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SM81 v. PG81?
Old 7th November 2008
  #1
SM81 v. PG81?

Alright, I'm in the process of searching for some new choral mics to do live and recording of a 12-15 member male choir. At the moment we use some gooseneck Shure condensers that have awful gain-to-feedback. I've been doing research, and I'm thinking that maybe the SM81 would be a good fit for what we're doing. However, the fact that a stereo pair will cost about $700 new is a bit of a deterrent. So, I was wondering how much different the PG81 is? I've read that it's just slightly less durable and a whole lot cheaper, but otherwise sounds very similar. Would it be a good analog to the SM81? I'm thinking something from Shure's SDC line, and these really appealed to me.
Old 8th November 2008
  #2
Old 8th November 2008
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Malcolm Boyce's Avatar
 

Not even in the same league.

The SM94 is a better cheap option, but still not an 81 in any way.

The KSM137 is slightly cheaper, and more like the 81 quality wise.

The KSM109 is probably the best happy medium from Shure for cost VS quality.
Old 8th November 2008
  #4
Lives for gear
 

If you're looking to save some money over the sm81's then you should seriously consider the ksm109's. I've used them for a while and they are very natural sounding mics and yet much much nicer than the pg81's. I don't know who told you that the pg's are just slightly less durable but very similar sounding because that's not true at all. If you absolutely have to go with a cheap option then you should take a look at some of the mxl mics. Very good bang for the buck mics.
Old 8th November 2008
  #5
Yeah, I considered the KSM series, but will likely try and push for either the SM94 or the SM81. It's a school environment, so I have a feeling that a pair of KSM137s or KSM109s would bite the dust...
Old 8th November 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laboitenoire View Post
Yeah, I considered the KSM series, but will likely try and push for either the SM94 or the SM81. It's a school environment, so I have a feeling that a pair of KSM137s or KSM109s would bite the dust...
What in the world are you basing that on? Are you assuming because the sm81 is more expensive that it's somehow superior as far as durability is concerned? If you actually held both mics in your had(sm81 and ksm109)you'd realize that build quality is nearly identical. Both are hefty mics and built to last. If something were to cause the ksm109 to bite the dust then it would probably cause the sm81 to bite the dust as well. As an example, my 109's have fallen over on the stands(8 feet in the air)several times because of drummers not being careful. Every single time they hit squarely on the concrete floor yet the mics continue to work flawlessly.
Old 8th November 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 

What about these....

M-audio Pulsar II stereo pair...... for 280 bucks... Heard good reviews....
Old 8th November 2008
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Malcolm Boyce's Avatar
 

The KSM series is definitely not any less durable than the SM94/SM81.

I would look at the KSM109 over the SM94 for what you describe.

Either one is a better idea than the PG81.
Old 8th November 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Chaellus's Avatar
pg 81 aint in the same league as sm81 even though they hint the same last number
Old 9th November 2008
  #10
Lives for gear
 
GordZilla's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaellus View Post
pg 81 aint in the same league as sm81 even though they hint the same last number
Yupper on that

I've used PG81 as live drum OHs (in a pinch), and they were serviceable, but nothing to write home about ... I am not sure if I would want to use them for choral work though.

Along with the other good Shure mic recommendations, you might want to look into the Oktava MC-012s.. a matched pair of these can often be had for $400 or less.
Old 9th November 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm Boyce View Post
Not even in the same league.

The SM94 is a better cheap option, but still not an 81 in any way.

The KSM137 is slightly cheaper, and more like the 81 quality wise.

The KSM109 is probably the best happy medium from Shure for cost VS quality.

+1 right on
Old 10th November 2008
  #12
Lives for gear
PG81s are not terrible at all. They sound pretty much in line with how much they cost. That said, they are grainier and not as "pingy" as SM81s. I love me some SM81s, though.

The Shure PG series in general is widely hated because of it's budget status.... I did find the PG56 tom mics and the PG52 kick mic to be decent. Not great, but decent. The PG57 is a piece of **** though. I would say the only PG series mic I wouldn't mind owning is the PG81.
Old 10th November 2008
  #13
Gear Addict
 
erock's Avatar
 

I really dislike the PG81s. They are very tinny. I recently used SM94s on a session for OH and they sounded a LOT better. Definitely more natural. Why not get those because they are the same price on musiciansfriend??
Old 10th November 2008
  #14
We decided that we're going to try for either the SM94s or the KSM109s. Hopefully our purchase order goes through. Thanks for the help guys.
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