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Manley reference vs. Blue Kiwi for vocals Condenser Microphones
Old 2nd February 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
Manley reference vs. Blue Kiwi for vocals

Anyone use both can tell me how they compare tone wise?

And which would you choose for modern pop vocals for thin male voice?
Old 2nd February 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
PaulMac's Avatar
Following this thread as I have a Blue Kiwi that works great with about 2/3 of male vocalists, but almost never works for female voices regardless of pre!
I'm definitely buying a new vocal mic shortly and was considering the Manley, but also something 47fet-like or a Chandler TG.
Old 2nd February 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
Bump cuz I’m curious about these two as well!
Old 2nd February 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMac View Post
Following this thread as I have a Blue Kiwi that works great with about 2/3 of male vocalists, but almost never works for female voices regardless of pre!
I'm definitely buying a new vocal mic shortly and was considering the Manley, but also something 47fet-like or a Chandler TG.
what type of voices do you find work best with the kiwi?
Old 2nd February 2019
  #5
Gear Head
 

Could never quite get the kiwi to give me the sound I wanted in terms of that "pop" sound. Fine mic for some applications. Liked it on some acoustic, intimate songs I recorded. Overall, not my favorite though. Hard to explain but just didn't suit MY needs. YMMV. I've owned the kiwi for about 10 years now for reference. Can't speak on the Manley though unfortunately.
Old 3rd February 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidd1 View Post
Could never quite get the kiwi to give me the sound I wanted in terms of that "pop" sound. Fine mic for some applications. Liked it on some acoustic, intimate songs I recorded. Overall, not my favorite though. Hard to explain but just didn't suit MY needs. YMMV. I've owned the kiwi for about 10 years now for reference. Can't speak on the Manley though unfortunately.
is the Kiwi mid scooped?
Old 3rd February 2019
  #7
the sanken cu41 is the best mic I have heard for female vocals.

it’s incredible. they are usually available 2nd hand if you search (ebay or sweetwater used). available new at vintage king for around the same as the manley.

also very good for most male vox (especially thin voices)

Last edited by musaee; 4th February 2019 at 05:56 PM..
Old 3rd February 2019
  #8
I have the Manley Ref and Kiwi. I love both but the Manley is my favorite. Both have a nice top end that is not harsh. The Manley is a tube mic and has a gentle smooth sound added that the Kiwi does not have. When you want a little more solid sound is when the Kiwi is a better option. Both are killer on acoustic guitar, and percussion besides vocals. Of course the Kiwi has figure of 8, omni and card. settings which makes it more flexible.
Old 4th February 2019
  #9
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andersmv's Avatar
 

I owned a Kiwi for a while and did a lot of work in a friends studio that had the Manley. For vocals, both mic's are in a similar headspace. The low mid's on the Kiwi seemed a bit more up front than the Manley, but the Manley definitely had a bigger bump in the lows when you got the mic close to a singer. The Manley was less prone to sibilance, it was a fight with the Kiwi come mix time with certain singers... For acoustic guitar, I preferred the Kiwi. Especially for brighter guitars like Taylors, the Manley tended to give me too much pick attack and shimmer in a bad way. As bright and sibilant as the Kiwi could be on vocals, it never sounded harsh on acoustic instruments.

The only other thing I remember doing with both mic's is a mono drum overhead. Again, the Manley could sound pretty thin and harsh with certain cymbals compared to the Kiwi, so I steered clear of the Manley unless the drummer had darker cymbals or was doing brush work. If I were buying either mic again, I would give the Manley the edge in the vocal department. For a general purpose mic that has to cover a lot of ground, I would get another Kiwi (Especially with all the pattern options).
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