Being familiar with Ted Fletcher's colorful (literally and sonically) line of preamps, compressors and EQs, I was very intrigued by this new microphone. It is a large diaphragm true capacitor microphone, as opposed to your typical electret condenser. According to the manual the design is based on 1930s Gefell and Neumann microphones, but made in China. Hence the $299 list price (typically below $200 in stores). So how does it sound? It sounds wonderful. The trick to this microphone is that it loves to be a good foot or two from the source, whereas most mics sound more present the closer you put them. For example, I compared the JM47 to a Groove Tubes GT-6 tube mic on a vocal. The GT-6 was about five inches from the singer, and I put the Joemeek about 15" behind the GT-6, thinking that it would add some nice "room" ambience to the track. Instead I found that the two mics sounded nearly identical in character. The JM47 was as present and warm sounding as the close mic, with maybe a bit more room around the voice. I also tried it as a far mic on a guitar amp and it blew me away. Comparing it to a Coles 4038 ribbon mic about three or four feet away, the JM47 held its own quite nicely. It was present, not as diffused as most mics can be at that distance. It sounded good enough to be the main guitar track! Another great use I found for it was when mic'ing a bass cabinet with different size speakers (in my case, and 18" and 2 10"). I was able to pull the mic a good two or three feet in front of the cab to get the blend of the speakers while still keeping the low end and presence. On the other hand, everything that I tried close micing with it didn't give stellar results. This mic really wants some distance, and it still retains the clarity and power of a close mic. For less than $200, including shock mount and flight case, it's a steal for such a unique and useful mic. (

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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