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Brauner VMA and Manley Gold Ref - anyone who owns both? Condenser Microphones
Old 31st August 2011
  #1
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steins's Avatar
Brauner VMA and Manley Gold Ref - anyone who owns both?

I´m in the market for a new vocal mic. Did a shoot-out today, and the Brauner VMA sounded fantastic. Sadly, I didn´t have access to a Manley Gold Ref, which seems like a killer mic. How does the VMA compare to a Manley Gold Ref?

Stein Tore
Old 31st August 2011
  #2
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idolsound's Avatar
 

bump
Old 31st August 2011
  #3
I find the MANLEY GOLD to have a harmoniously pleasing tone, with a big body sound, that is highly flattering to the source. I feel it yields a smooth fullness and balanced brightness [perhaps found with a good sounding C12]. Among its balance is a beautifully sculpted definition [perhaps found in a ELAM251] but it has a really deep bottom octave focus and image that makes the source sound bigger than it might be in real life. That really sets itself apart to my ear.
Old 31st August 2011
  #4
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Both are great mics. And as you would expect ... you really would have to put them side by side and work each one out & decide to YOUR liking..

Having said that the VMA would be like having 2 of the best mics (VM1 & VMX)!
Having used both that's the way I would go - Brauner.
Old 31st August 2011
  #5
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Tuberizer's Avatar
 

If it is a vocal mic you are looking for and cardiod pattern is enough for you you should seriously consider the Brauner ValvetX (not the Valvet!!! they are 2 totally different beasts). It was build especially for recording vocals and imo it makes the VM1, VMX, VMA obsolete, costing only half the price. It is such a fantastic mic, I cant find enough words to describe its awesomeness. Repeat: ONLY if you can do without the other polar patterns.
Old 1st September 2011
  #6
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I had Manley Gold when I compared to Siemens SM204 / C12 I sold Manley pretty fast. It says all.
Old 1st September 2011
  #7
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I prefer the Manley Ref to the Manly Gold for vocals. Just add in a touch of 15-16k.
Old 1st September 2011
  #8
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Quote:
If it is a vocal mic you are looking for and cardiod pattern is enough for you you should seriously consider the Brauner ValvetX (not the Valvet!!! they are 2 totally different beasts). It was build especially for recording vocals and imo it makes the VM1, VMX, VMA obsolete, costing only half the price. It is such a fantastic mic, I cant find enough words to describe its awesomeness. Repeat: ONLY if you can do without the other polar patterns.
Valvet X here. Very nice mic indeed. I must add that the two I tried did sound noticeably different from eachother.

Quote:
I prefer the Manley Ref to the Manly Gold for vocals. Just add in a touch of 15-16k.
One Manley Reference Cardioid that was tested 11 years ago had a broad 4 to 5 dB rise starting around 10k, and a lower, narrower peak around 6k.
Manley advertising seems to indicate a 5-10k lift for the RC and a 12-18k lift for the Gold.


Henk



Old 2nd September 2011
  #9
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Titans55's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloff View Post
I had Manley Gold when I compared to Siemens SM204 / C12 I sold Manley pretty fast. It says all.
Did u compare it with more than one vocalist?
Old 2nd September 2011
  #10
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carloff's Avatar
at about 8 vocals as I remember,,,
Old 2nd September 2011
  #11
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KIDBILL's Avatar
 

