Sunday, January 28, 2018

NAMM 2018: Shure SM48 Microphone Field Test


This is the final day of the 2018 Winter NAMM show; this year I shot a lot of video with my Zoom Q8, and I chose a Shure SM48-LC to record my dialogue. This microphone is similar in appearance to the venerable Shure SM58, but comes in at about half the price. Considering that I was going to be stuffing it into my bag repeatedly (and possibly dropping it a few times), I chose not to bring its more expensive sibling.

The SM48-LC looks almost identical to the SM58, with a nicely solid heft, and the instantly recognizable profile of the chromed steel mesh grill (that is maybe a touch bigger). It is available both with or without an ON/OFF switch, and mine is not equipped with one. The 48 is a dynamic mic with a different cartridge than the 58, and a frequency response of 55 to 14,000 Hz.

If you purchase one, you will get the mic, a nice vinyl carry bag, and a mic stand clip. These are made in Mexico, and you can expect to pay around $55 from online sellers. It is a good value, for sure.

It worked out very well for field recording, with no issues at all. To my ears, it is noticeably tinnier with less mids than an SM58, but the recordings were all clear, and its cardioid pattern did a fine job of isolating my voice from the terribly chaotic NAMM environment. Though I would not hesitate to buy another for this kind of use (or karaoke), I think that the reduced fidelity is not worth the cost savings to vocalists and bands, so I would advise them the save up another 50 bucks and buy the real thing, an SM58.


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