Manley Reference Tube Condenser Microphone – Silver
Another Modern Classic Mic from Manley
Manley’s Reference Silver large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone marks a bit of a departure from the bright, up-front sound of the company’s Reference Gold and the robust warmth of its Reference Cardioid mics. Based on the legendary 1950s Sony C-37A, the Reference Silver has an alluringly rich, nuanced, and open sonic character that renders instruments and vocals in stunning, almost three-dimensional high fidelity. It features cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns, switchable from a novel mechanical selector on the rear of the head basket. Like all Manley gear, the Reference Silver is handcrafted in the company’s Chino, California, labs with painstaking attention to detail. Perfect for just about any vocal or instrument — and a real lifesaver on strident sources — the Manley Reference Silver Microphone is a studio workhorse, and an invaluable addition to your mic locker.
Rich, nuanced, and velvety
Manley introduced its Reference Gold and Reference Cardioid mics in 1990, and they have become modern classics used in pro studios worldwide. Alongside those two mics, you’ll notice the Reference Silver’s output is a bit lower, which actually turns out to be a virtue, as this mic is an excellent choice for boisterous sources. If you need a snare drum to own a ballad; if you want gargantuan toms that leave you breathless; an electric guitar or tenor sax as big as the side of a barn; the Reference Silver is the right mic for the job.
Strictly top-drawer components
As is customary for Manley, the Reference Silver parts list is strictly top-drawer and includes a 5670 vacuum tube, hand-wound Manley IRON transformers, a low-noise custom switch-mode power supply — and not least of all — noted capsule maker David Josephson’s masterful re-creation of the C-37’s C-3 capsule, which is the heart of this mic’s rich, warm sound. The rear of the capsule features an adjustable acoustic chamber that’s used to switch between cardioid and omni polar patterns (tip: the adjustment is easy to make, but you will need a screwdriver). As befitting a microphone of this caliber, the Reference Silver comes with Manley’s X-Cradle suspension, a rugged storage case, and a leather capsule protector for when the mic is not in use. And of course, Manley’s 5-year factory warranty gives you peace of mind as you forge new musical frontiers with this terrific recording tool.
Power supply bragging rights
Manley is justifiably proud of the Reference Silver’s custom power supply, designed specifically for tube audio fidelity by recognized power-supply experts Bruno Putzeys and Nand Eeckhout. Derived from the acclaimed supplies that power Manley’s Core Reference channel strip, Force microphone pre, and Nu Mu and ELOP+ compressor/limiters, it features regulated lines, super-low-impedance rails, and zero 50/60Hz chassis ripple component, courtesy of the fact that it runs at frequencies well above the audible range. It’s ultra efficient, handling any mains input voltage from 90 volts to 250 volts AC, so it requires no reconfiguration as you travel anywhere in the world.
Vintage sonics, without the drawbacks
If you have your sights set on a vintage Sony C-37A, the reality is that they are very rare these days; it would cost a small fortune if you could find one in decent working condition. The Reference Silver makes much more sense. It’s an incredible value with velvety-rich vintage sound, state-of-the-art parts and circuitry, weapons-grade build quality, and a warranty. As an example of its 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. All things considered, the Manley Reference Silver is a no-brainer.
Manley Reference Silver Microphone Features:
- Single-sided large-diaphragm capsule based on the vintage Sony C-37A; handcrafted by Josephson Audio
- 5-micron evaporated-gold diaphragm
- Cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns
- Adjustable acoustic chamber on the backplate for changing pattern
- Internal 5670 vacuum tube head amplifier
- Constant-current source for tube to minimize noise
- Hand-wound Manley nickel-core iron output transformer
- Custom-designed outboard switch-mode PSU
- Includes Manley X-Cradle suspension
- Handcrafted in Manley’s Chino, California, labs
- 5-year factory warranty