Was looking at the gold but each time I heard the gold on vocals, I felt the highs quite "agressive"
the mic is not really "smooth" sounding for me.
Old 10th September 2011
  #12
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I testet my Ref Gold up against a hand full of mics a while ago, and it seamed kind of dark and "stuffy" compared to a Peluso 2247 and other mics. Should i be worried something is wrong with it?
Old 11th September 2011
  #13
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Good day...I will be conducting a shootout that will include (amongst other pieces) the Manley gold and the Brauner. Being held on Oct 1st....I would be happy to send you just the Gold and Brauner files...the test will include male and female vox, acoustic guitar, piano and drum (room). I hope this will still be of some assistance to you by that time.
Old 11th September 2011
  #14
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R-AP.SCI, it'd be fantastic of you to post shootout files here on Gearslutz.
Old 11th September 2011
  #15
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I absolutely shall good sir, I was planning on doing so regardless...I guess I should have specified my intention in sending them to him before I posted them here...(and separately as he would have no need for the other sound samples in the test).
Old 11th September 2011
  #16
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It's fantastic of you to do this kind of thing, it's so rare that high end microphones designed after the late '80s are all together in the same place for a shootout, it seems often to me that the majority of studios have a piece here or there (and it's usually a C-800G) but predominantly own the classics, for good and obvious reasons -- yet it makes your proposed shootout all the more interesting and progressive in a very good way.
Old 11th September 2011
  #17
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steins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by R-AP.SCI View Post
Good day...I will be conducting a shootout that will include (amongst other pieces) the Manley gold and the Brauner. Being held on Oct 1st....I would be happy to send you just the Gold and Brauner files...the test will include male and female vox, acoustic guitar, piano and drum (room). I hope this will still be of some assistance to you by that time.
That would be great! I'll see if I can post the results of my own shootout. Although it's just vocals and highly unscientific, it might be of some value. The contenders were: Neumann U87 (just restored by Mr. Grosser), another U87, M149, Korby Kat 4 (C12, 251, U67 and U47 heads), Brauner WMA, and an AEA R84, just to have a ribbon in there too.

Stein Tore
Old 11th September 2011
  #18
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World Studios's Avatar
Please do, Stein!
Old 11th September 2011
  #19
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syra's Avatar
They sound different. The Manley Gold with the older tube sounded closer to a 251... maybe a tad darker... very nice. The new ones are even darker - still nice although I prefer the older ones.

The VMA I always said sounds different from all other microphones... as in it was made by aliens... its a beautiful mic. If I had to choose I'd take the VMA especially for vocals.
Old 11th September 2011
  #20
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In full disclosure, I have spent many years developing a high end microphone to bring to market, which is what the point of my shootout is actually for...part of the inspiration for this was implied more than once in this thread, as many modern or current "high end" mics seem to not stand up to snuff when compared to the classics....at least in many instances. Which I hope to live up to the legends, but more importantly progress the art of microphone design...and my journey has been one of great discovery. I hope to not only prove my sonic worth, but highlight the modern counterparts possible strengths and weaknesses as there aren't many examples of them in a full comparative example.

But in many cases the modern mics do quite well and in my opinion are an expression of a sociological change in sonic taste and utility. And I believe that we don't need any more recreations/inspired by microphones.

Specifically speaking, the Gold, employing a Josephson made CK12 like capsule has been a great addition to the landscape of modern mics, in my opinion.....and the tolerances that Mr.Josephson has in his manufacturing are above reproach. I feel for the most part the same of Brauner (Haun made K67 style capsules)...and both are well built mics. However whether or not this equates to good sound (especially in comparison to classics) is up to the user and their goals and applications.

The classics have a firm place in the pantheon of sonic technology and are deserving of the highest praise and respect...(which for the most part they receive). However it is my opinion that they cannot represent the end of what can be achieved sonically and technically.

the current lineup also includes classics and is as follows...
1) Brauner vm1
2) Brauner KHE
3) Manley Gold
4) Lucas CS4
5) Lucas CS1
6) Sony c800g
7) Wagner47
8) Neumann M49
9) Tele 251 (original)
10) ...my microphone (which I have dubbed in all hyperbole the "Pegasus microphone system")

(I have been looking for someone in NY with the Korby system and somebody with Martin Kantola's Nu-series)...

