The Vanguard Audio Labs V13 is a tube condenser studio microphone “precision-built and designed to a no-compromise standard.” The multi-pattern V13 features an edge-terminated, custom-voiced 34-mm gold-sputtered 3-micron thick, dual-diaphragm capsule.
There are switches on the back for -10dB attenuation and a low-frequency roll-off. I liked the VLSM shock mount; it uses aerospace-grade rubber suspension O-rings.
The matching external power supply’s front panel has an XLR output jack, a multi-pin XLR jack for the mic’s cable and a nine-position polar pattern switch for remotely selecting omnidirectional, cardioid and figure-of-eight pickup patterns.
I tried the V13 on acoustic guitar where I placed the mic (in cardioid) at the 12th fret but aimed back at the bridge past the sound hole. I got a full, well-balanced sound that worked well without EQ or compression. But the sound was even better when I switched the V13 to omnidirectional and pulled it out about three feet away from the guitar.
The Vanguard Audio Labs mic comes in a wooden box with power supply, shock mount and cables all in an attaché style case for easy traveling. Each V13 undergoes final assembly and 100% testing and quality control in California and comes with a five-year warranty. It sells for $699 MSRP.
BARRY RUDOLPH is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com