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30 Years of Manley Condenser Microphones
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

30 Years of Manley

So, way back when, at the dawn of the modern recording age when I knew less than I know now, which is not all that much, I lucked into Eve-Anna Manley who had recently started her own company after working with David Manley. I told her what I was doing, setting up a home studio and needed one great microphone and a good pre and a compressor and she told me she had a new mic that would work. So, I ended up buying, owning and using Manley Cardoid Reference serial # 000. Prototype or pretty close. I also bought an El-Op limiter and a Manley Tube pre. I've had the CR back to Manley once for checking up and retubing. The pre and El-Op have been on pretty much everything I've recorded.
Yeah, Manley says tubes rule. But so does Manley's quality, service, attention to detail, passion and the sound. Lotsa folks say the CR is bright. For my money, through the right pre and some EQ if you need it, sounds like a record when done. So, Thanks to Eve-Anna and Manley for great gear and here's to the next 30 years.
Gtrpaul
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 

They’ve done amazingly well. Didn’t realize they’d been going for 30 years!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 

To be precise, EveAnna continued the company after David ran off to France. The company was, IMHO, vastly improved under her leadership. She’s a deal. One of the cooler folks you will ever be lucky enough to stumble across. And I certainly agree that the products they make have been invaluable to my recordings. Just lovely stuff.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
the fxs's Avatar
 

so, you're in for a free Manley enhanced Pultec... that is what it's all about?

30 YEARS OF MANLEY — Manley Laboratories, Inc.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 
citrus's Avatar
 

Amazing gears. They created a legend. I have a VariMu comp. It just sounds fantastic!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
i got the gold mic, older vari-mu, voxbox, slam and passive massive...great products and local to where i located at..Thank You Manley..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Well, yes, although the order was (as I understood it): (1) married (2) ran off and (3) divorced. Pretty understandable.

As an aside, her relationship with David’s adult son remains solid. He runs the audiophile side of the business and is a highly valued member of the brain trust, unless things have changed relatively recently. Speaks well of her interpersonal skills (although those of us who know her already knew that!).
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
Gear Addict
 

I knew him too and liked him a lot. A genuine character and not the standard guy. And an original thinker in terms of the design of the products. Whatever happened between them is their story and no one’s business but theirs. I know how difficult it was for EveAnna but never got to speak to David post-expatriation. Not intending to cast any character aspersions, just to be a rip roaring Manley and EveAnna fan.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Agreed. The company wouldn't exist without it's founder and the direction he set still points the way. But the job EveAnna has done shepherding the company through such changing times and economic upheaval while growing the business and keeping the product quality and service so high is noteworthy.

All parts of the same story.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

Howdy guys,
I got some of the best advice in my career from my buddy Paul Wolff. David Manley had moved to France. We had just concluded 3 years of divorce negotiations with me buying David out of the company and liquidating his assets for him in order for him to cash out of America completely. He didn't want to be in California any longer. And he was an angry man, actively alcoholic, and was badly affected with undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder. So, no, he was no fan of mine. He was no fan of anybody's. However, I was still trying to hold on in some way, emotionally, perhaps. I was just barely 30 years old in 1999.

Paul told me, "The future of the company is you. You need to make that the focus of your company messaging. Get David's signature off the faceplates. Remove his name from the website and owner's manuals. He is the past. You are the future."

It was difficult for me to do, but I listened to Paul's advice.

It was many years later I was able to be at peace with the whole situation. Those years in the 1990's were insanely difficult for me and very emotionally damaging and scaring.

And to clarify, David's son Luke and I are not close. We might see each other at a hifi show once per year. Our two companies are completely separate entities since 1993. Also, neither Manley nor VTL ever exhibited at an NAB show in Denver, however, we did exhibit at NAB in Atlanta in 1990 and yes, I sure was there. We also exhibited at NAB in Las Vegas for a few years in the early 1990's.

As for the History page on the Manley.com website, give it a read again.

And lastly, here is a recent interview I did for a Spanish publication that specifically explored the early David Manley days.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Last edited by EveAnna Manley; 1 week ago at 05:44 AM.. Reason: factual timeline error corrected
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Lives for gear
Thank you for clearing up the rumors. Personally, i think the Manley Gold is the sexiest looking microphone known to exist..
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 

EveAnna:

Thank you for the history.

