Vanguard Audio Labs V13 GEN2 Tube Microphone
We’re excited to introduce the VANGUARD AUDIO LABS V13 gen2!
The impact of 2020, the year of uncertainty, was felt in a number of ways by Vanguard Audio Labs, including its effect on our supply-chain partners. Some of our key suppliers became unreliable or shut down altogether. This forced us to seek out new sources and partners. Our new key supply chain partner has another client, it’s some fruit company from Cupertino…
We took this opportunity to upgrade not only our supply chain, but the current mic lineup as well. From day one at Vanguard Audio Labs, we have always been seeking ways to improve our products and we always will…that is part of our mission. These upgrades have netted us an even lower signal-to-noise ratio (even though we already had a superb reputation for low noise mics), and improved sound staging. We undertook a ground-up redesign of every mechanical component & improved the fit and finish of the final product…so not only are they world-class performers, but they look damn good while they’re doing it!
The design team here at Vanguard Audio Labs has worked very long and hard this last year to implement these exciting improvements and we are proud to release these new creations!
The V13 was designed in the USA, and undergoes final assembly in sunny Southern California. We perform 100% quality control – every single microphone undergoes a series of stringent audio and visual tests here in Southern California before being hand-packed.
Every part of the V13 was designed to be robust and reliable. Wherever possible, components were over-specced. The deep-cycle cryogenic treatment improves the lifespan and performance of critical electronic components. Brass, stainless steel, aluminum, and zinc are part of the heavy-duty construction. Every Vanguard microphone is backed by our FIVE-YEAR WARRANTY.
We designed the V13 with the character of yesteryear’s iconic vintage tube microphones in mind, while also utilizing the latest technology to ensure that every nuance and detail of the performance is faithfully captured. We specifically engineered the V13 with warm, full lows, a precise and detailed midrange, and buttery-smooth high end. The result is a microphone that unifies warmth with clarity, depth with detail, and character with precision.
The V13 is particularly forgiving when it comes to vocal style and timbre. Oftentimes, microphones can be a bit choosy when it comes to how they mesh with different vocalists, but we have found that the V13 sounds great with almost any vocal complexion. Tested on both male and female vocalists in a diversity of ranges, styles, and genres, we found that the V13 was usually the top option, despite being matched against microphones several times its cost.
One important design objective was maintaining a low noise floor – no small feat when working with vacuum tube circuitry. When tested against several $5000 European tube microphones, the V13 had the lowest noise floor by a significant margin.
After hundreds of hours of listening and testing dozens of design variations with world-class engineers, the V13 is a top-shelf microphone with an incredibly low noise-floor. This is truly a professional, world-class microphone.
The VANGUARD V13 is very different from other mics in its price range. It is designed and precision-built in limited quantities to “no-compromise” standards.
We started with an extra-large 34mm edge-terminated, gold-sputtered Mylar dual-capsule assembly and custom-voiced it with a proprietary hand-tuning process, placing it in an open-weave headbasket for a natural sound with low internal reflections. We then designed a circuit that matches the unique musical properties of our capsules and loaded it with premium-grade, over-spec components sourced from manufacturers around the world. We cryogenically treated critical components in the signal path, including a hand-selected European vacuum tube. We placed the low-frequency roll-off and -10dB pad toggle switches on the rear of the microphone, where they are easily accessible to the engineer. We topped off the electronics with an ultra-linear, fully shielded, custom-wound, dual-bobbin humbucking transformer for the output stage to drive long cable runs.
The V13 gen2 refines the lauded design of the original V13. Key upgrades include low-noise audiophile-grade resistors sourced from a US manufacturer, as well as Neutrik® Group audio connectors on the microphone, power supply, and cable. These upgrades make the V13 gen2 one of the quietest tube microphones ever made. The redesigned power supply provides even more clean headroom, and sports a durable matte-black powdercoat.
Aesthetically, the precision-machined stainless steel body is coated with our signature Pinot Noir, finished with a deep, lustrous gloss, and accented by polished nickel trim and a precision-cast Vanguard badge. Machined into the rear of the microphone is a cooling vent to prolong tube life. Your V13’s serial number is laser-engraved on the lower rear of the microphone.
