Hey, and welcome back to the blog, where this week, we are continuing our focus on the Vintage Series Breakdown, this week turning our focus to the V47 in particular. Not as well known as many others in our line-up, but well deserving of being alongside them all without a doubt.
There’s used to be a lot of confusion on what the V47 sounded like, and where in the line-up we have available it sat, in terms of sonic profile - for a long time, the most common question I’d come across would be something along the lines of ‘how bright or dark is the V47 compared to other JZ mics?’, or something to that effect. The simple answer; it sits between the V11 and V67, but as I’ll explain today, it’s not that simple either!
Let’s dive in!
As I mentioned, it’s not as simple as ‘brighter than the V11, darker than the V67’ as there’s a lot that the capsule design and electronics has to offer when considering the preamp type you use alongside the V47. This mic has something special about it that the V12 also has in it’s own way, which is that it imparts slightly more subtle harmonic distortion that all the others (bar the V12) and when it’s pushed, in terms of SPL and how loud the source is that it’s recording, it can become another level of microphone! Better yet, the V47 loves being coupled with a preamp that also likes being pushed to the brink, allowing for some amazingly interesting textures.
I personally love it on harsh vocals over any dynamic microphone, and loud rock vocals into a preamp such as the 1073 from Neve, or a classic API design preamp like the 312, pair perfectly well allowing the takes to just slip into place within the song without becoming lost or fighting against other instruments in the mix. On other loud sources such as drums, the V47 can bring a new layer of definition especially when used as either a room mic or on the outside of the kick. You can hear it in action below courtesy of Future Shock Videos on a number of other sources as well:
The Other side Of The V47
But the other side of the V47 is its brilliant ability to adapt to quieter sources. I've used it for a long time on acoustic guitar, especially on finger-picked style which the capsule of the V47 feels like it was almost designed to do specifically when you listen back to the tracks and hear the exquisite detail and texture that the microphone is able to impart on each individual note. On other more soft sources, such as piano, or tuned percussion such as xylophone or similar, the V47 can deliver the extra dimension to the instrument that, with other microphones, can go unnoticed or simply not be there which without fail, the V47 makes sure it captures.
Don't be fooled by the fact that the V47 sits in tonality between the V11 and V67 either, it still has all the pristine detail and presence you expect to have within a microphone of its calibre. I'm always stunned when I record vocals and I'm reminded of the delicate top-end frequencies the V47 brings to the forefront of the tracks in a subtle, yet accurate and beautiful way, giving it the ability to translate the emotion that the vocalist is trying to convey.
For me, it is that microphone I turn to when I need a mic that can do it all, while also adding a texture and timbre that, without it, the entire song would fall short. It's a microphone that can completely transform a take, ooze vibe and character without breaking a sweat, and quite literally works on any source while imparting a character no other microphone within our line-up can achieve in the same way. Simply put, the V47 is the microphone you should consider if you are looking for a new workhorse; you won't be disappointed!