Cloud Microphones Introduces The JRS-34-P Passive Ribbon Microphone
(AlexV | Posted 2010-07-02)
Handcrafted entirely in the US, the Cloud JRS-34-P combines the best attributes of vintage and modern technologies to create a high-quality ribbon microphone ideally suited for music and vocalist. The JRS-34-P, like other passive ribbon microphones, requires a high-gain preamp with over 60db of gain. Included is a beautiful handcrafted wooden box, designed to properly store the microphone.
I was lucky enough to meet with the founder of Cloud Microphones, RJ Cloud, at 2010 Summer NAMM in Nashville. Displayed at their booth was a sort of “evolution” of the ribbon microphone over time ending with their signature JRS-34-P. RJ and his crack team of designers and engineers have deep roots in the ribbon microphone industry dating back to the 30’s with classics such as the RCA 44 series. As I saw many classic ribbon knock-offs at NAMM, RJ ensured me that the JRS-34-P is the real deal and I’m inclined to believe him.
Designed in collaboration with Stephen Sank, the Cloud ribbon mics were given the model number prefix JRS in homage to the late Jon R. Sank, Stephen Sank’s father (1934-1998). Known for his work with RCA* that produced legendary microphones such as the BK-11 and BK-10A, the senior Sank succeeded RCA’s Harry Olson as the guiding force behind the company’s continuing development of ribbon microphones. Having studied alongside his father since the age of 10, Stephen Sank’s efforts in conjunction with Cloud build upon this same legacy. Each JRS-34 ribbon is cut, corrugated, and installed by hand in precisely the same fashion as prescribed by Olson. New ideas expand the performance capabilities of the blueprint as well, bringing the design into the 21st century with the addition of audio transformers by CineMag Inc., neodymium magnets, and more.
- Grey Powdercoat Finish / Nickel Screens
- Handcrafted Wooden Case
- Figure 8 polar pattern
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz to above 20 kHz
- Maximum SPL: 138 + dB SPL above 1 kHz
- Output Sensitivity: -49 dBv/Pa
- Output Impedance: 250 ohms nominal
- XLR connector
- Ribbon element dimensions: .19 inches wide, 2.35 inches long, 1.8 microns thick
- Handmade in Tucson, AZ USA
This microphone shows a lot of promise and seemed to create a lot of hype around NAMM. We are hoping to get our hands on a JRS-34 for review in the next few weeks. Keep your eyes out for new Cloud Micrphones and visit their website (www.cloudmicrophones.com) for new products and other press releases.
The JRS-34 has a MSRP $1499 with a street price around $1399
About Cloud Microphones
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. The Cloud JRS-34, with modern appointments such as neodymium magnets and Cinemag transformers takes the next evolutionary step in the immortal BK-11 and 44 series microphone design line.
All Cloud products are completely built in the USA. Most parts are fabricated locally with our partner company Aerofab, inc. Each microphone is then assembled by hand at our manufacturing lab in Tucson, Arizona under the supervision of Stephen Sank. The ribbons are all cut, corrugated, and installed by hand in precisely the same manner and with the same care that Harry Olson prescribed at RCA, when ribbon microphones were first introduced. Each individual mic is thoroughly inspected for sound quality and craftsmanship by Stephen personally, and no corners are cut in this process. The result is a beautiful completely hand crafted high quality ribbon microphone.
From a press release.