The V13 was designed by a team of experts with more than 65 years of experience and vetted by world-famous award-winning engineers and producers.
Capsule & Electronics
- Custom-voiced, edge-terminated 34mm dual-capsule assembly with gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragms
- 9 polar patterns (selectable at power supply)
- Vacuum tube analog circuitry with premium-grade components
- Hand-selected European vacuum tube
- Deep-cycle cryogenic treatment of critical signal path components
- Transformer-coupled output – humbucking, shielded, dual-bobbin transformer
- -10dB pad and low-frequency rolloff toggle switches
- Robust redesigned power supply design for ultra-low noise floor
- Open-weave headgrills for natural sound with low internal reflections
- Vanguard’s proprietary hand-tuned custom voicing
- Heavy-duty brass, aluminum, stainless steel, and zinc metal construction
- Rear venting to prolong tube and component life
- Open-weave headbasket for low internal reflections and “open-air” voicing
- Each V13 comes with its own laser-engraved serial number
- Over-spec componentry
- Deep-gloss Pinot Noir finish
- Polished nickel trim
- Precision-cast Vanguard badge
- 100% Quality Control
- 5-Year Warranty / 90-day warranty for vacuum tube
- Exquisite deep-gloss Pinot Noir finish
- Polished nickel trim
- Precision-cast Vanguard badge
- Laser-etched model and serial numbers
- Transducer Type: Condenser
- Capsule Size: 1.34″ / 34mm (dual-capsule)
- Diaphragm Size: 1.04″ / 26.4mm
- Electronics Type: Valve/Tube, Transformer-Coupled Output
- Output Impedance: 200Ω
- Max SPL: 134dB (144dB with pad)
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20000Hz
- Equivalent Noise Level: ≤13dB (A-weighted)
- S/N Ratio: ≥81dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
- Sensitivity: -35dBV
- Output Connector: Male XLR 7-pin gold-plated
- High-Pass/Rolloff Switch: 125Hz (6dB/octave)
- Attenuation/Pad Switch: -10dB
- Finish: Polished nickel trim / High-gloss Pinot Noir
- Weight (microphone): 1.07 lbs / 0.48kg
- Weight (in case): 11.67 lbs / 5.29kg
- Dimensions (microphone): 8.2″ long, 2.05″ diameter / 208mm long, 52mm diameter
- Dimensions (case): 16.73″L x 12.80″W x 5.25″H / 425mmL x 325mmW x 142mmH
- Voltage Requirement: 110-240V
When you buy a V13, you also get a VLSM Heavy-Duty Shockmount. We wanted to rethink the standard “spider-style” shockmount of old, and designed the VLSM with a few nifty features. First is the open front, which allows you to position the microphone as close to the source as necessary. Second, we install aerospace-grade suspension rings that won’t break, sag, crack, or stretch over time. This shockmount was designed to fit any microphone with M22x1 threading, so you also can use it with a number of microphones from other manufacturers.
The V13 also comes with the redesigned PS-13 gen2 power supply, which allows you to select any of 9 available polar patterns on your microphone. We encourage you to experiment with the different polar patterns, as each one changes the frequency response of the microphone. The PS-13 can operate from 110-240V. A 7-pin XLR Neutrik® Group cable connects the PS-13 to the V13.
When not in use, your V13 should be stored in its padded pinewood box with the included dessicant packets.
The black aluminum locking carrying case with the V13 keeps your microphone, cables, and power supply in one place, and includes a slot for a spare vacuum tube. 12AX7, 12AT7, and 12AY7 tube types will work with the V13 microphone. Folks who experiment sonically with NOS tubes can feel safe using these tube types.
- PS-13 gen2 Power Supply with Neutrik® audio connectors
- Padded Pinewood Microphone Box
- VLSM Large Shockmount with aerospace-grade suspension rings
- Locking Aluminum Carrying Case
- Heavy-Gauge 7-pin Microphone Cable with REAN® Connectors
- Power Cable