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gtoledo3

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Posts: 4,239 Member Since:23/10/2013

#121 [url]

Jun 4 17 9:34 AM

panman wrote:
I`ve been following this thread for a while and it seems to have turned more into SM57-family mics, than mic`ing with them and that`s fine with me. 
I have also repaired quite many and differend mics from this said family and I also own many types of them, not the newer though. I did not feel any need to partisipate before, because good contributions were made already and I did not have much to add. But now there seems to be contradictions between the info from official Shure sourses and the info and vast personal experiences of John Eppstein. I just need to say, that my personal  experiences support what John has said. By the way I own two SM78:s. The capsule itself is exactly the same as in SM57/58, but the coil of course is not, because of the missing trafo. AB:ing SM78 versus SM58 I could not detect any meaningfull differencies between them. Nevertheless, the reason for the flop is obvious: that sticky coating is nasty. 

panman,

John isn't arguing about the SM78 vs the SM58...he's arguing about the 545 / R45 cartridge vs the 57.

For all I know, you may be correct about the SM78, don't have any.

Also :

"By the way I own two SM78:s. The capsule itself is exactly the same as in SM57/58, but the coil of course is not, because of the missing trafo."


"The coil" is IN the capsule.
 

Last Edited By: gtoledo3 Jun 4 17 9:38 AM. Edited 1 time.

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John Eppstein

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#122 [url]

Jun 4 17 3:25 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:

panman wrote:
I`ve been following this thread for a while and it seems to have turned more into SM57-family mics, than mic`ing with them and that`s fine with me. 
I have also repaired quite many and differend mics from this said family and I also own many types of them, not the newer though. I did not feel any need to partisipate before, because good contributions were made already and I did not have much to add. But now there seems to be contradictions between the info from official Shure sourses and the info and vast personal experiences of John Eppstein. I just need to say, that my personal  experiences support what John has said. By the way I own two SM78:s. The capsule itself is exactly the same as in SM57/58, but the coil of course is not, because of the missing trafo. AB:ing SM78 versus SM58 I could not detect any meaningfull differencies between them. Nevertheless, the reason for the flop is obvious: that sticky coating is nasty. 

panman,

John isn't arguing about the SM78 vs the SM58...he's arguing about the 545 / R45 cartridge vs the 57.

For all I know, you may be correct about the SM78, don't have any.

Also :

"By the way I own two SM78:s. The capsule itself is exactly the same as in SM57/58, but the coil of course is not, because of the missing trafo."


"The coil" is IN the capsule.
 

The 57 and 58 use the same capsule with the exception of minor differences in the front "nose piece". Other than that the cartridges are identical. The "nose piece" on both the 57/545 and the 58/565 have changed considerably over the years. At the time the SM series was introduced there was no difference between the SM series mics and the 545/565 series mics other than the impedance choices available in output transformers. Over the years any "evolutionary" differences in the 57 line have been mirrored exactly in the 58 line.

You can doubt all you want, but what I'm saying is true.

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John Eppstein

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#123 [url]

Jun 4 17 3:38 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:

John Eppstein wrote:
 
Ah, the sticky label, yes. As to the rest of it, it didn't used to be different at all -

No John. The actual cartridge itself is constructed differently, and has a different type of perforated metal than the 57 one - throughout ALL ERAS, and some other small details including the difference in voice coil.

Look, it's OK to be wrong sometimes.

You are correct, it's easy to be wrong sometimes. This time I am not. I started doing surgery on these mics in about 1967, when I was still in high school, and continued doing it professionally until the ea4rly '90s. For one thing, changes in design made a lot of the repair technoques I had developed to be obsolete, as the cartridges became more reliable when they changed the design of the lead-out wires and solder terminals. That was in the mid to late '80s.

I ask again, how many years have you spent doing actual cartridge surgery on these microphones?

As far as "the actual cartridge being constructed differently" NOW, I wouldn't know - I have not done that kind of work  for 10 or 15 years now.

EDIT:

As to the actual cartridge being constructed differently, There's some room for miosunderstanding here.

