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Rob Schnapf Ribbon Microphones
Old 1st June 2016
  #1921
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyglover View Post
Was just given a pair of Unidyne 545's.
Anyone tried these?
According to Shure, the 545 was the "Predecessor to the SM57".

I believe the capsules themselves were run on the same assembly line as the later (original) SM57s (the ones still having the "Unidyne III" demarcation).

The rest of the build was a bit different from the '57s, in that they had an on/off switch, and selectable impedance (and so also a different transformer).

The body was also a bit different, of course.

...But a lot of folks think that the original '57s (with the "Unidyne II" designation) still sound pretty close to the 545s.

Shure claims that when they changed the labels on the '57s (to abandon the "Unidyne III" designation), nothing changed but the label (and I think this may actually be correct).

...However, I think I know what's REALLY at play here:

I think it all comes down to the degradation of the tooling used to manufacture them all:

The early '57s (if not beat up over the years) seem to be more consistent from mic to mic.

I finally decided that the WEAR on those tools (after making so many capsules over the years) was the explanation for what folks are hearing from the different examples.

The tuning point for me was when when I caught this post on GearSlutz:
From Jim Williams:
"I noticed the sonic changes on these back in 1990. I called a shure engineer I knew for an explanation. He told me no changes were instituted, but original stampers and dies were sent down to Juarez. If you know about record pressing, stampers wear out and need to be changed regularly.

"As far as I know, old stampers and dies are still being used.

"This was the main source for the sonic changes in the mics.
"
.
Old 1st June 2016
  #1922
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The 545 doesn't always have an on off switch... I think they add an "s" to the designation when it does.

Besides the 545/546, I am pretty sure that the SM56 was prior to the 57.

The differences between the old Unidyne labelled and the new production have been overhyped. Put a new 57 in a gig bag and knock it around for 10 years, or put it in a club where people sing into it... and it winds up sounding really darn close to the Unidyne III. I say this from experience, and having 545's, 57's, etc that span across many years of production.

I'm quite certain that some 57's I bought around ten years back didn't sound as sweet as some older ones on the top end, on first listen. I'm also certain that today, as the 57's have been used for many years, that the differences are much much smaller.

The prices on Unidyne III era Shures have gotten a bit absurd. It's a shame that people are viewing them as "vintage", when IMO, they are and will always just be "used".
Old 1st June 2016
  #1923
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
[...]
The prices on Unidyne III era Shures have gotten a bit absurd. It's a shame that people are viewing them as "vintage", when IMO, they are and will always just be "used".
I couldn't agree more!

I've seldom found two "fiftysevenesque" mics close enough to one another in timber to actually be called a bona fide "matched pair"!

The only real advantage to the old ones (that I can see) is that when they were new, they were more consistent from unit to unit.

...Of course, this advantage has been lost over time (for obvious reasons).

The truth is that there's a whole lotta "luck of the draw" when ya grab a '57.

I remember (back in the '70s, when dinosaurs roamed the earth) going through a pile of '57s before a show with a pair of headphones, and picking out the ones that would be used for different instruments.

One guy I knew had seven of 'em, and had them labeled with 7 different names (as if they were the seven dwarfs); 'Beefy', 'Crispy', 'Bassy', etc.

It just seems to me that the general quality has decreased over the years, and I wonder just how much of that is attributable to the wearing of tools over the years.
.
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1924
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I love my 545's, and IMO 57's can't touch em - and my 57's are lightly used and 15-20 years old. I like them (the 545's) much more than 57's.

My fav is the one on the front right with the gun handle podium mount on it. Near the copperphone mic in the pic. Love that mic on guitars. Great on snare too.

They are still a bargain for what they deliver IMO.....
Attached Thumbnails
Rob Schnapf-bpmics-6-2016.jpg  
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1925
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rob S's Avatar
Good tip on the re50, they are omni as well?
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1926
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When I used to camp out at sunset sound all the time, we lined up all the 57s 545s etc and tested them.
Amazing how different they all sounded from one another.
Some just had taken a beating along the way.
I think we narrowed it down to 3 favorites and secretly marked them,
So we new which ones to grab next time.
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1927
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rob S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Comparing well to rev D,F,Mohog and infratronic unit.
No A/B to original bluestripe yet.I think there's a little fairy dust in the old utcs. It's got that slightly harmonic hairy mid,upper mid push but nice slight smoothing over 5k.(handles sibilance elegantly)
Rev A's always seemed a little hairier or aggro, no?
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1928
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Callison's Avatar
I would love to hear the proReplica against thew hairball.. was all set for the hairball, but now.......

