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Author Topic: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.  (Read 1971 times)

Debbie Dunkley

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Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« on: January 04, 2020, 10:38:55 pm »

A good friend of mine has a show coming up that necessitates using a retro style looking mic like the Shure 55. I don't have one or one like it but I might be tempted to get one if the price is right.
There are not many true vintage ones around that are affordable and in good condition - the new ones are a bit pricey considering the look is the only thing they have going for them. I would only want it for the looks myself with OK sound quality - SM58 ish?
Would an alternative/lower priced clone sound OK for a live show? There are so very few to choose from..
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Weogo Reed

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2020, 10:55:22 pm »

Hi Debbie,

Have you looked at the Heil Fin?

A mic from Ear Trumpet Labs if you really want to go back in time.

Or, get an old mic shell, gut it, and
put something like an Audio Technica ATM350 in there.

Good health,  Weogo
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2020, 11:00:33 pm »

Hi Debbie,

Have you looked at the Heil Fin?

A mic from Ear Trumpet Labs if you really want to go back in time.

Or, get an old mic shell, gut it, and
put something like an Audio Technica ATM350 in there.

Good health,  Weogo

Those Ear Trumpet Mics are WAY cool - yes even farther back in time before the 30's - right?
The Heil Fin ironically looks a little like the Shure 55 prototype.
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2020, 11:21:07 pm »

What kind of band or act is it, live band on stage with stage monitors, track act, ect.?

The new reissue Shure 55's and Super 55's sound OK. As with any mic you need to stay on it, more so if it's a loud stage, that will block some the singers face though.

Heil makes the "The Fin" retro looking mic that has gimmicky led lighting powered via phantom power, never heard or used one of The Fins. They also have one that looks like a 55.

Would a side address condenser work, most of those kind of have the look anyway.

How about a chrome hand held mic on a chrome straight stand, look around and you could find a straight stand with a chrome base. A Shure KSM8 in nickel kind of has the look.

Keep in mind when you see acts using a retro looking mic short of a new re-issue most likely it has been fitted with a modern mic element. 

.......Don't know how I forgot about Ear Trumpet mics, I have one, the Edwina! Works and sounds great for bluegrass as well as looking the part.

« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 11:28:58 pm by Mike Caldwell »
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2020, 11:34:13 pm »

Those Ear Trumpet Mics are WAY cool - yes even farther back in time before the 30's - right?
The Heil Fin ironically looks a little like the Shure 55 prototype.

I would say Heil got a LOT of inspriation from the 55 prototype.

Heil also has a mic that looks like the RCA 77DX

Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2020, 11:59:00 pm »

What kind of band or act is it, live band on stage with stage monitors, track act, ect.?

Live band, wedges, old time country.
Chris is playing bass but I won't be mixing - house PA ( Nexo line array) so I hope it goes well.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2020, 01:13:20 am »

Live band, wedges, old time country.
Chris is playing bass but I won't be mixing - house PA ( Nexo line array) so I hope it goes well.


Sennheiser E609/906, perhaps with some added bling?  Thinking you might already have one of them.  They're good trumpet & trombone mics, too.

Otherwise I think the Heil Fin is an excellent choice, esp when compared to the Shure 55.  The 55 has the capsule from an SM-48.  Never heard of a 48?  Listen to a 55 and you'll understand why.  Unless, of course, that's the sound you actually want ::) 

For less money than the Fin, Heil has the Heritage.  For $99, order one from a shop with friendly return policies in case you don't like it.  It looks more like the final production design for the 55, if that's a factor.

I mix on a client's Nexo Geo S-8 over S2 subs and it's a rocking and well behaved rig installed in a restored theater.  It's fun to mix on and sounds very good.  Unless the venue has done something(s) really stupid, any reasonably contemporary mic should work.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 01:20:39 am by Tim McCulloch »
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Rob Spence

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2020, 01:16:03 am »

Live band, wedges, old time country.
Chris is playing bass but I won't be mixing - house PA ( Nexo line array) so I hope it goes well.

Some of those old mics donít have great patterns for use with wedges. I had lots of feedback issues with a big band that the leader really wanted to use the old mic his dad had.

Also, all the old movies had people singing from a foot away. Doesnít work that way with a pa.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2020, 05:50:29 am »

Some of those old mics donít have great patterns for use with wedges. I had lots of feedback issues with a big band that the leader really wanted to use the old mic his dad had.

Also, all the old movies had people singing from a foot away. Doesnít work that way with a pa.
I have mixed a Fin and a retrofitted 55 and not happy with the sound of either one.
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Chris Grimshaw

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2020, 06:24:42 am »

Just a quick FWIW, what I'd be looking to do is buy a cheap retro-looking mic (there's a million of them out there), and transplanting modern mic components into it. My choice of donor would be an e935, but that's only because I like the sound of those mics. A battered old SM58 could be given a new lease of life this way.

With regards to mic patterns, distance, etc, the thing to remember is that the old mics were often ribbons (figure of 8 rejects the sides well), which were feeding into a PA system that might've had single-digit watts into a 8-12" speaker, and certainly no wedges.
Using an old mic 2' away simply won't work on a "modern" stage with cranked 4x12" amps and a load of wedges.

The bluegrass people manage just fine, though.

Chris
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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
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