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Manley Reference Gold or Neumann M149 Condenser Microphones
Old 15th January 2007
  #1
Gear interested
 

Manley Reference Gold or Neumann M149

I've only heard the Neumann M149 and have seen the manley refference gold only on the net. I'm saving up for a good valve mic and don't know if i should get the M149, which is very nice or if i should trust my instincts(sp) and jsut order the manley refference gold

Thanks
Hannes
Old 15th January 2007
  #2
Gear addict
 
erock's Avatar
 

I haven't heard the Neumann, but the MANLEY is freaking sweet.

http://www.synchromeshstudios.com

http://www.myspace.com/lynam

http://www.myspace.com/haste

http://www.myspace.com/heroicme

http://www.myspace.com/rantingsofeva

http://www.myspace.com/mayleneandthesonsofdisaster

http://www.myspace.com/mikeshaw

95% sure that everything on those pages were recorded with the Gold Reference. Maylene and the Sons of Disaster might have been done with an SM7 though.

The best example of the Gold Reference would be the song "Belong" on the Mike Shaw Myspace. Its a great great mic and I would buy it in a heart beat if I had the dough. Also makes a great room mic.

Hope this helps in the decision making!
Old 16th January 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
The MPCist's Avatar
 

I have the Manley Gold, Soundelux 251, Brauner VM-1,the M149,etc.... The Gold is the last one I use for vocals especially for male vocals..... I think it's more suitable for recording instruments -- at least that's what I' m using it for.

It (the Gold) doesn't have the body and presence that I like for vocals... YMMV though.

I think this topic's been covered before, search and see what others have said about it.
Old 16th January 2007
  #4
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thephatboi's Avatar
 

I have used the Manley and own an M149, the Manley has a nice top but I agree with MPCist: I think it is a bit thin for an all-rounder for me, like it on acoustic instruments like violin or cello. The M149 has it all, nice top, strong mids and big bottom (like my women I want to get another M149 for drum rooms. I have done mono drum room with it and it made the kick have an impact I have not heard before--loved it. they are both great mics but if I was micing a violin I might choose the manley, if I was doing vox, drums acoustic guitar, I choose the Neuman. My .02.
Old 16th January 2007
  #5
Gear Addict
 
lane thaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
I have the Manley Gold, Soundelux 251, Brauner VM-1,the M149,etc.... The Gold is the last one I use for vocals especially for male vocals..... I think it's more suitable for recording instruments -- at least that's what I' m using it for.

It (the Gold) doesn't have the body and presence that I like for vocals... YMMV though.

I think this topic's been covered before, search and see what others have said about it.

Kinda agree, but with some female vocalists - the Manley has the magic - It recently beat out a vintage U47 and C12.

So how often do you use the Brauner?????
Old 16th January 2007
  #6
Gear interested
 
stump's Avatar
 

M149...a very versatile studio microphone!
Old 20th January 2007
  #7
Gear interested
 

Legendary movie trailer VO Don LaFontaine uses the Manley Reference. His backup, the Sennheiser 416, aka the "L.A." mic.

I have a 416. Love it! Saving for a Manley.
Old 20th January 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
midnightsun's Avatar
 

Manley Gold Reference vs M149

Both of these mics are in my collection and both are near and dear to my heart. I find the color of the M149 to be like the sweetest of cream, but colorer nevertheless. The Manley is crystal clear and to my ear brings it all out-- low, mids, and high. The Manley won't tame an edgy voice but the M149 colored texture can sure help. A beautiful sound will sound most beautiful through my Manley-- I agree it is great for strings and awsomely better for capturing the delicacy of room ambience (assuming the ambience is good to start with). I use the M149 more on vocals than the Manley simply because I like the color. I use the Manley more on acoustic string instruments and feel it captures a truer image. I have found that I can sort of EQ the Manley to give it a warm and creamy sound but can't EQ an M149 to make it sound like the Manley (entirely subjective observation).

Recently I was overjoyed with the performance of the Manley in the following setup. The ambience of the room was perfect and I wanted to get it. I put the Manley on a boom up about 15 feet, about half way toward the ceiling and set it on a fig 8 pattern. After making sure there were no phase problems and making subtle changes in position I started tracking. In the mix I blended the Manley with the primary close mic of the instrument. This gave me a "organic" reverb that I couldn't have achieved with any type of box-- I loved the result. I tried the exact same setup with the M149 and it didn't work the same magic but a couple of my ribbons were close.

If I could could have only one or the other I would take the M149 because it makes my voice sound better. This is more of a statement about the lack of tonal quality of my voice than the quality of the mics.

You can't go wrong with either mic and rest assured it won't be the last mic you purchase.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Gabriel Sousa's Avatar
for me, manley gold is better than m149
Old 22nd January 2007
  #10
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stump View Post
M149...a very versatile studio microphone!
Great vocal mic too.
Old 24th January 2007
  #11
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Gabriel Sousa's Avatar
what pre did you test on vocals with manley gold ?

my neve 1073dpa and manley, has vocals body

Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist View Post
I have the Manley Gold, Soundelux 251, Brauner VM-1,the M149,etc.... The Gold is the last one I use for vocals especially for male vocals..... I think it's more suitable for recording instruments -- at least that's what I' m using it for.

It (the Gold) doesn't have the body and presence that I like for vocals... YMMV though.

I think this topic's been covered before, search and see what others have said about it.
Old 4th February 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Manley gold vs 149

We have both of those and they are very different animals. I never loved the 149 on vocals. It's fantastic on piano, room and a great overall mic. The Manley is often fabulous on many vocals esp female,, it usually beats out our 47's, C-12's, for pop / R'n'b stuff. One of the producers here swears by them for overheads. They sound very open , bright and seem quite sensitive to the mic pre. They sound ********ly good with Focusrite ISA-110's which is not a normal first choice for me. They sound real good with any of the class A Neve's, so so with the API's crap with the SSL's(what else is new) and IMHO so so with most tube pre's people have brought in.

