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JZ microphones Vintage 67 Condenser Microphones
Old 1st August 2018
  #331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockabilly69 View Post
Bright compared to what? I have never known the Amethyst Vintage to be bright, just balanced.
yeah, compared to what? do you have another mic to compare to? the amethyst vintage i own ain't bright.
Old 1st August 2018
  #332
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
I understand the big man behind these microphones, Juris Zarins, died last year (2017) and someone is now taking care of his heritage. Who knows what they're doing?

Didn't know about that.. :-/
Condoleances to his family and friends.
I've met him once in Frankfurt many years ago..
The mics he designed speaks for themselves..

Don't know what happens at violet at the moment and don't know what's going on at JZ..
If somebody has news or information is welcome to share them here if the OP is ok with it..



Cheu
Old 1st August 2018
  #333
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockabilly69 View Post
Or just maybe the person who just bought a new mic doesn't know what to expect or there's something else in the chain that's making it appear bright. And bright compared to what? More information is needed to help this poor soul.
I know he has Schoeps mics as well, so that's most likely his first reference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockabilly69 View Post
I just sent them a letter to ask this very question, I will report back with their answer. I wasn't aware that he passed away!!!
It wasn't even in the GS obituaries section. JZ was definitely someone who has brought some new ideas to capsule building and electronics design. He would deserve some proper recognition for that. Why his heirs have not published some tribute to him is beyond me. Maybe the now vintage catalog below can be a small token for his lifetime achievement.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Violet_Catalog_2009.pdf (3.80 MB, 22 views)
Old 1st August 2018
  #334
Here for the gear
No, not particularly bright. But mine definitely had a burn-in period.

A tip for those of you not afraid to mod... Mine sounds clearer after I removed a layer of grill from the BACK of basket. Left the front side as it was. Opening up the back side of grills a bit, in general, is my latest discovery... Seems to help with directionality as well. I fine tuned the back grill further by putting a small blob sticky tack on the centre (about the size of a dime / 5p). While removing the layer of grill is a permanent alteration, the small blob of putty is entirely reversible. I know it sounds weird, but try it... I liked the Amethyst Vintage before, but not as much as the Globe (either one). But after the mod, I think I prefer it.

JZ gone? If true, that probably explains the lack of recent models. A loss for sure. May he live on thru his mics.
Old 1st August 2018
  #335
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
Didn't know about that.. :-/
Condoleances to his family and friends.
I've met him once in Frankfurt many years ago..
The mics he designed speaks for themselves..

Don't know what happens at violet at the moment and don't know what's going on at JZ..
If somebody has news or information is welcome to share them here if the OP is ok with it..



Cheu
didn't know he passed away ... sad news. i only own one mic, the amethyst vintage, but i always read with great interest reviews of his mics (violet, jz) and one has to appreciate his unique way of thinking. from what i understand he didn't just copy and make clones, but he tried to bring some evolution into the mic history. just think of his very different jz mic designs.
so i'd like to say a big thank you to the man! the AV is my first really "expensive sounding" mic and i will keep it for a looong time and i have used some neumanns in other studios - it's up there!
Old 7th August 2018
  #336
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So I got back from camping and picked up my second violet amethyst vintage...
The grills are totally different, the first one is silver with only coarse mesh and this one is silver and has a finer underlay of gold mesh!
I can't see the capsule on the finer one and I haven't plugged it in yet...

Edit:
Plugged it in now and one is clearly darker than the other...
Will keep it plugged in and check, I want to return the first one and get a true match to my second.

Second Edit:
I aligned them as close as possible and did some brief tests and then had SlickEQ M match them to each other and that seems to match what I'm hearing, the new gold mesh one is quieter and has more warmth in the mid-range and a slightly darker overall tone. The gold mesh one is also terminated with a wire that goes off to 3 o'clock whereas the other one goes to 5 o' clock (not sure how much difference that makes). I am going to get in touch with Andrew, this second (gold mesh) one is a much nicer sounding microphone and I want a second one of these.

