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John Eppstein

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Posts: 1,273 Member Since:31/05/2015

#141 [url]

Jun 8 17 12:05 AM

gtoledo3 wrote:

 


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.

Of what vintage? Shure has changed this at least once, possibly more times on the SM57. The really old ones are NOT the same as the new ones, as I keep trying to explain to you.

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.
 

So you admit that you don't know what the hell you're talking about - because, you see, I HAVE in fact torn the voice coils out on cartridges that had unrepairably broken voice coils. Many of them. Starting in the early 1970s.

And yes, OF COURSE I know that the cartridge is the upper half of the mic. What kind of idiot do you take me for? I started working on these mics before you were even born!

Seriously, man, your rampant disrespect is really starting to piss me off.

I'm going to cut this post right now because I shouldn't post when I'm this angry.

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Jun 8 17 6:49 PM. Edited 2 times.

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John Eppstein

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#143 [url]

Jun 8 17 1:23 AM

scullyfan wrote:
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

But why SHOULD you use one when there are so many better designs available, some costing not much more than a new 57 (or even less if you buy them used). I'll usually reach for an EV RE-10/RE-15/RE-16 or a Beyer M-201 before a 57 these days, or for a bit more money an RE-20, M88, MD409, or D12E. The EV mics are actually considerably more rugged than the Shures, too.

If you're looking up patents, try the EV ones on the Variable-D mics, starting with the 664/666 up through the cardioid RE series.

The patent on the 664 was filed in 1953-54 (sources vary) and the mic went on sale in 1955, well before the Shure 545, which came out in 1959.

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Jun 8 17 1:52 AM. Edited 1 time.

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gtoledo3

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Posts: 4,181 Member Since:23/10/2013

#144 [url]

Jun 8 17 7:59 AM

John Eppstein wrote:
.

What kind of idiot do you take me for? 


A mouthy kind who doesn't know what they're talking about?

The kind who may have soldered a 57 capsule or aftermarket generic, onto a 545 at some point in their lives, out of sheer ignorance?

 

Last Edited By: gtoledo3 Jun 8 17 9:37 AM. Edited 3 times.

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gtoledo3

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#145 [url]

Jun 8 17 8:07 AM

"rampant disrespect"

Credibility, and THEN respect, are earned. When someone is incorrect, credibility comes from just admitting that you're wrong instead of digging in past any point of reason.

You give no respect to me, and you doubly deserve no respect back in your wild incorrectness.

Done with the convo.

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gtoledo3

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#146 [url]

Jun 8 17 8:24 AM

You know what?

Maybe I'M WRONG.

Maybe you uncovered two separate conspiracies.

1 - Shure has been saying that the voice coils in 57s and 545s have been different since the inception of the mics, but they aren't. Conspiracy 1!

2 - Shure stockpiled tons of USA make 545s, and slapped "made in Mexico" stickers on them for a couple decades. Conspiracy 2!

Amazing revelations.

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John Eppstein

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Posts: 1,273 Member Since:31/05/2015

#150 [url]

Jun 8 17 6:35 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:
You know what?

Maybe I'M WRONG.

Maybe you uncovered two separate conspiracies.

1 - Shure has been saying that the voice coils in 57s and 545s have been different since the inception of the mics, but they aren't. Conspiracy 1!

 

No, I doubt it's a "conspiracy". I'd prefer to attribute it to lost information as older employees left the company and Shure deleted older version of the product information from their archives. Shure also has a tendency to edit and "dumb down" their public information. For example, Shure never publically acknowledged the extensive design made to the SM57 cartridge in the mid '80s and never mention the cdhange in the outer shell material from plastic to aluminum. Shure also revises (aka "updates") information to keep it consistant with current company policy and product details. In fact I've been searching their archives to try to corroborate information for this thread and there's a LOT missing. For example, none of the spec sheets I've been able to find on the current Shure website actually list the voice coil material. Neither does the information on the Coutant website or the other well known sites that I'm aware of.

I think that the people at Shure simply think that it's too much trouble to retain the information on the older versions available andf may feel that it might be confusing to the public.

