!