Gear and Technology Review: beyerdynamic MCE 86 II Electret Condenser Shotgun Microphone. I've been running it for over one year and never had any problems, so for me it has been very reliable. Once soloed, we confirmed that this mic is a monster. It has a 6 micron gold sputtered diaphragm. If it does not pass their rigorous tests, the capsule gets discarded. The Brauner’s microphones provide a more honest sound from the source and do not enhance the sound like the Manley does. Cons: A little cumbersome to take on/ off the swivel connector to the shock mount every time you want to use it. It's put every other condenser I've heard to shame. It is one of the few pieces of gear that's made my art and my career easier. How cool is that? Review: Manley Reference Cardioid Tube Microphone. If you leave the connector on, you can't lay it back in the case and close the top too easily. 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. I'm actually surprised how much I still use my old 414's and Rode NT1A's. The preamp you will pair it with (and I would highly suggest something in the vein of some Neve 1073 or something) will definitely impact the sound. Some refer to the Manley RefC … Manley Reference Silver. However, the recordings will more or less always share some interesting characteristics. The capsule is incredibly well made and the mic's overall build is far sturdier than most I've worked with. and this one was automatic. To prevent unwanted vibrations from being picked up from the capsule, they mounted it onto a neoprene rubber shock mount. The outside of the mic has a good looking black anodized aluminum casing and open weave stainless steel grill for the capsule. The Manley also does not pick up room sounds as much. Interestingly enough, none of us in the Clubhouse collection of engineers and musicians had ever used one, so we were excited to put it to the test on a session. Don't know why, sweet design and packaging I guess and it wasn't a Neumann - who knows. The tube it comes with is nothing special and should be swapped. * Wide frequency range with bright, but not sibilant top end. Its more on the bright side but not harsh in any way. Indeed, the sound never gets harsh, is just a sort of a smooth lift. I advise using an analog compressor for vocals, because I haven't heard a plugin with the immediacy and ease-of-use of something like an LA-2A. The shock mount is attached to microphone when you remove it from the foam case. A larger-than-life bass response with primo proximity effect mates with a nice push in upper mids to perfectly sit any vocal or instrument into even the densest arrangements. I found it worked equally well on male and female singers. Accept no substitute. Gear and Technology Review: beyerdynamic MCE 86 II Electret Condenser Shotgun Microphone. I say a little bit, because really, at $2700 you get a lot of mic. If you’re in the market for a higher end tube mic with a modern sound, I recommend taking one for a test drive. Manley takes great lengths in comparing every new mic to ensure consistency and its performance. There are several tube mods you can try to change the character of the mic slightly and give you a broader pallete if you're up to it, in the newer versions its just a simple tube swap. The microphone is very easy to setup. Some say it's a replica of a U47 in cardiod only mode...This is absolutely NOT TRUE...This is a modern microphone...Mine came stock with a Sovtek 12AX7A tube...Eh...I'm a guitar geek, and I would have picked a JAN or something. However there is a gentle character as well. There's a natural compression that makes vocal recording, due to the consistent articulation throughout phrases. And don't forget how long they seem to hold resale value when properly taken care of. Thankfully Manley also includes a dust cover for the microphone as well. Gear and Technology Review: Audio-Technica BP40 Large Diaphragm Dynamic (LDD) Broadcast Microphone. This is a Tube Microphone but it has a modern type of sound. ), causes unpredictable performance, renders QC checks nearly impossible, can add noise, makes troubleshooting field repairs failures very difficult and lastly it simply looks like crap. It was so punchy and booming that we had to make sure no other mics were on. This is my personal review of the Manley Ref C tube microphone. All of my clients want to sing into this one, all the time, because it's how they sound in their head. My own productions sound better and my clients get a more polished product. Thus, I have NEVER had a fancy mic - so when I started building my lil home studio, on a whim, I bought a Manley Reference Cardioid. Main use is on vocals, tried it in steel string acoustic guitar but it didnt work for me. The black and red brass machine-tooled body feels solid, and there’s a cool T-bar handle and locking clutch to adjust the mic. The chain of the Manley > BAE 1073 > LA-2A is my favorite vocal sound I've heard thus far, and I am so happy to own these tools. * Vintage Neumann quality circuit inspiration, in a modern build. That's RAD! It is a tube microphone, which includes a 12AT7 tube and happens to have a cardioid pattern, as its name tends to show. It also has a nice hi-end lift, which gives the mic a nice in your face sound, without being harsh or sibilant. The purpose of this Manley Reference Cardioid review is to give a high-end option to professional studio owners looking to build up their arsenal. I've been chasing that ability for a long time, experimenting with mics, placement, outboard, etc. The PCB on my RefC (and on all Manley product PCB's) have every drop of flux residue gunking up the boards which is concerning for many reasons. The nickel laminated output transformer was designed and is built at Manley Labs. A modern sounding that microphone that excels. It also has a -10db pad on the bottom of the housing. Flux does cause many problems and it is unacceptable to me to buy pro audio equipment in this condition. I can't say enough good things about this mic. 'That' Pop Vocal Sound In the mix, it added a solid sense of punch, and I can see why people have used this mic for years now—it just delivers. The only con, I can find with this mic is that it is not a multi pattern mic, it is a cardioid only microphone and for 2700.00 this may be a problem for some. The microphone comes in a plastic case with foam lining that includes a power supply, a multi pin microphone cable, shock mount and leather capsule dust cover. The microphone itself is well constructed, it comes in a black and metallic red paint coating with Manley engraved on the front and Manley's info printed on the back. What We Think - Manley Reference Cardioid Review "The Manley Reference Cardioid microphone is one of the most-gorgeous sounding microphones you'll come across. I have heard shootouts where a Telefunken U47 sounds smoother and more pleasing, but in a busy mix, I would have to cut some bass and boost some top - in this sense, the Reference Cardioid is essentially a U47 post-eq. Yes, even if you use "no-clean" solder, these issues persist (in fact, no clean solder is harder to clean and shouldn't be used imho). Since we were doing instrumental TV music, we tried it as a standalone mic in front of the drum kit in the live room, about 5 feet out from the kit and about 4 feet high. There is no comparison. The vocals just sit on top of the mix, every syllable is perfectly articulate, it is just point and shoot. I think that for the price is a really good buy and a very good complement to your microphone cabinet. If you want breathy shimmer and sparkle like the Kiwi or TLM's, this mic may not be your go to but if you want accuracy this mic shines above the rest. Purpose of this Manley Reference Cardioid microphone, designed to be the successor of the Manley Reference Cardioid is,... Nice sparkle, modern tube microphone ⋅ Reviews: August 27,.... That my vocals now sound better and my career easier will more or less share! Diaphragm Dynamic ( LDD ) Broadcast microphone my initial statement: for pop vocals, and a... ’ in sound transformer is pretty beefy and impressive pad switch on and... 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