A Short History of JZ Microphones

Welcome back to the blog! For many of you it's been extremely hot this past week since our last installment, so I hope you're all safe and not too burnt. We're carrying on our focus on General Microphone Technical Aspects, of course, where this week we'll be taking a look into the history of this company, and more importantly, why that matters. 

The history of the company has always been something I've enjoyed learning about since first starting work with JZ Mics, and it's always insightful to know the roots of why something even exists in the first place; however, the history of this company in particular is more important than many realize, so that's what we'll be exploring today. 

Let's dive in!

Our Founder

Back in the 70's and throughout the years prior to the conception of JZ Mics, our founder Juris Zarins was a jeweler and repaired many detailed and refined items such as watches and typical trinkets like rings and such - but more interestingly, he repaired microphones. Microphones, of course, have a huge amount of fine connections, and careful placements of components which have to be as accurately placed as possible to make sure the microphone is in perfect working order. And on top of that, the capsule is incredibly delicate and also coated in a spluttering of gold; another great reason a jeweler would be a perfect candidate to work on such things. 

Now remember, at the time that he was working on these microphones, Latvia was still part of the soviet union, so it was incredibly difficult to get microphones in general, so the popular thing was to repair them as they were far and few between. So being a jeweler, he thought ''if I could can repair microphones,  why can't I create them instead?'' And so the start of his path to learning how to build microphones from scratch was underway. 

The main issue at the time in question however, was that there were only 3 capsule manufacturers for condenser microphones in the world in the 80's, and like I mentioned before, it was hard to get microphones at that time in general due to the way the world was during that time too; but he knew if he could crack the code for making capsules then he could make his own.

Our first and flagship microphone, of course, is our Black Hole Series microphones.

Where We Are Now

Skipping ahead a little, inevitably of course, Juris did indeed crack the code to making capsules himself, and so his first company was born in the form of Blue Microphones circa 1998, and he starts to get to work on making his line of, what would eventually become some of the most recognised microphones on the planet! You may recognise one design that's actually still within our own line-up of microphones for JZ Mics, and that's the BB29; a reimagining of the original design which was known as the Blueberry microphone. 

Eventually, he sold Blue Microphones back in 2007/8 to a party in the US, but he founded another company as a sister to Blue microphones, and that being Violet Microphones, which to this day still exists with the Amethyst of course being the main microphone that we all know and love, but now rebranded as JZ Microphones. JZ Microphones has now been around for just over 15 years officially, but the technology and innovation has been going on for a lot longer than that.

The BB29 was, in my opinion, the best choice to redesign and re-release after Blue Mics was sold. It's such a unique and beautiful sounding microphone. 

As I mentioned earlier, there were only 3 capsule manufacturers in the world at the point when Juris first started, but many more came into existence during the 90's, and all of them were close to carbon copies of what had have existed already, just simply in the form of a new name and a new shaped microphone. There was literally no real movement on the technology of capsules until the end of Juris owning Blue Mics, and of course Violet and JZ Mics, when he invented our patented Golden Drop Technology. 

You may be asking how I know for a fact why this is the only serious movement in capsule technology in the present day and that's because we know how many people have tried to reverse engineer our microphones to try and understand why our mics sound so different to the ones others are making - I'll quickly quell any desires to do so however, as even opening up the housing of the microphone is enough to completely ruin the sound of the microphones; think how if you crashed a car and it had to be written off and scrapped entirely, that is the impact it will have on the microphone if you try to open it yourself. 

What Drives Us

I think that it's important to highlight the company and its history to give you all a better sense of where we've come from, since microphones were first invented as we discussed a couple of weeks ago, to where we are now. It;s also incredibly interesting to me personally, and since joining the team I'm still learning and finding out more to this day! But, I think what truly matters is that you know that every innovation we've made, each design conceived and created, all of it has been in the hopes of helping you all at home and in the studio to have the best tools possible to help you do what you love to do. I actually asked Andris the other week what his own philosophy was about microphones and I think he summed it up quite nicely:

''there's always room for improvement, and there's no perfect mic - we value our customers feedback, and that directly impacts or vision to create and inspire both musicians, engineers, podcasters, and anyone else alike, to help them create and record in a higher quality than what was ever available until now, thanks to the innovation of JZ Mics''.

As always, feel free to reach out and let me know what you want me to write about, and if you've enjoyed the blog; you can write to me at Harri@jzmic.com or you can always reach me within the JZ Microphones Members Area if you're a part of that already. Until next week, stay creative!