2 - Shure stockpiled tons of USA make 545s, and slapped "made in Mexico" stickers on them for a couple decades. Conspiracy 2!

 

No, not "Conspiracy", just corporate lack of transparency - and I suspect that the people at Shure never thought that people would ever care about all the intricacies of the history these mics and simply tried to keep their their documentation as simple and consistant as possible. Corporations tend to be like that.  I've just discovered a site that has some information (incomplete, and as of now uncorroborated) that sheds a little light on this - it appears that Shure has (1) been producing at least a few versions of their mics in Mexico significantly longer that has been popularly supposed and (2) some versions of mics in the 545 (and PE54) series have been made in Mexico while other versions have continued to be produced in the USA during the same time period. I do not find it unlikely that production of some models may have taken place in both locations simultaneously.
Amazing revelations.

I guess. The more I dig into this trying to uncover documentation the more confused, complicated, and arcane it gets. No one source - especially Shure - has all the information (or makes it publically accessible.)

According to the new (uncorroborated, but apparently taken from older, difficult to obtain Shure documentation) The original model 545 Unidyne III (made in USA) was introduced in in 1960 and discontinued in 1979. This backs up my original assertion that Shure discontinued this model. However the model 545D (with switch, made in USA) was introduced in 1969 and discontinued in 1993. Still discontinued, but significantly later, a little bit after when I had thought. Model 545SH (pistol grip mounting, XLR connector, hecho in Mexico) introduced 1979 (earlier than most people assumed Mexican production commenced) and discontinued in 1993. Model; 545SD (switch, Mexico), current model, no data on date of introduction. 545L ("lavalier" model, attached cable, low Z only, transformerless, made in Mexico) introduced  2003, discontinued 2004. Historical data incomplete, as I know for a fact that the 545L was made for many years in the USE long before the period given - and I own one of the USA built models. When production of this model ceased in the USA is anybody's guess.

I must post a correction here I had said that the 545L had a transformer, but info from this new source (including a cutaway diagram) indicated that it was in fact transformerless (an anomaly for the 545 series) since the site's information specifically pertained to the recent Mexican version this prompted me to go ahead and open up my own US made 545L, which I had been loathe to do as it's a mint condition NOS unit, and yes, the original US version is transformerless as well! Everbody makes mistakes, and when I do I own up. The fact is that this variant is so rare thaty I had never had occasion to work on one before, in all my decades of working on Shure Unidyne mics. It seems that mics designed to either be screw mounted to a gooseneck or worn around an announcer's neck like a dead baby alb atross just don't get broken very often. EDIT: the 545L's sister mic, the 544 hi Z only gooseneck mic, which strongly resembles the 545L DOES have a transformer (well, it must, it's high impedance), which might have been the root of my confusion, as the 545L can also be gooseneck mounted.

This siter also has some production data on the PE models, which I do not believe to be complete (this site is primarily intended for harmonica players and may have interntionally omitted some models - or it's just not comprehensive.)
PE54, original model (pistol grip, 3 pin Amphenol, USA, Hi Z only) introduced 1965, discontinued 1979.
PE 54D (Hand held, switch, XLR, USA) introduced 1972 discontinued 1981. (Exactly when I said.)
PE54D-CN (hand held, switch, USA, factory wired Low Z) introduced 1972  discontinued 1981
PE54SH (pistol grip, XLR, hecho en Mexico) introduced 1980, discontinued 1981.

There are other variants not mentioned on this site, notably the High Z gooseneck mount only version, commonly seen as the cashier's mic at fast food hamburger joints. There is no mention made of current or recent PE series mics. or any of the dual impedance versions that employed the 4 pin amphenol connector.and changed impedance by swapping cables.

http://www.angelfire.com/music/harmonica/shure545.html
 

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John Eppstein

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Posts: 1,273 Member Since:31/05/2015

#151 [url]

Jun 8 17 7:39 PM

gtoledo3 wrote:
"rampant disrespect"

Credibility, and THEN respect, are earned. When someone is incorrect, credibility comes from just admitting that you're wrong instead of digging in past any point of reason.

