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Manley Reference Silver Microphone  From Manley

Featuring an American-built capsule by David Josephson and a Manley-designed circuit, the Manley Reference Silver features a warm and rich tone based off of the classic Sony C-37 microphone.

Manley Laboratories Inc

$3,780.00

Retail:  $4,200.00

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What We Think

Manley's newest mic is inspired by the classic Sony C-37 and is built with a Josephson-designed capsule. If you're not familiar with Josephson, they are one of the most cutting-edge mic builders in the U.S. right now. Our initial reaction to the Reference Silver, if you compare it to Manley's other microphones like the renowned Manley Reference Cardioid or the classic Reference Gold, is that this one seems to be the most natural-sounding of them! We tried it on acoustic guitar first, and it was just one of those instant placement moments where you set it up in one or two positions and you immediately got this huge, lush, naturally rich sound. Pairing it up on vocals, we found it to have a very soft, forgiving, and very complimentary sound that really didn't sound hyped, just smooth and realistic. It was most noticeable on how gentle it was on the S's - so sibilance is definitely not an issue here! The Reference Silver sounds rich, full, and LARGE.

One of the nice innovations Manley has on this mic is that it is multi-pattern, selectable between cardioid and omni, and the way that you switch between the two is with a key that is included with the power supply. This in effect keeps the circuitry of the mic itself cleaner and removes any unnecessary electronics for the purest signal path. It attaches to the supply magnetically, so you don't have to worry about losing it OR inadvertently switching between patterns! Just a neat little extra feature on an overall amazing mic!

Manufacturer's Description from Manley

The Manley Reference Silver Microphone offers a mechanical selector on the rear of the head basket that is switchable between cardioid and omni pick-up patterns. Boasting a mic grade 5670 vacuum tube, Manley IRON® transformers, and a low-noise switch mode power supply, the Manley Reference Silver Microphone is a studio workhorse. This microphone is at home in-front of instruments that range from female vocalists, to saxophones, from drum overheads to banjos. Use the Manley Reference Silver Microphone where you might be thinking about a ribbon, and use it with confidence!
 
After 27 years since the debut of the first Manley Reference Gold and Reference Cardioid tube microphones which have since become modern classics, we introduce to you the Manley Reference Silver Microphone. The audio inspiration for this handcrafted beauty begins with the 1950s classic Sony C-37a microphone, and specifically with California capsule maker David Josephson's fantastic recreation of the C-37’s C-3 capsule which features in adjustable acoustic chamber on the rear of the capsule for the user to switch between Cardioid in Omni pickup patterns. This distinctive capsule is the heart of the rich and creamy tone that the Manley Reference Silver Mic delivers today, and reliably with a five year factory warranty. The old SONY mics are super-rare at this point, if you can find a decent working example of one!
 
Inside the mic, we are using a different circuit from our other two microphones. The fragile high impedance signal from the capsule first hits a FET sitting underneath the 5670 vacuum tube’s cathode which then amplifies the signal into a more robust voltage that our hand-wound Manley IRON® microphone output transformer sends out to your microphone preamplifier. Output level from this mic is a wee bit lower compared to our other two microphones, but after careful consideration coming through the Beta-testing phase of development, we decided to leave it there as this mic will find a forever-home in front of your loudest instruments such as snare drum, guitars, and toms. It's a real natural there!
 
Sonic character of the Reference Silver is on the rich and warm side. You'll find this microphone stunning with female vocals and saxophones, with a round character that is never sibilant or boxy. A brass section will sound rich and cohesive. This microphone with its bountiful and warm middle tonality also is a natural for drum overheads where you might have too much brightness off the cymbals from other microphones. It is a very classic sounding microphone, which is to be expected since its innovative capsule design harkens back to the 1950s. Use the Manley Reference Silver Microphone where you might be thinking about a ribbon, and use it with confidence!
 