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Rad.
Anderson trannys?
I just got a ProReplicas blue stripe with NOS TX's. UTC 0-12,and UA 5002.
Sounds really good.
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1929
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
When I used to camp out at sunset sound all the time, we lined up all the 57s 545s etc and tested them.
Amazing how different they all sounded from one another.
Some just had taken a beating along the way.
I think we narrowed it down to 3 favorites and secretly marked them,
So we new which ones to grab next time.
How did you tested them? With voice?
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1930
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
Rev A's always seemed a little hairier or aggro, no?
Definitely.
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1931
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
Good tip on the re50, they are omni as well?
Yep, omni. It is very commonly used in news reporting, pointing the mic up at the mouth...hence the body designed to eliminate more handling noise than a 635. Can be just the ticket on some vocals, acoustic, percussion. I bet if you hear one, it will be a familiar sound.
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1932
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
When I used to camp out at sunset sound all the time, we lined up all the 57s 545s etc and tested them.
Amazing how different they all sounded from one another.
Some just had taken a beating along the way.
I think we narrowed it down to 3 favorites and secretly marked them,
So we new which ones to grab next time.
Speaking of 57s, 545s etc... Anyone into SM77s? I've got two and think they're just killer... Wish I could find a few more...
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1933
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexHerd View Post
Speaking of 57s, 545s etc... Anyone into SM77s? I've got two and think they're just killer... Wish I could find a few more...
Yes! I love the SM77 on snare. It seems to be voiced better IMHO for that application than the SM57...more midrange that makes it cut better with less low mid cloudiness.

Brad
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1934
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

SM77's are transformer-less, right?

Just need to compare to a transformerless 57.

Plus, there's now multiple aftermarket tranny options for the 57 these days....
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1935
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RoundBadge's Avatar
I use the Tab 57's a lot.
Old 2nd June 2016
  #1936
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Yeah, the tab mod 57/58 is nice. Clearer sounding, takes the muck out. I like it a lot in scenarios where I might tend to use an SM7 too... it has the higher fidelity vibe of the SM7, but better output.
Old 3rd June 2016
  #1938
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Quint's Avatar
I prefer an Audix i5 to the sm57. Micing a snare totally changed for me once I swapped an sm57 for an i5.

Last edited by Quint; 3rd June 2016 at 04:17 PM..
Old 3rd June 2016
  #1939
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rob S's Avatar
I got two 57s with the tab xfrmer.
Been using them for years.
Only mics I Travel with.
Old 4th June 2016
  #1940
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rob S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by american View Post
How did you tested them? With voice?
Voice and I can't remember what else
Old 4th June 2016
  #1941
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RoundBadge's Avatar
I saw that.interesting.
Old 5th June 2016
  #1942
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rob S's Avatar
Huh very interesting
Old 6th June 2016
  #1943
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
I love the SM77 on snare. It seems to be voiced better IMHO for that application than the SM57...more midrange that makes it cut better with less low mid cloudiness.
From what I understand, the capsules in the 77s were identical to the 57s, except that the material for the diaphragm was different, and the coil wire was aluminum instead of copper.

Apparently, the idea was that with this arrangement there was no need for a transformer, as the impedance and output level was good without it.

All of these changes resulted in lower cost of production.

...Of course, implementing this design would obviously "re-voice" the mic.

Anybody else know a bit more about all of this lore?
.
Old 17th June 2016
  #1944
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rob S's Avatar
Earthquaker devices make some really cool pedals.
Been using the rainbow machine and dispatch master a lot.
Pitch bending delays and reverb delay.
Dreamy and ambient
Old 5th July 2016
  #1945
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rob S's Avatar
What's the difference in construction between Ludwig and Gretch kick drums.
I just love the bottom you get out of Gretsch kick.
Old 5th July 2016
  #1946
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There have been different subtypes over the years but when talking about the vintage, generally Ludwig has less plies than Gretsch, often lighter weight.

First kit I got as a kid was a mixed kit that a drummer from the 70's band The Outlaws had.... vintage Gretsch was picked for the kick. Hard to argue with the tone! For years I didn't realize, and thought "oh I just have this mismatched kit!". Whoops.
Old 5th July 2016
  #1947
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
What's the difference in construction between Ludwig and Gretch kick drums.
I just love the bottom you get out of Gretsch kick.
Gretsch / maple and gum 6 ply. edges depends on era

Old Lud / maple and poplar 3 ply w maple re inforcing bearing edges
Old 6th July 2016
  #1948
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rob S's Avatar
Stop sign era
So is it the wood, the ply or the edge.
Old 6th July 2016
  #1949
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
What's the difference in construction between Ludwig and Gretch kick drums.
I just love the bottom you get out of Gretsch kick.
I actually find the same thing true of the vintage toms as well. Vibe for days.
Old 6th July 2016
  #1950
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob S View Post
Stop sign era
So is it the wood, the ply or the edge.
Yes a combination of those.
the 50's Gretsch have different [reverse] edges to the 60/70's[30% w a slight roundover] etc.
the new reissue Broadcaster drums have the old reverse edges like the 50's.sound friggin great.
I have an old 60's round badge kit and a 1982 square badge kit.both have Jasper 6 ply maple gum shells.both sound amazing.
DW's newer jazz series are a copy of the maple/gum 6 plys..sound great too.
lately I'm really into mixing up some old mahogany Radio kings with Gretsch's.
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