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Cloud Microphones JSR-34

Cloud Microphones JRS-34

4 4 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

Only one word....MAGIC.

7th December 2011

Cloud Microphones JRS-34 by voiceactor

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Cloud Microphones JSR-34

This review is done from the prospective of a voice over talent.

Honey does this microphone make my bottom sound big?
If you are looking for a way to make your bottom bigger and your top end a little less bright, the new Cloud Microphones JRS-34 may be just what you are looking for. It’s going to surprise you.

I have always wanted to try out a ribbon microphone. Noting the JRS-34 came out as a brand new creation from Stephan Sank and company, I jumped on the opportunity.
Look out smooth and fat…here I come.
Ribbons are typically quite dark and that’s one of the reasons you really don’t see that many in the voice over world. Some of them actually just sound really great…as is the case with Cloud’s new JRS-34.

A little history direct from Cloud’s website:
We make ‘em like they used to.
The story begins in the 1930's at RCA* with Harry Olson developing the 44 and 77 series ribbon microphones. Mr. Olson was followed in his post by engineer Jon R. Sank, for whom the JRS-34 is named. He was charged by RCA with improving on Harry's best mics. He did just that with the BK-11, a direct descendant of the 44 series. It’s been an inside audio secret for many years among top engineers that the BK-11 is the most advanced ribbon microphone in the world. Jon Sank passed away in 1998, but before he died he passed more than 50 years of skill and technology to his son, Stephen Sank. Trained by his father beginning at age 10, Stephen’s studies continued to build upon lessons learned from the original RCA Laboratory Studies. Today, Stephen and his wife Cynthia continue the family tradition of developing quality hand crafted ribbon microphones in collaboration with Cloud Microphones. With modern appointments such as Cinemag transformers, neodymium magnets and an optional phantom powered JFET circuit, the Cloud JRS-34 takes the next evolutionary step in the immortal BK-11 / 44 series microphone design line. All Cloud products are completely built in the USA.

The JRS-34 is a true beauty. It is all chrome and surprisingly light weight for it’s size. It comes in both an active, requiring phantom power of 48volts, and a passive version.
The active version is very nice for us folks who don’t have a preamp that goes to 11. (yes it’s a Spinal Tap reference) Typically a ribbon requires quite a bit of gain but the active circuitry makes the Cloud ribbon usable on most any preamp.

The sound of this mic is like putting on a nice warm blanket and cuddling up to a fire on a cold day. In my opinion, too many of today’s microphones are cold and bright. Cloud has succeeded in building a microphone that is not too bright and not too dark. It’s also very smooth. The JRS-34 is also a very quiet microphone. All in all a very nice package.

I put the JRS-34 through about every kind of read you can think of. It’s not perfect for everything. You can clip it and it’s not one I would suggest for those screamer ads but it works great for long form and for commercial work but only if you want your work to sound fabulous.

The thing I found most interesting about this microphone is that adjusting it’s sound can be done by moving it closer or farther away. Once you dial it in….you get a very rich and creamy sound while still being able to hear the upper ranges very easily. This ribbon mic will give you everything you can ask for in a mic except that overly bright sound we have all heard and have begun to loathe. If you want proximity effect, the JRS-34 will give you all you could ever want. Pull it back some, and it will give you a nice big bottom and still offer you some wonderful clarity through the mid and upper bands. The JRS-34 is one for the mic locker without a doubt. I highly recommend trying one out…be warned however, you will want one.
active version was used in making these files. The male voice was recorded with the JRS-34 12 inches away and the female at 8 inches away. No processing was added.

15th January 2012

Cloud Microphones JRS-34 by Trakworx

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Cloud Microphones JSR-34

I agree with what voiceactor said. I have been using the passive version of this mic, the Cloud JRS-34-P for some time now, and it's a terrific mic. I record music here, and have gotten way into ribbon mics in recent years. I did an informal high end ribbon mic shootout a while back ( Best Ribbon Mic for Vocals Currently Made Under $2500? ), and the JRS-34-P came in a close second to the AEA R44CE which costs about twice as much. Being the Gearlsut that I am, I have both mics here now.

I'll break this down by the Review Scores:

Sound Quality - I gave it a 9 because IMO it kicks the butts of all the other ribbons I tried in it's price range, and it beats out more expensive mics on some sources. Very natural and 3D sounding with smooth clear highs, present but not harsh mids, and a big full low end. It's my current favorite mic on double bass, cello, horns, and electric guitar.

Ease of use - 9 again. This mic is not heavy or bulky like some other big-sounding ribbon mics, so it's really easy to place. Distance = EQ with this mic, and it's easy to dial in the amount of low end vs high end by simply moving it closer to or farther from the source. It also takes EQ really well, so I can brighten to my hearts content if need be. Easy Peasy.

Features - I think Clouds' spring-suspended ribbon motor is pretty innovative. It helps isolate rumble and such. The mic pivots for ease of placement. It comes with a nice wooden box. Other than that, there really aren't a lot of features to be had on a simple tool like this, so why not give it another 9 for not lacking any.

Bang for buck - repeating myself from above: "I gave it a 9 because IMO it kicks the butts of all the other ribbons I tried in it's price range, and it beats out more expensive mics on some sources."



16th January 2012

Cloud Microphones JRS-34 by rene-lemieux

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
Cloud Microphones JSR-34

Months ago I was ridiculed for my overt promotion of this mic on GS to the point of being thought of as some hired rep! I am not, I am just a humble AE trying to make it in the world, and the Cloud JRS 34 is helping me do so.

I will keep it short and sweet. I use a JRS 34, or a pair of them, on most things I record in a session. Be it a snare mic, drum overheads, guitar amps, acoustic instruments or vocals, it excels in all of these areas. There is no other mic out there that I have used that takes eq like the JRS does. I always use my clouds in line with a cloudlifter and a Ward Beck channel with EQ. These EQs boost in a bell curve pattern, when using the clouds I turn the treble up as far as it will go, and all you get is CLARITY, smooth smooth high end.

My only problem with these mics is that I only have 2 of them. I always find myself stressing out on whether I should put them on the drums or the electric guitars during live sessions. I am also going to send them in for repair eventually as some parts inside the chassis seem to be not 100% secure. The people at cloud were great when I contacted them about it, they do a lifetime warranty on their mics on everything but the ribbon itself.

There you have it, short and sweet.

Well, there you go.

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