JZ Microphones has only been around for a little over a decade, though they have produced some pretty incredible microphones. One of the most well-known is the Black Hole, which is a multi-pattern condenser microphone with a unique clamping system. Second in popularity is likely the JZ Vintage 47, which was the first microphone in the JZ Vintage series. For those of you who have your audio gear history on lock, you’ve probably already guessed that it is based on the Neumann 47 model microphone.
The question is,
Can it live up to the Neumann 47 with the same vintage sound?
Let’s dive into our JZ 47 Microphone review and find out!
- Microphone Type – Large Diaphragm 1″
- Max SPL – 134 dB
- Components – Class A Discrete
- Pickup Pattern – Cardioid
- Self-Noise Level – 6 dB
Unlike the vintage Neumann 47, the JZ 47 does not feature a valve or transformer, though the double diaphragm capsule and Golden Drops sputtering technology come together to give the microphone the same, warm sonic quality. It looks a bit like an old army flask and comes with a gorgeous wooden case that is lined with foam for protection. The mounting mechanism is integrated into the body of the microphone, getting rid of the need for an external mount.
The handy swiveling ball and socket joint allow you to place the microphone at any angle you please. Plus, you don’t need to shock mount it further, as the grille and capsule act as a built-in isolating system!
The JZ 47 keeps it pretty simple with a cardioid pattern design. There are no extra features, such as pads or high-pass filters, and it can handle a 134 dB SPL while remaining near-silent in operation. As a vocal microphone, the sound is very clear and detailed, providing you with a natural frequency response across the entire spectrum. Take a look at many new condenser microphones these days, and you’ll notice that a good chunk of them are designed with high-end boosts. Compared to those microphones, the JZ 47 is far warmer with just a slight bump between 2kHz and 7kHz.
Essentially, you get just enough upper mid-range presence to have your vocals poke through the mix without high-end sizzle, making it great for bright vocalists. The proximity effect is very pronounced when place upfront, giving you a nice, warm low-end that is solid for close-miking guitar amps or adding fullness to thin vocals.
Pros and Cons
- Balanced sound quality
- Unique shock mount construction
- Low-self noise
- Gorgeous, vintage design
- Expensive for the average home studio recordist
Should You Buy It?
The JZ 47 can be used on a wide variety of sources to help accurately reproduce what you hear in the world. It does well in terms of producing a similar sound to the Neumann 47, though we don’t believe it is a rip-off in any way. In fact, we think it’s a fine enough microphone to be judged in its own right.
Make sure to get the JZ 47 from the manufacturer’s website and use the code “VOCALISTSTUDIO” to get a discount.
You can also check out some of Robert’s other favorite gear at his Amazon Store!