You give no respect to me, and you doubly deserve no respect back in your wild incorrectness.

Done with the convo.

You earn credibility and respect by doing the work. I did the work for better part of 30 years.

OH, the hell with it. Think what you want. I was in the process of disassembling a couple of dead cartridges to photographically document the evolutionary changes in the cartridges over the years but it's really not worth the trouble, especially since to do it right I'd probably have to run down at least two more variants  I havew a 56 acrt circa late '70s and a very recent 58 - I'd really need a mid -80s transition period cart, preeferably with the 56/57 nosepiece and a couple of 545/ PE54 carts from early and later eras to document all of it correctly. It does look like Shure changed the lead outs a second time between the mid '80s to the present, changing from the PC boards material used after the first change to solid metal strips. Whatevere. NBone of these changes are documentewd in the "official Shure literature, preobabvly because they don't think it makes any any difference to public. And, from their point of view, they're probably right. Their job is making product economically and selling as much of it as they can. What do they care about quibbling over historical details? Their only real concern with the history is with overall gross timeline they can use for publicity/advertising purposes. And getting into the minutae of inbternal evolution might very well be seen to be at cross purposes to that. They wouldn't be the only microphone company to take that position.

I would like to get inside a new R45 cart and check the construction - I'm betting it's the same as the R57 except for cosmetics and VC material (which involves destroying the cart, which I really can't afford in my present financial situation.)

I do feel that I'm owed an apology for your rudeness.

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Jun 8 17 10:47 PM. Edited 3 times.

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John Eppstein

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#154 [url]

Jun 9 17 1:44 AM

gtoledo3 wrote:
"You have posted nothing buit insults, snide coments, comments about strictly aesthetic detail differences in the front grille and the lable stickers, and the bald faced admission that you have never, in fact, done any work on these microphones in depth, which you present as if it's some sort of virtue that you're babbling about something you have no experience in."

I have in fact ordered the replacement parts and the models when I worked at music stores in the 90s and 00s, so I am 100% sure about the replacement parts and the availability of the models during those periods. I have in fact, seen the mics busted open...and I'm fairly sure that the coil on a 57 is the copper coated aluminum.



 

I'm pretty certain that you are correect - now. But the cart they're selling now is not the same cart they were selling for the first decade and a half of production. As Bob said in the first years of the 57 they actually advertised that the carts were "selected 545 carts". I remenber the very same ads, and actually soldered to voice coil leads on many of them, before they changed the design.If you've ever tried to solder extremely thin aluminum with standard soldering materials you'l know that it's well-nigh impossible - the material oxidizes (burns up) before the solder can form a good joint, even with 63/37.
But honestly, why in the hell SHOULD someone know that? You don't bust the GD mic open like that to replace the cartridge.
 

Well, MOST people - who just replace the cart - WOULDN'T know that. But nut that I am, I used to actually try to repair the broken carts themselves, something that the according to Shure you shouldn't be able to do. You really should have seen the looks on the faces of those two Shure reps when they saw me actually disassembling the carts and soldering that hair-thin VC wire. It was truly priceless. Of it's in Shure's interests to say that's impossible - they could sell more carts. Every time I fixed a cart for 15 bucks it cost the company a $50 sale. If the VC leads were beyond repair I'd often strip off the diaphragm and use the the dead cart to hold paper clips, very small screws, or whatever.

I actually developed the technique working on $5 flea market mics - if I fixed the mic I had a mic for 5 bucks that I could flip for $30-$50 depending on the customer, If it didn't work, well, the the mic wasn't any good before I tried, anyway. It was pocket money... After I had it down I started doing at at the stores I worked at.

What is the motive for Shure to lie about that? What is the motive for Shure to lie about about making 545s in the US and for them to put "made in Mexico" stickers. No, the cartridges aren't the same, and have been available as different item numbers for decades. As far back as can be discerned.
 

I never said they put Mexico stickers on US mics. You came up with that, based on a misreading of something that I stated was conjecture.  You really should read more carefully and not get arried away with the "debunking".

