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New Product Alert: JZ Microphones Vintage 12 [Sponsored Content]

Re-creation of classic AKG mic incorporates unique Golden Drop capsule, with a lighter, faster diaphragm to improve clarity and presence

The JZ Microphones Vintage 12
The JZ Microphones Vintage 12.

[Sponsored Content]


New Product Alert: JZ Microphones Vintage 12

Re-creation of classic AKG mic incorporates unique Golden Drop capsule, with a lighter, faster diaphragm to improve clarity and presence

Technology epicenters—regions where research, development and innovation come together in a particular geography—can pop up all over the world. Over the past 20 to 30 years, stimulated by the establishment of the Latvian Technological Centre in 1993, the Baltic Republic of Latvia has proven to be a hotbed of innovation across multiple technology industries, including…microphones for professional recording.

Juris Zarins lived through the heart of the technology boom. A jeweler by trade, in the mid-1980s, Zarins began repairing classic Neumann, AKG and Telefunken microphones, later working as part of the engineering teams behind Blue and then Violet microphones, where he designed the acclaimed Flamingo Series.

Juris Zurins, founder of JZ Microphones.
Juris Zurins, founder of JZ Microphones.

In 2007, Zurins struck out on his own and launched JZ Microphones, headquartered in Riga, Latvia, with the aim of producing premium-quality, handcrafted microphones for professional recording. The company’s first product, the Black Hole Series of cardioid condenser mics, marked the debut of Zurin’s most noted innovation and contribution to modern microphone design: the Golden Drop capsule, a technology that continues to be featured in every JZ Microphones product.

The unique Golden Drop process of still using gold, though not sputtered across the entire membrane, creates a lighter and faster-moving diaphragm, leading to more clarity, presence and precision at the source, and lower-distortion and less coloration at the output. Top-level engineers around the world continually tout the capsule’s benefits, whether on vocals, piano, percussion or screaming guitar.

The gold droplets on the Golden Drop capsule.
The gold droplets on the Golden Drop capsule.

While JZ Microphones has developed a number of lines over the past 15 years, including the Black Hole Series, HH Series, BT Series and Signature Series, the Golden Drop Capsule technology also forms the core of the company’s immensely popular Vintage Series. This month, the company will release the Vintage 12 (V12), based on the classic AKG C12 tube condenser microphone.

We talked with the company’s head of marketing, Andris Zemmers, to find out more about what’s going on at JZ Microphones, whether creating all-new lines such as the Signature Series, launched earlier in 2021 with the debut of the BB29, or re-creating the legends.


Congratulations on having an “old meets new” new product coming out.

Thank you. Yes, in November, we are launching a new mic called Vintage 12 (V12), based on the classic AKG C12. We’ve seen huge demand for our Vintage Series microphones. Our Vintage 67 is our top-selling mic, so to go with a new vintage mic was a no-brainer. The C12 is famous for its warm and smooth sound; when it comes to studio vocals, it’s one of top three mics in the industry. So why not take on a new challenge and re-create this classic legend?

A side view of the thin-body JZ Vintage 12.
A side view of the thin-body JZ Vintage 12.

Microphones seem to be a pretty well-defined technology at this point. How do you continue to “make something new?”

I like to believe in the old saying that “there’s always room for the best.” That has been our mantra since the very beginning. So, when it comes to innovation, there are two things.

First, our unique capsule technology changes the game for us. We can take any classic microphone, like the C12 or U67, apply our capsule technology, and the user will get the same classic sound in a new, better shape and quality.

We can then use that same capsule technology to come up with new microphone ideas with new sound characters. The best example here is our flagship Black Hole Series—Black Hole mics have a super-clear and detailed sound, with close to no coloration.

Secondly, I think the best innovations honestly come from listening to clients. We are regularly talking to our clients, listening to their problems and needs. Sometimes it’s a new sound character that they need. Sometimes a new take on an application.

We’ve been fortunate to have long-standing relationships with a lot of top engineers—people like Rob Chiarelli, Rafa Sardina, Sylvia Massy, Romesh Dodangoda, Joe Chiccarelli, Marc Urselli, Thom Russo and so many others. They care about quality sound, and so do we.


Elvijs Junde, distribution manager (left), and Andris Zemmers, head of marketing, holding up bodies of the JZ Black Hole.


This Golden Drop capsule technology looks like the innovation that keeps on giving…

The soul of each JZ Microphones condenser microphone is the Golden Drop capsule technology, and the main goal of the Golden Drop technology is to deliver more clarity and detail. While other microphone brands are fully sputtering their capsules with gold, we are using tiny golden droplets. If you look at our capsules, you will see around 30 golden droplets on the standard 1-inch membrane.

It’s really a simple matter of physics. Our capsule membranes are physically lighter, so they can resonate in air pressure much faster. As a result, you capture more “information” from the sound source. Our human ears perceive this as clarity and detail.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you “how” these drops are applied on the membrane, but I can tell you that all our capsules sound very precise compared to each other. You can take any two microphones in the same model and you’ll have a matched pair.


Besides the Golden Drop technology, how does the JZ approach to re-issues/re-creations differ from other manufacturers?

Well, I think the whole audio industry is based on two types of decisions. Some engineers are looking for the existing, well-established sound that’s inspired by the legends—like the Neumann U47 or 67, or the AKG C12—and some are looking for something completely new and fresh to add to their mic locker. I think any mic company must fill both needs. This is exactly what we’re doing.

How are we different from other manufacturers that re-create already existing models? I guess I would say that there are three pillars.

To start with, we make sure to use the best electronic components out there. We have a very strict quality control system where we carefully pick only the best parts. Also, all of our condensers are handcrafted by our senior engineers. That means you get the best quality possible.

Second, our unique capsule technology is where the difference hides. We take the classic capsule, apply our capsule technology, and use premium-quality-only electronic parts. That means you get the classic U67, U47 or C12 sound in the same or better quality, with more clarity and precision.

Third, on top of that, we are selling directly to our clients from our online store. That means we can talk and solve any problems much faster and more effectively. A side benefit is that this also allows us to keep our pricing much lower because we don’t need to feed any middleman.

The combination of these three pillars—quality, innovation and a direct relationship with the client—makes the real difference.


Quality matters in today’s world. People are increasingly attracted to handcrafted products, and not just microphones.

We believe that each microphone has to be treated like an instrument or even a piece of art. You don’t want your guitar or trumpet to be made by a robot, right? Well, the same goes with microphones. I think that human hands and artisan-level effort allow us to give our clients something more than just a mic. For some people, it’s not important; for others, it’s a game-changer, because they now own a unique piece of technology that nobody else has. I believe our clients love the fact that all of our mics are handcrafted.


Your mics look pretty cool, too, and they’re known to have a good “feel.” How much do the aesthetics and body contribute?

I don’t think that the body of the mic impacts the sound all that much; maybe by 0.1 percent, technically speaking. What impacts the sound is the shape and form of the grille. You can take the same capsule, put it in a different grille, and you’ll have a bit of a different sound. As you can see, we don’t have spherical or tube-shaped grilles because they create unwanted reverberations and echoes around microphone capsules.

Other than that, we just don’t want to bring to the world another boring tube-like microphone design. Microphones, like guitars, can also be fun. That’s why we put extra effort into our designs. It allows us to stand out from the crowd.

You can shop JZ Mics here