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Manley Reference Cardioid Tube Condenser Microphone

Rich tonal balance and liquid character - for instruments such as guitars, drum overheads, saxophone, and especially vocals

Product Description

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, our Reference Cardioid more closely recalls how many of the vintage European tube mics such as the beloved U47 sounded like 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 ya. If you seem to be constantly boosting 12-18K and trying to get a clean, intimate sound, then probably the Reference Gold would be the safest bet.


  • Tube triode design 12AX7 (Previous versions used 12AT7 and 6072)
  • -10 dB switchable pad
  • Frequency response: 10 Hz - 30 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 17 mV/Pa
  • Noise typically -120 dB EIN
  • Max SPL: 150 dB
  • Output Impedance: 250 Ohms
  • Weight: 2.25 lb (mic)
  • Weight: 2.5 lb (PSU)
  • Size: 4.5" x 9.7" x 4.5" (mic)
  • Size: 5" x 8.2" x 3.4" (PSU)
  • Shipping weight: 15 lb
  • Outboard Power Supply is factory set for 100 V, 120 V or 220 - 240 VAC operation for original destination country's mains voltage
  • Operating Mains Voltage changeable with power transformer re-wiring via internal jumpers and fuse value change.
  • Mains Voltage Frequency: 50~60 Hz
  • Mains Fuse: 250 mA @ 100~120 V; 125 mA @ 220~240 V operation
  • Power Consumption: 70 mA @ 120 V = 8.4 Watts

Product Specifications

Condition New
Package Contents Reference Cardioid microphone, PSU, PSU cable, shock mount, and case
Length 9.7 in
Diameter 4.5 in
Unit Weight 2.25 lb
Tube or Solid State Tube
Transducer Type Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Number of Microphones Single Microphone
Phantom Required Yes
Impedance Actual output: 200 Ohms
Frequency Range 10 Hz - 30 kHz
input_pad -10 dB
Sensitivity -35.4 dBV/Pa (17 mV)
Max. SPL 150 dB

Product Reviews

5 out of 5 stars.
Review Count (8)

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One of the best mics I’ve ever heard!! Not much EQ needed! Vocals sits in the mix with almost 99% of the songs. I’ve own the U87i and I just had to return it for mic I’ve always came back to this mic lol amazing if you don’t have one just try it out and believe me your going to want to buy one!!!

By Carlos C on November 23, 2020

Una excelente inversión.

By Jefferson on October 31, 2020

Great Mic. Been eyeing this for years and it is so nice to finally have it in my collection. Sounds good on everything!!!!

By Greg H on April 15, 2020

Top drawer

By Ben M on December 6, 2019

I do voiceover, and I love the sound of the Manley Reference Cardioid. It is an amazingly rich sounding mic that is not muddy. Just a great tube sound with a nice high-end presence.

By FATM on November 8, 2018

I've owned the Ref C for a while now. It was the first serious mic i bought for my studio after years of recording on budget and diy-tweaked LDC's. It was a revelation the first time i used it. Hands down, if i want big, clean, in your face vocals with tons of detail, it's my first choice. Clients are always impressed by the sleek look, and I know that the build quality is top notch.

By Charlie on November 6, 2018

This mic beat out or compared to mics three times the price when I tried it out at the VK showroom. I bought one and haven't looked back. I'm still excited every time I sing into it and every time I mix vocals tracked with it.

By Zach on November 6, 2018

Incredibly buy this microphone recommended by one of the recording engineers that I admire most of my country, Ariel Lavigna, who uses one and recommended me to make the purchase when I was buying a passive massive manley .. I indicated that my chain still needed reinforcement in the vocal microphone, and that's how I bought the reference c, a microphone that at the first use, I honestly believed could not integrate it into my work, but with the passing of the days each time I could not stop using it simply because anything you record with the cobra its own dimension in the mix and it remains with a three-dimensional definition and a sonic fullness that really few teams or microphones managed to give me. is a microphone that I use a lot in drums, rooms, acoustic guitar voices all kinds of re-recording almost happened to be my first-hand condenser microphone, and honestly I'm already evaluating acquiring a new unit because I want to see them in action as Oh in a battery .. sincerely whoever buys this microphone have the investment insured as well as the audio solved.

By Gaston on November 1, 2018

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In almost 20 years in Pro audio buying, never did I receive a unit so well packed and exactly as described. Works flawlessly. The whole process has been so smooth. I will never hesitate to do business with you guys in the future and will recommend you to everyone I know.
Martin C.
This was my first experience buying something from Vintage King (although I surf the "used" categories on the website frequently!), and, despite being on the other side of the world, I had absolutely no trouble and everything went very smoothly.
Phil T.
The speed of delivery exceeded my expectations! I was VERY pleased that my shipment arrived in time for a scheduled vocal tracking session. The packing insured that my order arrived safely. And the sales staff responded quickly to questions regarding the product.
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