The basic cartridge on the SM57/58 m,ics has undergone at least two distinct iterations. The original one had the hair thin leads from the voice coil  extending from the glued-down edge of the mylar about an inch, give or take a smidge and then soldereed down to a small fiberglass board which had two eylet/lug connectors on it and a hole in the middle where it attached to a bolt extending from the back of the cartridge proper. From this board there were two thicker secondary leads that extended back thgrough two of three holes in a rubber insert attached to the outer shell of the cartridge. There was one nut on the inside of the rubber piece with a washer that positioned the rubber's distance from the inner cartridge. On the outside of the rubber (which formed the primary portion of the cartridge shock mounting, the other portion being the rubber ring isolating the fron surface of the outer shell from trhge cartridge proper) there was another little fiberglass board that had another pair of lug.eyelet connectors. The secondary lead out wires were soldered between the holes in the eyelets between the from and back boards. The yellow and green transformer leads soldered to the lug portion of the eyelet lugs, which extended over the edge of the boards (but were generally bent up at right angles.) The bolt extended through the center hole in this boards and was secured by another lock washer and nut, which also attached the cartridge grounding lug to the cartridge. This lug attached to the black ground wire. This cartridge design was common to the early ASM57/58 cartridges and the Unidyne III (545) and Unisphere I (565) cartridghes. When one of the early 57s or 545S developed ":rotating head disease" from people fidgiting and rotating the front cap of the mic and breaking the hair fine wires from the voice coil I would disassemble the cartridge, resolder the broken leads, and reassemble the cartridge. At that time the voice coil wires were DEFINITELY copper, because you can't reliably solder an aluminum wire that this with normal solder and non-temperature controlled soldering irons because it burns up before it bonds and the enamel insulation had to be (very carefully) removed from the end of thge wire bvefore soldering, which would have removed any copper plating.

This construction on the early SM57s was IDENTICAL to the construction of the 545s.

About 6 months after I demonstreated this repair process (which according to Shure wasn't possible).to a pair nof Shure factory reps who were visiting Don Wehr's Music City where I had my shop, Shure came out with a redesigned cartridge that had the VC wires soldered directly to two small pieces of PC board glued directly to the inner cartridge, which took the place of the old inner terminal boards and the secondary lead-outs. These bits of PC board extend through a couple of little square holes punched in the remaining (formerly rear) board without being attached to it in any way. The board remains as part of the shock mount apparatus and to provids a little support to the grounding lug. This alteration in design effectively eliminated problems with rotating head disease and consequently put an end to probably 75% of my Shure mic repair business. I do not know if this coincided with the change in voice coil material or not. It was in the mid 80s, right around the time they came out with the less expensive transformerless versions. As I recall it was slightly before, but I would not swear to it. As the new design rarely broke and was not repairable if it did I wasn't working on many actual cartridges, although I did disassemble a few totally dead ones (shifted magnets, etc), just to see what was going on with the newer ones. I did repair a couple that had had the front of the capsule whacked off by drummers, but that was just a matter of regluing the from plastic phase plug and foam assembly.

There were also some alterations to the phase plug assemblies and to the configuration of the foam (older ones had flat foam, newer ones had foam with a domed  (kinda) middle and a sort of "roll" around it, but I don't remember exactly what of those details changed when, as it wasn't anything I ever needed to do significant repair to.

The significant changes to the cartridge design occurred to both the 57 and 58 at the same time, which tends to reinforce the belief that there are no significant differences between the the core 57 and 58 cartridges. (There was no real reason to alter the 58 cartridge design, as the front of the cartridge was protected by the ball and not vulnerable to rotating head disease, but it changed at the same time.

The front piece of the cartridge assembly was, of course different between the 57-58/545-565 capsules. Originally this part was the same between a 57 and a 545, but this has been subject to at least one or two changes in the 57, mostly (I believe) to make it cheaper to manufacture, as the newer versions have fewer parts. I'm pretty certain that there were similar changes in the 58 cartridges, but, as I said I worked on far fewer 58s than 57s.

