This is a Dynamic mic with a modified supercardioid pattern that is designed for use with Kick Drums and other Bass Instruments.
What I like most about this mic is its high quality sound. It captures the Kick drum excellently. Every recording I have made with drums I have reached for this mic. It provides a nice thumpy warm sound while rejecting almost all other noise (sometimes the snare can get through). I also love to use it on my bass amps. It brings the same warmth and clarity on those as well. It also is one solid (and heavy) mic. I definitely feel I could drop this thing from up high and have no problems with it (not going to do that though). I am a big fan of Shure. All there products I own work flawlessly and should anything happen, they have an excellent return policy, even for highly damaged/out of warranty items. Check it out on there website. What I don't like about this mic is the same thing I don't like about all of my Shure mics. The "protective" bag they ship it with is really nothing more than a super thin leather-like material pouch. I don't understand why they would send out such awesome mics without a strong case to ensure the safety of the mic over the years. Even cheap mics like behringer's come with hard plastic cases.
Other than that one flaw that is not really related to the MIc, this is an excellent mic and one of the the most popular Kick mics on the market.
I paid $150 brand new for this mic. I am very happy with that price and would have paid a little more if I had too to get this classic sounding, solid piece of equipment.
The sound Quality is superb and very precise. While in a very nice studio doing some recording, we were juggling between the 52a and a Audix D6. After a few comparisons, we went with the 52a. It seemed to have more response and clarity, not buy a huge amount, but enough to decide which to use.
If anything ever happened to this mic, I would have to get another one, no if's and's or but's.