Different for decades, yes. However MY decades go back quite a bit further that YOUR decades and Shure is given to (for whatever reason) making evolutionary changes to their their products without publicising the fact to the public. I don't believe they regard it as "lying". It's understandable, really - they don't want to foster confusion and "old versions are better/worse than new ones" controversy among their customer base. It's in their interests for for them to have people people believe that the product is the way it always has been - when, in fact, it demonstrably isn't if you tear into it on a level a little deeper than the public is supposed to. Neumann and Sennheiser do much the same thing. Klaus can tell you about the changes Neumann has made over the years to certain models without announcing anything to public. AKG, too - did they tell anybody when they quietly replaced the brass ring version of the CK12 capsule with Teflon? Most of those companies do that to some degree. The very first R59 carts were plastic shelled R45 carts with a layer of paint. There's one sitting in front of me right now. It was at least a decade and a half after introduction that they started making them from aluminum, which was a definite improvcement. Maybe they didn't want to publicize it because it would have meant admitting that the originals were inferior and somewhat fragile? Who knows? Shure sure ain't telling, if they even still have anyone who remembers.

Big companies will do what big companies do - and they probably regard us "nuts" who go around documenting the changes and quibbling about the details as something of a nuisance. After all, their mission is to sell as much new product as possible. They don't really want people running around, talking up the desirabilitry of old units they've already made their money on.

There are a lot of weird little details about these mics that are not publicised - I just noticed that the cart shell on my US made, NOS 545L is made of aluminum, whereas most, if not all the vintage (pre 1980) 545s and PE54s I've seen had plastic (as did the pre-1980 SM 56, 57, and 58s.) This one also has a wide, shallow channel (maybe 1/2" wide and 1/32nd" deep around the sheel about 2/3 of the way to the body, which I've never seen on another Unidyne III style mic. Yet on the website Shure lists the standard (channel-less) R45 cart as the replacement. The shell is also aluminum, not plastic like other vintage R45s. Why? Does this date the mic as being mid '80s, when they started making evolutionary changes to the cart? Or is it a special shell made for lavalier use, perhaps to secure the clip of a neck cord? Shure isn't talking. I assume they don't supply a replacement cart just for that one variant because it doesn't make economic sense. And the mic does not appear to currently be in production, anyway, if the info I just uncovered today is correct. Which makes perfect sense - who in their right mind would want to use a Unidyne III as a "lav" these days, anyway?

I can also clearly see with my own two eyeballs the physical difference in parts between 57s and 545s I have from the earliest dates of manufacture, to most recent. You SAID it was just the sticker that's different. NO.

 Obviously you do not own examples from the earliest days of manufacture. Since Shure Unidyne III type mics do not have serial numbers the only way to determine what era they're from is by the details I've been explaining. And since the mics have been in production since before you were born (assuming the data I found when I researched you on the internet is correct, and I believe it is because it fits - there's only one "George Toledo" listed in audio) (I'm estimating your age from the college dates given on LinkedIn, if I'm wrong I apologise. It would also appear that all your music business experience is 21st century. Mine is mostly 20th century, long before every little thing people do got documented on the (then nonexistant) internet.), and since Shure does not publically document incremental evolutionary changes, I don't see any possible way that you could actually know since you're not willing willing to trust the word of us old folks who were actually around back then. (Or have a big archive of very old spec sheets that are more comprehensive than the usual Shure publications)

And no, it's not "just the sticker" - there's the paint.image

As far as the "discontinued" stuff, you are just very confused. US models were discontinued WHEN Mexican production started. I explained that previously.
 

It would appear that it's not entirely that simple, but mostly, sure. But how do account for people claiming that they've recently purchased new US made 57s? Are they hallucinating? Are they unable to read the labels on their mic boxes? Werte they simply lied to? (Maybe...) Are all the "new US 57s" actually counterfeits? (I find this last to be possible.) Or is production of some models going at both locations, in parallel? I'll admit, I don't really pay a whole lot of attention to the new, current production. I have about 4 new 57s and 4 new 58s purchased within the last 5 years for non-critical live gigs, bujt that's about it. I assume they're all Mexican.- and guess what? They no longer print the country of origin on the mic label. Fancy that!  And I don't have the original boxes. They're definitely not counterfeits, not only would I know, but they were all purchased new from a reputable authorized dealer (Audio Images Corp in S.F.)
YES the 56 is related to the 57 BUT it is not relevant to you asserting that the 545 cartridge is the same as a 57. Which is what you had initially been arguing about.