However the core inner cartridge was identical on botgh the older version 57s and 58s and on the newer 57s and 58s. Any sonic differences are caused by the windscreens, unless they acoustically test the bare cartridges off the assembly line and select for the different models, which I seriously doubt given the wide variance between individual examples of each model as revealed by the independant testing that Bill Graham's FM Productions has done during my tenure as bench tech there.

I am (as I've said previous) rather curious as to which, if any, of these design alterations have (or have not) been applied to the new production of the 545 (and 565, for that matter.)

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Jun 5 17 12:49 AM. Edited 1 time.

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John Eppstein

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#124 [url]

Jun 4 17 3:57 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:

John Eppstein wrote:

gtoledo3 wrote:
"Since it's a 545 made in the '60s it does have a pristine original copper VC capsule, which does definitely sound better than a new 57, even with only a few hours use on it, so I don't much believe in the "break-in" theory."

Well John, now you're talking apples and oranges. Of course a 545 sounds a little sweeter than a 57, subjectively speaking. I agree.

But I have one mexican production 545, and a couple older US production to compare to (and some 546s), and I really do not think the mexican one sounds any worse. Comparing like for like. I'd like to hear a newer one made in the last few years I guess, but I'm not exactly burning with curiosity either.

"Of course a 545 sounds sweeter than a 576"? Why? They started out as the SAME MICROPHONE. The 57 was the "selected, professional" version - it should sound BETTER!

Then they started cost cutting measures on the 57, dropped the street price (lowered the wholesale but not the list.), and quietly (afaik) retired the 545.(presumably because nobody was buying chrome mics anymore.) Along comes the "vintage craze", 545s are suddenly desirable again, fetching more for a used mic than for a brand new 57, so they reintroduce it "to vintage specs" - I'd like to get my hands on a cartridge to take apart and see if they really mean it, I bet that it's nor completely vintage construction) and bring it out at a premium price - for the model that started as the regular, non-"pro" version. WTF???



John, no.

Most 545s (besides the 545L) have a dual transformer inside AND the coil/cartridge is different. It's not "the same microphone". 
 

 
Maybe not now. It was. Hell, even Bob O. backs me on the fact that when Shure introduced the 57 they said it was a "selected" 545 cartridge. So does Panman.

You can't believe what Shure prints in their literature. It's full of revisionist history.

" (afaik) retired the 545"

Well, I guess AFAIK you don't know much. They never stopped making it, they only shifted production. I bought new ones in the 90s as well as 00s, and I'm sure they still make it.

Well, the reason I added the "afaik" disclaimer is that the statement is based on the fact thatr the 545 disappeared from all the dealers in the Bat Ara and was replaced totally by the SM series. The last brand new 545 I saw in a store that was not verified NOS was in the late '70s/early '80s. At the time Shure introduced the SM4XZ and SM7X lines in the mid '80s all new 545s had disappeared from the stores. They had also disappeared from all the catalogs. This is in both the major music stores I was working for and the big Pro Audio dealers in the area. I didn't see another new, non-NOS 545 until maybe 4 or 5 years ago when Audio Images Corporation got a new countrer display featuring them. When I asked the owner about it he said something like "Oh, they started making them again." and we had a short conversation about the growing popularity of "vintage style" mics.

Since I was no longer working in the stores or for authorized Shure repair facilities I can't be absolutely certain as to the time lime much later than the late '90s.

As I said, I'd really like to get my hands on a current example of a 545 to disassemble and see exactly how much it has or has not changed.

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panman

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#125 [url]

Jun 4 17 8:28 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:
panman,

John isn't arguing about the SM78 vs the SM58...he's arguing about the 545 / R45 cartridge vs the 57.

For all I know, you may be correct about the SM78, don't have any.

Also :

"By the way I own two SM78:s. The capsule itself is exactly the same as in SM57/58, but the coil of course is not, because of the missing trafo."


"The coil" is IN the capsule.
 

