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Author Topic: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.  (Read 2016 times)

W. Mark Hellinger

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2020, 09:13:47 am »

Hi Debbie,

Have you looked at the Heil Fin?

A few weeks ago I worked with a band, which supplied their own vocal mics, one of which I now believe was a Heil Fin.  At the time I didn't recognize the mic, and mistakingly ID-ed the mic as possibly a '60's vintage Calrad DM-18.  The mic sounded better than I expected at the time for what I was prepared for when the vocalist pulled it out of his duffle bag.  The internal red light of the mic was on for the show... which now explains why he requested phantom power for that mic channel.  There was an issue with mounting the mic on the K&M stand I'd provided, which was a clearance issue... the mic threads onto the stand, which couldn't be done with the mic/mic clip lock-ring on the threads ... with the ring attached there wasn't clearance to attach a Neutrik NC3FXX equipped mic cable to the mic... I removed the ring.  The sound was "ok"... certainly quite acceptable, and certainly better than the Green Bullet the other vocalist supplied and insisted on using.  I thought the internal red lighting was a little much/ distracting, but likely wouldn't have been so-much "in your face" had the stage lighting been considerably brighter, although I now understand the internal light could be turned off by shutting off the phantom power to the mic.  I don't think the Heil Fin would be suitable... or as suitable for hand-held applications as a 55... not that a 55 is all that suitable for hand-held applications.  For the price (approx. $200?) and rather specialized application, I'd rather recommend trying before buying if possible to see how it works with your vocalist.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 10:28:08 am by W. Mark Hellinger »
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John Halliburton

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2020, 09:42:13 am »

I seem to recall someone who gutted some 55 bodies(modern ones), and fitted SM57/58  capsules.  I used to have a band at a festival once a year where all four vocal mics were 55s, then they finally switched to SM58 for their last couple of years in existence.  It had sunk in finally.

Best regards,

John
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2020, 10:17:44 am »

I was given a 55 look alike to use on a show. I think it was one of the Heil versions. It had a lot of handling noise and the mic capsule inside was aimed towards the top of the mic and it was directional so if you sang into it like one normally would a real 55 you were singing into the side of the capsule. But it they were singing over the top of it you were sort of singing into the capsule but not straight into it. 
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Weogo Reed

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2020, 10:24:55 am »

Hi Debbie,

"Those Ear Trumpet Mics are WAY cool - yes even farther back in time before the 30's - right?"

    Visually I'm guessing the ET mics go back to the '20s, and
am pretty sure I've seen similar in movies from the '30s and '40s.

    Since it was likely long paid for, if it worked ok, a mic like this
may have still been in service into the '50s for low-budget recording/events.
The '50s were a decade that everything had to be 'modern', so
an old mic would have had little appreciation on a pop music stage.
Anybody have more definitive information.?

    The ET mics do sound very good.
(The Nadine is my favorite String Bass mic.)

Thanks and good health,  Weogo
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2020, 10:33:52 am »

The new Shure 55's suck. Don't use it unless it's modded. The Heil Fin is certainly usable, but comes with it's own set of comprimises too.


I recently had to use a 55 for the look (Christmas program) and e-taped an AT Pro45 to the side of it. Worked well enough for me. Maybe you could figure out somthing similar. Maybe the vintage mic for the monitor and the hidden mic for FOH?

https://forums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/topic,172694.msg1592354.html#msg1592354
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Mike Caldwell

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2020, 11:37:16 am »

Out of curiosity I did a little digging into the Shure 55 and Super 55 mic elements.

The 55SH uses a R115 mic element, same element used in the Shure 586. I think it's safe to say the 586 would not be any of ours first choice vocal mic!!

The Super 55 shows a R115S as the replacement mic element, when you look up the mic element is seems to be listed as the replacement for the Super 55 and an upgrade for the 55SH.

In my experience either of the Shure 55 versions has been meh ok at best. Monitors were fun!!!

Short of a few exceptions any mic that is going for a "look" will be compromised in audio quality.

Metallica is using Shure Super 55 mics on vocals, who knows if it is off the shelf stock of modified.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 04:22:23 pm by Mike Caldwell »
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Chris Hindle

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2020, 12:00:05 pm »


Metallica is using Shure Super 55 mics on vocals, who knows if it is off the shelf stock of modified.

Not like that's that's a volume-challenging stage or anything.......
Got to be modified.
Chris.
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Ya, Whatever. Just throw a '57 on it, and get off my stage.

Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2020, 01:58:31 pm »

Tim: ... I did in fact see your post and pic using taped on PRO45 - forgot about it..... that sounds like an easy fix for me. Grab a 55 and find an inconspicuous way to tape on a better mic. I have a couple of AT4041's.
Question - why use the 55 for monitors? Why not just turn it off and use the better mic for FOH and monitors?

Tim Mc: A dressed up 609 or 906? I have 906's - I wonder if I could dress one up somehow?

It certainly sounds like the factory sound of the 55 (from any era) is NOT one that is desirable for ANY purpose by anyone here. Good to know - I'll have a good think about which way to go.... fun project either way.
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Steve Crump

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2020, 02:45:27 pm »

This link from Shure's website states that the Super 55 uses a modified Beta 58A capsule. It also addresses some handling issues that the design presents.

https://www.shure.com/en-US/support/find-an-answer/55sh-series-ii-with-beta-58-cartridge

My business partner has the Heil and after several tries we never found a good spot to use it...He liked it because it lights up...

We also have the 55 and I will say it is not a "grab and use" type of vocal mic. Just haven't found many vocalist that is a great fit, most don't like that it can't be grabbed and handled in just anyway. But, I have been working with a Blues singer for about 7 years that for the past 4 years he has used the 55 at every show that I have worked with him and it works for him.

I have never found it to be that problematic with stage wedges.

Did a show with a couple of artist who brought the Ear Trumpet Edwina....Now that's a mic I would like to own.   
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2020, 03:39:34 pm »

I have a few options now.
I just picked up a mint 55SH for $110.
According to something I found on the Shure support page, there is a guy in Illinois ( I am sure there are many others also ) who modifies the 55SH and replaces the capsule with a Beta 87A. As I saved some money on the front end, assuming the mic is in mint condition when it gets here and assuming the mod is a fair price, it might be worth my while getting the mod done. It won't be ready in time for the up coming show but might be worthwhile going forward.
Thoughts on this?.

OR I just keep it as is when sound quality is much farther down the list of importance , and use the taped on condenser mic hack when I need better quality.
I think I could make my 4041 look quite discreet but any ideas on a decent sounding MINI mic ?
The PRO45 wouldn't break the bank....anything smaller? Snare or rack tom mic maybe?
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Re: Shure 55 or similar - gotta get that retro look.
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2020, 03:39:34 pm »


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