Crown Sound Grabber II PZM Microphone


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Pressure Zone Microphones caused a stir in the 1980s but seem to have sunk without trace since. Crown have been making them since the 80s and, for a short while, Tandy (Radio Shack) sold a cheap version under licence. Nowadays Crown, Audio Technica, Sennheiser & others produce PZM mics for many uses

A Pressure Zone Microphone places the capsule adjacent to a boundary to pickup pressure waves. They normally have a small capsule placed opposite a flat plate, the size of the plate determining the low frequency response. When taped to a wall or floor, a PZM can give remarkable results, particularly in small rooms. They are also superb taped to the underside of the piano lid on grand pianos

Placing the PZM flush with the reflective boundary means that reflected sound (room ambience, etc) does not interfere with the direct sound. As a result a PZM will sound very different to a conventional microphone in a small room

PZMs punch well above their weight and are a great addition to any mic cupboard. My advice is to have a pair setup permanently to capture spur-of-the-moment ideas – tape them to a wall or to a sheet of perspex on a mic stand

The Crown Sound Grabber II is a low-cost electret PZM powered by a 1.5 volt battery. The output is unbalanced on a 3.5 mm jack

Owners manual

Crown application guide for PZM, PCC & SASS microphones

Archive of PZM notes (22 years of memos as a PDF)

Gearslutz thread