The SM78 versus SM58 was mentioned "by the way" just to add more info and not to argue or support any argument. In my posting I was refering to"SM57-family". I thought it was clear what I meant with that. There is hardly any model in that family, that I would not have opened and as I mentioned, I own many differend of them. I do not want to make a list however.
But frankly, this discussion is getting off tracks, because of lacking definitions. We need to differenciate between "cartridge" and "capsule". Cartridge is the whole capsule mount without the grill, no? Capsule is in the cartridge? The capsule with the magnet assembly has not varied(the coils have of course) between the models but there are many differend cartridges. By the way I was going through my Shures(inspired by this thread) and was surprised to find two Mexican SM57:s, marked "Lo Z". To my amazement they are transformerless. Did not know, that such a model existed. Unfortunately they do not have diaphragms anymore. Long time ago someone gave them to me as spare-parts after first butchering them. Again the capsule is the same. 
I did not get the following: "The coil" is IN the capsule

Esa Tervala

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John Eppstein

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#126 [url]

Jun 4 17 10:50 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:
Look.

There has been way more back and forth about this than there deserves to be.

If you want to argue against the physical reality of the actual microphones, what someone is telling you from looking at them right fucking now, mounds of spec sheets, and Shure themselves... OK. Go ahead and keep arguing about all of this shit that you've made up in your head because you aren't REMEMBERING IT CORRECTLY.

Shure's "spec sheets" are not 100% trustworthy, and they have changed over the years. Shure is not trustworthy oin the matter of history on various points. A lot of information has been lost and the current versions edfiterd to suit the needs of the PR department.

Do you trust Neumann when they say there have been no changes to the U87 since the elimination of the battery? Even though independant service experts say there have been?

Why should you trust Shure?

When you say you're "looking at them right f****** now", do you have the cartridges stripped down to the core? Do you have an actual late '60s/early '70s 57 cartridge to compare to? I seriously doubt it.

As I've said, I'd like to see a modern 545 cartridge capsule. It's possible (but IMO not likely) that they may have retained the original design features in that. I say "not lkely" because many of the changes were cost-cutting measures that I doubt they'd roll back, and I doubt they'd revert the change to the lead-outs /solder tabs because the new version is much more reliable and difficult to damage than the original.

Somewhere around here I do have a damaged SM56 which might have the old cartridge - I don't know for Shure; the provinance of the mic is that I got it used in a package deal that came from the old Fantasy Records remote truck - it was one of four - but I don't really know how old the mic is. If I can find it I could open it up since it's quite dead.

EDIT: I just dug it up - it's the old style cartridge. Hmm, maybe I can fix it if the problem is VC leads? However the cartridge outer shell is quite smashed... Dunno if Shure would sell just the outer shell.

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Jun 5 17 12:54 AM. Edited 2 times.

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John Eppstein

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#127 [url]

Jun 5 17 1:10 AM

panman wrote:

gtoledo3 wrote:
panman,

John isn't arguing about the SM78 vs the SM58...he's arguing about the 545 / R45 cartridge vs the 57.

For all I know, you may be correct about the SM78, don't have any.

Also :

"By the way I own two SM78:s. The capsule itself is exactly the same as in SM57/58, but the coil of course is not, because of the missing trafo."


"The coil" is IN the capsule.
 

The SM78 versus SM58 was mentioned "by the way" just to add more info and not to argue or support any argument. In my posting I was refering to"SM57-family". I thought it was clear what I meant with that. There is hardly any model in that family, that I would not have opened and as I mentioned, I own many differend of them. I do not want to make a list however.
But frankly, this discussion is getting off tracks, because of lacking definitions. We need to differenciate between "cartridge" and "capsule". Cartridge is the whole capsule mount without the grill, no? Capsule is in the cartridge? The capsule with the magnet assembly has not varied(the coils have of course) between the models but there are many differend cartridges. By the way I was going through my Shures(inspired by this thread) and was surprised to find two Mexican SM57:s, marked "Lo Z". To my amazement they are transformerless. Did not know, that such a model existed. Unfortunately they do not have diaphragms anymore. Long time ago someone gave them to me as spare-parts after first butchering them. Again the capsule is the same. 
I did not get the following: "The coil" is IN the capsule

 To my knowledge, Shure has never made a transformerless SM57. My guess is they're modded - there was quite the fad for pulling the transformers from 57s a while back. There have also been some very convicing looking counterfeits sold on Ebay and similar unofficial outlets.