The trailblazing power supply is a brand-new derivative of our wildly successful SMPS already in use in the Manley CORE® Reference Channel Strip, Manley FORCE® 4-channel microphone preamplifier, and Manley Nu Mu and ELOP+ Stereo Limiter Compressors designed for us by the worldwide experts in this technology, Bruno Putzeys and Nand Eeckhout. This power supply was designed for us, designed for vacuum tubes, and designed especially for audio fidelity. Numerous listening comparisons again prove the sonic superiority of this power supply. All lines are regulated, all rails come out at super-low impedance, and there is zero 50/60 Hz ripple component present in the chassis as the module runs at a much higher frequency well above the audible range. It is an efficient design in the high 90th percentile, and it functions it any mains input voltage from 90 to 250 V AC meaning no reconfiguration is necessary when traveling around the world. Just plug it in! It is a well-smart invention light years ahead of older linear power supply designs. We are going to brag about our awesome power supply, for sure!
 
Our proprietary precision suspension system is provided with each Reference Microphone (the capsule itself is mounted onto a rubber shock-mount.) Because the entire working "guts" of the microphone may be removed for service in one piece from the housing, it is envisioned that the microphone need not be removed from the suspension. We also provide a very useful swivel of our own design with every REFERENCE MICROPHONE; its T-bar handle and locking clutch action require no tools to adjust. And no MANLEY microphone would be complete without a genuine leather capsule protector which slips (and ties) onto the end of the microphone to protect the capsule when not in use.
 
Each REFERENCE MICROPHONE is packaged complete in a rugged carrying-case.
 
Like the other Manley Reference Microphones, all of the metalworking and construction is hand-assembled in the USA by our experienced staff in our Chino, California factory, located just 35 miles east of Los Angeles. We are sure you’ll love the organic nature of the intriguing artistic finish of the Silver Microphone as it will remind you about how natural and alluring the sound of this microphone is.
Manley Laboratories Inc

About Manufacturer

The MANLEY brand has been around since the late 1980's. Manley's first commercially available products were upper echelon high-fidelity vacuum tube amplifiers and preamplifiers constructed at the old Vacuum Tube Logic of America factory.

In this history lesson, we'd like to direct special focus on our people at Manley Labs. The people whose years of dedication, service, and expertise bring you people, our customers, these products. It's all about the people...

On January 30, 1989, a 20 year old EveAnna on sabbatical from her studies at Columbia University met the crew and was hired on to the production team. Baltazar Hernandez, already with two years experience, taught her how to solder in those first few days. It was in 1989 that the first Manley professional products were developed, starting with the original 1u Reference 60dB Microphone Preamplifier and soon followed by our Manley Enhanced Pultec and Mid Frequency Equalizers. Baltazar and EveAnna, busy building gear, were soon joined by Saulo and Ramiro. Just next door, Elias was employed by a printed circuit board maker later brought into the Manley Labs fold when in 1993, Manley Laboratories, Inc. became a separate entity apart from VTL. The new Manley Labs factory at 13880 Magnolia Ave. in beautiful and bovine Chino, California was outfitted to house the Manley HiFi and Pro Studio manufacturing as well as the Langevin production lines, our newly acquired machine shop, and printed circuit board facilities.

Specifications

  • Condenser Microphone Transducer
  • USA Hand Made Capsule by Josephson Audio
  • Capsule is based on the Vintage Sony C-37A
  • Single-Sided Large Diaphragm Capsule
  • 5 Micron Evaporated Gold Diaphragm
  • Dual Pattern Cardioid or Omni Directional
  • Adjustable Vent on the Backplate Changes the Pattern
  • 5670 Internal Vacuum Tube Head Amplifier
  • Constant Current Source for Tube Minimizes Noise and Tube Selection
  • Hand Wound Nickel Core Manley Iron Output Transformer
  • Custom Designed Outboard Switched Mode PSU
  • Supplied with Manley X-Cradle Suspension