Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone
Reference Cardiod Mic Power Supply

Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone


Sonically Irresistible


You’ve been considering it for a while: a high-end tube mic that’s leagues beyond anything you currently own. We invite you to consider the Manley Reference Cardioid. When a track needs to make an impact, the Reference Cardioid obliges, with a sound that’s bold and authoritative, yet stunningly transparent. For years, it’s been a top choice for engineers and producers looking to record huge-sounding vocals and instruments with audiophile-grade sonics. Its nuanced, silky top end is extended well past the range of human hearing. The mids are warm and clear. The bass is powerful and punchy. Whatever the source, you’ll always get eat-it-with-a-spoon results with the Manley Reference Cardioid.


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Professional polish, right out of the box


Since its 1990 introduction, the Reference Cardioid has become an industry standard, thanks to the deity-like presence and weight it imparts to pop, rock, rap, and R&B vocals as well as voice-overs. It’s also great for capturing massive drums when deployed on toms or overheads. Saxophones rule when recorded with this mic. In fact, the Reference Cardioid enhances any source, delivering punchy, larger-than-life tracks with that elusive professional polish, right out of the box. We consider the Reference Cardioid a “just add talent” mic. It’s a serious tool for making audacious statements with your music.


Big, bold, and beautiful


When it comes to microphones, there’s a certain alchemy that goes beyond specs. For the Reference Cardioid, Manley applied their considerable expertise in tube circuits to engineer a mic that calls to mind certain coveted vintage European tube mics. It features the same top-shelf components as Manley’s lauded Gold Reference mic, but has a thicker-gauge (6 micron) center-fixed cardioid-only capsule with a gold sputtered diaphragm. With its lavish tonal balance and liquid midrange, the Cardioid Reference is a first-call mic for guitars, drum overheads, saxophone, and of course, vocals. If you’re spending time trying to EQ and compress life into your tracks, perhaps you’re using the wrong mic. Try the Reference Cardioid. Which Manley mic is right for you? Ask about our Manley Mic Comparison and find the one that best fits your needs!


Instant superstar vocals


Whether you know it or not, you’ve heard the Manley Reference Cardioid. It’s been used on countless top hits, movie trailers, and commercials. Powerful, girthy, and forward-sounding, it sounds great right from the get-go. Tracks recorded with it sit beautifully in the mix without your having to shoehorn them in with EQ and compression. If you’re looking for instant superstar vocals, put your talent in front of the Reference Cardioid. You won’t be disappointed.


Legendary Manley build quality


Like all Manley gear, the Reference Cardioid is handcrafted in the company’s Chino, California labs with painstaking attention to detail. As an example of Manley’s thoughtful design and construction, consider that the inner works of the microphone can be slid out from the housing in one piece, should service be required. Another nice touch is Manley’s proprietary swivel with T-bar handle and locking clutch that requires no tools to adjust. The mic body is machined from brass — a material with superior shielding properties. With its bold, black finish and red accents, this mic looks like it means business. Which brings us to this point: If you have clients coming into your studio, appearances matter. When they see the Manley Reference Cardioid, they’ll know they’re dealing with a professional studio. And when they hear how great you’ve made them sound, you may well have picked up a client for life.


Manley Reference Cardioid Microphone Features:


  • Traditional Manley tube circuitry for that larger-than-life sound
  • All-tube design with triode 12AT7
  • Custom-wound output transformer with nickel laminations and humbucking bi-filar windings
  • Switchable 10dB pad tames extra-hot sources
  • Highest-quality components used throughout
  • External PSU and 20′ power supply cable with locking 6-pin connectors
  • Included waterproof flight case with key, leather capsule protector,
  • Warranty: 5-year parts and labor, 90-day vacuum tubes (upon registration)
  • Handcrafted in Manley Labs’ Chino, California facility


DownloadReference Microphone Manual

Tech Specs

  • Microphone Type:Tube Condenser
  • Mono/Stereo:Mono
  • Polar Pattern:Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size:0.98" (25mm)
  • Frequency Response:10Hz-30kHz
  • Max SPL:150dB SPL
  • Output Impedance:200 ohms
  • Sensitivity:17mV/Pa
  • Pads:-10dB
  • Tube:12AT7 vacuum tube
  • Color:Black
  • Power Source:Custom-designed outboard switched-mode power supply
  • Connector:6-pin XLR cable to PSU, 3-pin XLR from PSU
  • Weight:2.25 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Part Number:REFCARD