Vanguard Audio V4

Vanguard Audio Vanguard Audio

VAV4

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Vanguard Audio V4 Expand

The Vanguard V4 is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern FET condenser microphone. Lovingly crafted by experts over 2 years, it is designed to be a versatile, reliable, professional recording tool that breaks the usual “bang-for-your-buck” curve. With our  acclaimed edge-terminated ultra-thin custom-voiced capsule, a pad/rolloff option, primo cryogenically-treated componentry, and the best shockmount in al the land, the V4 is made to be your go-to workhorse microphone at a price that won’t break your piggy bank.

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Availability : In stock

$ 559.62

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Overview
Performance
We designed 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 is identical to a single channel of the V44S, but because we had space for an extra PCB and switch, we couldn’t resist adding a simple pad/rolloff combo switch to the rear, as well as spacing the power conversion circuit as far as possible from the signal path.

After hundreds of hours of listening with world-class 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.

Design
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 taking place 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 3µm Mylar dual-capsule assembly and custom-voice 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-$500 microphones. As one of the most critical components in the signal path, we tested several premium-grade transistors before choosing this particular model, and the results are significant & audible improvements in audio quality, headroom, distortion, and noise floor vs. standard-grade JFET transistors.

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 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 65 years of experience and vetted by award-winning engineers and producers.

Quality
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. Brass, steel, 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. However, we also understand the level of detail and fastidiousness that we audio engineers hold ourselves to. At your request to your dealer, we can provide matched pairs of the V4 +/- 1.5dB at no additional cost.

Accessories
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.

Features
Capsule & Electronics
• Custom-voiced, edge-terminated 34mm dual-capsule assembly with 3µm gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragms
• 3 selectable polar patterns – Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional
• -10dB/100Hz Rolloff
• 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

Construction
• Heavy-duty brass, aluminum, steel, and zinc construction
• Open-weave headbasket for low internal reflections and “open-air” voicing
• Each V4 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

Aesthetics
• Exquisite deep-gloss Pinot Noir finish
• Polished nickel trim
• Precision-cast Vanguard badge
• Laser-etched model and serial numbers

Specifications
• 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 (145dB w/ Pad)
• Frequency Response: 20Hz-20000Hz
• Equivalent Noise Level: <=14dBA (A-weighted)
• Sensitivity: TBA
• Output Connector: Male XLR 3-pin, gold-plated
• High-Pass/Rolloff Switch: 120Hz (either/or with pad)
• Attenuation/Pad Switch: -10dB (either/or with rolloff)
• Finish: Polished nickel trim / High-gloss Pinot Noir
• Weight (microphone): 0.83 lbs / 0.38 kg
• Weight (in case): 5.63 lbs / 2.56 kg
• Dimensions (microphone): 7.25″ long, 1.8″ diameter / 184mm long, 46mm diameter
• Dimensions (case): 12″L x 11″W x 5.75″H / 305mmL x 280mmW x 146mmH
• Voltage Requirement: Phantom Power (+48V ideal)

Included accessories
• VLSM Large Shockmount
• Padded Pinewood Microphone Storage Box
• Aluminum Carrying Case

Condition New
Type Monitoring Speaker
Application Tracking, Mixing & Mastering
Quantity 1
Direct I/O Yes
Digital I/O Yes
Active / Passive Active

Write a review

How close can I place the Kii THREE against the wall?
The Kii THREE can be placed roughly 8-10cm (4 Inches) close to the back wall.The cardioid directivity (if activated) is fully maintained even with this very close proximity to the back wall.

This makes placement very easy and even allows the Kii THREE to be placed on a sideboard in a living room, if there´s no room for a free setup on speaker stands.

On the control panel of the Kii THREE you even find a small dial, where you can choose the appropriate setting for your preferred placement in your room. This setting adjusts the very low frequency range (<40Hz) and makes sure you always have a perfect frequency balance, no matter if your speakers are free standing, close to the back wall or even placed into a corner of the room. 

What is the difference between the HiFi and the PRO Version?
The PRO version comes in a dark grey spatter paint finish that is very rugged, HiFi version in high gloss white or graphite satin metallic. Technically there is no difference.

Which audio formats are supported by the Kii THREE?
The Kii THREE supports analog balanced input and digital formats up to 24bit/192kHz on its AES inputs. The Kii CONTROL offers three additional digital inputs for the Kii THREE: Coax SPDIF, Optical TOSLINK and USB (up to PCM 24/384kHz and DSD64/DSD128 on USB).

What kind of outputs can I connect to the Kii THREE?
ANALOG - The Kii THREE has a balanced analog input on XLR:
a) If your source or preamp has a symmetrical analog output (XLR plug), this is the preferred connection method with a high quality XLR-to-XLR cable.
b) If your source or preamp has a single ended output (RCA/Cinch plug), it can be connected with a simple adapter cable RCA-to-XLR.
DIGITAL - The Kii THREE has a balanced digital input on XLR (AES format):
a) If your source or preamp has a digital AES output, this is the preferred connection method via a digital AES cable (XLR-to-XLR, 110Ohm)
b) If your source or preamp has a digital SPDIF output, it can be connected with a special digital adapter cable to the AES Input on the Kii THREE (RCA-to-XLR, 75Ohm to 110Ohm impedance matching) or straight to the Kii CONTROL.

Do I connect my source analog or digital?
The preferred connection for all digital sources (like CD Drive, CD Player with digital out, Music Streamer, Digital Radio etc.) is the digital input.

If you have a truly analog source like a turntable + phono preamp or a tape machine, please use the analog input on the Kii THREE.

If you like to use the Kii THREE simply as an active speaker in combination with your analog hifi preamp as the source selector and volume control, you can also use the analog input on the Kii THREE.

