12.26.2011 02:41 PM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Shure intros wire rope shock mount for ribbon microphone

Shure has unveiled an innovative new shock mount for its KSM353 ribbon microphone that uses advanced materials and design to deliver a new level of isolation.

More than 18 months in development, Shure said the mount had to provide exceptional isolation, securely mate to the microphone and complement the simple metallic styling of the KSM353 ribbon microphone. The company said the KSM353’s 1.5lb weight and lack of a secure attachment point posed distinct challenges to achieving these goals.

Shock mounting a heavy microphone is a delicate balancing act, Shure said. If the support straps are too compliant, the mount is floppy and bottoms out. If they’re too tight, the mount won’t isolate well. And, for a ribbon microphone, the movement of the mount must be perpendicular to the movement of the ribbon, which complicates the design.

The first step was to redesign the bottom connector of the microphone to accept the successful ShureLock thread design. A standard feature on the mounts for Shure KSM-series microphones, the mount threads onto the bottom of the microphone, holding it securely regardless of orientation or stand movement.

A particular challenge was the choice of material that would actually provide the isolation. In place of the traditional elastic bands or rubber o-rings found in most shock mounts, the A300SM employs wire rope. Shure’s director of mechanical engineering had previous experience shock mounting delicate military equipment using wire rope, but had no idea if it would work well with a microphone, Shure said. Prototype mounts using samples of wire rope from a variety of suppliers were tested extensively, until one with the right flex characteristics, finish and durability was found.

The new A300SM mount meets all of Shure’s quality standards, including surviving multiple drops and maintaining finish quality after exposure to humidity and corrosive environments.

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