$199.99 - $269.00
3 Stores3 Reviews
Pros: This is a modern microphone with a classic look.
SHURE SUPER 55 DELUXE VOCAL MICROPHONE
If you have ever looked at old clips of some of the live performances of some of the early legends in Rock and Roll history such as Elvis, the Everly Brothers, or Buddy Holly, you must have seen many of them using the Shure 55 Series Unidyne II Microphone. Shure has dramatically updated the technology that was used in that early microphone, and has released the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone. Although there are many obvious visual similarities in the outward appearance of the old classic Shure 55 Series Unidyne II Microphone and the new Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone, there are a number of significant improvements in the electronics that are used in this new microphone, and there is an obvious sound difference, which to say the least is a big improvement over the original. With so many good dynamic vocal microphones to choose from in the price range of under $300.00 and under, picking the right one can be a very daunting and confusing task, especially for one who may not be schooled in what to look for in a microphone. Remember, just because someone may be a great musician or singer, it does not necessarily mean that they know the subtleties and distinctions that make one microphone more suitable to their needs than another. In this review, I shall try to highlight some of the features of the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone, including it strengths and weaknesses and various sonic attributes, in an effort to make it easier for the reader to decide if this microphone might be something that you might be interested in considering as a possible solution to your microphone needs. Read on and see if the information provided in this review describes the type of microphone that you might be interested in auditioning the next time you are in your local music store.
The Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone is part of the Shure Classic Series of microphones manufactured by the Shure Company. The Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone retails for $300.00, but it can be had at a discount from most musical instrument national chain stores and reputable Internet dealers for as little as $249.00. Shure has been making solid, sturdy, microphones for many years, and in fact their first microphone was produced back in 1932 during the Great Depression, and it was what is known as a Carbon Microphone. Shure products are built to last. I have a Shure SM58 that dates back to the late 1960's and it still works well today. There are certain brands of microphones that I have confidence in, and Shure is one of those brands. I have confidence that when I purchase a Shure Microphone that it is going to be sturdy and is going to last.
The Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone is a dynamic microphone with a supercardioid polar pattern. Because it is a dynamic microphone, it does not require phantom power in order for it to operate correctly or efficiently. However, it is important to keep in mind that the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone has an Impedance rating of 150 Ohms, which clearly means that it is a low Impedance microphone. I know that it should go without saying that a microphone will operate most efficiently when it has an Impedance rating that is closely matched to the amplification or recording device that it is being plugged into, but just in case there are some novice home recording and engineering people who might be reading this review, I feel obligated to at least mention it.
The Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone has a frequency response of 60 Hz. to17,000 Hz., which means that it is a microphone with an extended frequency response. A microphone that has a full frequency response would have a range that covers at least the full range of human hearing, which would be from about 20 Hz. to 20,000 Hz. for a healthy young adult. The Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone has a multistage built in shock mount, which means that handling noises are minimized if it were to be used for hand held operation, and this shock mounting also helps to reduce the distracting effects of low end vibrations that might travel up the microphone stand from the stage in cases where this microphone might be used in a stationary situation. Given that the weight of this microphone is 1.465 pounds, the odds are that it will be most unlikely that it is going to be used as a hand held microphone, but it is nevertheless designed to reject handling noise, and it will also be less sensitive to vibrations and related sounds that might travel up the microphone stand during a live stage performance. Although the extended frequency response (60 Hz. to 17,000 Hz.) of the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone might make it seem like it is also ideally suited to recording musical instruments, the pickup pattern, frequency response, and EQ curve is actually most ideally suited to picking up sounds in the human vocal range, and its frequency response is not as flat and uniform across its whole range the way a good condenser microphone might be expected to be. Thus, because it has a vocal response that is ideally tailored for the human voice, there are many other microphones that would be better choices to consider using for the recording of musical instruments.
Because the Shure 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone is a unidirectional dynamic microphone with a supercardioid pickup pattern, it profits from the proximity effect. For the sake of novice readers I will briefly describe what the proximity effect is. The proximity effect is the phenomenon whereby low end frequencies come to be accentuated the closer one is to the sound source that the microphone is picking up. In the case of the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone, the maximum bass response attributable to the proximity effect is achieved by placing the microphone about an inch away from the sound source. Thus a singer can use the proximity effect to their benefit by simply moving the microphone closer or further away from their lips while singing. Moving the microphone closer to the singer's lips will give a very warm, full, rich, deep sound, with an accentuation of the lower frequencies. Normal bass response is achieved when the microphone is about two feet away from the sound source.
As most of you know, when a singer gets too close to a microphone, there is always an increased risk of low end distortion and muddiness. However, the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone has a built in pop filter which reduces the effect of "'plosives" which is the term that is used to describe to sound of the wind or breath sounds that can cause undesirable popping sounds to be amplified or recorded when a singer gets their lips to close to the capsule of a microphone, and sings words beginning with various consonants such as "P" or "B" for example. This is a great feature for a microphone to have.
As I mentioned earlier in the review, the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone is a microphone with a supercardioid polar pattern. A cardioid microphone is most sensitive to sounds emanating from directly in front of the microphone, and it tends to reject or be less sensitive to sounds that are originating from the sides or back of the microphone. A supercardioid microphone is more able to reject unwanted sounds emanating from the periphery of the microphone, and it is even more sensitive to sounds originating from directly in front of it. This is a very important feature to have in a microphone that is being used for live performances, as the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone is better able to isolate the singer's voice from those of the other musical instruments that are simultaneously being played, and this makes controlling or shaping of the singer's voice an easier chore for a soundman working the mixing board. As you might imagine, having a supercardioid polar pattern also makes the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone a good microphone to use in a studio setting, as much less unwanted sound is able to leak into the pickup pattern of the microphone. Of course, this makes it important for a singer to sing into the front of the microphone, and not off to the side, as off axis sounds are even more likely to be rejected than with a more conventional microphone with a more typical cardioid pickup pattern. This makes the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone a microphone that is ideally suited for a drummer or a percussionist who also is expected to handle vocal chores in a live setting. Because of its supercardioid pickup pattern the Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone is able to reject sounds coming from the drums, cymbals, or other percussion instruments better than a traditional microphone with a cardioid pattern. However, the size of the microphone might put off some drummers, as it could potentially get in the way of their playing, and that is certainly something that must be taken into consideration.
The Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone is clearly a good choice for a singer or musician who is looking to capture that classic vibe from the 1950's and early 1960's, but who also is looking for a microphone that employs the latest modern technology and sonic excellence required from a good quality microphone.
Well, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my review, but now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.