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Vintage Shure 55c, trouble getting good sound quality



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 31st 07, 05:22 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
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Posts: 24
Default Vintage Shure 55c, trouble getting good sound quality

Hello,

I am looking for mic help!
I just bought a vintage Shure 55c high impedance microphone, a new
vintage style 7' cable (3-pin amphenol to 1/4"), and a 1/4" to XLR
transformer from radio shack. I have connected it to several
different sound boards but struggle to get good sound quality.
Everything sounds muffled, like the bass is missing perhaps.

I purchased it on ebay, and the seller said the sound quality was
"amazing", though he said he tested it on a ham rig, and I don't know
much about that. I've been doing tons of research about impedance
matching, and I made sure to buy the right cables and all that, and
yet I can't get this thing to work the way I had hoped.

I've posted a sample that I recorded at a radio station I work at.
Please take a listen and let me know what you think.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...05960483515961

Is it broken? Is it just old? Could I be wiring it wrong?

Thanks for all your help,

Adam
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  #4  
Old December 31st 07, 02:33 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers
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Posts: 8,744
Default Vintage Shure 55c, trouble getting good sound quality

On Dec 31, 12:22 am, wrote:

> I just bought a vintage Shure 55c high impedance microphone, a new
> vintage style 7' cable (3-pin amphenol to 1/4"), and a 1/4" to XLR
> transformer from radio shack. I have connected it to several
> different sound boards but struggle to get good sound quality.
> Everything sounds muffled, like the bass is missing perhaps.


"Muffled" usually means lacking treble rather than lacking bass. Given
the setup, and the fact that the Shure 55C is supposed to have a
"vintage" and band-limited sound, it's simply not supposed to sound
very good.

Is this a real 55C from the 1940s, or the modern version? If it's an
old one, goodness knows what it's been through. Just look at the
frequency response of it when it was new and you'll see that it starts
to go to pot beyond the speech range (200 Hz to 3.5 kHz roughly).

http://www.shure.com/stellent/groups...pro_55a_ug.pdf

The fact that you have the high impedance version and you're going
through a crummy transformer only makes things worse. Enjoy the
vintage sound or get yourself a more modern microphone. I was given a
couple of those mics (though the low impedance version) and after
deciding that I'd never use them for anything but a prop, I put them
on the "future projects" pile. I'm planning to mount them on a nice
looking piece of wood and making them into a hat rack.

  #5  
Old December 31st 07, 02:47 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Scott Dorsey
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Posts: 16,715
Default Vintage Shure 55c, trouble getting good sound quality

> wrote:
>I am looking for mic help!
>I just bought a vintage Shure 55c high impedance microphone, a new
>vintage style 7' cable (3-pin amphenol to 1/4"), and a 1/4" to XLR
>transformer from radio shack. I have connected it to several
>different sound boards but struggle to get good sound quality.
>Everything sounds muffled, like the bass is missing perhaps.


Yes, those mikes are that way.

>I purchased it on ebay, and the seller said the sound quality was
>"amazing", though he said he tested it on a ham rig, and I don't know
>much about that. I've been doing tons of research about impedance
>matching, and I made sure to buy the right cables and all that, and
>yet I can't get this thing to work the way I had hoped.


The old 55 has no top end, no bottom end, and the pattern is just
godawful. It is far worse than the SM-57 as a PA mike because the
gain before feedback is just awful.

>I've posted a sample that I recorded at a radio station I work at.
>Please take a listen and let me know what you think.
>http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...05960483515961
>
>Is it broken? Is it just old? Could I be wiring it wrong?


No, they sounded awful when they were new too. You might try an active
DI box to reduce the load on the thing, but don't expect it to sound
as good as an SM-57.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #6  
Old December 31st 07, 08:55 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
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Posts: 24
Default Vintage Shure 55c, trouble getting good sound quality

On Dec 31, 9:47 am, (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
> > wrote:
> >I am looking for mic help!
> >I just bought a vintage Shure 55c high impedance microphone, a new
> >vintage style 7' cable (3-pin amphenol to 1/4"), and a 1/4" to XLR
> >transformer from radio shack. I have connected it to several
> >different sound boards but struggle to get good sound quality.
> >Everything sounds muffled, like the bass is missing perhaps.

>
> Yes, those mikes are that way.
>
> >I purchased it on ebay, and the seller said the sound quality was
> >"amazing", though he said he tested it on a ham rig, and I don't know
> >much about that. I've been doing tons of research about impedance
> >matching, and I made sure to buy the right cables and all that, and
> >yet I can't get this thing to work the way I had hoped.

