Here at Vanguard Audio Labs, our mission is simple – make great tools to help you make great music.
To do that, we’re combining veteran design acumen with the latest manufacturing & engineering tech to bring you outstanding recording tools that will outperform rivals several times their cost – at a price that won’t break your bank account.
All of our gear is designed through the lens of a simple philosophy – if we wouldn’t be proud to use it in our studio, it’s not done yet. Each is carefully refined to an uncompromising standard of best-in-class excellence.
Our design team has over 65 years of combined experience. They have been responsible for some of the most successful microphone and speaker designs found in studios worldwide, used on countless records by artists like Taylor Swift, Robert Plant, Herbie Hancock, and many more. Each step in our development process is tempered by veteran design acumen and exhaustive research & testing. The result: top-shelf microphones that punch way above their price tag.
Let us help you get the sound you’ve been looking for.
We develop each design in head-to-head with revered vintage microphones worth tens of thousands of dollars each, in real-world recording sessions. Our R&D process is exhaustive, including hundreds of hours of listening by our team and the finely-tuned ears of Grammy-winning industry veterans. The results? A polished, record-quality sound right to tape, without having to battle your gear to get to it.
We’re of the mind that it’s time to bring high-end recording quality to the masses and redefine the price-to-performance curve. With modern manufacturing technology, there’s no reason why you should have to take out a 2nd mortgage to afford professional results.
We want you to focus on what you do best – creation, not credit cards.
While it would be fun to lay claim to be the U47est U47 that ever U47ed, we frankly find aping old designs a little boring. Instead, we seek to build better mousetraps, solve age-old recording problems, and find fresh, innovative ideas that give you a higher-value studio tool. It’s why we custom-voice our capsules, cryo-treat our components, rethink shockmounts from the ground up, and much more.
From hand-tuned capsule through custom-wound transformer, every mic is designed to give you high-end sound at an affordable price. Instead of braggadocio about a single name-brand capacitor, we scour the globe & exhaust every avenue to find the components that best complement our circuit, whether $9 or 9 cents. Each design is a labor of love, carefully sculpted over several years. From napkin-drawn schematic to CAD to final assembly, our design process starts and ends in California.
Polished nickel trim. Exquisite “Pinot Noir” deep gloss finish. A precision-cast Vanguard badge. Heavy-duty construction from brass, aluminum, steel, and zinc alloys. Solid carved pinewood storage boxes.
There’s enough dull nickel and matte black in this world – we think that your mics should look as good as they sound.
You can rest easy knowing that every single microphone undergoes final assembly and a series of rigorous inspections and tests here in sunny Southern California. Additionally, all of our products are backed by a 5-YEAR WARRANTY.
No worries – we’ve got you covered.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
I’ve got my fair share of classic German mics and I’ve tried a quite a few of the ‘clones’. All I can say is this mic blows away other tube LDC’s that cost thousands more. Talk about bang for your buck! I used it on three very different singers just in the past week and it sounded fantastic on each one. Loads of vibe. Sweet highs, crispy focused mids, lots of detail. Also excelled on acoustic guitar and drum overhead. This one’s a keeper!!
Engineer (Michael Jackson, P!nk, Fiona Apple, Stevie Wonder...)
I chose the V13 as I was looking for microphone that wasn’t just another clone. It’s brought character, clarity, and quality to my recordings for a price that’s hard to beat.
Engineer (Mick Jagger, Katy Perry, Ringo Starr, Celine Dion, No Doubt...)
“Absolutely the best mic for the money. You could spend over 10 times this much on a mic that doesn’t sound this good.”
Engineer (Toto, Mariah Carey, The Pointer Sisters, Aaron Neville, David Grusin, Natalie Cole, Boz Scaggs...)
“I have been using the V13 every day since we got it months ago. We have mics that cost 20 times as much, and this is the one mic that has remained on the stand.”
