Stereo Multi-Capsule Pencil Condenser Kit


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The Vanguard V1S 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 shockmount, the V1S will be your new “go-to” set of pencil condensers, whether you’re in the studio or the field.


Two Vanguard V1 Microphonespacked 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’s 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 shockmount in the ‘verse. Heavy-duty cast zinc partners with high-impact ABS to create a shockmount 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 the your mic placement.

Stereo Microphone Bar – Easily set up X/Y, ORTF, or other stereo mic’ing configurations.

Pinewood Storage Casebecause your microphones should stay safe in luxury. We’ve carved individual capsule pockets into a block of solid pine, and custom-cut foam for your mics to stay cozy and secure…whether they’re on the road or in your studio.

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.

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 treat 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.

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).

ery 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 the 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.

We’ve already mentioned the eight capsules, but let’s list them again here:

  • 22mm Cardioid – matched pair
  • 22mm Hypercardioid – matched pair
  • 22mm Omnidirectional – matched pair
  • 22mm Wide Cardioid – matched pair

When you buy a V1S kit, you also get a pair of VSSM Heavy-Duty Shockmounts. We wanted to improve on the standard “tube” design that was popularized by our chief designer in the late 2000s.

First, we created a windowed design for the shockmount. This allows you to access switches on your microphone without affecting your carefully-placed positioning.

Second, we source aerospace-grade suspension bands that won’t break, sag, crack, or stretch over time. The bands can be positioned either vertically/horizontally or diagonally, to tightly hold microphones of varying diameter. The V1 microphone has slight insets machined into the body, so the suspension bands “lock in” easily to the microphone for a more secure hold.

The main body and knob are precision-cast from a high-grade zinc alloy and finished with a durable powdercoat. The pivot is injection-molded from high-impact ABS to keep your mic placement locked in place. The pivot is also inset with both 5/8″-24 and 3/8″-16 threads to be compatible with any microphone stand.

This shockmount was designed to fit any microphone with a diameter below 30mm, so it can be used with several brands of microphone, including almost any pencil microphone – and even ribbon microphones.

Also included: a 300mm (11.8″) stereo microphone bar for easily setting up ORTF and XY configurations.

When not in use, your V1S should be stored in its padded pinewood storage case.

We offer a four different V1 systems to suit your needs. Check the links below for mono kits, as well packages that include the V34C Removable Multi-Pattern Large-Diaphragm Capsule Head(but we just call her “LOLLI”).

  • V1 – A mono version of the V1S kit.
  • V1+LOLLI – Add a large-diaphragm option to your V1 kit.
  • V1S+LOLLI – The holy grail of microphone versatility in a matched stereo pair.


  • Eight small-diaphragm 22mm capsules – cardioid, hypercardioid, omnidirectional, wide cardioid (pairs)
  • Transformer-balanced solid-state circuit with premium-grade over-spec circutiry
  • 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
  • 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 shockmount (pair)
  • Padded pinewood microphone storage box
  • Stereo microphone bar


Transducer Type: Condenser

Capsule Size (Small-Diaphragm): 0.87″/22mm

Diaphragm Size (Small-Diaphragm): 0.78″ / 16mm

Capsule Diaphragm Thickness (Small-Diaphragm): 4µm

Electronics Type: Solid-state, transformer-balanced output

Output Impedance: 200Ω

Max SPL: >=136dB (0.5% THD @ 1000Hz)

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz

Equivalent Noise Level: <15dbA

S/N Ratio: TBA

Sensitivity: TBA

Output Connector: Male XLR 3-pin, gold-plated

High-Pass/Rolloff Switch: N/A

Attenuation/Pad Switch: N/A

Finish: Polished nickel trim / High-gloss Pinot Noir

Weight (microphone): TBA

Weight (in case): TBA

Dimensions (microphone): TBA

Dimensions (case): TBA

Voltage Requirement: Phantom Power (+48V ideal)

  • 22mm removable capsule – Cardioid (pair)
  • 22mm removable capsule – Hypercardioid (pair)
  • 22mm removable capsule – Omnidirectional (pair)
  • 22mm removable capsule – Wide Cardioid (pair)
  • VSSM small shockmount (pair)
  • Padded pinewood microphone storage box
  • Stereo microphone bar



“It’s making my job a lot easier because it sounds so great!”

