Manley Labs Reference Cardioid Microphone


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Manley Labs Reference Cardioid Microphone

The Manley Labs Reference Cardioid Microphone is a professional studio condenser with an all-tube Triode design. Highly sought after by top producers, vocalists and voiceover artists alike for its “finished” sound right out of the box. This is modern pop music’s go-to mic: flattering, present, and larger-than-life. Some refer to the Manley RefC as the “Just Add Talent” microphone.

This high end microphone features the same electronic attributes as the Gold Reference Series, but with a center-fixed cardioid-only capsule. Sporting a thicker gauge (6 micron) gold sputtered diaphragm with similar sound characteristics to vintage European tube mics such as the beloved U47.

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, external PSU, and IEC power cable.

  • All-tube triode design 12AT7 (2011 build. Previous versions used 12AX7 and 6072.)
  • 10dB switchable pad
  • Wide and smooth frequency response from 10Hz to 30KHz
  • External power supply unit (PSU)
  • Supplied with;
    • Shock mount
    • External PSU
    • Carry Case
    • Mounting adapter
  • Outboard Power Supply is factory set for 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.
  • -10 dB switchable pad


Microphone Type: Tube Condenser

Polar Pattern: Cardioid

Diaphragm Size: 0.98″ (25mm)

Frequency Response: 10Hz-30kHz

Max SPL: 150dB

Output Impedance: 200 ohms

Pads: -10dB (selectable)

Colour: Black

Connector: XLR


For more information, please visit the manufacturer's website.