Professional sound engineers are accustomed to seeing and using Shure dynamic and condenser microphones. But even some audio veterans don’t know that Shure made ribbon microphones from the 1950s through the 1980s, including the famous mic on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” desk.
Now, Shure has returned to the manufacturing of ribbon mics with two new models, the KSM353 and KSM313. Both use a ribbon material known as Roswellite, which offers higher tensile strength and more resilient shape-memory properties than a traditional foil ribbon. These models are faithful (and renamed) reproductions of two models originated by Crowley and Tripp, which Shure acquired earlier this year.
While conventional ribbon microphones can be damaged by loud sounds, the shape memory of Roswellite ribbons enables it to withstand very high sound-pressure levels over extended periods of time without damage.
“We chose to maintain the two Crowley and Tripp Roswellite models, the El Diablo and the Naked Eye, and bring them into our KSM portfolio as the KSM353 and KSM313,” said Chad Wiggins, Shure’s category manager for wired products. “We’re manufacturing these models true to the original Crowley and Tripp design using the same production process, fixtures, tooling and materials.”
Hand assembled in the United States, the KSM353’s ribbon assembly provides rich low-frequency response, natural midrange and a rising response in the upper range. Its bidirectional polar pattern is extremely uniform and symmetrical.
The KSM313 uses a dual-voice ribbon assembly, which enables the user to choose from two different sound signatures. Addressing the front of the microphone delivers a warm, full sound that is ideal for many instruments, while addressing the rear results in a bright, articulate sound that compliments vocals.
Both the KSM353 and KSM313 feature the Roswellite ribbon material and a custom-wound, double-shielded transformer. Both mics ship in a mahogany storage case with custom stand adapters.
Shure ribbon microphones will be manufactured exclusively in the United States. The company also provides service and support for all existing Crowley and Tripp ribbon microphone products.
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