Latvian manufacturer JZ Microphones is widely known for exceptionally stylish and effective microphones that always bring a bit of personality to the table via performance or design, or both. This trend continues with its new V47 and V67 Vintage Series large-diaphragm condenser (LDC) microphones.
The V47 and V67 ($1,789 each) share most of their defining traits: physical design, a Class-A discrete amplifier design and a five-year warranty. The operative difference between the two are in the capsules; both are 25mm diameter “Golden Drop” designs with different voicings, similar enough to the classic Neumann U47 FET and U67 to warrant use of those legendary numbers.
I first tried the V67 on two male pop vocalists and received excellent results. I found the V47 to have a more sculpted sound than the V67, featuring carved-out low mids, a deeper and fuller bottom end and an understated top. The V47 is ideal for “whispery,” breathy vocal tracks
I tried the V47 and V67 on electric guitar with mixed results; I couldn’t get the V47 to do much of anything right, while the V67 could no wrong! Many swear by a Neumann U47 FET out in front of a kick drum, so I followed suit with the V47. It was OK but nothing special. Then, I discovered their reason for being: recording acoustic guitars. Acoustic guitars recorded so well with the V47 and V67 that I fell in love with them.
Using quality rental Neumann U47 FET and U67 (tube) mics, I attempted some comparisons with the V47/V67. On acoustic guitar, the JZ appears to have nearly captured the robust bottom end of the original, matched the stylish mids and ever so slightly brightened up the classic high end of the original; the two were much closer in performance than I ever expected.
The differences between the V67 and U67 were more substantial. The V67 appears to have reasonably duplicated the leaner bottom and forward mids of the U67, but puts out a good bit more high end and a slightly tighter bottom. While the V67’s top is similar in character, it is more extended and abundant.
All in all, I really like both the V47 and V67, but with serious reservations (mostly related to construction, including the mounts, mounting soon to be addressed by JZ with a dedicated holder; pads, filters or multi-patterns would make them eminently more useful). Both models sound reasonably close enough to their namesakes (at least when the originals are in cardioid, without pad, without HPF) to surprise me.
The V47 and V67 are “sonically focused”— JZ does not tout them to be utilitarian. My few concerns aside, the Vintage Series does a very good job of bringing de facto “classic microphone” magic into the modern world.