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Which dynamic Retro "Elvis Mic" to get?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by sabathiel, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. sabathiel

    sabathiel Active Member

    I am planning of buying a retro mic which I mainly intend to use for aesthetic reasons to post for Youtube with jazz swing style songs from the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s using backing tracks. Of course decent audio quality of the mic is a minimum. I have my eyes set on these two Shure Retro mics:

    New Shure 55SH Series II Iconic Unidyne Dynamic Vocal Mic *Authorized Dealer* | eBay

    The above is the Shure 55SG series II dynamic vocal mic which I think uses the Shure SM58 capsule inside the mic.

    Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vintage-style Chrome Mic w/ Mount +FREE 25' XLR CABLE NEW! | eBay

    This one is a bit more expensive than the one above since it is the Super 55 deluxe version but doesn't have an on/off switch. They say this one uses the Shure Beta 58 capsule inside the mic.

    Anyone has any opinions on these mics and which one to recommend or even maybe other similar retro mics? Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If the switch matters to you then get the 55SH. I have a couple for visual factor. They do the job.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  3. sabathiel

    sabathiel Active Member

    Well which capsule is better the SM58 or the Beta 58? Some people writing reviews say the switch is annoying because when holding the mic you can accidentally turn the mic off. I am leaning towards the 55SH because it is cheaper and I think the SM58 is a better mic and more popular than the Beta 58.
  4. Paul999

    Paul999 Active Member

    They are different not better then each other. You can work with either just fine.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I normally don't use switched mics because of my live audio background but there are applications where its useful. If the switch becomes a problem then take it apart and bypass it.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
  6. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    One word of caution on that: if the new version is wired like the two vintage 55s I have - the mic is OFF when the contacts are closed, so don't solder the wires together thinking that completes the circuit. (it actually shorts the circuit to cut the mic OFF) Again, I don't know if the new models are wired like the old 55s I have. Visual inspection and/or multimeter will put the mystery to rest pretty quickly.
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    The difference between the two mics you are describing are not miles away from each other nor kilometers depending on your location, LOL. If it's a SHURE, you can't go wrong with either. I personally prefer the SM58 capsule over the Beta 58 capsule and here's why: the SM58 capsule is a more recognizable sound. Whereas the Beta 58 capsule has more output level, a slightly extended high-frequency response and sonically appears to me to be a little more condenser like sounding. I don't always like that nor want that. I have an original SHURE 55 that looks like it weighs 20 more pounds than the slimmed-down current 55 series. It's capsule is way different with aluminum diaphragm. So it doesn't sound like an SM58 but sounds like the original 55 which it is. It looks more like a 1953 Buick front grille. I've actually considered removing the old capsule and placing something else inside that would be more appropriate for recording purposes and not necessarily sounding like the original anymore. You can even purchase a RCA 77 DX knockoff from AEA. Now this 77 knock off is available 2 different ways. Wes Dooley has released this microphone which looks like a 77 but does not have the shorter geometry ribbon in it. Instead, he installed virtually the same long geometry ribbon he made for the 44 BX knockoff which is similar to the 84 he also offers. So it doesn't sound like a 77 even though it looks like one. He also offers it empty so that one can install whatever microphone capsule they want to. So you could actually install a Neumann U 87 capsule and guts into it should you so desire. Of course that's slightly extravagant and quite costly. So you could install a Chinese condenser element and guts instead making the body of the microphone more expensive than the internal elements. Otherwise I would go with the 55 with the stock standard SM58 capsule since we love those so much to begin with. Screw the Beta 58 capsule it doesn't sound retro. But it might be a factor if you want a super cardioid polar pattern over a standard cardioid polar pattern? Only you can know this. It's a factor when working with stage speaker monitors and where they are placed depending upon what polar pattern you may seek because of that. You could even find some other old classic microphones from the 1950s/60s that might be broken or dysfunctional. You would then remove its guts and retrofit something else internally. Then you would have the look but not necessarily the retro sound.

    It's not easy being smart
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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