V4 gen2 MULTI PATTERN FET CONDENSER
We’re excited to introduce the VANGUARD AUDIO LABS V4 gen2 microphone!
The newest generation of our Vanguard V4 is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern FET condenser microphone exquisitely re-imagined by our team over the last 12 months. It is designed to be a versatile, reliable, professional recording tool that destroys the usual “bang-for-your-buck” curve. With our acclaimed edge-terminated ultra-thin custom-voiced capsule, primo cryogenically-treated componentry, Neutrik® interconnects, and the best shockmount in all the land, the V4 is made to be your go-to workhorse microphone at a price that won’t break your piggy bank.
gen 2 is Here
We’re excited to introduce the VANGUARD AUDIO LABS V4 gen2!
The impact of 2020, the year of uncertainty, was felt in a number of ways by Vanguard Audio Labs, including its effect on our supply-chain partners. Some of our key suppliers became unreliable or shut down altogether. This forced us to seek out new sources and partners. Our new key supply chain partner has another client besides us, it’s some fruit company from Cupertino…
We took this opportunity to upgrade not only our supply chain, but the current mic line-up as well. From day one at Vanguard Audio Labs, we have always been seeking ways to improve our products and we always will…that is part of our mission. As a result, we have upgraded key components to audiophile-grade parts, including US-made low-noise resistors. These upgrades have netted us a lower signal-to-noise ratio (even though we already had a superb reputation for low noise mics), and vastly improved sound staging. We undertook a ground-up redesign of every mechanical component to improve the fit and finish of the final product, so not only are they world-class performers, but they look damn good while they’re doing it!
The design team here at Vanguard Audio Labs has worked very long and hard this last year to implement these exciting improvements and we are proud to release these new creations!
The V4 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 V4 was designed to be robust and reliable. Wherever possible, components were over-spec’d. The deep-cycle cryogenic treatment improves the lifespan and performance of critical electronic components. Stainless steel, brass, aluminum, and zinc are part of the heavy-duty construction. Every Vanguard microphone is backed by our FIVE-YEAR WARRANTY.
We run every one of our microphones through a series of tests to ensure that they meet our standards, and we strongly feel that any pair of V4s will match each other close enough for any critical recording applications.
We designed the V4 with certain characteristics of classic FET 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.
We heard from a number of Vanguard V44S users that they loved the clean and full character of the V44S so much as an alternative to their V13 and V1 microphones, they wanted a small “mono” version of the V44S for travel purposes. The signal and power paths of the V4 are identical to a single channel of the V44S, but because we had space for an extra switch, we couldn’t resist adding a simple -10/-20dB pad option.
After hundreds of hours of listening with world-renowned engineers in environments ranging from fully-equipped major studios to bootstrapped home setups, we can confidently say that this microphone will vastly exceed the performance of other microphones in its price range, and rival the performance of microphones costing several times more.
The VANGUARD V4 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 here in Southern California. We feel that the sensitive nature of microphones requires a high-standards, no-holds-barred test battery to ensure that we’d be proud to use EVERY microphone that leaves our shop on our own records.
We started with an extra-large 34mm edge-terminated, gold-sputtered Mylar dual-capsule assembly and custom-voiced it with a proprietary hand-tuning process. The capsule is mounted in an open-weave headbasket for a natural sound with low internal reflections.
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, including Germany, Japan, and the USA. We deep-cycle cryogenically treat critical components in the signal & power paths, including an ultra-high-grade FET that is many times more expensive than the standard transistor you’ll find in most sub-$600 microphones. As one of the most critical components in the signal path, we tested several premium-grade transistors before choosing this particular model, an American-made audiophile-grade transistor yielding results that are significant & audible improvements in audio quality, headroom, distortion, sound-stage and noise floor vs. standard-grade JFET transistors. The gen2 features US-made audiophile-grade resistors that yield a superbly low noise floor. Neutrik® interconnects complete the signal path for the best possible sonic preservation.
Aesthetically, the precision-machined stainless steel 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 V4’s serial number is laser-engraved on the lower rear of the microphone.
The V4 was designed by a team of experts with more than a century of experience and vetted by award-winning engineers and producers.
Capsule & Electronics
When you buy a V4, 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.
When not in use, your V4 should be stored in its padded pinewood box with the included dessicant packet.
“The V4 shines with a very transparent image, a tastefully controlled warmth and smooth, open highs. An altogether very round, pleasing sound image, which already includes a portion of ‘signal beautification’ and thus a great presence, with clear and well-distributed, pleasantly fresh mids…an independent, recognizable sound that takes a healthy middle ground between character and neutrality.” [translated from German]
“Just picked up my V4 and I’m really digging it after only a few short hours…I’m really excited to have found you guys. I have at my disposal some of the most legendary mics around, and it’s really nice to find a company that’s making really cool stuff.”
“I would like to know where Vanguard was when I was starting out in this business? Like other people I’ve tried many different mics (not mentioning the manufacturers out of respect). If I could have just found this mic first, I would have just recorded happily for a very long time. It doesn’t have any of the funky, sloppy treble resonances that a lot of microphones at this price point have.
“The microphone is very well built. The shockmount is awesome…a huge sound in a small compact format.”
“Everything I recorded with it has came out to where I don’t need to EQ it…you want your microphone to just naturally sound good, and you get that with the V4….I’m very impressed. It has a sound that I would describe as clean, open, forward, and full. It gives me everything I expect out of a transformerless microphone with it’s clarity and low noise…I don’t see many microphones with this feature set at this price range. The V4 is in a class of it’s own with this price and feature set.”
“This mic takes so little EQ and doesn’t honk at you in the upper mids the way a lot of mics do…I’ve never liked my acoustic guitar more…”
“[The V4] has a smooth, balanced sound that does not lose tiny details in the mix….full, but sparkling and smooth. I have to say that with a beautiful design and a very pleasant and balanced sound, including a perfect shockmount and a favorable price, the V4 microphone is a very intriguing option…being a microphone of this quality and accessories is a real win. I am convinced that [the Vanguard V4] will serve you in any demanding shooting and will be honored alongside more expensive models.”
“Once I plugged in my V4, my vocal came alive…Incredible smooth sound, clear and warm tone.”
“Within a few short minutes of powering the V4 up, I know this is a very special mic. Very proud to add it to the family!”
“…a focused, tight low end that keeps things sounding solid and crisp rather than glassy or hard…one thing that struck me immediately here is just how good the V4 sounds at different working distances…it could easily become a bit of a ‘go-to’ in the mic locker.”
“Vanguard is on a roll….impeccable fit and finish, great sound, and highly affordable.”
“I’m shocked at how well this microphone performs, and when I consider its price tag I am absolutely blown away.”
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 V4 and V44S have identical capsules and signal paths. Feel free to use the tracks for the V44S Stereo FET Condenser as a reference for the V4 as well.