Hello, and welcome back to the blog! June seems to be flying by just like all the other months this year, but nonetheless, today's installment of our focus on The Best Scenarios For Each JZ Series is one I’ve been looking forward to discussing as we’re taking a dive into the Vintage and BT Series’.
The Vintage series is one of our most beloved lines of microphones for many reasons, but above all else I would argue that the versatility of all the mics in the series is what you all cherish the most, but I want to expand that and nail down the 3 best places for all of the mics today. The same goes for the BT series, just having been relaunched only last month is a perfect choice to discuss alongside the Vintage series, so I can hopefully give you some more insights into their best uses after using them quite a bit now.
Let’s dive in!
Notable Differences and Similarities
I think most notably, the biggest difference between the mics is an obvious one; the BT Series are Small Diaphragm Condensers (SDC) whereas the Vintage Series is composed of only Large Diaphragm Condensers (LDC). However, with that being said, it also means there are many other inherent differences because of the size of the capsule, such as shape and form factor, sound differences, polar pattern differences, and more that we’ll explore later on.
However, the main thing that ties all our mics together is the Golden Drop Technology that was pioneered by the founder of JZ Microphones just over 15 years ago now. This innovation genuinely has a huge impact on the way the microphone works; a great example being that it makes the capsule lighter, and more nimble, resulting in far better transient response, clarity and detail.
Lastly, I understand that just reading about the differences isn’t going to be enough for you all - so today, I’m glad to share with you some examples of the BT Series that I know you’ve all been looking forward to hearing (aside from the ones I made last month) which have been kindly recorded by one of our beloved community members, Alexandros, utilizing his array of talented artists he works with at his studio, Voodoo Project Studio. You can hear them all by clicking here!
Vintage Depth and Capacity
The Vintage Series, for anyone that may be new to the blog, is by far and away the line with the most options within it; so much so we were asked to make a chart for new users to show the darkest sounding, to the brightest sounding mics in our entire line, to give some extra help to those unsure what was going to be best for their studio! That, to me anyway, should tell you a huge amount about the Vintage Series line, and the variety within the designs that are available. There’s a huge assortment of recording sources that the Vintage series can cover, but I think the main source that both Grammy winning users, and studio engineers alike around the world that use this line of microphones can agree on, is recording vocals (all types). Every single person I’ve ever spoken to that owns or has used the V67 or the Amethyst, has said time and time again how much to love to use it to record vocals, and it’s for good reason, it honestly sounds incredible - there’s no other way to put it!
But knowing that multiple Grammy winners and nominees have also described many of the microphones in the same way when used on vocals, or on other sources alike, as not needing to be worked into the mix, or not needing really any processing at all in some cases, says a lot about the rest of the range. Speaking of which, let’s draw focus to the darker side of the Vintage series in the form of the V11 and the V47.
The V47 is a slightly darker variant of the V67 and the Amethyst, whereas the V11 has by far the darkest timbre with a broad and full bottom end coupled with a lift in the highest frequencies to maintain some sparkle and air. Both of these mics, like the V67 and Amethyst, have been lauded over for the way they capture a drum kit in general, whether that be as an overhead pair or as a room pair in whatever technique you choose. For me personally, I adore the V11 on pretty much everything I put it on, and as an overhead pair no matter what cymbals are being used, they capture the sound perfectly. Justin from Sonic Scoop has a great video below showing off all the mics mentioned so far so you can really hear the differences:
Lastly, let’s talk about the V12, the newest addition to the LDC side of the Vintage Series. Designed to be as close to the original C12 from the 60’s (that same one the the Beatles had on almost every source they could), the V12 is a faithful recreation of what was originally a tube microphone. Forgive me for a slight tangent here but we need to discuss the design and what makes the V12 so special to me. Tubes sound wonderful, but the hassle of a tube microphone can honestly be a nightmare with basically having a suitcase to carry it around in, along with a separate power source for the microphone, and way more cables than a standard mic needs, just to set it up and use it!
So we took that hassle away, and created the V12 by using only solid state electronics in the signal path, and carefully tuning the capsule to bring that sound into the modern world finally. Honestly, I’m yet to find a source that the V12 doesn’t blow me away on yet, but where it shines best is on sources with a lot of low end material, such as a bass guitar, or as an outside kick drum microphone. The way it captures lower frequencies compared to any other microphone I’ve used is outstanding, and I can imagine on low tuned brass or woodwind instruments alike, the V12 would be stunning all the same.
As many of you will know, the BT series is our newest addition to the JZ Microphones line, and it was only just last month we spoke about the many different uses for the BT-202 pair, as last month was dedicated to Small Diaphragm Condensers. There’s many, many uses for SDC microphones, but none more so in my humble opinion than as drum overheads, and whats most surprising about the BT-202 pair is that they smash not just every other SDC microphone out of the par in comparison, but they beat a number of LDC microphones when in a shootout. Their ability to do what typically only larger diaphragms in the past have been able to do is what really separates it from any competition.
What I love about the BT Series most however, is how they fit perfectly into the Vintage Series lineup, with a classic sound profile and to my ears, what sounds like a cross between the Amethyst and V12, but with the added benefit of being a SDC microphone and therefore having a slightly tighter but more accurate polar pattern. As I mentioned above, there’s a link to all the sound samples for the BT-202 pair that both our community member and talented engineer Alexandros, and I have compiled over the last few weeks. As well as that though, our good friend Ed Thorne has made an amazing video demoing the BT-202’s which you can watch below: