Inside JZ Microphones and the BT 202 Stereo Pair

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Inside JZ Microphones and the BT 202 Stereo Pair

JZ Microphones BT 202 Stereo Pair
Words by Jamie Colic

“We understand sound on an emotional level”

With no shortage of small diaphragm condenser (SDC) options available in the current day, what does it take for a microphone to stand out in a market that is so saturated and competitive? If the answer is a combination of passion, innovation and unique design aesthetics, then JZ Microphones has brought forward a worthy answer in the new BT 202 Stereo Pair.

Known in particular for their unique looks as well as employing the use of their unique Golden Drop Capsule design, JZ Microphones have carved out a dedicated following over the past 17 years. This is due in no small part to the fact that JZ has repeatedly managed to offer microphones of an exceptional build quality at a price that won’t break the bank. 

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Established in Latvia back in 2007, lead designer and founder Jurin Zarins decided to implement 20 years of industry knowledge into the development of his own line of hand-crafted studio recording microphones. Jurin states “Our objective is to reduce the physical limitations of delivering your recording whilst keeping its complexity and beauty unaltered.”

BT 202 Stereo Pair

Keeping the sincerity of this mission statement in mind we must draw your focus upon the JZ Microphones BT 202 Stereo Pair. A pair that signals JZ’s entry into the aforementioned SDC microphone market, after an impressive track record of home runs in the world of large diaphragm condenser (LDC) offerings. 

At this point in time, it is important to mention that the JZ Microphones BT 202 is only offered for purchase in a matched pair. Considering that many would utilise this sort of SDC microphone for stereo applications such as drum overheads, this shouldn’t pose an issue for most buyers. However, we still figured it was worth mentioning before diving deep into what makes the BT 202 stereo-matched pair so great. 

The first thing that jumps out about the BT 202 is its design which invokes an aesthetically pleasing impression which is neither retro nor modern. This aside, we can all agree that they look great, which may or may not be a great consideration for anyone in the market for a SDC Microphone. 

Sleek aesthetics aside, this also makes them a reasonably practical option in a space (around a drum kit) where space is at a premium! Their compact and streamlined design helps them to nestle comfortably besides other microphones, or otherwise draped over a drumkit as overheads. Where other microphones in the market might be too heavy to hoist up overhead, especially when even a millimetre’s movement can affect the phase, gain and localisation of a sound, the compact size of the BT 202 Stereo Pair makes them a great solution.

While heavier mics might lead you to believe they’re sturdier option, we are pleased to report that the BT 202 feels solid in the hand. Due entirely to the microphone’s rugged chassis, JZ has succeeded yet again in providing a microphone that is up to the task of enduring arduous sessions for many years to come.

Looks and feel aside, the sonics need to be heard to be believed. The quoted frequency range of the BT 202 is flat from 30Hz up to 6kHz, after which a slight bump occurs between 8-9 Khz. If all of this wasn’t enough a self-noise figure of around 12dBA means that the BT202 pair are about as quiet as can be for a microphone of this type. Other microphones in the space might boast similar specs, but not with the sleek and refined design that the BT 202 do, and those that are as sturdy as JZ’s mics don’t always have the same response! All in all, the BT 202 pack a whole lot of punch.

This stereo pair employ a fixed Cardioid polar pattern ensuring that the BT 202s provide good rejection of everything besides the source you intend to capture. This task is further enhanced sonically by both microphones Class A Transformerless electronics. 

The BT 202’s 13mm capsule boasts the same Golden Drop technique that JZ employs in the design and manufacture of their Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones capsules. The thinking behind this is that it makes the capsule itself is more responsive to transients as it is lighter than other capsules built with more standardised methods. 

The JZ BT 202 shine in a number of applications in which Audio Engineers would employ the use of Small Diaphragm Condenser mics including, but not limited to, the recording of drum overheads, acoustic guitars or piano.

JZ Microphones

Used as drum overheads the BT 202s would to provide a nice lean image of the entire drum kit, enabling one to easily blend them into the close snare and kick sounds when it came time for mixdown. The BT 202s are bright enough as to provide the appropriate amount of presence that most would be seeking from their overhead sound without ever sounding too brittle.

Romesh Dodangoda

World class engineers, like Romesh Dodangoda (Motörhead, Bring Me The Horizon and Bullet For My Valentine) agree. Romesh explained “They sound really good from my first impressions. They are very warm sounding, almost a slightly vintage tone to them compared to some other alternatives out there. I would say they are voiced darker when compared to something like an AKG451 or KM184 which are fairly bright mics, so if you’re looking for something warmer sounding or you have a bright sounding room or bright cymbals that you want to sound less harsh, these should be good for that!”

Additionally, the clarity provided by the BT 202’s relays to other instrument sources; namely something like an acoustic guitar or piano. One-trick-pony the BT 202 are not! This is a scenario in which the BT 202’s offer clarity and true-to-source response to whatever is placed in front of them. The slight bump in the 8-9kHz range will provide a suitable “lift” for whatever source material the mic’s are placed in front of without ever sounding overbearing, harsh or unrealistic.

Overall, the JZ Microphone BT 202 Stereo Pair would be a fantastic contender in the world of SDC Microphones. They provide a unique voice that makes them a fantastic all-rounder for any professional recording studio, especially in such a saturated market, and all at a price that is very reasonable when pitted against a lot of its competitors. Hats off to JZ Microphones yet again, for bringing yet another fantastic offering to the table.

For more, visit JZ Microphones here.