After receiving mixed reviews of the Super 55 (3rd gen), I was a bit skeptical of trying this microphone out on the job. After using this mic on several people in several different venues, this unit has brought a smile to my face each time. Here's our review:
Many reviews mentioned a low-gain signal that sometimes needed a preamp to obtain enough signal prior to the console. Intense popping when pronouncing "P"s and an extremely high sizzle on "S"s. A few people even mentioned feedback issues which brought on all kinds of stress when committing to test right on the job.
It is always exciting when the FedEx truck arrives at the shop. Just from the box alone, I could tell this microphone had some serious size and steel. Unpacked, this mic just looks amazing with the nostalgia fit and finish. The threated mic stand fitting and XLR connection as an all in one unit encased in steel is durable and sleek. The mic, although heavy, is one solid unit and I must add that the blue foam is a great touch. Time to give it a whirl.
One item to note is that when mounting on a mic stand, the lock nut must be removed from the stand in order to provide enough clearance for the XLR connection. Set it up, plug it in, and away we go. First concern was the gain. In comparison to a SM58, the Super 55 required just a slightly higher gain, about 5db to be exact for both the SM58 and Super 55 to be equal. Perfect! Now for the monitor check... well, it was amazing. I could push more volume through the floor wedges than with the SM58 before feedback. Perfect! Also noticed that there was no issue of popping when pronouncing "P" or "Pff" as well as no harsh sizzle on an "S". Rather, this mic has a much cleaner sound than a SM58. The final test was through the front of house and to see what the FOH engineer thought (based on what adjustments were made). The result was a smile on his face and a flat EQ!
"It was such a great tone that I made no adjustments" ~ Adam Geesaman.
A little more review of the Super 55 history revealed that the 2nd general (with an on/off switch) were the models that had low gain and a harsh tone. So for musicians and vocalist, we advise that you make sure to purchase the 3rd generation Super 55 (without the on/off switch). The 3rd generation mic is one of the best sounding microphones for live application at a price point of $240. Strong, durable, great clarity, low feedback, and a cool appearance are some characteristics we used to describe the mic as we were testing. Highly recommend the 3rd gen Shure Super 55.
Check out Shure's website for more information: Shure Super 55