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Mic Roundup Part 1: Mics Inspired by the Neumann U47 and AKG C12
The Reference Cardioid Microphone from Manley Labs is a large diaphragm condenser offering a wide frequency response and accurate transient performance without coloration or any perceivable sonic signature. The rich tonal balance and liquid character make this center-fixed cardioid mic an excellent choice for recording guitars, drums, brass and especially vocals. The Reference Mic features a 1" gold sputtered diaphragm that is 6 microns thick and has the ability to withstand sound pressure levels up to 150 dB. The open-weave stainless-steel grille allows the capsule to capture signals with zero-loss acoustical transmission, which translates to less dampening of high frequency content.
The electronics of the Reference Cardioid include two triodes in cascade forming an entire gain-block. The dual-triode 12AT7 tube is easily obtainable and was chosen for its high gain and low noise properties. The audio signal and power connect from the microphone to the filtered B+ power supply via single 30' 6-pin XLR cable. The audio output exits the power supply via 3-pin XLR through a custom-wound output transformer, which employs nickel laminations and "hum-bucking" bifilar windings, all encased in mu-metal.
The Reference Cardioid features a proprietary suspension system that is attached to the black anodized casing. The capsule itself is mounted to a neoprene-rubber shock-mount to prevent unwanted vibrations from being picked up by the diaphragm. Handmade in the USA, the Reference Cardioid ships with a leather capsule cover, locking carrying case, and IEC power cable.
Open weave stainless-steel grille for zero-loss acoustical transmission
All Tube Design with 12AT7 dual triode
-10 dB pad
150 dB maximum SPL
Filtered B+, regulated heater voltages
30' 6-pin XLR power cable
Hand-wound output transformer with nickel laminations and mu-metal casing