One man's junk....

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by dvdhawk, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA

    Did the subject line make you nervous about what you might see??? HA!!!

    I liberated these guys (vintage Shure 55s) and one Amphenol to XLR cable from a closet in a church basement. They haven't seen the light of day in years, and were probably headed to the landfill. I was glad to find them and they were glad to give them away to a good home. They're a little crusty, a little musty, but I think they'll clean up nice.

    They're both a little 'dark' sounding, I'm not sure if it's true to mics of the era or if they've just aged that way. The impedance switches on both work perfectly. Even if I never use these guys, they'll look cool sitting on my shelf - or I could always drop a modern capsule in one.

    The one on the left with the blue grill worked right off the bat. The other one with the black grill just had a bad ON/OFF switch, and one deteriorated rubber shock mount - both minor problems easily repaired. The new switch is on its way and the rubber has already been replaced with some material I had here.

    Whoever tried to 'fix' the switch last apparently didn't want to buy a switch and didn't study the wiring. They tried to bypass the switch by soldering the two wires together. If they would have studied the switch and connector for a few seconds they would have seen it's not an ON switch - it's an OFF switch. Closing the contacts doesn't pass the signal through, it shorts the output.

    All together now.... curl your lip ..... 'thank you, thank you very much'

    Elvis has left the building
  2. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    They're really good for making mashed potatoes too.
    congrats on your treasure hunt.
    I used to have one like the one on the right.
    I always thought they sounded somewhat similar to the 57 in a general way.
    Try putting THAT on a snare.

    I think you'll see one on Johnny Carson's desk if you catch any of the older clips.
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Great find! If nothing else they will make a great CD cover some day. Drop a new capsule in it and take it on the road with your country or rockabilly group!
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    They may sound dark as my much older 55 from the 1940s, it utilized a aluminum diaphragm. The newer units utilized a mylar diaphragm. And the current units utilize a SM57/58 diaphragm capsule. I have often thought about putting a new capsule into my microphone? I'm sure there wouldn't be too many problems mounting a 57 capsule into the cavernous enclosure. My current 55 actually is spring shock mounted from the factory along with some now rotted foam rubber. I wouldn't mind getting a couple more of those. If only to put some newer capsules inside.

    My 55 looks like the front end of a 55 Buick
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    I could get a new capsule from Shure, or as you say Remy there's plenty of room to put most of a modern mic inside these old monsters.

    You can put in new capsule the easy way, or you can do it the hard way, which must be the mantra of the folks at [URL="]Mutant Mics[/URL].

    Here's the hard way.

    The chrome finish on some of their restorations looks really sweet.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    A wizard friend of mine put a C12 capsule and all the mic amp parts in his his making it a condenser. The grill on the top was the active part and required a bit of mounting hardware wizardry to aim it right.....sounded really okay....too much metal for me....

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