Daryn
Old 4th February 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
vernier's Avatar
Quote:
I've only heard the Neumann M149 and have seen the manley refference gold only on the net. I'm saving up for a good valve mic and don't know if i should get the M149, which is very nice or if i should trust my instincts(sp) and jsut order the manley refference gold
Why not include other mics in this decision? ..I would.
Old 4th February 2007
  #14
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by darynbarry View Post
WI never loved the 149 on vocals.
I've always loved the M149 on vocals. LOL Just goes to show, one mans gold is another man's trash. See if you can rent both for a side by side or get to somewhere that has one or both and try them out. I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a hunch.
Old 4th February 2007
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Best advice yet. Rent em both, and a few others in your pice range.
Old 4th February 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Why not include other mics in this decision? ..I would.
me too
Old 4th February 2007
  #17
Gear addict
 

They're both great choices. I'd go to a boutique audio shop and audition both. I love the M-149 on piano and at times prefer it to an AKG C24. I've heard great things when used on vocals. I also have a friend who swears by the m149 for his vocal/acoustic guitar setup.

I've used the Reference Gold and had great results with vocals. Depending on the sound you want. Never tried it on anything else.

Pick your poison. It's difficult because it's like comparing high end italian sports cars. Either way you go you're going to get an awesome product.
Old 13th May 2010
  #18
Gear interested
 

Manley vs. M149

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I've always loved the M149 on vocals. LOL Just goes to show, one mans gold is another man's trash. See if you can rent both for a side by side or get to somewhere that has one or both and try them out. I wouldn't spend that kind of money on a hunch.
GREAT SUGGESTION! I did just that and was surprised the Manley was better on the soft female voice I used it for - testing straight through Apogee Duet interface no pres...the Manely reproduced voice with warmth, clarity and full bodied sound - while the M149 was too thin but sounded better on the acoustic guitar. When dealing with mics on any app. but esp vocals...Try it out in your environment. This same female vocalist ended up finding her perfect mic was NeumannTLM49 - just the right balance of sparkle, presence, lower end and mids. (the manley needed dialing up of the presence ultimately)
Old 13th May 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
3rd the suggestion to consider other mikes.

I have gotten some sweeet female vocals with the Ref Golds, but i'm not sure that I would pick it every time for vocals. I mostly have used it in applications where there is some distance between the mic and the source (instruments in other words), there it excels imho.

The m149 sounds pretty good on almost everything, but it lacks a little of the 'wow' factor to my ears. Wouldn't be my first pick either.
Old 13th May 2010
  #20
I hear the MANLEY custom shop is opened.

I don't know what this has to do with the choice between a MANLEY GOLD and a Neumann M149, but I wanted to contribute to the discussion in some way, since I didn't have anything else to really offer.
Old 13th May 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thephatboi View Post
I have used the Manley and own an M149, the Manley has a nice top but I agree with MPCist: I think it is a bit thin for an all-rounder for me, like it on acoustic instruments like violin or cello. The M149 has it all, nice top, strong mids and big bottom (like my women I want to get another M149 for drum rooms. I have done mono drum room with it and it made the kick have an impact I have not heard before--loved it. they are both great mics but if I was micing a violin I might choose the manley, if I was doing vox, drums acoustic guitar, I choose the Neuman. My .02.
This is pretty much what I might have written - except that I'm *not* keen on the Manley for violin. Acoustic guitar, definitely.
Old 13th May 2010
  #22
Lives for gear
 
jjblair's Avatar
Two radically different mics. However, the M149 is not really what you would consider a tube mic, where the Manley is. The M149 has a tube, but its function is as a flavorizer in a transformerless circuit that uses an IC! The Manley uses a real plate loaded tube circuit and a transformer.

The Manley is very much in the style of the C12, and like a C12, is not right for everything. But if you have a sources that wants open highs and brightness, it's freaking gorgeous.

The M149 sorta lives in the world of things that a U47 works on, but without sounding anywhere as good as a vintage Neumann. They are an OK mic for around $2,500, but are otherwise a complete rip off, if you look under the hood and see what's there. As sad example of Neumann trying to save as much money as possible on build costs, then getting people to spend more money than the product is worth, because of the look and the badge.
Old 13th May 2010
  #23
Lives for gear
 
midnightsun's Avatar
 

I just picked up a couple of matched M149s. Now I have three. Still really liking the Manley Gold Reference. Comparing these mics is like comparing apples and oranges. They sound very different.
Old 18th February 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
Jon Harter's Avatar
Read this before buying a Manley Mic

I know this post has long since run its course, but I feel like this info would still be useful as a reference for anyone researching a similar purchase.

The capsule for the Manley reference microphones, should it need to be replaced, (damaged or worn out) has doubled in price. That's $1,500.

That's been enough to slow the repair of one of my ref gold mics.

I bought my pair used five years ago and they've been back to Manley's service department once already. Even since getting them back, they've been a bit troublesome still.

With that said, they are great microphones. thumbsup They definitely aren't all-around workhorses, but they sound very flattering on some sources. I wish I could depend on mine more or justify the cost of repair.
Old 19th February 2011
  #25
Lives for gear
 
latestflavor's Avatar
 

Hannes,

Pretty much everything has been said here.

Even though you are asking about two completely different mics,

they both have a lot to offer, just not on everything everyday.

I think the Manley Gold does what it does better (acoustic instruments, female vox)

however, if you're looking for a great sounding versatile mic, i;d say keep looking - with an open mind and an open ear!
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