The Vanguard V13 is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern valve condenser microphone. Crafted by experts over the course of 2 years, it combines vintage warmth with smooth modern detail. After extensive testing and listening by world-class engineers, we can say with pride that the performance of this mic will rival or exceed that of both iconic vintage and modern microphones at a fraction of the cost.
We designed the V13 with the character of yesteryear’s iconic vintage tube microphones in mind, while also utilizing the latest technology to ensure that every nuance and detail of the performance is faithfully captured. We specifically engineered the V13 with warm, full lows, a precise and detailed midrange, and buttery-smooth high end. The result is a microphone that unifies warmth with clarity, depth with detail, and character with precision.
The V13 is particularly forgiving when it comes to vocal style and timbre. Oftentimes, microphones can be a bit choosy when it comes to how they mesh with different vocalists, but we have found that the V13 sounds great with almost any vocal complexion. Tested on both male and female vocalists in a diversity of ranges, styles, and genres, we found that the V13 was usually the top option, despite being matched against microphones several times its cost.
One important design objective was maintaining a low noise floor – no small feat when working with vacuum tube circuitry. When tested against several $5000 European tube microphones, the V13 had the lowest noise floor by a significant margin.
After hundreds of hours of listening and testing dozens of design variations with world-class engineers, the V13 is a top-shelf microphone with an incredibly low noise-floor. This is truly a professional, world-class microphone.
The VANGUARD V13 is very different from other mics in its price range. It is designed and precision-built in limited quantities to “no-compromise” standards.
We started with an extra-large 34mm edge-terminated, gold-sputtered 3µm Mylar dual-capsule assembly and custom-voiced it with a proprietary hand-tuning process, placing it in an open-weave headbasket for a natural sound with low internal reflections. We then designed a circuit that matches the unique musical properties of our capsules and loaded it with premium-grade, over-spec components sourced from manufacturers around the world. We cryogenically treated critical components in the signal path, including a hand-selected European vacuum tube. We placed the low-frequency roll-off and -10dB pad toggle switches on the rear of the microphone, where they are easily accessible to the engineer. We topped off the electronics with an ultra-linear, fully shielded, custom-wound, dual-bobbin humbucking transformer for the output stage to drive long cable runs.
Aesthetically, the precision-machined brass body is coated with our signature Pinot Noir, finished with a deep, lustrous gloss, and accented by polished nickel trim and a precision-cast Vanguard badge. Machined into the rear of the microphone is a cooling vent to prolong tube life. Your V13’s serial number is laser-engraved on the lower rear of the microphone.
The V13 was designed by a team of experts with more than 65 years of experience and vetted by world-famous award-winning engineers and producers.
The V13 was designed in the USA, and undergoes final assembly in sunny Southern California. We perform 100% quality control – every single microphone undergoes a series of stringent audio and visual tests here in Southern California before being hand-packed.
Every part of the V13 was designed to be robust and reliable. Wherever possible, components were over-specced. The deep-cycle cryogenic treatment improves the lifespan and performance of critical electronic components. Brass, steel, aluminum, and zinc are part of the heavy-duty construction. Every Vanguard microphone is backed by our FIVE-YEAR WARRANTY.
When you buy a V13, you also get a VLSM Heavy-Duty Shockmount. We wanted to rethink the standard “spider-style” shockmount of old, and designed the VLSM with a few nifty features. First is the open front, which allows you to position the microphone as close to the source as necessary. Second, we install aerospace-grade suspension rings that won’t break, sag, crack, or stretch over time. This shockmount was designed to fit any microphone with M22x1 threading, so you also can use it with a number of microphones from other manufacturers.
The V13 also comes with the PS-13 power supply, which allows you to select any of 9 available polar patterns on your microphone. We encourage you to experiment with the different polar patterns, as each one changes the character and frequency response of the microphone. The PS-13 can operate worldwide on 110-240V mains outlets via a switch on the rear of the power supply.
When not in use, your V13 should be stored in its padded pinewood box.
The black aluminum locking carrying case with the V13 keeps your microphone, cables, and power supply in one place, and includes a slot for a spare vacuum tube. 12AX7, 12AT7, and 12AY7 tube types will work with the V13 microphone. Folks who experiment sonically with NOS tubes can feel safe using these tube types.
- Custom-voiced, edge-terminated 34mm dual-capsule assembly with 3µm gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragms
- 9 polar patterns (selectable at power supply)
- Vacuum tube analog circuitry with premium-grade components
- Hand-selected European vacuum tube
- Deep-cycle cryogenic treatment of critical signal path components
- Transformer-coupled output – humbucking, shielded, dual-bobbin transformer
- -10dB pad and low-frequency rolloff toggle switches
- Robust power supply design for ultra-low noise floor
- Heavy-duty brass, aluminum, steel, and zinc metal construction
- Rear venting to prolong tube and component life
- Open-weave headbasket for low internal reflections and “open-air” voicing
- Each V13 comes with its own laser-engraved serial number
- Over-spec componentry
- Deep-gloss Pinot Noir finish
- Polished nickel trim
- Precision-cast Vanguard badge
- 100% Quality Control
- 5-Year Warranty / 90-day warranty for vacuum tube
- PS-13 Power Supply
- VLSM Large Shockmount
- Padded Pinewood Microphone Storage Box
- Locking Aluminum Carrying Case
- 7-Pin Braided Microphone Cable
- Power Cable
Transducer Type: Condenser
Capsule Size: 1.34″ / 34mm (dual-capsule)
Diaphragm Size: 1.04″ / 26.4mm
Capsule Diaphragms Thickness: 3µm
Electronics Type: Valve/Tube, Transformer-Coupled Output
Output Impedance: 200Ω
Max SPL: 134dB (144dB with pad)
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20000Hz
Equivalent Noise Level: 13dB (A-weighted)
S/N Ratio: 82dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
Output Connector: Male XLR 7-pin gold-plated
High-Pass/Rolloff Switch: 125Hz (6dB/octave)
Attenuation/Pad Switch: -10dB
Finish: Polished nickel trim / High-gloss Pinot Noir
Weight (microphone): 1.07 lbs / 0.48kg
Weight (in case): 11.67 lbs / 5.29kg
Dimensions (microphone): 8.18″ long, 1.98″ diameter / 208mm long, 50.5mm diameter
Dimensions (case): 16.73″L x 12.80″W x 5.25″H / 425mmL x 325mmW x 142mmH
Voltage Requirement: 110-240V
- PS-13 Power Supply
- Padded Pinewood Microphone Box
- VLSM Large Shockmount with aerospace-grade suspension rings
- Locking Aluminum Carrying Case
- 7-pin Braided Microphone Cable
- Power Cable
“[Vanguard] has taken some of the best aspects of [the best] microphones that money can buy and blended them into the V13….the smooth top end of the original Telefunken , the low end richness of the U47…they have done a really great job of getting the character of a lot of the great mics we would all like to have in our locker….a very, very versatile microphone.
