Even if you don’t know Juris Zarins by name, you’ll have seen his mic designs in ranges for Blue and Violet Designs.
For 10 years he has also developed his own signature series of mics, available now. We tested the Vintage V67, a large capsule cardioid condenser and one of three mics in the Vintage line-up. By design, the Vintage series mics (V67, V47 and V11) are tuned to deliver similar frequency response to classic mics. Even so, these are not slavish recreations, and with discrete transformerless electronics and precision low-tolerance components, they are also designed to deliver low noise results - ideal for the modern recording chain.
The Vintage V67 sports what can only be described as a hip flask shape with a large grille area for the dual diaphragm capsule inside. It also incorporates physical isolation for the headstock, and if you hold it to the light, you can see the upper and lower sections separated by rubber isolators. This removes the need for a suspension cradle and has allowed them to use a rather cool ball and socket mounting system. Inside, the diaphragm is sputtered using a system JZ call Golden Drop, creating a lighter diaphragm with fast response and minimal distortions.
The Vintage V67 ships in a foam lined cardboard box and uses a screw to secure the capsule while in transit. Mounting the mic is straightforward enough, with the ball and socket fitting easy to tighten and reposition. Even so, although the design is super discreet, which we liked, the angles we could achieve with it were a bit limited, ruling out horizontal boom setups. Also worth noting is the lack of low-cut filter or level pad. For me neither issues are dealbreakers, but could be frustrating.
So, how does it sound? Well, pretty awesome. It has a clean openness and air to it without sounding too hyped in the top end, and a decent, though not overbearing, proximity effect. This results in a very balanced vocal sound at about 20cm, and coupled with a pop shield it delivers excellent intimate sounds, right in close. On acoustic guitar the sound is lovely and smooth in the high frequencies, and the small presence boost in the mid range really captures the picking. However, where the Vintage V67 truly excels is with complex high frequencies such as brass, strings, percussion and drum kit overheads, and although we didn’t try a stereo pair, we’re sure these would make excellent drum kit overheads.
Overall, the Vintage V67 is an excellently presented mic, with some interesting design features. Although it’s not really a recreation of a classic (as the name would imply), it’s still a rather fabulous mic all the same.