Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

All-tube Reference Cardioid Microphone
Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone image 1
Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $300.00

Or make 3 easy payments of $900.00/month!

Plus $10 processing fee. Use any credit card! Sweetwater's Flexible Payment Plan lets you get your gear now and stretch your payments over time. Plus, we won't charge interest! Learn more

In Stock!
Available for immediate delivery!

Share this with your friends:

Most popular accessories & related items...

Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone
In Stock!

Warmth and Clarity

The 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, the 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 definition, then the Reference Cardioid just might be the mic you're looking for.

Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Features at a Glance:
  • All-tube triode design
  • 10dB switchable pad
  • Frequency response: 10Hz-30KHz
  • Sensitivity: 17mV/Pa
  • Noise typically -120dB EIN
  • Max SPL: 150dB
  • Actual output impedance 200 ohms
  • Weight: 2.25 Lbs.

NOTE: All prices are valid for U.S. sales only. For international sales inquiries, please refer to the agent in your home country which can be found on the Manley Labs international distributor webpage.

Additional Media

Studio Microphone Buying Guide

Tech Specs

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
Color Black
Connector XLR
Weight 2.25 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number REFCARD

Customer Reviews

Based on 17 reviews
Write your review

Sweet Manley Reference C

I have been using the u87 for a while now and I started doing my vocals on Neumann microphones. They always have been very good sounding microphones efficient, clear and a pleasure to work with when doing vocals. I have a very deep voice (I do hip hop, r and b and pop) many singers that I would bring into the studio to do vocals would also do there vocals on the u87 with no issues. Last night I had the chance to track a song with the Manley reference C, the studio we're I used the microphone had swapped out the normal capsule with another one that they said sounded fantastic, and they had A and B with a Sony c800g Dr Dre favorite microphone and the only thing he dose vocals on. The engineer knew I was coming so he turned on the microphone way before and let the tube warm up. Let me just say that I have found my new favorite microphone!!! It sounded so clean, so great on my voice I felt like a studio beast!!! Can I say I love this microphone ??? I adore it!!! The senior engineer had told me that with the capsule switch it wasent worth it to get the c800g since the Manley came so close to the c800g in terms of sound and quality, I still have not tried the c800g but I believe him!! This is honestly my new favorite microphone I have gotten great results from the u87 but for me this is the one now just awesome!! This microphone is worth every penny, every red cent!!
Music background: Rapper, songwriter, music producer


For voice over artists this is the same microphone that the late Don Lafontaine used to record all those movie trailers. He became famous for his phrase “IN A WORLD” For this man money was no object as he himself admitted he had made millions from voicing trailers, so money was not a factor and he went for the Manley Ref. He could have easily spent 20 grand on a mic, but he went for the Manley Reference Tube. Is there a 20 grand Mic, probably somewhere in the world. The pre Amp you choose is just as important as the microphone you choose. I recently joined this Microphone with a PreSonus ADL-600 Anthony DeMaria pre amp. This Pre amp is worth looking into. The Manley mates well with this Pre Amp and delivers a clean crisp sound that you can play with and color in any fashion you want using your plug ins on your DAW. Would I buy it again? Absolutely! Even if the capsule is made in China, the result is the sound you are going to get.
Music background: Voice Over Artist and Commercial Producer using Pro tools 11

Blown away

Simply the best........hands down
Music background: Recording/Mixing engineer/Artist


It always depends on who's the one behind the mix...But Capture is the MOST important number one task on my list for this fair price...I say MANLEY REFERENCE MICROPHONE...Vocal chain must be unique...this mic belongs with a great chain... in our case its hooked up to a Rupert Neve Portico and its only blissful excellence in capture...Very crisp, clean vocals with enough grit to stick to any pop, rock or retro production...Hands down Manley!! Love at first Listen...

awesome modern mic

this mic sounds amazing on vocals. it is a perfect complement to my u87. it has a very open, modern, bright but not harsh sound. on my 87 i always have to boost the air up but this gets me there off the bat. i run it through a cl1b and the result is gorgeous. if i were a pop singer, this would be my main mic.
Music background: producer and engineer

Sweetwater Advice

Stuart Niven

You have heard this on so many Top 40 recordings from Back Street Boys to Brittney. If you are looking for that pop presence, that full and intimate sound that almost needs no further processing, this is an amazing choice! This is quickly becoming the "go-to" microphone for the pop/rock producer!

Bob Furlong

Coming from the performing side of things, I'm kind of a late bloomer when it comes to A/Bing a lot of really high-end mics. With that said, I've gotten a good number under my belt in the last couple of years, and this microphone changed my life. You don't want to EQ or otherwise tamper with what it gives you, short of maybe some very mild compression. For me, it's the mic I gauge all others by.

Josh Estock

All you have to do it put the Manley Reference Mic on a stand and all your work is done. It makes everything sound great. I've used many vintage and high-end mics in the studio and NONE have performed like the Cardioid Reference Mic. This beauty now resides in my mic locker and I couldn't be happier.

Simon Picazo

Incredibly accurate yet somehow flattering at the same time, I am amazed! On classical guitar, vocals, and saxophone both live and in the studio I was fully "wow"ed!
See also: Condenser Mics, Manley, Manley Condenser Microphones, Manley Condenser Microphones