The Classic Sound Of the V12

Hello, and welcome back to this week's blog. Today, to carry on our focus for the month on the Vintage Series Breakdown, we turn our attention to the V12. As Many of you who might own the V12 are aware, this microphone carries on the legacy of a microphone that paved the way for bands such as The Beatles…

When I say that this microphone is steeped in history, I mean it - and to take on that feat and bring it into the 21st century - it was a task that all of us at JZ Mics understood the gravity of. In today’s blog, I’m going to not just tell you how we did it, but why our innovations have created the new pathway for the same Iconic sound within a new, innovative design. 

Let’s Dive in!

The History

The V12 is based on the iconic sound of the C12 microphone, which both AKG and Telefunken created designs of, and built a small legacy from. The Beatles famously used this same microphone for all of the bass amp recordings on The White Album, which across the years has etched itself into the brains of many who consider it to be one of the most, if not the most defining albums of that time. 

Not only they used it though; in fact if can be heard across the 60’s and 70’s on a plethora of albums and singles with many of the greats calling it the microphone that allowed them to create their sound within that period - and yet, there were 2 options available still, both with their own corresponding sounds and subtle differences all at the same time. 

Yet, no one had taken both of those sounds and made them within one microphone - and for good reason in fact, and possibly the most limiting factor that hindered the innovation of one brilliant microphone with the complexities of both; the valve. 


The main reason we wanted to build upon this microphone of course, was the iconic sound that built the fan bases across generations of bands, and for new present day producers to have access to without spending upwards of $10,000 for. But the other, more important reason, was that our engineers were confident of building a design that captured the essence of what the C12 was, and bring it into the modern world without the hassle. 

You see, the original design required a small arsenal within a suitcase to not only power this microphone, but also to make sure it worked properly, inevitably becoming a time consuming, heavy artefact to bring along to a recording session, alongside the task of maintaining the valve within the microphone which could vary the sound from the original if it wasn't the same valve or worse, from the same era. Simply, the design wasn’t just cumbersome, but entirely outdated in today’s world of recording. 

So, therein lies the problem; how do you maintain the classic sound of a tube microphone, the legacy on which it’s been built, and yet, still maintain any of its sound we’ve come to love over the decades? The simple answer is innovation and evolution of its design. It doesn't have to be a valve any more, and in fact, we maintained the same harmonic saturation and warmth known within the classic design without the use of a valve - our legacy and the new legacy of the C12 sound is within our capsule, using our Golden Drop Technology. 

A patented design of our own making, strenuously tested to make sure it maintained the generations of microphones that came before it, and will continue to keep the same sound and design for years to come (without the need for valve maintenance or more). You can hear how close our design is to the vintage versions of this design below in a video from Warren Haurt and even his ears struggle to hear the changes between his own vintage collection:

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