>
> The old 55 has no top end, no bottom end, and the pattern is just
> godawful. It is far worse than the SM-57 as a PA mike because the
> gain before feedback is just awful.
>
> >I've posted a sample that I recorded at a radio station I work at.
> >Please take a listen and let me know what you think.
> >http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...05960483515961

>
> >Is it broken? Is it just old? Could I be wiring it wrong?

>
> No, they sounded awful when they were new too. You might try an active
> DI box to reduce the load on the thing, but don't expect it to sound
> as good as an SM-57.
> --scott
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. It's just a crummy old mic. It's
beautiful though so I took it today to music repair man to see about
updating the internal mic parts. I know it will no longer be a
vintage mic, but a decent mic in that chrome frame is all i really
want anyway, and I don't really intend to resell it.

Thank you all for your help!

Adam
  #7  
Old December 31st 07, 09:11 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
[email protected]
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Posts: 24
Default Vintage Shure 55c, trouble getting good sound quality

On Dec 31, 9:33 am, Mike Rivers > wrote:
> On Dec 31, 12:22 am, wrote:
>
> > I just bought a vintage Shure 55c high impedance microphone, a new
> > vintage style 7' cable (3-pin amphenol to 1/4"), and a 1/4" to XLR
> > transformer from radio shack. I have connected it to several
> > different sound boards but struggle to get good sound quality.
> > Everything sounds muffled, like the bass is missing perhaps.

>
> "Muffled" usually means lacking treble rather than lacking bass. Given
> the setup, and the fact that the Shure 55C is supposed to have a
> "vintage" and band-limited sound, it's simply not supposed to sound
> very good.
>
> Is this a real 55C from the 1940s, or the modern version? If it's an
> old one, goodness knows what it's been through. Just look at the
> frequency response of it when it was new and you'll see that it starts
> to go to pot beyond the speech range (200 Hz to 3.5 kHz roughly).
>
> http://www.shure.com/stellent/groups...b_ug/documents...
>
> The fact that you have the high impedance version and you're going
> through a crummy transformer only makes things worse. Enjoy the
> vintage sound or get yourself a more modern microphone. I was given a
> couple of those mics (though the low impedance version) and after
> deciding that I'd never use them for anything but a prop, I put them
> on the "future projects" pile. I'm planning to mount them on a nice
> looking piece of wood and making them into a hat rack.



It's a real 55c, and the element is just probably too old. Basically,
I was hoping I could get a decent sounding mic that might provide
something usable once or twice for a radio broadcast. I don't have a
high impedance crystal amplifier, though it did work a little better
on a guitar amp.

Thanks for the help,

Adam
  #8  
Old December 31st 07, 09:24 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Scott Dorsey
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Posts: 16,715
Default Vintage Shure 55c, trouble getting good sound quality

> wrote:
>Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. It's just a crummy old mic. It's
>beautiful though so I took it today to music repair man to see about
>updating the internal mic parts. I know it will no longer be a
>vintage mic, but a decent mic in that chrome frame is all i really
>want anyway, and I don't really intend to resell it.


It won't be.

You can put an SM-57 capsule behind that grille, and what you will get
won't have anything to do with the SM-57 pattern. The grille is going
to screw up any element you put behind it.

There is a reason modern microphones don't look like that, and it's not
just style.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #9  
Old December 31st 07, 11:44 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
[email protected]
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Posts: 24
Default Vintage Shure 55c, trouble getting good sound quality

On Dec 31, 4:24 pm, (Scott Dorsey) wrote:
> > wrote:
> >Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. It's just a crummy old mic. It's
> >beautiful though so I took it today to music repair man to see about
> >updating the internal mic parts. I know it will no longer be a
> >vintage mic, but a decent mic in that chrome frame is all i really
> >want anyway, and I don't really intend to resell it.

>
> It won't be.
>
> You can put an SM-57 capsule behind that grille, and what you will get
> won't have anything to do with the SM-57 pattern. The grille is going
> to screw up any element you put behind it.
>
> There is a reason modern microphones don't look like that, and it's not
> just style.
> --scott
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


What if used a bullet microphone, like the Shure 520DX? It also has a
grill. I'm looking for average (but modern) sound, not top of the
line. Do you think it's possible?
  #10  
Old January 1st 08, 01:55 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers
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Posts: 8,744
Default Vintage Shure 55c, trouble getting good sound quality

On Dec 31, 6:44 pm, wrote:

> What if used a bullet microphone, like the Shure 520DX? It also has a
> grill.


It's good for playing blues harmonica into a guitar amplifier. Is this
for television? If not, who cares what the mic looks like?

Have you looked at the Heil Fin or Heritage models? They're cool
looking and at least they're modern designs so they won't make you
sound so much like a taxi cab dispatcher.

http://www.heilsound.com/pro/products/fin/index.htm
http://www.heilsound.com/pro/product...tage/index.htm
 




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