Last edited by whippoorwill; 7th August 2018 at 09:38 PM.. Reason: New info
Old 7th August 2018
  #337
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
So I got back from camping and picked up my second violet amethyst vintage...
The grills are totally different, the first one is silver with only coarse mesh and this one is silver and has a finer underlay of gold mesh!
I can't see the capsule on the finer one and I haven't plugged it in yet...

Edit:
Plugged it in now and one is clearly darker than the other...
Will keep it plugged in and check, I want to return the first one and get a true match to my second.

Second Edit:
I aligned them as close as possible and did some brief tests and then had SlickEQ M match them to each other and that seems to match what I'm hearing, the new gold mesh one is quieter and has more warmth in the mid-range and a slightly darker overall tone. The gold mesh one is also terminated with a wire that goes off to 3 o'clock whereas the other one goes to 5 o' clock (not sure how much difference that makes). I am going to get in touch with Andrew, this second (gold mesh) one is a much nicer sounding microphone and I want a second one of these.
I though you ordered a matched pair? This clearly is not a matched pair. Also, the fine mesh inside the coarse mesh oughts to be in the Violet Amethyst Vintage. If you remove the small screws on the sides of the mesh covers you can remove them and have a good look inside. The capsule of the Amethyst V has to be one with a terminated mebrane on the front and a non-terminated membrane on the back as shown in my post here: JZ microphones Vintage 67

What color is the body of these mics? They ought to be deep violet/purple.
Old 8th August 2018
  #338
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whippoorwill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
I though you ordered a matched pair? This clearly is not a matched pair. Also, the fine mesh inside the coarse mesh oughts to be in the Violet Amethyst Vintage. If you remove the small screws on the sides of the mesh covers you can remove them and have a good look inside. The capsule of the Amethyst V has to be one with a terminated mebrane on the front and a non-terminated membrane on the back as shown in my post here: JZ microphones Vintage 67

What color is the body of these mics? They ought to be deep violet/purple.
I orderered a single microphone at first and then a second one quickly after, after they confirmed they could match one from their records. The first mic is approx +2db at 5kHz and -2db around 500hz in comparison to the other one. The grill is clearly different. They are both the right color and are called amethyst vintage and they are 9 serial numbers apart, but they are practically different microphones. I might try and open the grills but don’t want to fall foul of returns restrictions.

This is all clearly a mistake, and it could quickly be rectified so I hope no one takes this badly or let’s it reflect too badly on Violet necessarily...

I am considering whether I like them tonally, I am definitely returning the too bright first one. Do I get a second? Do I keep one? Do I sell them both and spend the money on a transformer preamp or a Brauner Phantera or perhaps the transformer Sanken CU-41... I'm concerned about a company that can have such variance in 9 serial numbers.

I’m worried about this second mic -although I quite like it tonally so far- how is the off axis behaviour, 3d-ness and richness in use? Time will tell. I think I might return both or just keep one and buy a nice preamp pair and rent what I can until I can afford to pick up a different LDC.

Last edited by whippoorwill; 8th August 2018 at 03:25 AM..
Old 8th August 2018
  #339
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
I just went to my studio and took a picture of one my Violet Amethysts and I don't see any gold mesh on mine, front or back. Mine were bought in January of 2017...

Old 8th August 2018
  #340
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whippoorwill's Avatar
yes, gold is the wrong word, but it is a different- slightly more yellow- grey than the bright silvery grey of the first one.
This second mic I have received looks like your microphone.
Old 8th August 2018
  #341
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockabilly69 View Post
I just went to my studio and took a picture of one my Violet Amethysts and I don't see any gold mesh on mine, front or back. Mine were bought in January of 2017...

That one looks allright to me. Three layers of mesh: rough/fine/rough rotated. The color of the body seems a bit dark to me but this can be the light. The standard Amethyst should have a considerably more cool bluish tone. Were there no locking screws for the capsule, as I don't see cavities for those in the foam? The original boxes were nicer, with a cloth covering of the foam and a lock, but of course that is not going to make a difference to the sound.
Old 8th August 2018
  #342
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
That one looks allright to me. Three layers of mesh: rough/fine/rough rotated. The color of the body seems a bit dark to me but this can be the light. The standard Amethyst should have a considerably more cool bluish tone. Were there no locking screws for the capsule, as I don't see cavities for those in the foam? The original boxes were nicer, with a cloth covering of the foam and a lock, but of course that is not going to make a difference to the sound.
Yeah the lighting was bad in the studio, they are lighter color, and yes they came with locking capsule screws but the foam has just returned to it's normal shape. I like the new cases with their magnetic clasps, and although I can see people wanting a lock, I've never used a lock on any of my cases because I store them in a locked cabinet. I would like the cloth though, unless it generates lint. But I got them for $699.00 each so I wasn't complaining
Old 9th August 2018
  #343
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whippoorwill's Avatar
I did a shootout against microphones I currently own on a few singers in a more controlled environment and it wasn't cutting the mustard against what I own or can borrow. The darker one ended up being too dark in sound color too - I preferred the brighter one with a darker preamp! I will return my pair!

This is a shame but I have quite ersatz needs and wants and I'm very picky and I don't like to keep things around "just incase" but I think I will prefer to keep building on what I have in a more careful, layered, approach, where I can subtly colour the sound coming from a small handful of microphones in a number of ways. I do think it is a nice microphone which reminds me of a AKG 414 strangely. Neither of mine feel flat at all, but more "unusual" in a way that is quite flattering to voices, but the off-axis was a little off. Another microphone will expose a 414 as weird, but I've heard a few great albums with a 414 as the lead vocal mic...
I've decided to invest money in preamps, stands, phantom power supplies and cabling instead.
Old 9th August 2018
  #344
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
I did a shootout against microphones I currently own on a few singers in a more controlled environment and it wasn't cutting the mustard against what I own or can borrow. The darker one ended up being too dark in sound color too - I preferred the brighter one with a darker preamp! I will return my pair!

This is a shame but I have quite ersatz needs and wants and I'm very picky and I don't like to keep things around "just incase" but I think I will prefer to keep building on what I have in a more careful, layered, approach, where I can subtly colour the sound coming from a small handful of microphones in a number of ways. I do think it is a nice microphone which reminds me of a AKG 414 strangely. Neither of mine feel flat at all, but more "unusual" in a way that is quite flattering to voices, but the off-axis was a little off. Another microphone will expose a 414 as weird, but I've heard a few great albums with a 414 as the lead vocal mic...
I've decided to invest money in preamps, stands, phantom power supplies and cabling instead.
My Amethyst V's certainly do not resemble an AKG 414. (I have a pair of 414's as well.) I have this nagging feeling that the AV's are no longer what they used to be.

Rockabilly69, did you get an answer to you inquiery about the death of JZ yet?
Old 9th August 2018
  #345
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
Hey Ear check your messages...
Old 9th August 2018
  #346
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
I did a shootout against microphones I currently own on a few singers in a more controlled environment and it wasn't cutting the mustard against what I own or can borrow. The darker one ended up being too dark in sound color too - I preferred the brighter one with a darker preamp! I will return my pair!

This is a shame but I have quite ersatz needs and wants and I'm very picky and I don't like to keep things around "just incase" but I think I will prefer to keep building on what I have in a more careful, layered, approach, where I can subtly colour the sound coming from a small handful of microphones in a number of ways. I do think it is a nice microphone which reminds me of a AKG 414 strangely. Neither of mine feel flat at all, but more "unusual" in a way that is quite flattering to voices, but the off-axis was a little off. Another microphone will expose a 414 as weird, but I've heard a few great albums with a 414 as the lead vocal mic...
I've decided to invest money in preamps, stands, phantom power supplies and cabling instead.
Mine do not sound anything like an AKG 414, what preamps are you using with the Violets?
Old 13th August 2018
  #347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
My Amethyst V's certainly do not resemble an AKG 414. (I have a pair of 414's as well.) I have this nagging feeling that the AV's are no longer what they used to be.

Rockabilly69, did you get an answer to you inquiery about the death of JZ yet?
I found that on their website:

The company was established by the renowned microphone designer Juris Zarins (1952-2017) who dedicated his life to music, record-making process and the technology involved.

About Us – Violet Microphones
Old 13th August 2018
  #348
Here for the gear
I bought a matched pair of Amethyst Vintage a month ago or so on sale at the $599 USD price. Fit and finish is good, they do have that U67 but cleaner thing going on for sure. Have not used them on a variety of sources yet to complete the evaluation. I can't compare them to AV's of previous manufacture prior to JZ passing .

Notes on the matching-there's 1.2 db of difference in sensitivity between the two mics which I find surprising. Also the frequency response is a bit different. Not shockingly so, but if one listens carefully one is a bit darker than the other. There is no difference in the meshwork in mine, probably more of a capsule thing.
Old 13th August 2018
  #349
Here for the gear
Amethyst Standard on sale

To those of you who are big JZ fans, I just got an email that the JZ USA shop put Amethyst Standards on a flash sale at $599 USD. That's at violetmicsus.myshopify.com
Old 14th August 2018
  #350
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whippoorwill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ten10MXR View Post
I bought a matched pair of Amethyst Vintage a month ago or so on sale at the $599 USD price. Fit and finish is good, they do have that U67 but cleaner thing going on for sure. Have not used them on a variety of sources yet to complete the evaluation. I can't compare them to AV's of previous manufacture prior to JZ passing .

Notes on the matching-there's 1.2 db of difference in sensitivity between the two mics which I find surprising. Also the frequency response is a bit different. Not shockingly so, but if one listens carefully one is a bit darker than the other. There is no difference in the meshwork in mine, probably more of a capsule thing.
The second paragraph is the same as my experience, only I think the difference between mine is more larger than that even.. Trying to return mine, waiting for a message from Andris.
Old 21st August 2018
  #351
The 2 Amethyst vintage I ordered in the sale that arrived in good time and I finally used them today. Not good. 1 has no low frequencies like an old rusty dynamic. Number 2 has more body to the sound but a harsh top end that makes it unusable. It's a shame as I had one on long term loan that was beautifully made and sounded lovely. Mine even have stickers falling off for the badges. At the moment I basically have spent £1000 for 2 unusable mics and yokes. The Grill seems to be all offset also. I have emailed the company so lets see what they say.
Old 21st August 2018
  #352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_G View Post
The 2 Amethyst vintage I ordered in the sale that arrived in good time and I finally used them today. Not good. 1 has no low frequencies like an old rusty dynamic. Number 2 has more body to the sound but a harsh top end that makes it unusable. It's a shame as I had one on long term loan that was beautifully made and sounded lovely. Mine even have stickers falling off for the badges. At the moment I basically have spent £1000 for 2 unusable mics and yokes. The Grill seems to be all offset also. I have emailed the company so lets see what they say.
Wow..
I have a pair of AV that I bought about 10years ago, they're still perfect and sound very good..
dunno what happens at Violet these days, several people had some lemons apparently..
It's a shame..



Cheu
Old 21st August 2018
  #353
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whippoorwill's Avatar
I finally sent mine off today, it took 13 days for them to get back to me about where to ship them and about returning them. I feel like I should even get some reimbursement for shipping because I had to ship them back to each country (Latvia and US) separately for some reason and the microphones weren’t what I was sold (not a pair and all the hassle of returning and I was told to order the second microphone through the European store and that they would be a match)

Maybe I’m just sore about having paid over $230 in shipping for microphones back and forth.
Old 22nd August 2018
  #354
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
I had to ship them back to each country (Latvia and US) separately for some reason and the microphones weren’t what I was sold (not a pair and all the hassle of returning and I was told to order the second microphone through the European store and that they would be a match)
That is the biggest load of BS anyone has ever been fed. Don't feel bad about being sore that is nonsense.
Old 29th October 2018
  #355
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I also have different unmatched pairs of Violet Amethyst and Garnet mics, but this is because I bought them at different times and from different sources. In comparison with the newer models (ordered from the shop when on sale), the older Amethyst and Garnets have one more layer of mesh on the grill, a different colour shade, and the xlr input turned to the side. The older Garnet also has a pad switch that was later dropped. (The Garnet is no longer sold, but I managed to get some new old stock.)