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Jun 5 17 1:26 AM. Edited 1 time.

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maarvold

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Posts: 3,209 Member Since:23/01/2011

#128 [url]

Jun 5 17 10:14 AM

I hope the pot doesn't threaten to boil over here.  Thanks to a topic similar to this, years ago I ended up buying a well-used Unidyne III/545* and happily use it in conjunction with a Royer 121 as my default guitar mic'ing combo.  I've generally been very happy and the players seem to feel that way as well.  For me, 57 = ok... 545 = better.  

* At least that's what I believe it is.  

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malcolmboyce

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Posts: 270 Member Since:05/02/2011

#129 [url]

Jun 5 17 1:02 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:

John Eppstein wrote:

Then they started cost cutting measures on the 57, dropped the street price (lowered the wholesale but not the list.), and quietly (afaik) retired the 545.(presumably because nobody was buying chrome mics anymore.) Along comes the "vintage craze", 545s are suddenly desirable again, fetching more for a used mic than for a brand new 57, so they reintroduce it "to vintage specs" - I'd like to get my hands on a cartridge to take apart and see if they really mean it, I bet that it's nor completely vintage construction) and bring it out at a premium price - for the model that started as the regular, non-"pro" version. WTF???

John, no.
.........
" (afaik) retired the 545"
-------------------------------------
They never stopped making it, they only shifted production. I bought new ones in the 90s as well as 00s, and I'm sure they still make it.

Shure 545/565 were certainly available in the '90s, into the 2000s.  I do remember them being part of their paging/talkback offerings; not so much "recording" or "live".  Now, the marketing has changed to meet the demand of the "vintage" crowd.

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panman

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Posts: 541 Member Since:04/02/2011

#130 [url]

Jun 6 17 3:52 PM

John Eppstein wrote:
 To my knowledge, Shure has never made a transformerless SM57. My guess is they're modded - there was quite the fad for pulling the transformers from 57s a while back. There have also been some very convicing looking counterfeits sold on Ebay and similar unofficial outlets.

Yes John, that was also my knowledge and that`s why I was so surprised to see the mics were transformerless. Since you "dared" to question my findings, we could have gotten into a nice argument about it, but none of that is going to take place. I started to check out the mics again and I am now pretty sure, that the mics are "frankensteins". The mics appear to be older U.S.-make, but the grills have been swapped and are of differend color each even. What fooled me initially was that I did not see any signs of trafo having been inside and all looked like the mics left the factory like that. But when I checked them out again with magnifying glass and showing light inside, I detected tiny rests of glue, where the trafos had been before. Ha! So I was caught writing shit. Tough! Hence the long writing to soften the landing and reminding me of checking out the facts better before posting. John, thanks for the correction!

Esa Tervala

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gtoledo3

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#131 [url]

Jun 6 17 4:04 PM

John, if you closely look at a 545, and then closely look at a 57, it would put this whole thing to rest.

When you actually take the time to do that, it will become clear.

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John Eppstein

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Posts: 1,321 Member Since:31/05/2015

#132 [url]

Jun 6 17 4:14 PM

malcolmboyce wrote:

gtoledo3 wrote:

John Eppstein wrote:

Then they started cost cutting measures on the 57, dropped the street price (lowered the wholesale but not the list.), and quietly (afaik) retired the 545.(presumably because nobody was buying chrome mics anymore.) Along comes the "vintage craze", 545s are suddenly desirable again, fetching more for a used mic than for a brand new 57, so they reintroduce it "to vintage specs" - I'd like to get my hands on a cartridge to take apart and see if they really mean it, I bet that it's nor completely vintage construction) and bring it out at a premium price - for the model that started as the regular, non-"pro" version. WTF???

