Shure SM61 - Anyone got one or had one?
I might use an omni on stage for certain things. A close mic on a guitar amp is one possibility, or a shared snare and high hats mic. If the source is loud and close it would be no problem. To be honest, with good quality monitors and reasonable stage volume, I'd be able to use them on vocals.
I've done a quick test, and I really am pleased with these. I can think of plenty of things - maybe a Jeklin disk? In the test I started with a known mic - an AKG 414 set to omni, at six inches. I swapped to the SM63L. Output down a little - so I normalised the AKG, then the Shure at the same distance, then did the Shure touching my lips - with all three moninally the same peak level - you can hear the results.
I had found a bundle of mics at an estate sale many years back and in the collection was the SM61, an SM59, an SM81, and an SM87. I bought all four for $100 cash. The SM87 worked for about two weeks and obviously had been abused and when it quit it really quit! Shorted and tried to eat my monitors. (They are condensers in case no one remembers them) The SM59 was an elegant and interesting sounding mic. I saw several TV shows in the late 80's and early 90's that had these as handheld featured singer mics but they almost had too much grill and distracted from the face doing the singing....Maybe thats why they stopped using them. The SM81 I kept for a long time and it went from me as part of an equipment swap. Since I don't remember anything in the swap except the 81, I'd say I got hosed. I think I loaned the 61 out and that was years ago so I think it lives with someone else now. The "white" color on Karen's mic was called "Suedecoat".
I think of it as an sm7 on steroids.
My philosophy is it might not be the best mic for a voice, but is never the worst. To me it's about as close as it gets to "safe" or universal for a vocal mic.
Miracle? Maybe not.