SHURE 55SH SERIES II PROFESSIONAL MICROPHONE
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If you have ever seen footage of Elvis performing live in the 1950s, or have seen pictures of greats like Johnny Cash performing on stage in the 1960s, the chances are very good that the microphone that these artists, and other great singers of the time, would be seen using was a Shure 55 Series Unidyne II microphone. The look of this microphone is classic, nostalgic, and professional. Shure has now updated the classic 55 Series Unidyne Microphone, and the new incarnation is called the Shure 55SH Series II.
The old Unidyne II was a microphone that was not very sensitive or loud. The sound engineers at Shure put in their research and came up with some excellent sonic improvements to the old Unidyne II, and the result is a microphone that has modern sonic capabilities, but still retains the vintage look and appeal of the original. The new Shure 55SH Series II is a lot more sensitive, and has a sonic pickup pattern that is tailored to pickup and accurately reproduce the human voice.
Like most good vocal microphones, the Shure 55SH Series II has a unidirectional (cardioid) pickup pattern that is most sensitive to sound sources coming directly at the front of the microphone. Sound pickup from the sides is minimized, with the least sonic sensitivity being directly to the rear of the microphone. Obviously, this is a real plus in live situations, as sounds coming from other members of the band to the right or left of the singer are not going to be picked up as easily, and sounds coming from the back of the microphone, such as from the audience, are also not going to be picked up very well either. This cardioid pickup pattern minimizes the chances of feedback from the sound system and from the monitors, and permits a singer greater freedom of movement on stage, as well as greater latitude in microphone placement.
The Shure 55SH Series II is a microphone that is designed to be mounted on a stand, and it has a handy On/Off Switch, which makes it very suitable for public address purposes. A handy optional desk stand is also available from Shure (model number S37A) for broadcast purposes or desktop use. The swivel mount permits the microphone to be tilted as much as 45 degrees forward, and up to 80 degrees backward. However, just in case you get the urge to do a little bit of dancing in front of the microphone as you are performing, Shure has also added a built in shock mount to reduce noise and vibrations coming up through the stand from the base of the microphone or from the stage. This microphone can be hand held as well, although the shape is a bit awkward for this purpose, and the weight of 22 ounces is bound to start feeling a bit heavy after awhile. The sound cartridge of the 55SH Series II is also encased in a very rugged Chrome-platted die cast case, which means that this is a microphone that can stand up to some very rugged conditions, such as the road.
The Shure 55SH Series II microphone has a frequency response of 50 to 15,000 Hz. and it has a response pattern that is specifically tailored for picking up the sound of singing and speech. It also does a fine job on picking up or recording musical instruments, but there are other microphones in this price range (a discounted street price of $159.99) such as the Shure SM57 (a discounted street price of $99.99) that I would prefer to use for musical instrument recording, such as for recording drums or saxophones.
The Shure 55SH Series II is a good microphone for someone who wants that classic 1950s appearance in a microphone, but who also wants modern sonic sensitivity and sound performance. It is an excellent choice for recording situations that call for a dynamic microphone, with a cardioid pickup pattern, and this is especially true for recording vocals.
Well thank you for taking the time to read my review of the Shure 55SH Series II Professional Microphone. But now, if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.
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