Hi, Hello, and Welcome to the last blog installment regarding our focus on What The Industry Has To Say about our microphones. I'll make sure to get a quick reminder out the way now, as I'm sure you'll have all either seen ours or many others, but our Black Friday Sale event is in the last weekend of this year; it's our biggest sale bar none, so if you've been waiting to pull the trigger, now is the time.
Anyway, with that said, today, I want to discuss the differences in all of our microphones, both in terms of their sound, but also why (as well as what defines them comparatively to the rest of the market options from other companies). This is by far and away the most frequently asked question asked to us here at JZ Mics, so if you've been unsure until now, make sure to carry on reading!
Let's dive in.
Dark To Light
There's about a million marketing terms to describe this part of a microphones sound in particular, warm, bright, ribbon-like, shimmering; pick your poison. For me, the simplest way is to just call a horse a horse and go from dark to light in terms of their character, so I hope you won't mind my terminology going forward!
In order to break down the differences into more bite size chunks, I've detailed a few lines below that will give an overview of each microphones character, spanning all our microphones from the Vintage Series, Black Hole Series, and of course, The Signature Series. This way, if you need a quick reference point in the future, whether for yourself or a friend, you'll have a quick way of finding what you need:
- VINTAGE 11 - Our own design, and by far the darkest of the bunch but for good reason. The V11 is particularly great at rounding out a thinner voice like my own for male vocal or voice over work, but wonderful at bringing a moody and rich performance to a female vocalist. It's also particularly great on capture electric guitar cabinets and is one of the favorites for many producers alike, as well as shining on acoustic instruments such as piano, acoustic guitar, and as drum rooms or overheads when you have bright cymbals you really won't find a better option.
- VINTAGE 47 - Like the V11, it's a darker side sounding microphone, but part of the character from this microphone is due to the difference in capsule compared the the last mic. There's a little more upper midrange content, as well as some more warmth in the lower midrange. When pushed, this mic has a somewhat gritty personality which lends kindly to the source it's recording to impart a character familiar to other yesteryear mics such as the U47, however thanks to some clever work by the team, the V47 like all our mics, shines on pretty much any source.
- VINTAGE 67 & THE AMETHYST - Both of these microphones share identical capsules giving them an almost exact sound, but there are some real notable differences which we'll get onto in a moment. The main thing to note about these mics is that they sound great on everything; and I mean that in the most literal way I can. To call these microphones a workhorse in the studio would be a compliment to workhorses around the world if I'm brutally honest in my personal opinion, but I think the best way I can explain this would be to say that until I got my hands on these microphones, I didn't realize just how good my recordings could've been until hearing them. The V67 is next to the Black Hole Series, our best selling microphone ever and for good reason, as many Grammy winners have used it now on countless records spanning the globe with chart topping hits, best song and album awards alike, all with the V67 being at the center of the recording. As I mentioned above the Amethyst is almost identical in sound to the V67, however thanks to the acoustic shadow the capsule housing gives, there are some changes to the frequency response that are really pleasing, but the best way to hear this is in this video right here.
- VINTAGE 12 - based on the legendary C12 tube microphone, this microphone is obviously different from those already mentioned. Valves in general give a very pleasing harmonic structure which is apparent in this mic allowing it to give a bit more brightness compared to the rest of the vintage series; in fact, looking at them all as a whole, the V12 is definitely the brightest out of this particular subset of our microphones. I've fallen in love with this microphone as my main go-to-mic for almost any vocalist in the studio with me, but it's also wonderful on acoustic instruments such as acoustic guitar, piano, and even kick drum. In fewer words, I've tried to put this on everything and it's yet to fail me, and with it imparting such a legendary sound dating back to the Beatles era, less maintenance thanks to our solid state design, and a 10th of the price of the only other option in the world faithful to the original sound, it's no wonder that these have been selling out all year for us in all honesty!
- BLACK HOLE SERIES - This is our take on what a modern, neutral, and versatile microphone built to fit any source should sound like. Unlike the Vintage Series, this is a much cleaner, much more straight to the point microphone that is both neutral and bright, with the ability to give a real option if the vintage vibe isn't working on the source you're recording. As our flagship microphone, the BH1S in particular has found its way into a plethora of records thanks to its sound and polar pattern options, with many having compared it to great models such as the C414 (which if you're already familiar, is a all round, able to go on any source type of microphone as well). If you're a fan of more modern sounding mics, and you need a workhorse option that isn't the V67 or Amethyst, then this is the option for you.
- SIGNATURE SERIES - By far, the brightest microphone we offer, but even with that said, it's extremely forgiving and never sounds brittle, harsh or similar. The BB29 has a transformer coupled output which is what gives it, its standout of the crowd frequency response which is exactly what it's designed to do. Again, like the Black Hole Series, this is a more modern sounding microphone, but thanks to the transformers within the design, there's a pleasing non-linearity to the harmonics produced unlike its cousin in the Vintage Series, the V12. Both have a wonderful upper midrange and glassy top-end coupled with lush low end content, but both with drastically different ways of achieving the end result. As you might expect, this is a favorite of the hip-hop, rap and pop world in general given how great it sounds on vocalists all over.
If you'd like to hear some examples of what these microphones sound like, there's a great comparison of the entire Vintage Series right here, and of the Black Hole Series and Signature Series as well right here.
The Defining Difference Overall
The biggest thing to remember is that there is a huge microphone market out there, and with that, a whole world of options for any enthusiast, professional, or up and coming engineer to choose from when taking the dive on a new microphone. So, I'm sure many of you refer to the original question: what are the main differences in our microphones?
Well, there's really one main one, which is simply our technology. Every capsule we make has the same team which has been working behind the scenes for 30+ years, handcrafting and cultivating our microphones as well as pioneering the main source of our overall difference in all our microphones compared to the rest - our Golden Drop Technology. This is the secret to our mics being loved overall, and is also the reason that we are able to achieve such distinct and wonderful sounds just by tuning our capsules to the circuit to breathe new life into another classic design.
As I mentioned before in the V67 & Amethyst description, there's no one way to know just how great these microphones sound; but as we have the biggest deal of the year on right this second, I can safely assure you that your ears will be opened up just as mine were years ago when you pull the trigger and next record something - there's nothing quite like our microphones, and I hope you give them a chance so you can more into the next evolution of your recordings this year!