Andre
Old 1 week ago
  #13
I have so much respect for EveAnna, for how she improved the company, made lemonade from lemons, connected with so many engineers in the industry and how she put her heart into what she does best.

The customer service her company provides is outstanding and the quality of her Pro and Hifi gear is breath taking. Her new Hifi headphone amp has caught my eye by the way. She has excellent people skills including how to listen. She is very patient with consumers who don't know much about her gear.

Every time I use Manley gear in my studio, it's a special experience. Hopefully we will see her amazing solid state gear (Langevin) come back to life under the Manley name.

Last edited by Glenn Bucci; 1 week ago at 02:17 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Addict
 
shalimo's Avatar
 

I love Manley gears, proud owner of a massive passive, vary-mu, vox box and a Manley reference mic. They make awesome stuff, that just happened to look sexy.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Bucci View Post
...Every time I use Manley gear in my studio, it's a special experience. Hopefully we will see her amazing solid state gear (Langevin) come back to life under the Manley name.
I had a dvc back in the day and I think I would have been better off to hang on to it. Had a nice mic pre and compressor--two channels.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
I've used a load of manley gear, from the real early era 40dB tube mic pres and the DVC, to Massive Passive, ELOP, Vari-Mu and Gold Reference mic. My favorite piece of theirs has to be the 16-channel tube summing mixer; I haven't heard anything really like it before, and it imparts such a nice quality to recordings in a variety of styles/genres. Saved my ass on a couple mixes I was doing that hadn't quite "gelled" yet. EveAnna runs a great business, and it's employed some very talented engineers over the years (Hutch, for example).
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
I first encountered the Manley name at an NAB show in Denver circa 1988, when David was still running the company, Eve Anna wasn't even in the picture, and most of the gear (iirc) used both the "Manley" and "Vacuum Tube Logic" names interchangeably. Those early Pultec clones were gorgeous! Somewhere in my storage locker I still have a Manley/VTL pamphlet I picked up at that show.

I should've bought some of their stuff then...

I’m glad I did. I bought a pair of the eqs, a pair of the vari mus (which were linkable mono channels back then, an elop, and a dual mono mic pre...all units within the first 10 production units made...

So glad I’ve never sold any of them over the years!
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EveAnna Manley View Post
neither Manley nor VTL ever exhibited at an NAB show in Denver
In fairness, it may have been what the NAB referred to as their "Radio Show", a smaller subset of the full convention. And I suppose it's entirely possible that whoever was displaying those wares was a dealer, not the manufacturer...though if that were the case it seems odd that they would only be displaying Manley gear. Two ~30-space racks full of it. The booth was in the lobby outside of the main trade show floor. Definitely Denver, definitely 1988.

But I do appreciate your contribution to this thread (as well as, obviously, what you've done with the company over all these years.)
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

Dear Ian,
With this latest website launched in the last year, we made a conscious decision to trim down the history page and focus it more on the gear and gear-timeline. You can find more details about the company history on our Wiki page!
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
In fairness, it may have been what the NAB referred to as their "Radio Show", a smaller subset of the full convention. And I suppose it's entirely possible that whoever was displaying those wares was a dealer, not the manufacturer...though if that were the case it seems odd that they would only be displaying Manley gear. Two ~30-space racks full of it. The booth was in the lobby outside of the main trade show floor. Definitely Denver, definitely 1988.

But I do appreciate your contribution to this thread (as well as, obviously, what you've done with the company over all these years.)
Bob, seriously, there were no Manley Pro Audio products in 1988. Zero. Zilch. None. The Manley brand was created in 1988 and the first products were the audiophile Manley Reference Compact 160, 100/200, 350, 500Watt Monoblocks, The Manley Reference ICHIBAN 200W and the Manley Reference Preamplifier, which also was an audiophile product.

When I joined Vacuum Tube Logic in late January 1989, David had just won a mic preamp design shootout with the "Manley Reference Microphone Preamplifier" for Golden Era Productions (The Scientology sound and production studios near Hemet, CA) and they ordered 60 units! This order, this event, launched the pro audio division of Manley Labs in 1989. In 1989, Vacuum Tube Logic exhibited its audiophile products at CES in Las Vegas and in Chicago, and at the Stereophile show in San Mateo. We exhibited at no Pro Audio shows in 1989, and certainly not in 1988 (as no Manley pro audio products existed then).

Our NAB Booth in Atlanta 1990 was definitely in the lobby outside the main trade show floor. Atlanta is my hometown. It was definitely Atlanta. Ed Simeone (formerly TC Electronics) remembers meeting me there for the first time as we have had that conversation recently. In 1991 the NAB moved to Las Vegas and we exhibited there. I still have my exhibitor's badges, and David Manley's too!!

These dates and timelines are very important to me and I have taken great care to preserve the company history. We have file cabinets of the early schematics and hand-drawn notes documenting the development of the early Manley products. I promise you that I have not only my memories, but photographs and documents to support them!
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EveAnna Manley View Post
... We have file cabinets of the early schematics and hand-drawn notes documenting the development of the early Manley products. I promise you that I have not only my memories, but photographs and documents to support them!
I bought a scanner for about $500 that can do a page a second--color and a really high resolution--both sides at once. Just my personal files and papers at home, I scanned a stack of documents at least 5 feet tall, and put most of it in confidential recycling. This stuff is on my computer in pdfs--with an encrypted file system, lest it get stolen, and more importantly in the cloud. This mitigates risk of theft or fire. With it on my pc in a directory structure I can access things more easily than with my paper filing system which was a lot of work to re-organize. The local disk gets mirrored to the cloud.

I did keep certain docs that have sentimental value.

Maybe a process improvement opportunity for you.

Again, thanks for all you do and are!
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EveAnna Manley View Post
Our NAB Booth in Atlanta 1990 was definitely in the lobby outside the main trade show floor.
Huh... Well, I was at the NAB 1990 show in Atlanta also, so I guess that's what I'm thinking of!

Wow, I can't believe how powerful the confabulation of dates and locations is in my brain! I have an incredibly vivid picture in my mind of where I saw those Manley mic preamps and got the pamphlet showing the Pultec clones, and who I was with, and I've associated all those memories with Denver 1988 since ... well, since at least 1990 I guess. Bizarre.

Conversely, my only recollection of Atlanta 1990 was that my hotel was across the street from the jail.

Thanks for setting me straight!
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
mamm7215's Avatar
I was fortunate enough to get into my 1st Vari-mu this year when I bought an older one locally. It was pre T-bar and HPSC so I emailed support regarding getting the HPSC kit and some other questions about the unit. Support AND EveAnna replied to me individually and ultimately with a bit of help from Paul I got the mod done and couldn't be happier. Dialing in that glue on my mix/master buss is literally one of the highlights of mixing and recording my songs now. And to actually get a few emails from EveAnna along the way was pretty special to me. I consider myself a fan and customer and hope to be able to add either a Voxbox and/or MP to my collection one day. Thanks again EveAnna for chiming in.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EveAnna Manley View Post
The Manley brand was created in 1988 and the first products were the audiophile Manley Reference Compact 160, 100/200, 350, 500Watt Monoblocks, The Manley Reference ICHIBAN 200W and the Manley Reference Preamplifier, which also was an audiophile product.
hi boss

i remember wanting ( and still do at some point ) a pair of the 100 Watt Monoblocks ( if i recall correctly).
ended up a friend gave me a McIntoshmonoblock and i bought one to make a pair.
someday we will have a pair of the awesome Manley amps.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
i've spent far too much money on manley gear but the sound and ROI have been unsurpassed...
2 Ref Cards, El-op, Vari-MU, Dual mono mic pre, Dual tube D.I. and if there were a bit more cash flow i'd probably would grab a gold. great mic! everytime i've used 'em.

Happy 30th EveAnna! ... and thanks!
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Hi all

The moderation of this topic is a shame...
Until this also disappear an no one know what Ian politely and respectfully ask/say

Best regards
Zam
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Sounds great and would not be out of place on the flight deck of the Space Shuttle (aesthetically and build quality wise at least !) That's Manley gear.
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