In terms of sound, I attribute most / all of the differences in my mics to head baskets. When I put the same basket on each, they sound pretty close to my ears --volume and tonality. Head baskets make a big difference! I prefer the newer design with less mesh, but the older design is obviously more resistant to pops, etc.

As noted in the string above, I have made a habit or removing one layer of mesh from the backside of the basket, which opens up the sound and removes a bit of congestion. I certainly would not call these mics dull, but A-B comparisons do make the stock design sound a bit congested. I expect this is true of most cardiod mics with symmetric grills, but have not been able to check, since my other non-Violet cardioids have a single wrap-around grill that is harder to separate front from back. However, I did go to my Violet Design Globes and did this as well and it again made them sound better still. (It is trickier getting access to the Globe inner grill, but not impossible. )

Sorry to hear about all the quality control issues mentioned in this thread. (Perhaps they are clearing out old B-Stock?) I guess I have been lucky, but all my Violet mics mentioned above sound very good, esp. after the basket mod. My Globes, which have very different serial numbers, also sound very close to one another.
Old 30th October 2018
  #356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jardron View Post
I also have different unmatched pairs of Violet Amethyst and Garnet mics, but this is because I bought them at different times and from different sources. In comparison with the newer models (ordered from the shop when on sale), the older Amethyst and Garnets have one more layer of mesh on the grill, a different colour shade, and the xlr input turned to the side. The older Garnet also has a pad switch that was later dropped. (The Garnet is no longer sold, but I managed to get some new old stock.)

In terms of sound, I attribute most / all of the differences in my mics to head baskets. When I put the same basket on each, they sound pretty close to my ears --volume and tonality. Head baskets make a big difference! I prefer the newer design with less mesh, but the older design is obviously more resistant to pops, etc.

As noted in the string above, I have made a habit or removing one layer of mesh from the backside of the basket, which opens up the sound and removes a bit of congestion. I certainly would not call these mics dull, but A-B comparisons do make the stock design sound a bit congested. I expect this is true of most cardiod mics with symmetric grills, but have not been able to check, since my other non-Violet cardioids have a single wrap-around grill that is harder to separate front from back. However, I did go to my Violet Design Globes and did this as well and it again made them sound better still. (It is trickier getting access to the Globe inner grill, but not impossible. )

Sorry to hear about all the quality control issues mentioned in this thread. (Perhaps they are clearing out old B-Stock?) I guess I have been lucky, but all my Violet mics mentioned above sound very good, esp. after the basket mod. My Globes, which have very different serial numbers, also sound very close to one another.
Just recently one of my good friends returned his Amethyst that he bought last year as his has some problems with noise (suspected bad ground in mic), and they just sent him a new Amethyst. I will try and get my hands on it and do some A/B test with my known good ones.
Old 21st November 2018
  #357
Anyone have any news on how the newest ones are working out?

I have a matched pair in my cart ready to go if they are what they used to be.
Old 21st November 2018
  #358
Here for the gear
Which model -amethyst? Have had absolutely no problems with mine.
Old 21st November 2018
  #359
Vintage.

Sound like a couple folks who bought recently might have had problems.
@Rockabilly69 : Did you ever get to check out the new one?
Old 22nd November 2018
  #360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmission View Post
Vintage.

Sound like a couple folks who bought recently might have had problems.
@Rockabilly69 : Did you ever get to check out the new one?
No, they guy that owns the new one has been ridiculously busy so I haven't got together with him yet. Soon as he gets some free time we'll get it done.
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