The Manley Reference Cardioid Tube Microphone stands out as one of the world's most popular modern tube vocal microphones, favored by top producers and voiceover artists. With a "finished" sound straight out of the box, it has earned the reputation as the go-to microphone for modern pop music, providing a flattering, present, and larger-than-life sonic character. Often referred to as the "Just Add Talent" microphone, the Reference Cardioid excels in capturing vocals with a distinct and appealing quality.
Center-Fixed Cardioid Capsule:
The microphone features a center-fixed cardioid-only capsule with a 6-micron gold sputtered diaphragm. This design choice captures the essence of vintage European tube microphones, such as the revered U47, providing a rich tonal balance and a liquid character.
Similarities to Gold Reference Series:
The Reference Cardioid shares electronic attributes with the Gold Reference Series, maintaining a similar film thickness, construction, high-frequency resonance, proximity effect, and immunity from pops and sibilance issues. It aims to recreate the sound of vintage tube microphones in their prime.
Versatility Across Instruments:
Known for its versatility, the Reference Cardioid is suitable for various instruments, including guitars, drum overheads, saxophones, and especially vocals. Its sonic characteristics make it a go-to choice for capturing instruments with a natural and engaging sound.
Curing Common Audio Challenges:
If users find themselves frequently relying on compressors and boosting specific frequency ranges to achieve desired results with their current microphones, the Reference Cardioid offers an alternative with its rich tonal balance and innate character.
Reference Gold Option:
For those seeking a clean and intimate sound with a focus on boosting 12-18K, the Reference Gold variant may be a suitable choice within the Manley Reference series.
Driven by MANLEY POWER®:
The Reference Cardioid utilizes Manley's new MANLEY POWER® Switch-Mode Power Supply as of June 2020. This power supply is designed for lower noise, faster highs, increased clarity, and universal compatibility with any voltage or frequency worldwide.
Switch-Mode Power Supply Advantages:
The new power supply contributes to a quieter operation, enhanced sonic characteristics, and improved versatility. Its universal compatibility eliminates the need for voltage changeover switches or power transformer rewiring, ensuring seamless use worldwide.
The Manley Reference Cardioid Tube Microphone stands as a testament to modern tube elegance, offering a distinctive sound that complements vocals and a range of instruments, making it a valuable tool for professional recording studios and musicians.
All-Tube triode design utilizes 12AX7 or 7025EH (Previous versions used 12AT7 and 6072.)
-10 dB switchable pad
Noise typically -120dB EIN
2.25 lbs (mic)
mic body 2" diameter x 9.7" long x 4.5" (mic suspension outside diameter)
POWER SUPPLY (as of 6/2020 SMPS Power Supply versions REFCARD7P####):
Universal MANLEY POWER™ Switch Mode Power Supply; works worldwide
Weight / Dims:
2.35 lbs / 5 x 3.3 x 9.3” (with handle)
250VAC 2A SLO BLO Ceramic - 5mm x 20mm
90VAC to 250VAC (Universal)
OLDER LINEAR POWER SUPPLY VERSION (pre-2020):
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 internal jumpers and fuse value change.
Older units might have 120-220V Voltage changeover switch
5" x 9.3" x 3.3" (PSU including handle)
2.6 lbs (PSU)
Mains Voltage Frequency:
Mains Fuse Value:
250mA @ 100~120V; 125mA @ 220~240V operation
Mains Fuse Type:
5mm x 20mm SLO-BLO Glass or Ceramic (older units used 1/4” x 1 1/4” size MDA or MDL type)
70mA @ 120V = 8.4 Watts
Specifications subject to change because they just might.
Start with the customer – find out what they want and give it to them.