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Marvin

Vintage style microphone: advice needed

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The wife of the singer in my band wants to buy him a vintage style microphone, one of those chrome boxy type looking ones.

I said I'd ask you fine people for advice as to some guidance on which one to buy, as I know nothing about microphones at all. Thanks in advance.

 

EDIT: this might actually belong in miscellaneous etc, apologies 

Edited by Marvin

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The 55 is the classic Elvis mic and it's a wonderful thing, but it's a different beast from an SM58.

It's worth spending a bit of time getting the EQ and levels just right - you will be well rewarded. Lovely rich sound.

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There are two versions of the Shure 55. One is essentially an SM58 in a vintage style casing, and the other has a more “vintage” voice. You should really try both, but IMO the SM58 model generally sounds better.

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I should also add that having had first hand experience of Shure Super 55 as it was Mr Venom's microphone of choice for the Terrortones, I can say that underneath that supposedly rugged exterior, they are quite flimsy. In particular, the wires that run from the XLR socket in the base to the capsule in the body of the mic are very thin and weedy and if your singer makes a lot of use of the pivot between the two, the wires will eventually break and need replacing. I had to do this 3 times over 6 years with Mr Venom's mic and they continued to wear out with use, even after I replaced the wires with something a bit more heavy duty.

Admittedly Mr Venom, gave his mic some serious abuse, but after 6 years I had replaced almost every part, so they are not as robust as their looks would have you believe.

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Thank you. Very useful and detailed information and advice.

@BigRedX thanks for the insight on the SM55's durability. The singer in the band I'm plays a lot of guitar so doesn't do much with the mic, although it's still handy to know, thanks.

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In all fairness to Shure, I should perhaps mention that I saw Mr. Venom in action just once, and his antics made it one of the most memorable gigs I've seen in a whole lifetime of gigs.

 

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there is also the Heil "the fin" I can't give any advice on it but I know that there are plenty of people who love heil mics, they also come in black or silver and light up either red or blue (depending on version) when fed with phantom power.

https://www.studiospares.com/Microphones/Mics-Dynamic/Heil-The-Fin-Dynamic-Mic-Chrome--Blue_318070.htm

Matt

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One final thing to be aware of with these style of microphones is that due to the design of the base where it screws into the microphone stand and the fact that the XLR socket is very close, not every make of XLR plug will fit when the microphone is on a stand. Modern slim-line Neutrik plugs are OK but some older Cannon designs are too bulky.

I notice that Heil don't even show a photo of the underside of the base on their website.

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On 10/07/2018 at 09:17, BigRedX said:

I notice that Heil don't even show a photo of the underside of the base on their website.

11460201_800.jpg

 

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Thanks! That looks about the same spacing as the Shure. A modern Neutrik plug should fit, some of the older more bulbous XLR designs probably won't - especially with a vintage style chunky microphone stand.

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That Heil shure is pretty, but can it walk the walk as well as the original 55?

For £185 I'd want a lot more than a pleasant blue glow making my face look like an alien down the Dog & Duck.

 

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I've used this sort of a mic since around 2005. The Shure one really impressed me but we found when some singers use them and others onstage use something more conventional, the conventional mics win out. Not a problem in my rock 'n' roll band as both mics are Elvis mics but in other bands we've found a more modern mic will be louder and clearer. Within the context of using them exclusively, we probably turn up a bit more to compensate but they absolutely deliver 100%.

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17 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

That Heil shure is pretty, but can it walk the walk as well as the original 55?

For £185 I'd want a lot more than a pleasant blue glow making my face look like an alien down the Dog & Duck.

 

It's actually cheaper than the Shure which is now over £200...

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9 minutes ago, Cat Burrito said:

I've used this sort of a mic since around 2005. The Shure one really impressed me but we found when some singers use them and others onstage use something more conventional, the conventional mics win out. Not a problem in my rock 'n' roll band as both mics are Elvis mics but in other bands we've found a more modern mic will be louder and clearer. Within the context of using them exclusively, we probably turn up a bit more to compensate but they absolutely deliver 100%.

The shape and design of the casing on the Super 55 puts the microphone capsule further away from the outside compared with an SM58. That will be why they sound quieter.

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These mics never sound as good as the more modern designs. It's a style thing maybe - but I'd rather have the better performance. Om5 or Om7 it!

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

The shape and design of the casing on the Super 55 puts the microphone capsule further away from the outside compared with an SM58. That will be why they sound quieter.

Exactly. Nothing wrong with that but just means you have to compensate when using them alongside more modern designs.

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

It's actually cheaper than the Shure which is now over £200...

Yes I know. Not really the thrust of my question though ...

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Thank you everyone.

Our singer's wife bought him the Shure Super55 Deluxe. It arrived in time for rehearsal on Thursday and sounds very nice. He's really happy with it. Thanks again.

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On 12/07/2018 at 13:17, BigRedX said:

They screw into the top of the stand in place of the usual microphone clip.

that's fine for vocalists, but with a bass or guitar it means having to lean in a bit.

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7 minutes ago, MacDaddy said:

that's fine for vocalists, but with a bass or guitar it means having to lean in a bit.

No it screws onto the arm of a boom stand in the same way. 

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

No it screws onto the arm of a boom stand in the same way. 

ah, that would be better.

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