moosers 02/03/2009

Shure SM81 : moosers's user review

5

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The Shure SM81 is a small diaphragm condensor microphone. I have used this mic mostly in the studio, but it can be used in either a live setting or a recording studio. It has a couple of low pass filters on it and it has a cardioid polar pattern. It's design makes it easy to place in tight spaces and perfect for picking up high end frequency signals. Shure makes a variety of microphones, and I think that these are not only some of the best small diaphragm condensers made by Shure, but are some of the best on the entire market.

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using the Shure SM81s for about four years. I have always trusted the value I am getting when I get a Shure microphone and this mic is no exception - they make sturdy mics that sound great. These mics in particular is great for a number of applications where it is vital to pick up that silky high end signal. I use these on drum overheads, acoustic guitars, acoustic pianos, and other assorted acoustic string instruments. These are great mics for these applications as it is sensitive and will pick up all of the brilliance you want when recording acoustic guitars and pianos. These also sound great on banjos and mandolins as their design is perfect for these types of instruments. As for the price, these are somewhere in between Rode NT5s and Neumann KM184s, and are also in between these other mics in terms of sound quality, in my opinion. The SM81s to me sound better than the NT5s but as far as I am concerned the KM184s reign supreme for acoustic guitar and drum overheads. These are a great option for those who want a great small diaphragm condensor that won't clear out your bank account. All in all these are great sounding mics from a company that will give you some very well built mics at very reasonable prices.