Why does the microphone start with the mic

Test marathon Elvis microphones

Seven retro microphones in a practical test

I have had the three currently available Shure microphone models come to the test, as well as some microphones that implement the classic design more or less true to the original. For the comparison test we have accumulated: 55SH II, Super 55 and Unidyne 5575 LE from Shure, the t.bone GM 55 and the slightly more free interpreting microphones Superlux WH5, the very special Out Of The Blue Shower Head and The Fin from Talkbox inventor Heil Sound. But first I would like to briefly throw some general information over you with the parachute:

Little history lesson of the Unidyne microphones

A historical overview that begins in 1939 does not actually promise casual entertainment. When it comes to microphones, things are different. Unlike Germany, the USA is not the country of condenser microphones, but of the dynamic principle. Ribbon microphones widely used in America are dynamic, but are not known to be particularly robust. In addition, they almost always have the directional characteristic figure eight, so they are just as sensitive to sound from the rear as to sound coming from the front. Directional effect was usually created by combining a ribbon with a pressure receiver, which always has an omnidirectional characteristic. The Western Electric Model 639 is certainly the best known of them, and Abbey Road Studios also used it for a long time. Incidentally, the 639 has a shape that is clearly reminiscent of Shure's design from 1939 - only the characteristic grill of the Shure 55 was inspired by the radiator grille of a car (!). The 1937 Oldsmobile was the inspiration.

Housing: beautiful, but with "peculiarities"

Today the housing would certainly be built differently, because the diffraction effects of the rounded back, but especially the interference from the coarse grille with its constant opening sizes, cause acoustic artifacts. That's why you hardly see any grids on microphones today (exceptions are, for example, Horch RM3 and Aston Stealth) and there are even modifications, such as from Syrinx. Housings are also responsible for the generally rather weak feedback security (although this is exactly what was advertised when the microphones were released!), And the susceptibility to pop noises is significantly higher than with more modern designs.

Shure Unidyne 55S - the baby

The original Unidyne 55 case, also teased as "Fatboy", was given a smaller companion a little later, the "Baby Unidyne" 55S, which is certainly the best known today. However, Shure certainly knows about the legacy, so the giant block, which has been reissued for the 75th anniversary, is currently available in a limited edition. Logically it is called Unidyne 5575 and is limited to 5575 pieces. Among the many smaller changes, especially the S - ("Small -") versions, one found conspicuous ones such as the addition of an on / off switch, the elimination of impedance switching and different colored foams. The most important point is certainly the Super 55, released in 2009, which has a stronger directivity thanks to the supercardioid.

Turner & Co .: rocket microphones

Of course, such long-term success does not go unnoticed by other manufacturers. There are now some who have brought microphones with a similar appearance and area of ​​application onto the market, some with clear variations on the subject. And, of course, Art Deco design for microphones is not a Shure invention - if you dig a little, you will find the craziest shapes of microphones. Heil Sound's “The Fin” is still moderate, especially in the 1950s there were “more modern” designs, some with a “rocket look”. Well, if you like it ...

Current micros at bonedo in the test

From today's offer, the Shure 55SH II, Shure Super 55, Shure Unidyne 5575 LE, t.bone GM 55, Superlux WH5, Out Of The Blue Shower Head and Heil Sound The Fin have now entered the test. Elvis Presley hasn't been among the living for a long time (and has also used other mics in the course of his career, such as the Shure SM53). Thus, the King can no longer enjoy this test marathon, where you can also listen to all the microphones in direct comparison! Have fun reading, listening - and explicitly also watching!