Producer, Songwriter (Bruno Mars, Celine Dion, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Elton John, Rihanna...)
I've been using [the V44S] on every song...it's got a crispiness to it without any of the harsh stuff. I've been using it different ways...really high above the kit and super close...It sounds great anywhere.
Drummer, Producer, Engineer (John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Sara Bareilles...)
I'm a very hard sell on new tube microphones - especially on those that fall under the 4k price range. They might sound deceivingly decent during tracking, but once you process the signal for a mix and compression and EQ are applied, the lack of warmth, naturalness, and musicality becomes super apparent and you're left with impossible problems to fix.
With Vanguard's flagship V13 tube microphone, I was pleasantly surprised! After weeks of working with and putting it up against microphones 20x it's price, I was impressed by not only it's quality but it's incredible versatility as well. I honestly could not find a source that it did not work effectively on.
I don't know what kind of voodoo goes on in the creation of these mics, but I can assure you - the V13 is a major contender at any price point. Even if you have $6-8k budgeted for your next mic purchase, give this mic a listen - you might just end up buying 10 of them.
Mastering Engineer, Producer (Cam, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Earth, Wind & Fire, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond...)
“The V13 filled a void in my mic locker, a 251-style microphone I could use on vocals and acoustic guitars. It has the body I’m looking for when mic’ng the acoustic guitar with a large diaphragm mic and the sheen that makes vocals sound bright and modern, but still smooth and never harsh. A clear winner, Vanguard has created some magic here!”
Audio Engineer (Prince, Usher, Outkast, Frank Ocean, Jay-Z...)
“Been using the V13 on anything and everything I can put it in front of: Pianos, Guitars, both electric and acoustic, Drums, basses, strings, you name it. All I can say about the V13 is creamy highs, smooth mids and tight lows. Can’t go wrong with this mic!!”
Audio Engineer (Herbie Hancock, Briano Eno, will.i.am, Bill Withers...)
After using the Vanguard V13 on John Turri’s lead vocal, I was blown away by how good this mic is. And I don’t say this lightly…I am absolutely in love with this mic! It’s transparent, sweet, it can handle high SPL, extremely low self noise. At this price, I cannot find a single contender to the V13. A great product made by passionate and dedicated people!
Engineer & Producer
(American Sniper, June21, Gabriela Rocha, Chris Duran...)
In show music, the trumpets are generally the lead instruments, so they need to have a certain sparkle. these players are blowing their brains out and the mics need to handle all that SPL without folding…and not hurt me. I used the V4s on saxes as well, in fact all the brass and woodwinds were on V4s. I think they sound terrific. They’re open and have great presence...after the first take, I knew these were the deal.
Engineer (Manhattan Transfer, Sting, Usher, Janet Jackson...)
I love my V1+LOLLI pair! I needed a pair of utility large-diaphragm condensers and when I tried these out I found that they’re not your typical ‘utility mics’ that sound good on most sound sources, but they sounded great on everything I mic’d, which included male and female vocals, piano, drums, percussion, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, violin, even as room mics. Lots of detail with nice smooth mid range and top, not harsh and good lows and lower mids without getting muddy or boomy. Added bonus is they’re also a really great pair of SDC’s, two mics in one!
Engineer & Producer (Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow, Bob Seager, ABC's "Nashville...)
“The V13 has become a go-to in situations where other (much more expensive) mics in the locker have struggled. From vocals and voiceovers to strings it’s captured everything I’ve put it on with amazing presence and depth. And it hardly needs more than some slight EQ to make the source fall back into the mix.”
Engineer & Sound Designer (Walt Disney Entertainment, ABC, ESPN, Fox, Cartoon Network, ABC...)
