Re: [Harp-L] That great "Bluesy" stage sound

Splash! writes:
You will never go wrong with a SM-58 in your kit.  Get a Lo-Hi Transformer
to go with it.  In the years to come, that mic will prove useful over and
over for different uses.  I prefer the 58 over the 57 for a first mic for
several reasons.  The ball on the end makes it easier for me to cup well,
and it's a pretty decent vocal mic in Lo impedance mode.  The 57 is a better
mic with wich to amplify an amp cabinet so it's number 2 on my list.  Either
one will serve you well for decades.

Here's another idea: the Shure 545SD (aka, the "Butterfield" mic). You can get one new for ~$100 on eBay and elsewhere. Or you can do a little eBaying and get a vintage one that will sound even better than the newer ones. I see right now there is an auction with several cool mics, including a 545 (can't tell if it has the on/off switch, which would make it the SD model) with a starting bid of $10. [To be completely accurate, Butter used the 545 with the built in dog-leg shaped mic stand mount. That doubles the weight of the mic' so I prefer a straight version.]

I love my 1960's vintage 545SD. It was a church intercom mic for 40 years, in pristine condition; an eBay acquisition that cost me ~$25. It makes my Silverface Princeton (tube) amp seem to levitate up off the ground with an almost beastly tone. I have several bullet mic's with vintage Shure CR elements in them that cost me much more yet don't sound any better than the 545SD to my ear with that amp. I'm saving up to have Greg Heumann "Ultimatize" it.

Oh, yeah. You won't need an impedance matcher because you can set a jumper inside the 545 to make it either high or low impedance. It sounds "clean" until you cup it tight like Iceman describes and then the magic begins. So, unlike a bullet, it makes a very passable vocal mic, too.

A couple of tips when buying any vintage microphone. One is to try to get one that comes with the cable and connector. There are different kinds of connectors and you may spend a good deal of time trying to find one that fits if you get a mic' that doesn't come with it. Also, I like to make a short pigtail cable with the mic' connector on one end and a female 1/4" connector on the other. That way I can use any guitar cable to plug into the amp and the 1/4" joint makes a strain relief so you don't rip the guts out of your cable if it gets stepped on.

My 545SD Shure does work for me! :-)


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