The Vanguard Audio Labs V1S Pencil Condenser Kit is a matched pair of multi-capsule FET pencil condenser microphones. Eight matched custom small-diaphragm capsules in 4 pickup patterns allow for a cornucopia of tonal variations for virtually any sound source. With premium cryogenically-treated FET componentry, an unparalleled selection of capsules, and a true heavy-duty shock mount, the V1S will be your new “go-to” set of pencil condensers, whether you’re in the studio or the field.
The V1S was designed in the USA, and undergoes final assembly in sunny Southern California. We perform 100% quality control – every single part of your V1S kit undergoes a series of stringent audio and visual tests here in Southern California before being hand-packed. We precision-bias each high-grade JFET by hand on a calibrated analog oscilloscope (a Tektronix 465B, for you, fellow EE geeks).
Every part of the V1S was designed to be robust and reliable. Wherever possible, the circuitry is over-spec’ed. Deep-cycle cryogenic treatment improves the lifespan and performance of critical electronic components. Brass, steel, and zinc are part of heavy-duty construction.
You want your recording tools to be reliable, durable, and rugged, and so do we! Every Vanguard microphone is backed by our FIVE-YEAR WARRANTY.
The VANGUARD V1S is very different from other microphones in its price range. It is designed and precision-built in limited quantities to “no-compromise” standards, with final assembly and 100% testing taking place here in Southern California. We spent more than three years designing, developing, and refining the V1S.
Our small diaphragm capsules begin with a 16mm 4µm gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragm, carefully positioned in front of a precision-machined, custom-voiced backplate. We engineered the housing to bring the diaphragm as close as possible to the front of the capsule housing, preventing comb filtering.
The capsule is coupled to a transformer-balanced solid-state circuit that matches the unique musical properties of our capsules and is loaded with premium-grade, over-spec components sourced from manufacturers all over the world. We cryogenically treated critical components in the signal & power paths, including an ultra-high-grade hand-biased FET. The circuit is designed with an “In = Out” philosophy, with only four components present in the signal path.
Aesthetically, we think a microphone should look at least half as good as it sounds. Each precision-machined brass body is coated with our signature Pinot Noir hue, finished with a deep, lustrous gloss, and accented by polished nickel trim and a precision-cast Vanguard badge. Each microphone’s serial number is laser-engraved on the lower rear of the microphone.
The V1S was designed by a team of experts with more than 65 years of experience and vetted by award-winning engineers and producers.
We designed the V1S with the character and versatility of iconic pencil condensers in mind, while also utilizing modern technology & design to meet the demands of today’s recording professionals.
The V1S kit was created to be your most flexible and adaptable microphone system. Eight small capsules (2 of each pattern) allow tonal variety on any number of sources, but we found them to be exceptionally well-suited for close-to-medium-range mic’ing of acoustic guitar, percussion, piano, and stringed instruments. (The wide cardioid capsule, in particular, deserves special mention here as our favorite, but each capsule has sources and situations in which it excels.)
After hundreds of hours of listening and testing exhaustive design variations with world-class engineers, we can confidently say that this microphone will exceed the performance of other pencil condenser microphones in its price range, and rival or exceed the performance of microphones costing several times more.
Two Vanguard V1 Microphones – packed with high-end componentry including an ultra-quality precision-biased JFET, a custom-wound transformer, premium capacitors, and cryogenic treatment throughout. A “straight-wire” design philosophy means there are only four components between the capsule and the output.
Eight 22mm Capsules – these interchangeable capsules give you unmatched flexibility – two each of cardioid, wide cardioid, hypercardioid, and omnidirectional patterns. Ultra-sensitive 4-micron diaphragms, an anti-comb-filtering front design, and precision-machined backplates give wide consistency across each capsule.
Two VSSM Shockmounts – the best pencil shock mount in the ‘verse. Heavy-duty cast zinc partners with high-impact ABS to create a shock mount that stays where it’s supposed to. Aerospace-grade suspension rings keep the rumble out (no hair scrunchies here!), and a windowed design allows you to easily access switches without changing your mic placement.
Stereo Microphone Bar – Easily set up X/Y, ORTF, or other stereo mic’ing configurations.
Locking Aluminum Storage Case – because your microphones should stay safe in luxury. The custom-cut high-density foam keeps your mics and capsules cozy and secure…whether they’re on the road or in your studio.
Capsule & Electronics
- Eight small-diaphragm 22mm capsules – cardioid, hypercardioid, omnidirectional, wide cardioid (pairs)
- Transformer-balanced solid-state circuit with premium-grade over-spec circuitry
- Ultra low-noise high-quality hand-biased JFET and other premium-grade components
- Deep-cycle cryogenic treatment of critical signal & power path components
- Transformer-balanced output – custom-wound humbucking dual-bobbin transformer
- Works via 48V phantom power
Construction & Aesthetics
- The heavy-duty brass, steel, and zinc construction
- Each V1 comes with its own laser-engraved serial number
- Over-spec componentry
- Deep-gloss Pinot Noir finish
- Polished nickel trim
- Precision-cast Vanguard badge
- Final Assembly & 100% Quality Control in California, USA
- 5-Year Warranty
- 22mm removable capsule – Cardioid (pair)
- 22mm removable capsule – Hypercardioid (pair)
- 22mm removable capsule – Omnidirectional (pair)
- 22mm removable capsule – Wide Cardioid (pair)
- VSSM small shock mount (pair)
- Locking Aluminum Storage Case
- Stereo microphone bar