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.
Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Features
- All-Tube triode design
- -10 dB switchable pad
- Frequency response: 10Hz-30KHz
- Sensitivity: 17mV/Pa
- Noise typically -120dB EIN
- Max SPL: 150dB
- Actual output impedance 200 ohms
- Weight: 2.25 lbs (Mic)
- Weight: 2.5 lbs (PSU)
- Size: 4.5" x 9.7" x 4.5" (Mic)
- Size: 5" x 8.2" x 3.4" (PSU)
- Selected matched pairs available
- Custom transformerless internal preamp version also available to order
- Outboard Power Supply is factory set for 100V, 120V or 220-240VAC operation for original destination country's mains voltage.
- Operating Mains Voltage changeable with power transformer re-wiring via switch and fuse value change.
- Mains Voltage Frequency: 50~ 60Hz
- Mains Fuse: 250mA @ 100~120V; 125mA @ 220~240V operation
- Power Consumption: 70mA @ 120V = 8.4 Watts
Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Includes
- Manley waterproof flight case with key
- Shock mount
- Waterproof flight case with key
- Leather capsule protector
- External power supply
- 20’ power supply cable with locking 6-pin connectors
- IEC cable
- Stand mount
- Extra elastic bands for shock mount
What We Think - Manley Reference Cardioid Review
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 (We suggest the Manley TNT if you're after a toolbox of tonal options in a mic-preamp - well, it's actually two preamps of differing topological deliciousness... in a single rack space).
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 me 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, I 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!? ;-)
3 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
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!
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.
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.
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