“Nice smoothness that gave the guitar warmth and punch…a great balance of width and smoothness…a solid and well-thought-out kit with a classy look and great fit & finish. The large diaphragm V34C Lolli is both visually and sonically beautiful, and I am very pleased that the small diaphragm capsules offer their own sound – a delicate smoothness balanced with a clean capture that doesn’t just try to copy other SDC mics. Even more impressive is their very approachable price.”

Paul Vnuk Jr., Recording Magazine

“Instead of meeting the standard challengers head on, the V1+Lolli adds the enormously useful functionality of a genuine, high quality LDC attachment which turns the already great V1 pencil from being a useful and attractive curio into being a seriously useful contender for any instrumentalist/producers or singer songwriters who also happen to be self recordists.

Again, with such a well thought out price tag, this mic opens up a whole world of flexibility, especially with the incredibly useful and well designed VSSM shockmount, which similar to the VLSM offering of the V13 accomodates all manner of other pencil mics. A great many home studio pro’s may start turning to this high value kit to cover the greatest amount of ground in the most economical way.”

“As with all the mics in the Vanguard range the build quality, look and feel of the V1 is just perfection and the mic has a nice weight to it. It feels like the quality product that it is when you are setting it up. Every little detail has been thought about…Conclusion:
The Vanguard V1 is a fantastic microphone.”

“The audio mix fell together very easily. Most of the sound of this recording is indeed made up of the stereo pair of condensers [Vanguard V1S] behind the conductor and the stereo room mic [Vanguard V44S].”

“These guys are still my go to mic for demoing as well as overdubbing vocals and acoustic instruments on various projects. I also recently used them for drum overheads on a rock and roll studio session where I liked them every bit as much as my usual Neumann and Schoeps choices.”

Michael Olivier, Vanguard Audio Labs customer

“Got to use my Vanguard V1S kit at Disney Concert Hall. No EQ! Super smooth…I was surprised that my Sony 7506 headphones didn’t sound super-midrangy like they usually do with [inexpensive SDCs].

Well done on the circuitry and capsule tuning! Everything is sounding GREAT.”

“Normally [for SDCs] we use more expensive microphones of a small German family company, but we did not notice any quality loss with the V1. Compared to our [usual SDCs], V1 has a slightly flatter and less boomy sound…listening is very pleasant. Later, I was once again convinced that the Vanguard guys knew what they were doing. I recorded solo violin and used V1 as the main microphone. I did not use either an equalizer or a compressor…The sound of the violin was pleasing to me right away.

Being a microphone of this quality and with so many accessories, [the V1] is a real win. I am convinced that Vanguard microphones will serve you in any demanding recording and will be honored alongside more expensive models.” [translated from Czech]

Petr Los Diplum, AudioZone.cz

“In a shootout on acoustic guitar, the V1s were the most balanced and I found myself reaching for EQ the least….I had a single V1 with an omni capsule about 16 feet back from the piano, and it added a ton of space and weight to the piano that wasn’t there in the close mics alone.”

“Highly recommended and exceptionally versatile. A great set with a very nice color palette.” [translated from German]

Fritz Frey, Studio Magazin

“Once again, Vanguard is delivering features and options that you can get at a price you can’t find anywhere else.”

Christopher Smith, AudioCzar

“Just did a quick comparison of the V1+LOLLI with my old [AKG] 414EB that I love. Sounds almost identical! Just a hair more top end on the V1…which is great!”



For details about each track, follow the “View Track” link in the SoundCloud player for available notes about preamp, placement, etc. as well as a link to a high-quality WAV file hosted via Dropbox.