Dating shure elements
The Shure Brothers got their start in the mid 1920s in Chicago selling radio parts kits and by 1931 started developing their own microphones.
They introduced the Unidyne 55 in 1939 which, according to Shure, was the first single-element unidirectional microphone.
Throughout his performing career Elvis sang through a multitude of different types of microphones and, at least while touring in the 1950s, was dependent on the venue to provide the PA system (see the venues section).
Prior to Bill getting an amp, Scotty has said that when they would arrive at a venue they would hope that there would be an additional microphone to amplify Bill's bass, and that in some instances Elvis would have to sing through the second input on Scotty's amp (though its never been stated whether they traveled with a mic of their own).
In the first of a double post, he describes two kinds of elements used for amplified blues harp and… There are many kinds of elements in all of microphone-dom, including ribbon mics, condensers, electret, crystal and dynamic. However, except in the recording studio, amplified players will only be concerned with elements.
Fact 1: There is no such thing as a mic element designed for harmonica players.
Please note that "Elvis" is a registered trademark of EPE, Inc. Every attempt was made to give credit for any images or text borrowed from the World Wide Web and we greatly appreciate the use of it.
For this week’s Harmonica Microphones post we asked Greg Heumann to give us the low-down on the bewildering universe of mic elements.
Because of their abundance and popularity at the time, there are a number of them out there that can still be found.I contacted Christopher Curry of Mutant Mics, who repairs and reconditions antique mics and can even upgrade ("hot rod") them with lights and modern elements such as Shure SM58's, Beta 58's and 87 Beta's. he had a used dynamic single coil cartridge, "cart" for short, in super shape for the inside to bring it back to new again and would include a refurb: cleaning inside and polishing the outside, new wires if needed, all new solder joints, and a new connector if the one in there was in bad shape.Ultimately, this mic required replacement of a few things other than the cart...No doubt through the popularity of a number of select and widely distributed photographs, there is one microphone in particular that through the years he has been "unofficially" associated with and it has been quite often referred to by "the uninformed" as "the Elvis mic." That microphone is a Shure Unidyne 55S.It's not surprising though, with its polished chrome look and its futuristic, for the time, stylized design, it is one of the most readily identifiable microphones from an era that saw the birth of a new form of music, one whose fans would dub Elvis 'the king' of.
To engineers, this means it has better frequency response (able to “hear” higher and lower sounds), flatter frequency response (no particular frequencies are made significantly louder or softer), and/or more “headroom” (the ability to tolerate higher sound pressure levels without distorting).