John, no.
.........
" (afaik) retired the 545"
-------------------------------------
They never stopped making it, they only shifted production. I bought new ones in the 90s as well as 00s, and I'm sure they still make it.

Shure 545/565 were certainly available in the '90s, into the 2000s.  I do remember them being part of their paging/talkback offerings; not so much "recording" or "live".  Now, the marketing has changed to meet the demand of the "vintage" crowd.

That is quite possible. I had little contact with the paging and educational markets. That's why I used the "afaik" disclaimer. They did vanish completely from the nightclub, sound reinforcement, and music store markets in the Bay Area.

Thjat still leaves open the question of hoe closely cdhanges made to the SM line were mirrored in the 545/565 line.

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John Eppstein

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#133 [url]

Jun 6 17 4:43 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:
John, if you closely look at a 545, and then closely look at a 57, it would put this whole thing to rest.

When you actually take the time to do that, it will become clear.

Well, I've looked VERY closely at both (You can't get much closer than stripping the mic down to its component parts, to the point of removing the diaphragm/voice coil assembly from the cartridge body. About the only thing I haven't done is strip the acoustic packing out of the rear porty in the capsule.). What I have not looked at are 545s produced after the 1980s. As I've stated many times, Shure made some fairly extensive changes to the SM57 in the mid '80s. As I also stated, I do not know if these changes were reflected in the 545 series (which I has assumed was out of production during that period..) or in the current production 545s. (I'm still not totally convinmced that the "new" 545s you're talking about being sold in the late '80s through mid '00s might not have actually been old stock in the warehouse.).
As I said, I own a number of different variations - old 56s, new 57s, an old 545L (Which I am NOT going to take apart just for the sake of arguing with you because it's mint.)

My broken original style 56 is sitting in front of me as I type, as is a new 57.

These mics started out as the same mic except for minor details, like finish, transformer options, and the availablity of an on-off switch on the 545 line. This was stated in Shure's early sales literature on the SM57, as verified by Bob O. The transformer difference was the presence of high impedance taps in the 545, except for the high impedance only version. The SM56 and the correesponding pistol grip/shock mount version of the 545 also had a different transformer the featured 3 different flavors of low Z windings/taps. None of these transformers shows any sign of being a higher quality transformer than the others, with the possible exception of the 56 transformers (I don't know one way or the other), which I have not examined outside the microphone.

Here's another detail - modern 57 and 58 cartridge outer shells are metal. Original ones (like the ones on my 56s) are PLASTIC, just the same as on the 545, but painted to match the 57 body color. If you want I can send you a piece of the smashed shell from my broken 56.

The phase plug employed in the 57 did change from the original design in the mid '80s. That appears to have been a cost cutting measure.

I'm getting really tired of arguing about this. I hate repeating myself.

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Jun 6 17 5:05 PM. Edited 2 times.

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panman

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Posts: 541 Member Since:04/02/2011

#135 [url]

Jun 6 17 5:53 PM

timc wrote:
So I have a Unidyne III PE54D... It looks a lot like the 545. Is there a difference? 

 

Same as 545SD.

Esa Tervala

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gtoledo3

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Posts: 4,239 Member Since:23/10/2013

#136 [url]

Jun 6 17 5:54 PM

 


Well, I've looked VERY closely at both (You can't get much closer than stripping the mic down to its component parts, to the point of removing the diaphragm/voice coil assembly from the cartridge body. About the only thing I haven't done is strip the acoustic packing out of the rear porty in the capsule.).

Then you would see that the metal mesh that is under the grille of the cartridge is a different construction between the two. You will also see that the transformers are different.

You will also realize that if you order a " R45 or R57 cartridge" it's the whole upper half of the mic. If you used to be able to order just the grill/diaphragm part, you would still be able to see that even with that, it's more than just the sticker (as you originally stated) that's different. It actually has the different type of perforated metal, shiny silver as opposed to the matte that's on the 57.

I'm not going to tear out the voice coil of the mics, but they've been described as different material from one another since the very beginning.
 