During my time spent as a recording engineer I have personally found the Gold more usable than the Brauner, believe it or not...(acoustic guitars and vocals). Although the 251, when available, has suited me -slightly- more for femvox than either....the 251 is hard to beat. However the Gold is a significant mic, as is the Brauner...and both deserve high praise as far as I'm concerned.
Old 14th September 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper. View Post
I testet my Ref Gold up against a hand full of mics a while ago, and it seamed kind of dark and "stuffy" compared to a Peluso 2247 and other mics. Should i be worried something is wrong with it?
Well should I?
Old 15th September 2011
  #22
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steins's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by steins View Post
That would be great! I'll see if I can post the results of my own shootout. Although it's just vocals and highly unscientific, it might be of some value. The contenders were: Neumann U87 (just restored by Mr. Grosser), another U87, M149, Korby Kat 4 (C12, 251, U67 and U47 heads), Brauner WMA, and an AEA R84, just to have a ribbon in there too.

Stein Tore
Quoting myself here, but I have a question: Would you prefer the vocal samples with out without backing tracks? Or both?

Regards,
Stein Tore
Old 15th September 2011
  #23
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cheu78's Avatar
If you could put an Innertube MM2006 and a Josephson C715 in there please..


Curious about your shootout too, Steins..
Thanks!

Bests,

Cheu
Old 15th September 2011
  #24
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

I compared the Reference Gold Stereo with a pair of Brauner Valvet in XY on classical piano: test to be listened to here.
Old 15th September 2011
  #25
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steins's Avatar
OK, here are the files from our highly unscientific shootout. I don't see any point in making a guessing game, hence the file names describes the microphone used. We tried to match levels as close as possible, but there might be small variations in both levels and performance. Lyrics are in Norwegian :-).

Stein Tore
Attached Files

A_U87_16_44.wav (7.47 MB, 1395 views)

A_M149_16_44.wav (7.47 MB, 1348 views)

A_KORBYU47_16_44.wav (7.47 MB, 1182 views)

A_KORBYU67_16_44.wav (7.47 MB, 1196 views)

A_KORBY_C12.wav (7.47 MB, 1146 views)

A_KORBY251_16_44.wav (7.47 MB, 1104 views)

A_CV4_16_44.wav (7.47 MB, 1118 views)

A_R84_16_44.wav (7.47 MB, 1100 views)

A_VMA-POS1_16_44.wav (7.47 MB, 1503 views)

A_WMA-POS2_16_44.wav (7.47 MB, 1513 views)

Old 15th September 2011
  #26
BML
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Thnx!

The U87 and the VMA Pos.2 are my favourites! I didn´t like the M149 and the R84 (too dark).
I might get a VMA and sell my VM1 after I heard the files?! The U87 always surprises me! Normally our Horch Rm2j gets more use than our U87 - but here it just sounds right to me.

Great Files!
Old 15th September 2011
  #27
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steins's Avatar
BTW, signal chain: Microphone -> Great River MP-2NV -> Digidesign 192 I/O at 44.1/24, clocked by Apogee Big Ben.

Stein Tore
Old 15th September 2011
  #28
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VMA position 2 ...best

Korby 251 usable
Old 26th September 2011
  #29
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Second time I hear the Korby U47 in a shootout and again it sounds like it's broken. But I love it for this song! I don't care about the Korby C12 and 251 clips and ribbon doesn't do it un-eq'd like you would suspect, but other mics sound fine. VMA sounds good but I would choose U87, Korby U47 and even Korby U67 over it for this performance.
Old 27th September 2011
  #30
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steins's Avatar
Yeah.....it kind of bothers me that a few people mention the sound of the Korby's as "broken". I remember Fletcher made that same remark in and old thread here on GS. In fact, sometimes I get that feeling myself. What I've found is that the Korby is not the right microphone for up-and-close "screamers", and it distorts quite easily compared to some other microphones. At least mine does :-). But then again, on the right voices, it sounds wonderful. I just completed a record with a blues band where the U47-head was used all the way on vocals with great results. Go figure.....

Stein Tore
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