I have had the V13 microphone on my hands for several months. This is a revolutionary breakthrough in microphone technology and manufacturing. I do believe it will surpass any new mic on the market and also test well up against so many vintage mics from the 50s & 60s. The V13 has many desirable characteristics that remind me of some of the great classics...I own many of these great Neumanns, Gefells, Telefunkens, AKGs, RFTs and other very rare tube mics that go back to the mid 1930s. This has given me the opportunity to A-B the Vanguard V13 to some of my very favorite microphones in many applications...I can say confidently that this is an amazing microphone in any way you would choose to measure it - tonal excellence, build quality and a very conservative price point. I do believe it is a standout undeniable winner for top engineers, producers and artists who need to experience this magnitude of excellence.
5-Time Grammy-Winning Producer & Engineer (Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, John Mellencamp, Lucinda Williams, Joan Baez, DR-549, Billy Joe Shaver, Nancy Griffith...)
In all of my years as a performer, producer and engineer, I have to say that the V13 is one of the most exquisite microphones I have ever used. Beautifully transparent yet both bright AND warm, especially in the upper midrange. On vocals, acoustic guitars, piano and drums, it does not disappoint. It captures every detail. This is not a gimmicky, ‘vintage’ sounding tube mic. It’s a mic for professionals. If you’re a fan of Neumann, Shoeps, Geffell and other microphones of that caliber, then put one (or two!) of these in your mic closet. And insanely, for a fraction of the price… Spencer Gibb
Recording Artist, Engineer
The V13 sounded great on female and male vocals, and I especially love the way it captures acoustic guitars. It has a nicely rounded sound with a smooth sheen to the top that gives it a wonderful and unique character. I used it a ton on acoustic and nylon string tracks for The Detour (TBS) and He's My Brother She's My Sister tracks. I also love the variety of polar pattern settings which really allows the roominess to open and close to your liking.
Composer (The Detour), Recording Artist
“This tube condenser microphone sonically represents everything a great mic should. All of the low and mid fundamentals are there with a beautiful and smooth open top end. The fit and finish is totally on point and shows great attention to detail.”
Session and Touring Guitarist (Carrie Underwood, Crystal Lewis, Thousand Foot Krutch...)
“Feeling extremely grateful to now own these incredible instruments – a pair of V13 Tube Condenser mics and the V44S Stereo FET Condenser microphone…They sound absolutely impeccable, so much clarity and detail!"
Touring & Session Drummer (Rod Stewart, Duran Duran, Steely Dan, Carole King...)
“The V13 is a welcome addition to our studio. My ‘go to’ valve mics are my 251 and 47. The V13 is hitting a sweet spot in tracking and mixing on female and male vocals, acoustic guitars and piano. The top end is stunning. I bought a pair for piano, drum overheads and vocals. They’re working on everything. The production value that this mic gives me on pop and hip hop vocals makes vocal mixes sound finished. The V13’s polar patterns give me flexibility sonically and there are really no ‘wrong answers’ with this mic. Highly recommended.”
Studio Owner - 8 Days A Week Studio
Northumberland, PA, USA
“The V13 has become by go-to when I want something to sound life-sized and crystal clear. I reach for it when my ribbons are too low-mid heavy and when my small condensers are a bit too abrasive on the top end transients. The natural top end of the V13 tames transients in a musical way and gives me an accurate image of the midrange and bottom end! Not to mention clients always ask me about it when I pull it out of the mic locker!"
Studio Owner - The Music Box
Fullerton, CA, USA
“I haven’t been this excited for a mic in a LONG time.”
“I've tried a lot of mics in under $1000 and this is #1 for sure!”
"Reminds me of the qualities that vintage mics get, but with a modern feel.”
“Super smooth especially on leads."
“The V13 is a keeper! It is well worth double!"
“Holy [bleep]. This mic is amazing.”
"It takes EQ and compression REALLY well...not that it really needs it. Sounds amazing right to tape."
And here's what some of you have told us about the V13....
“And it looks beautiful, too...”
“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…My main disappointment was that I only had one V13 to check out. But at this price, that’s an issue with a simple solution. I like that.” -George Petersen, Recording 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
“[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, this 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.com
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