What I have not looked at are 545s produced after the 1980s. As I've stated many times, Shure made some fairly extensive changes to the SM57 in the mid '80s. As I also stated, I do not know if these changes were reflected in the 545 series (which I has assumed was out of production during that period..) or in the current production 545s. (I'm still not totally convinmced that the "new" 545s you're talking about being sold in the late '80s through mid '00s might not have actually been old stock in the warehouse.).

Dude. The later ones are manufactured in Mexico and say as much on the labels. You think that they had a stock of US production ones, and kept distributing those for around 20 years, while slapping "Made In Mexico" stickers on them? OK.
 
As I said, I own a number of different variations - old 56s, new 57s, an old 545L (Which I am NOT going to take apart just for the sake of arguing with you because it's mint.)

My broken original style 56 is sitting in front of me as I type, as is a new 57.


Great, not talking about the 56.
 
These mics started out as the same mic except for minor details, like finish, transformer options, and the availablity of an on-off switch on the 545 line. This was stated in Shure's early sales literature on the SM57, as verified by Bob O.


Bob didn't really substantiate what you're saying. He substantiated that the cartridges on both models have always been the same? If he said that...well, it doesn't make a lot of sense. 
 
The transformer difference was the presence of high impedance taps in the 545, except for the high impedance only version. The SM56 and the correesponding pistol grip/shock mount version of the 545 also had a different transformer the featured 3 different flavors of low Z windings/taps. None of these transformers shows any sign of being a higher quality transformer than the others, with the possible exception of the 56 transformers (I don't know one way or the other), which I have not examined outside the microphone.

Here's another detail - modern 57 and 58 cartridge outer shells are metal. Original ones (like the ones on my 56s) are PLASTIC, just the same as on the 545, but painted to match the 57 body color. If you want I can send you a piece of the smashed shell from my broken 56.


Ok, we're agreeing on all of this. Acknowledging the different in transformers doesn't quite jive with some of your earlier assertions, but whatever.
 
I'm getting really tired of arguing about this. I hate repeating myself.


I think it's kind of silly considering the general ... lack of stature of both mics.

I've more than said my piece, so I will TRY to bow out from further statements. I only go to bat because for what I'm stating, because I am 100% sure what I'm talking about, as opposed to relying on misremembered "facts".
 

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scullyfan

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,615 Member Since:27/07/2011

#137 [url]

Jun 7 17 12:19 AM

I think the design of the Unidyne microphone is brilliant and the "family" of related models are both useful and time-tested. Sure, you can get a great recording of an amplifier with a U67, U87, U47, C37a, C414EB, etc. I just don't understand why I should put a $3K-$20K in front of a guitar amp when a $100 mic will do just fine. As a guy who owned a recording studio for over 25 years and had instances where expensive microphones were accidently damaged when bands were breaking down, I think a 545 or an SM57 is my preferable option for recording an electric guitar amp.

I think it's safe to say that the Shure design revolutionized the concept of cardioid microphones whose acceptance was on axis as opposed to side address: Check out the links to the patents.

http://cdn.shure.com/brochure/upload/77/shure-the-unidyne-story.pdf

http://shure.custhelp.com/ci/fattach/get/97697/0/filename/Unidyne+III+External+Design+Patent.pdf

http://shure.custhelp.com/ci/fattach/get/31636/0/filename/Unidyne+III+Diaphragm+Patent.pdf

http://shure.custhelp.com/ci/fattach/get/31635/0/filename/Unidyne+III+Acoustical+Patent.pdf

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 6,007 Member Since:20/01/2011

#138 [url]

Jun 7 17 11:23 AM

scullyfan wrote:
... Sure, you can get a great recording of an amplifier with a U67, U87, U47, C37a, C414EB, etc. I just don't understand why I should put a $3K-$20K in front of a guitar amp when a $100 mic will do just fine. As a guy who owned a recording studio for over 25 years and had instances where expensive microphones were accidently damaged when bands were breaking down, I think a 545 or an SM57 is my preferable option for recording an electric guitar amp...