“For a microphone of this quality, [the price] is staggering. Absolutely incredible price for a microphone that, quite frankly, could be THE microphone you need (or maybe a pair of them).”
–James Ivey, Pro Tools Expert
“Few mics I’ve used sound so pleasant, warm, full and bright without hype. And I’ve never encountered a microphone that’s so expensive-sounding at this price point.”
-Rob Tavaglione, Pro Audio Review
“Vanguard pays attention to small details…The V13 provided a rich, full tone…the top end felt smooth and extended, but not artificially bright or hyped; the low mids felt smooth, but focused. The V13 [provides] both a sound and build quality that place the mic’s value well above it’s price.”
-Adam Kagan, Tape Op Magazine
“I found it to be very transparent with a very low noise floor…a full, well-balanced sound that worked well without EQ or compression…I had a great experience with the V13.”
-Barry Rudolph, Music Connection
“The build quality is solid and the fit and finish are first-rate…a high degree of detail and clarity…this mic will capture even the smallest performance nuances…”
–George Petersen, Recording Magazine
“Everything about the mic feels well-built, especially the shock mount…There is a definite impression, when opening the flight case for the first time, of getting a lot more than you paid for…
“We have to mention the V13’s self-noise – there wasn’t any. So little in fact, we re-checked the recording array to make sure it was all plugged in correctly.
” And, at [this price point]…we are extremely impressed.”
-Stephen Lawson, The Mic Site
“Testing initially with the spoken voice, and it’s the mid-range that grabs your attention first. There’s detail and clarity here, and the very slightest hint of “edge” to consonants that’s immediately quite appealing. Despite this, it never seems to tend towards harshness or hardness – in fact the top end sounds relatively restrained and open….
“With sung (female) vocals, again, there’s something immediately very arresting about the sound – it’s forward without sounding hyped in the highs, but never sounds closed-in as a result…
“…it isn’t aiming to be the cheapest tube microphone out there. Sonically, though, it sounds in completely different league to those cheaper designs, and it would give more established (and expensive) models a real run for their money.”
-Jon Thornton, Resolution Magazine
Dave Way & Warren Huart – Produce Like A Pro (1:00:40)
Louise Goffin & Warren Huart – Produce Like A Pro (10:12)
Matt Anderson – MillSounds Studio
Dan Lenard – Voice Over Body Shop (VOBS) V13 Review
“ONE MIC” V13 Sessions, engineered & produced by Lucas (Luke) Pimentel:
Included is a Pro Tools session with the raw V13 files (96k/24-bit) from both Courtney Fortune’s “Ojai” and Dylan Chambers’ “I’m So Into You”. Additionally, you can import the audio files into your DAW.
V13 “One Mic” Pro Tools Session Files
To download, follow the Dropbox link above.
The Vanguard Audio V13 was used/combined on the following sources/chain:
Kick Drum Resonator: V13 into API 312
Drums Stereo Overheads: 2x V13 into Focusrite ISA 828
Drums Rooms: 2x V13 into Focusrite ISA 828
Acoustic Piano: 2x V13 Into Focusrite ISA 828
Acoustic Guitar: 2x V13 into Focusrite ISA 828
Mandolin: V13 into BAE 1073
Electric Rhythm Guitar: V13, Royer 121, Shure SM57 into Teegarden Magic Pre 4100 (overdubs) and ISA 828 (main session)
Hammond B3: Bottom V13 into BAE 1073 and Top AKG 451 into Great River NV2
Vocals: V13 into BAE 1073 (HPF only) into Universal Audio 1176 Rev D and Universal Audio LA2A.
all tracks are copyright 2016 Courtney Fortune & Dylan Chambers. May not be sampled, distributed, or otherwise used without the express written permission of the artists.
Rob Tavaglione of Pro Audio Review tracked Grey Revell’s “Tear Gas Ghost Story” for his review of the V13:
“Here’s the V13 mic used on every single track of this song by Grey Revell. The V13 was used on acoustic guitar, shaker, floor tom, cajon and vocals. The verse vocals are in cardioid, up close 4″ out, no HPF. The pre-chorus vocals are in omni, almost two feet back, no HPF. The chorus vocals are in omni, up super close, with a the HPF … notice the different textures! All vocals used the Avalon VT737 tube mic channel, with a little compression, but no EQ. Yes, there’s lots of mix processing on all tracks …”
Sam Knaak, one of our Vanguard friends, recorded these videos of artist Laura Scott: