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CardioidMXL V88

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The V88 is a large-diaphragm, cardioid FET condenser with a transformerless output circuit. It is intended as an all-around workhorse mic, suitable for vocal or instrumental use, with a neutral-to-warm voicing.

The mic’s 6-micron, 25mm diaphragm is believed to be the same as found in most of MXL’s large-diaphragm condensers.

The amplifier circuit is transformerless, yielding a high sensitivity of 25 mV/Pa and a self-noise rating of 14 dBA.

The mic was originally introduced at MSRP $700, with a minimum advertised price of $349; as of March 2009 this has apparently dropped to $199, which is the mic’s street price at typical online retailers.

Pro Audio Review

these V88s never sounded uncomfortably “forward” or brittle (as some in the new generation of affordable large-diaphragm condenser microphones can and do), and, most often, they effectively revealed the rich sweetness of those sound sources possessing such qualities. My favorite application was a spaced stereo pair on drum kit.

Recording Magazine

The V88 is best described as slightly mid-forward with a smooth top end. It has a very full and pleasant sound that is clean, but not harsh like some low-end import mics. It also has a nice off-axis rejection making it suitable for untreated project spaces as well as live use.


For our male vocalist, Cory, we started with the AT 3035, which delivered a balanced, smooth sound throughout the verse and chorus. We then tracked the song again, using the Shure KSM 27, which exhibited a bit more warmth on our male singer’s voice, while still allowing plenty of detail. Next, within just a few lines of the third performance, the MXL V88 elicited comments from the entire panel as being “very open, detailed” and delivering “plenty of high end sparkle” on Cory’s voice…

Although we only had three mics to try out on our two singers, with the exception of the sibilance problem exhibited on Jessica’s track with the V88, each of these mics exhibited very good tonal range and sensitivity for vocals. The AT 3035 was the panel’s first choice for her track, edging out the KSM 27 as noted. On Cory’s vocals, the MXL V88’s richness and crisp top end established it as the panel’s favorite, although it seemed to have a bit less output than the others.

For the utility applications, the V88 scored a hat trick, by delivering the best performance on narration, solo guitar and alto sax, three pretty disparate sound sources.

The V88 ships with MXL’s metal-frame elastic shockmount (p/n MXL 06), in an aluminum flight case.

The MXL V88 is also known as: V-88.

The mic was released in 2007.


Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
V88 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (25 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 25mm
Capsule diameter: 32mm
Diaphragm gauge: 6 microns
138 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 148 dB
Self-noise: 14.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
499g (17.60oz) 146mm (5.75'') 53mm (2.09'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48 ± 4v

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