 

 
well... I don't think it's "fine' by my definition.
But in any event, merely 'fine' isn't my goal, and I care about the guitar sound as much as any other sound on the record.

by extension, what sounds other than vocals are "worth" you expensive mics?

I'm not a commercial studio owner.
I'm (primarily) a record producer.

I don't make my choices based on worst case scenarios; I make them based on best case, best RECORD, goals.

putting a good microphone in front of a guitar amp isn't 'abuse' of the gear, so it really just comes down to how much one CARES about that sound.

I'm happy to friendly argue all day with people like my freind Tim Gilles who is simply convinced that he gets his "best" guitar sound with a 57 (and other things, I should add so as not to be unfair in my characterisation of his position), 
but that's entirely different than saying the reason to use a 57 is that using a GOOD mic is "too risky".

with respect, I wouldn't ever take that position.

 

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scullyfan

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,615 Member Since:27/07/2011

#139 [url]

Jun 7 17 8:44 PM

I respect the decisions you have made relative to mic choices over the years because I have heard many of the songs you have either engineered, produced or both. In every case they are spot on. I am actually a big fan of yours, at least from that perspective. I have also worked along side an engineer that has recorded many of the seminal recordings of the 50s and 60s, a guy that was hired by Bill Putnam to move from Chicago to LA and record Sinatra, the Turtles, Bobby Darin, the list goes on. Of course, before that he recorded nearly every Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters songs you have ever heard. Even he used the Shure mics for snare and I don't think any of those recordings are the worst for it.

As an alternative to an SM57 I appreciate the fact that a KM84 is going to have an off axis component that is going to be easier (or better) to deal with in a drum mix. It is a FAR better mic than an SM57 by design, it is also much more expensive. I also respect the fact that you might insist that only first line microphones were going to be used on your sessions.

As a former commercial studio owner, I can tell you that I busted my ass to make sure that I had the finest equipment that I could possibly purchase so that customers could actually use real Neumann U47 and U67 mics, along with old Sony, Sennheiser, AKG and RCA microphones. Also great outboard equipment like UA 175bs, UREI 1176LN, Eventide, DBX 160s, Valley People, etc. I was constantly raising the bar so that visiting engineers and customers had better choices and better sound.

I personally used to use our pristine U47 for a room mic on re-amped electric guitar solos when I did rock sessions. It was at a safe distance from any potential harm and it sounded GREAT.

I actually like the sound of an old Fender amp mic'd with an SM57 when it is angled so that it sounds right to my ear. I also like the fact that if the guitar player bashes it with his Strat or Les Paul I don't have to go looking for what has now become a $10K to $12K microphone.

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John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,321 Member Since:31/05/2015

#140 [url]

Jun 7 17 11:33 PM

timc wrote:
So I have a Unidyne III PE54D... It looks a lot like the 545. Is there a difference? 




 

The difference is the way it was marketed and to what the target market was. Even today Shure lists them as being the same microphone. The listed replacement cartridge is the R54.

IIRC, way, way back in the day the "PE" series was the one targeted toward music stores and the musician/small nightclub market. "PE" originally stood for "Professional Entertainer". Back them both Shure and EV sold the same microphones with different designations to different markets, with differences in list price and markup structure. It was a marketing ploy that's pretty much history now afaik.

EDIT: A bit of additional info - The original issue of the PE54 was a high impedance only version with a pistol grip mounting and a 3 pin Amphenol screw-ring connector. This version was discontinued in 1979

The other versions of the PE54 were dual impedance, with the difference between them and the corresponding 545 models being that the PE mics (PE54D et al.) were shipped wired high impedance and the 545 badged mics were shipped low impedance with the exception of the PE54D-CN, which was shipped low impedance.

The pistol grip versions of the dual impedance 545 originally used the Amphenol screw-ring 4-pin connector, later changed to a 3 pin XLR. I believe that this is also true of the pistol grip PE54 dual impedance mics but have not been able to corroborate this.

 

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Jun 8 17 5:06 PM. Edited 3 times.

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