Manley Labs Reference Silver

SKU: Reference Silver

The Manley Reference Silver’s warm and rich tone is largely owing to its American-built capsule based on the historic SONY C-37A that adjusts for omni and cardioid patterns. It’s at home in front of female vocalists, brass sections, snare drum and overheads, and rockin’ electric guitar cabinets. Use the Ref-Silver where you might be thinking…


About this item



Classic. Smooth. Versatile.

Taking inspiration from the fabled Sony C-37A, Manley Labs introduces the Manley Labs Reference Silver Microphone. Featuring an American-built capsule by David Josephson and a Manley-designed circuit, this microphone has a warm and rich tone.

The Manley Reference Silver Microphone offers a mechanical selector on the rear of the head basket that is switchable between cardioid and omni pick-up patterns. Boasting a mic grade 5670 vacuum tube, Manley IRON® transformers, and a low-noise switch mode power supply, the Manley Reference Silver Microphone is a studio workhorse.
This microphone is at home in front20 of instruments that range from female vocalists to saxophones, from drum overheads to banjos. Use the Manley Reference Silver Microphone where you might be thinking about a ribbon, and use it with confidence!

After 27 years since the debut of the first Manley Reference Gold and Reference Cardioid tube microphones which have since become modern classics, we introduce to you the Manley Reference Silver Microphone. The audio inspiration for this handcrafted beauty begins with the 1950s classic Sony C-37a microphone, and specifically with California capsule maker David Josephson’s fantastic recreation of the C-37’s C-3 capsule which features an adjustable acoustic chamber on the rear of the capsule for the user to switch between Cardioid and Omni pickup patterns (see the adjacent photo for a close-up). This distinctive capsule is the heart of the rich and creamy tone that the Manley Reference Silver Mic delivers today, and reliably with a five-year factory warranty. The old SONY mics are super-rare at this point if you can find a decent working example of one!

Inside the mic, we are using a different circuit from our other two microphones. The fragile high impedance signal from the capsule first hits a FET sitting underneath the 5670 vacuum tube’s cathode which then amplifies the signal into a more robust voltage that our hand-wound Manley IRON® microphone output transformer sends out to your microphone preamplifier. Output level from this mic is a wee bit lower compared to our other two microphones, but after careful consideration coming through the Beta-testing phase of development, we decided to leave it there as this mic will find a forever home in front of your loudest instruments such as snare drum, guitars, and toms. It’s a real natural there!

Sonic character of the Reference Silver is on the rich and warm side. You’ll find this microphone stunning with female vocals and saxophones, with a round character that is never sibilant or boxy. A brass section will sound rich and cohesive. This microphone with its bountiful and warm middle tonality also is natural for drum overheads where you might have too much brightness off the cymbals from other microphones. It is a very classic-sounding microphone, which is to be expected since its innovative capsule design harkens back to the 1950s. Use the Manley Reference Silver Microphone where you might be thinking about a ribbon, and use it with confidence!


The trailblazing power supply is a brand-new derivative of our wildly successful MANLEY POWER® SMPS already in use in the Manley CORE® Reference Channel Strip, Manley FORCE® 4-channel microphone preamplifier, and Manley Nu Mu and ELOP+ Stereo Limiter Compressors designed for use by the worldwide experts in this technology, Bruno Putzeys and Nand Eeckhout. This power supply was designed for us, designed for vacuum tubes, and designed especially for audio fidelity. Numerous listening comparisons again prove the sonic superiority of this power supply. All lines are regulated, all rails come out at super-low impedance, and there is zero 50/60 Hz ripple component present in the chassis as the module runs at a much higher frequency well above the audible range. It is an efficient design in the high 90th percentile, and it functions it any mains input voltage from 90 to 250 V AC meaning no reconfiguration is necessary when traveling around the world. Just plug it in! It is a well-smart invention light years ahead of older linear power supply designs. We are going to brag about our awesome power supply, for sure!

Our proprietary precision suspension system is provided with each Reference Microphone (the capsule itself is mounted onto a rubber shock-mount.) Because the entire working “guts” of the microphone may be removed for service in one piece from the housing, it is envisioned that the microphone need not be removed from the suspension. We also provide a very useful swivel of our own design with every REFERENCE MICROPHONE; its T-bar handle and locking clutch action require no tools to adjust. And no MANLEY microphone would be complete without a genuine leather capsule protector which slips (and ties) onto the end of the microphone to protect the capsule when not in use.

Each REFERENCE MICROPHONE is packaged complete in a rugged carrying case.

Like the other Manley Reference Microphones, all of the metalworking and construction is hand-assembled in the USA by our experienced staff in our Chino, California factory, located just 35 miles east of Los Angeles. We are sure you’ll love the organic nature of the intriguing artistic finish of the Silver Microphone as it will remind you about how natural and alluring the sound of this microphone is.


  • Condenser Transducer based on vintage Sony C-37A Hand Made in the USA by Josephson Audio

  • Single-Sided Large Diaphragm Capsule Edge Tensioned

  • 5 Micron Evaporated Gold Diaphragm 1″ diameter

  • Dual Pattern Cardioid or Omni Directional adjustable via the vent on the backplate

  • 5670 Internal Vacuum Tube Head Amplifier

  • Constant Current Source for Tube Minimizes Noise and Tube Selection

  • Hand Wound Nickel Core Manley Iron Output Transformer

  • Output Impedance: 30 Ohms

  • High Pass Filter Switch -3dB @ 55Hz 6dB/8va

  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 10Hz-30kHz, AMP to 60kHz

  • MAXIMUM INPUT SPL: 150 dB SPL at Capsule


  • AMPLIFIER TYPE: 2 Triode Gain Block Lo Z Output

  • OUTPUT POLARITY: Balanced XLR, Pin 2 Hot, Pin 3 Low

  • AMPLIFIER DISTORTION: Less Than 0.05 % THD+N BW 22-22 kHz (1kOhm Load, 1kHz -40dBV Output)

  • AMPLIFIER NOISE: Typically -108 dBV “A Weighted”

  • BODY: Etched Silver Anodized Aluminum

  • Mic Weight: 1.5 lbs

  • PSU Weight: 2.35 lbs

  • Size: mic body 2″ diameter x 9.7″ long x 4.5″ (mic suspension outside diameter)

  • PSU Size: 5″ x 3.3″ x 9.3″ (including handle)

  • Custom Designed Outboard Switched Mode PSU 90V ~ 250VAC Universal Voltage Operation 50Hz-60Hz

  • Power Consumption: 8 Watts

  • PSU Mains Fuse: 5mm X 20 mm, 2A @ 250V, CERAMIC, Slo-Blo

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