Shure acquires Crowley and Tripp ribbon mics from Soundwave Research

The acquisition of innovative technology returns Shure to the ribbon microphone product category
The flagship ribbon mic using Crowley and Tripp’s Roswellite technology is the el Diablo.

Shure has acquired Crowley and Tripp ribbon microphones from Soundwave Research Laboratories of Ashland, MA. Under the agreement, Shure now owns all intellectual property, microphone process equipment, product designs and other assets related to the Crowley and Tripp line. Shure will manufacture ribbon microphones in its Wheeling, IL, facility using the Roswellite shape-memory acoustic ribbon material developed by Soundwave Research.

“Ribbon microphones have always been prized for their warm sound quality, but older designs are delicate, which has limited their applications,” said Scott Sullivan, a global product management director at Shure. “With the acquisition of the Crowley and Tripp product line and their Roswellite ribbon technology, Shure is extending the use of ribbon microphones to the stage in addition to their use in the studio.”

Ironically, Shure was a leading maker of ribbon microphones in the 1950s and ’60s, most famously providing the SM33 desk microphone used in Johnny Carson’s years as host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show.” The company stopped making all ribbon microphones in the 1980s. The availability of Crowley and Tripp’s materials and designs bridges the gap from that era to today’s modern recording environment.

“This new ribbon technology enables us to combine the characteristic ribbon sound with the durability for which Shure products are famous,” said Chad Wiggins, Shure’s category manager for wired microphones. The Roswellite material allowed Crowley and Tripp to design ribbon microphones capable of handling extreme SPLs in a high-output/low-noise design.

Under the agreement, Shure will manufacture ribbon microphones exclusively in the United States and will also assume responsibility for ongoing service and support for existing owners of Crowley and Tripp ribbon microphone products.