In fact, it is, because all 4 of my original, pre 1980 vintage 56s purchased from the liquidation of the Fantasy Records remote truck have grey painted black (under the paint)  plastic shells and internal details identical to 545 carts from the same time period. If you want I can mail you a chunk off the broken one. And yes, it has the label intact with "made in USA" and "SM56" printed on it - it's original, as are the other 3 that work.

And it is honestly somewhere between funny and bewildering to watch you continue to modify statements to gradually come closer and closer to what I initially said, as you continue to post.
 

If you go back and read carefully you'll see that I didn't say what you said I said at all. And some of the things you you've been claiming I stated as fact were in reality speculation - and clearly identified as such, if you actually bothered to read carefully. And yes, I've spent ("wasted") a lot of time digging for orroborating evidence which is NOT presently avfailable on the official Shure website, and I've found some - incomplete, yes, but evidence. And yes, I got a couple of minor details wrong, mostly about the 545L. The bit about the transformers that you seem to think constituted my admitting that your statements about the transformers was correct and contradicted my original statements was nothing of the sort. I DID initially make the assumpotion thjat anybody who works at all extensively with mjicrophone would understand that multi-impedance model will have additional winding for that purpose that single impedancer versions won't, but my basic statement that they're essentially the same transformer is obvious to anybody who has pulled the transformers out of UInidyne III bodies, or has even done enough work non the mics to observe that they all have the same basic construction, same core, same winding techniques (nothing particularly fancy), almost cdertainly made on the same techniques to the same (not particularly high tolerance) specs. It should be noted that Shure employs different rating standards for various models of Unidyne III, making it very very difficult to compare actual output across models and product lines. Why would they do this? You tell tell me, I'm done speculating, at least for now.

Most of what you've been saying is true of the newer, post 1984-85 production versions. I have never denied that. What I've been talking about mostly concerns the original, pre-1980s production versions. Of which there are relatively few left around, fewer still in working condition with original carts. The original carts were somewhat fragile compoared to today's versions, with their plastic shells and easily broken voice coil leadout wires that very, very few people knew how to fix. In fact I've never met anyone else who has done that kind of work - I won't say I'm the only one who ever did it because if I can figure out how to do it I'm certain somebody else could if they really wanted to, but when I showed the factory reps what I was doing they had definitely never seen anyone else do it before, so I assume it must have been pretty rare. Which means that nearly all the mics from that era that got damaged at some point don't have the original carts. And the newer version of the cart is not nearly as susceptible to damage.

BTW, if you know of any place where Shure gives information concerning voice coil material, please shoot me a reference link. I've been looking for two days and have found nothing, not even about current production, let alone the real vintage stuff from the '60s and '70s.. The "conventional wisdom" is that current SM57s have copper plated aluminum and that 545s (and presumably PE54s) of unstated vintage use solid copper, but I have found no place where Shure gives this infomation, and the last time I saw anything about the subject in an official Shure publication was back in the mid-80s. So from I've been able to determine it's presently all hearsay and the closest thing to reliable information I have is my own experience soldering the voice coil leadout wires (which are part of the same wire used in the VC, but left loose to function as a lead.)

In the absence of any documented proof I'm inclined to assume that Shure probably is currently using the same VC wire across all models of Unidyne III, because why wouldn't they? Why stock two different kinds of wire when just one will do? Why set up the winding machines differently for different versions of what is essentially the same thing? And why use the more expensive material (copper) on the less exspensive (list price) versions of the mic? It doesn't make economic sense in an automated, production line situation. NOTE - THIS LAST PARAGRAPH IS SPECULATION AND SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS ANYTHING BUT. And that's the last speculation I'm doing on this subject tonight.

Last Edited By: John Eppstein Jun 9 17 2:07 AM. Edited 2 times.

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