In reality the performance of the built in A/D converter in the Kii THREE is so outstanding, that you don´t loose any fidelity, if you may want to use your existing preamp with it. If you hear a difference, it´s mainly due to the sound quality of your preamp.

What is low latency mode and when to use it?
Some people might want to use their Kii THREE alongside a TV or Beamer to also enjoy their sound qualities when watching a movie or DVD.In some cases the latency that occurs from the extensive DSP calculations within the speakers may actually be too high to be properly compensated by the available settings on your TV or beamer.

For this case we offer a special low latency mode for the Kii THREE, which changes some of the filters in the DSP and therefore provides an extremely short (nearly neglectable) latency.

The overall sound quality is not as perfect in low latency mode as it is in normal mode (most notably only in the low end), but still provides a very pleasurable listening experience for your TV. Also the ActiveWaveFocusing is still fully intact in low-latency mode, so the speakers keep their cardioid dispersion qualities.

HOW: Switching latency modes on the Kii THREE is done by a short press on the P/R button located on the backside connector panel.

The front LEDs will indicate this by ONE red LED lighting up to indicate low latency mode,or TWO red LEDs lighting up for normal operation mode again after a second short press of the P/R button. For pure audio listening pleasure, please always make sure your Kii THREE is set to „normal mode“.

Here are the latency specs for your reference:
LOW-LATENCY MODE: Analog input (A/D - D/A): 1030us (or 1,03ms)
Digital input (D/A only):
@ 192kHz = 945us (or 0,945ms)
@ 96kHz = 860us (or 0,860ms)
@ 48kHz = 1540us (or 1,540ms)
NORMAL MODE: approximately 90ms

How close can I place the Kii THREE against the wall?
The Kii THREE can be placed roughly 8-10cm (4 Inches) close to the back wall.The cardioid directivity (if activated) is fully maintained even with this very close proximity to the back wall.

This makes placement very easy and even allows the Kii THREE to be placed on a sideboard in a living room, if there´s no room for a free setup on speaker stands.

On the control panel of the Kii THREE you even find a small dial, where you can choose the appropriate setting for your preferred placement in your room. This setting adjusts the very low frequency range (<40Hz) and makes sure you always have a perfect frequency balance, no matter if your speakers are free standing, close to the back wall or even placed into a corner of the room. 

What is the difference between the HiFi and the PRO Version?
The PRO version comes in a dark grey spatter paint finish that is very rugged, HiFi version in high gloss white or graphite satin metallic. Technically there is no difference.

Which audio formats are supported by the Kii THREE?
The Kii THREE supports analog balanced input and digital formats up to 24bit/192kHz on its AES inputs. The Kii CONTROL offers three additional digital inputs for the Kii THREE: Coax SPDIF, Optical TOSLINK and USB (up to PCM 24/384kHz and DSD64/DSD128 on USB).

What kind of outputs can I connect to the Kii THREE?
ANALOG - The Kii THREE has a balanced analog input on XLR:
a) If your source or preamp has a symmetrical analog output (XLR plug), this is the preferred connection method with a high quality XLR-to-XLR cable.
b) If your source or preamp has a single ended output (RCA/Cinch plug), it can be connected with a simple adapter cable RCA-to-XLR.
DIGITAL - The Kii THREE has a balanced digital input on XLR (AES format):
a) If your source or preamp has a digital AES output, this is the preferred connection method via a digital AES cable (XLR-to-XLR, 110Ohm)
b) If your source or preamp has a digital SPDIF output, it can be connected with a special digital adapter cable to the AES Input on the Kii THREE (RCA-to-XLR, 75Ohm to 110Ohm impedance matching) or straight to the Kii CONTROL.

Do I connect my source analog or digital?
The preferred connection for all digital sources (like CD Drive, CD Player with digital out, Music Streamer, Digital Radio etc.) is the digital input.

If you have a truly analog source like a turntable + phono preamp or a tape machine, please use the analog input on the Kii THREE.

If you like to use the Kii THREE simply as an active speaker in combination with your analog hifi preamp as the source selector and volume control, you can also use the analog input on the Kii THREE.

In reality the performance of the built in A/D converter in the Kii THREE is so outstanding, that you don´t loose any fidelity, if you may want to use your existing preamp with it. If you hear a difference, it´s mainly due to the sound quality of your preamp.

What is low latency mode and when to use it?
Some people might want to use their Kii THREE alongside a TV or Beamer to also enjoy their sound qualities when watching a movie or DVD.In some cases the latency that occurs from the extensive DSP calculations within the speakers may actually be too high to be properly compensated by the available settings on your TV or beamer.

For this case we offer a special low latency mode for the Kii THREE, which changes some of the filters in the DSP and therefore provides an extremely short (nearly neglectable) latency.

The overall sound quality is not as perfect in low latency mode as it is in normal mode (most notably only in the low end), but still provides a very pleasurable listening experience for your TV. Also the ActiveWaveFocusing is still fully intact in low-latency mode, so the speakers keep their cardioid dispersion qualities.

HOW: Switching latency modes on the Kii THREE is done by a short press on the P/R button located on the backside connector panel.

The front LEDs will indicate this by ONE red LED lighting up to indicate low latency mode,or TWO red LEDs lighting up for normal operation mode again after a second short press of the P/R button. For pure audio listening pleasure, please always make sure your Kii THREE is set to „normal mode“.

Here are the latency specs for your reference:
LOW-LATENCY MODE: Analog input (A/D - D/A): 1030us (or 1,03ms)
Digital input (D/A only):
@ 192kHz = 945us (or 0,945ms)
@ 96kHz = 860us (or 0,860ms)
@ 48kHz = 1540us (or 1,540ms)
NORMAL MODE: approximately 90ms

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