Submitted October 28, 2008 by a customer from gmail.com
"Save your money for the thing"
I need to purchase two more because I know that someday the two I have had for 20+ years are just going to die. I have played with many other fine microphones, but none are a substitute. it's kinda like your favorite pizza. there's all kinds but you know exactly the one that satisfies you every time.
If your looking for an absolutely true sounding mic you'll be thrilled with the SM81. It is clean and transparent thanks to its proven rugged construction and Flat 20-20khz capability.
I have used this mic for drum overheads (outstanding imaging). One of the few condensers that I would use on Snare (on top or underneath). It's Low Freq. roll-off switch is very smooth sounding and makes it an extremely versatile mic. If you do Live recordings, just pop two of these babies up in the room (I prefer using a Near-coincident pair technique) and wait till you hear the spacial realism. Also great for acoustic guitars.
No self respecting studio should be without a pair of these. They once came in matched sets, but these mics are so consistent that is not necessary. Sure has some outstanding good mics over the year but the SM81 is in my opinion a Hall of Fame mic.
Ease of Use
Even if your technical mic skills are lacking, the SM81 is very simple just point it at what you want to hear. The Unidirectional nature of this mic helps to reject sounds from the side and from in back. With that in mind you can use your creativity to either focus what your recording or depending on proximity capture an area of sound. Shure includes very useful specifications and you can find micing tips on-line.
The SM81 is supremely reliable and the product meets the specifications that accompany the mic. I purchased my first SM81 in 1985 after years of on-the-road and in studio use it is still operational today.
This is a microphone worth saving your money for. The SM81 is a classic great. I other condenser mics that cost more than double the price of the SM81 and in certain applications, it my mic of choice.
I once knew some of the folks at Shure and I can tell you they are passionate about their mics, and their customer's satisfaction. I have not used their customer support channel though.
The Wow Factor
In my opinion the SM81 is one of my favorite condensers for drum, live and acoustic micing period. It reliable and true. How much more sexy could you get when making music.
Active Musician, Recording Engineer, Producer
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