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The Vanguard V44S is a stereo large-diaphragm multi-pattern FET condenser microphone. Lovingly crafted by experts over 2 years, it is designed to be a versatile, reliable, professional tool in the vein of highly-sought-after vintage stereo condensers of yesteryear.
With a pair of coincident twin custom-voiced multi-pattern capsules, you can utilitize X/Y, Mid-Side, Blumlein, and other less conventional stereo microphone techniques in a single microphone. With an all-new detented heavy-duty rotation mechanism, premium cryogenically-treated FET circuitry, and a VLSM shockmount, the V44S is the first and last stereo microphone you’ll ever need to reach for.
We designed the V44S with the character of classic stereo microphones in mind, while also utilizing modern technology & design to meet the demands of today’s recording professionals. Our ultra-thin 3µm edge-terminated capsule diaphragms are extraordinarily sensitive, ensuring that every nuance and detail of the performance is faithfully captured.
Both custom-voiced capsules are independently switchable between cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8 pickup patterns, enabling X/Y, Mid-Side, and Blumlein stereo mic’ing within one microphone, as well as less conventional stereo techniques.
One of the biggest frustrations we’ve heard from users of stereo microphones is the flaws of current and past headbasket rotation assemblies. Too often, the current designs are fragile and prone to noisy operation, breakage, and signal loss. We designed a heavy-duty, punched-steel rotation mechanism which detents every 15 degrees for reliable, durable operation.
The included splitter box contains an additional phase-reversed top capsule output, which is perfect for less-than-ideal recording conditions such as concert taping. This allows mid-side recording with no additional mixer patching.
After hundreds of hours of listening and testing exhaustive design variations with world-class engineers, we can confidently say that this microphone will vastly exceed the performance of other stereo microphones in its price range, and rival the performance of stereo microphones costing several times more.
The VANGUARD V44S 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 started with twin extra-large 34mm edge-terminated, gold-sputtered 3µm Mylar dual-capsule assemblies and custom-voiced them with a proprietary hand-tuning process, placing each capsule in an open-weave headbasket for a natural sound with low internal reflections. The top headbasket rotates up to 90 degrees, with detents every 15 degrees for repeatability of settings.
We then designed a transformerless solid-state 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 & power paths, including an ultra-high-grade FET.
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. Your V44S’s serial number is laser-engraved on the lower rear of the microphone.
The V44S was designed by a team of experts with more than 65 years of experience and vetted by award-winning engineers and producers.
The V44S was designed in the USA, and undergoes final assembly in sunny Southern California. We perform 100% quality control – every single piece of your microphone kit undergoes a series of stringent audio and visual tests here in Southern California before being hand-packed.
Every part of the V44S 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 V44S, 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 V44S also comes with the our utility splitter box, which allows you to break out the 5-pin microphone cable into conventional 3-pin XLR. The splitter box contains a transformer-isolated phase-inverted top capsule output in addition to the standard top-capsule output, allowing for mid-side operation in less-than-ideal recording conditions with no patching at the mixer. An additional two standard XLR inputs allow you to use other microphones, such as the Vanguard V13, in the same conditions.
Finally, we included a windscreen for outdoor recording situations.
When not in use, your V44S should be stored in its padded pinewood box.
The aluminum combo-lock carrying case keeps your V44S microphone, pinewood box, cable, windscreen, and splitter box in one place.
- Twin custom-voiced, edge-terminated 34mm dual-capsule assembly with 3µm gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragms
- 3 independently selectable polar patterns per capsule
- Electronically-balanced solid-state circuitry loaded with premium-grade components
- Ultra-low-noise JFET design
- Deep-cycle cryogenic treatment of critical signal & power path components
- 90º rotatable top capsule with 15º detents
- Versatile splitter box for mobile & live recording conditions
- Heavy-duty brass, aluminum, steel, and zinc construction
- Robust punched-steel capsule rotation mechanism
- Open-weave headbasket for low internal reflections and “open-air” voicing
- Each V44S 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
- Exquisite deep-gloss Pinot Noir finish
- Polished nickel trim
- Precision-cast Vanguard badge
- Laser-etched model and serial numbers
Transducer Type: Condenser
Capsule Size: 1.34″ / 34mm (dual-capsule)
Diaphragm Size: 1.04″ / 26.4mm
Capsule Diaphragms Thickness: 3µm
Electronics Type: Solid-state, electronically-balanced output
Output Impedance: 200Ω
Max SPL: appx. 135dB
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20000Hz
Equivalent Noise Level: <=14dBA (A-weighted)
S/N Ratio: >=80dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
Output Connector: Male XLR 5-pin, gold-plated
High-Pass/Rolloff Switch: N/A
Attenuation/Pad Switch: N/A
Finish: Polished nickel trim / High-gloss Pinot Noir
Weight (microphone): 1.11 lbs / 0.50kg
Weight (in case): 9.43 lbs / 4.28kg
Dimensions (microphone): 9.41″ long, 1.82″ max diameter / 239mm long, 46.25mm max diameter
Dimensions (case): 16.92″L x 12.60″W x 6.02″H / 430mmL x 320mmW x 153mm
Voltage Requirement: Phantom Power (+48V ideal)
- VLSM Large Shockmount
- V44S Splitter Box
- 5-Pin Heavy-Duty Microphone Cable
- Removable windscreen
- Padded Pinewood Microphone Storage Box
- Locking Aluminum Carrying Case
- Rugged punched-steel construction
- All-metal input & output Jacks
- Additional negative-phase top output for Mid-Side recording
- Additional inputs for use with other microphones
“The V44S is stunning. They’ve really though about this, just like the V13 before it. Incredible value for what is a beautifully crafted, really though-about stereo microphone. What is there not to love? A beautiful piece of engineering, and one that I do not want to send back (but I shall be getting another one…that’s how much I like this thing.)”
“[The V44S] has been the GREATEST value purchase in YEARS for my collection. It’s amazing. I sold one of my Neumanns after I got this and haven’t looked back!”
“The V44S is a whole locker full of recording solutions in one mic.”
“This stereo microphone is characterized by a very neutral image, clean open mids, defined, firm depths and a very physical, catchy sound. If anything, there is only a minimal tendency to warmth and a strong presence (in the sense of signal presence)…The acoustic guitar and the violin were very vividly and naturally reproduced, so that you can imagine the V44S as a natural-sounding main microphone very well… The V44S is a very honest…A real catch!”
“I borrowed [the V44S] from MAINZ Auckland about a week ago. It super easy to a good sound when recording a choir. I just needed to place it right in the middle of the stage. You get an accurate and detailed stereo image which is easy to locate sounds. You can nicely hear basses of the left and sopranos on right. Was also interesting trying the X – Y (cardioid) and Blumlein (Figure-8) configurations. Blumlein picked up more of the lovely diffusion and reverberation of the room. But I ended up using X – Y, it has superior coverage of the stage, a stronger centre image and slightly clean high frequency response.”
“The V44S stood apart and above everything else we put up.”
“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].”
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-resolution WAV file.
NOTE: The V44S and V4 have identical capsules and signal paths. Feel free to use the tracks for the V4 FET Condenser as a reference for the V44S as well.
All files are in 48k/24-bit resolution, recorded by our friend Peter Chun. Each file lists the preamp that was used, and is completely raw (no compression, EQ, etc.)
James Ivey, Production Expert – “Recording the National Children’s Choir of Great Britain – the Story of a Live Recording Project” (Video and Audio at the bottom of the article)