Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Shure 545SD Unidyne III -- good for anything?
Shure 545SD Unidyne III -- good for anything?
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1352 posts
Jan 03, 2018
2:43 PM
A microphone of this type was given to me recently by a friend, and I wonder, is this something that´s primarily best for:
going straight to PA,
to your amp for dirty sound, or,
micing up your amp?

A rather heavy little thing that appears to have been around a while. The on/off button requires a screwdriver, which is a bit awkward.

Ed. to add: I have a dim recollection of having read somewhere that it´s something of a feedback monster.

Last Edited by Martin on Jan 03, 2018 3:54 PM
2436 posts
Jan 03, 2018
10:55 PM
I've had a couple. I think they have a high/low impedance adjustment. As for usefulness, it's somewhat similar to a SM57. Paul Butterfield and James Cotton are two notable guys who used the 545. I've had both the regular stick mic and the "pistol grip" type, with and without on/off switches.

The 545 can be a good harp mic or vocal mic. As with some other mics the gain and highs may need to be rolled off a bit. I liked using them in a stand to keep them "in the pocket" and try to cut feedback potential. I let them go at one point or another when I was minimizing my collection.




Barley Nectar
1336 posts
Jan 04, 2018
10:31 AM
Always Google for info!
545 is a very High Quality mic in the Shure line. These will work well as a stage mic, into the board, or can be rewired to Hi Z for use into an amp. You can also use an in line, impedance matching transformer for use with an amp. Move the switch stop to the lower position so you can use the switch to kill feedback in an instant and to shut off mic when at rest. Very handy. I find that the 545 is very responsive to hand position going from clean to driven with cup alteration, more so then any of my bullets. The 545 is the predicesor to the Shuer 57/58 mics and has been in production since the early '60s. This is a testiment to the quality of this mic. You can drive nails with that SOB then take it to the gig. Feedback monster...not in my hands. The 545 may be the best mic I own. Just to qualify, mine is an early 545 Unidyne III so not quite the same as yours but yours is damn good also. My best advice is, take it out and play it. Make your own desision as to it's worth. Our opinion really means nothing but I like to give mine so, there you have it. Rock on...BN

Last Edited by Barley Nectar on Jan 04, 2018 10:40 AM
1353 posts
Jan 04, 2018
11:37 AM
Thank you jbone and Barley N.
And of course I Googled! But I find that over here there´s a bunch of specialists who have experience from that particular *harmonica* aspect of electronics and whatever and I tend to shamelessly use that.

And of course I will try out my 545 in various ways, but there´s a bit of a problem for us living in apartments with no wish to be evicted: We got to keep a lid on our most energetic attempts at testing out new toys. And while at rehearsals, it can be tiring for the other guys when you´re absorbed by your own gear.
By I gave it a sort of dry run just now: plugged in to a small amp just to see how high I could push volyme befor howling. While it was nowhere as high as my Audix and EV, it performed rather nicely.

So I will give it a shot already this coming Monday.
Many thanks.
4621 posts
Jan 04, 2018
12:07 PM
It should have as much output as a fireball a bit less than a bullet mic.
it may be wired for low impedance. just needs to be re-wired.

try it with the box you ordered.
1354 posts
Jan 04, 2018
3:38 PM
@1847: So by "output" you mean that the bullets mic(s) get louder before feedback?
Surprises me. My impression is that with an Audix FB, say, you can get quite a bit more volume out of the amplifier, as well as the Electro Voice that I bought a while ago, which seems to me to be the most powerful of all my mics. But I have no measurments, only impressions.

Re-wireing is way beyond me, but the box, as you say, should do the trick, I suppose.
4624 posts
Jan 04, 2018
4:29 PM
they feedback sooner.
1355 posts
Jan 04, 2018
4:48 PM
They, being the bullets, feedback sooner, I assume you mean. But they still have more output?
4625 posts
Jan 04, 2018
5:10 PM
they have more gain not necessarily more output
1356 posts
Jan 05, 2018
9:08 AM
OK, thank you 1847.
I just returned from a music store session of amplifier testing, and, interestingly, my EV PL35 outperformed the 545 SD on all areas: sound quality, loudness and even warmth. (But with extreme close cupping the 545 get rather cozy.)
Interesting, because you can get five EV´s for one 545. This was mainly on two amps, I hasten to add, and I have no dog in any fight between mic brands. Just glad that I took the advice and purchased a EV.
4626 posts
Jan 05, 2018
10:24 AM
some of the older 545's sound great. they came out in 1960 if i remember correctly.

back then alico magnets were used

copper wire was actually copper, now it is, if i am not mistaken aluminum wire with copper clading and ceramic or neo magnets.

i don't think any of that would make that much differance on their own, but when you add them up, it would change things a little bit.

when you add just how cumbersome a 545 is,
i know i would not ever consider having one.

there are better mics, sounds like the one you just got fits that bill.

the older 545 with out a swith seems like an excellant mic, however it doesn't have the switch.... it would be a shame to add a volume control to an old mic like that.
1141 posts
Jan 05, 2018
11:16 AM
I have one and I use it as my main recording mic for recording distorted harmonica. Sometimes I use it live, it sounds great, but it is a bit too old and wiring already failed twice so after last repair I prefer to keep it at home.

I use it in this clips:


My website. My album with Mikhail Bashakov. Seydel endorser. LoneWolf Blues Co endorser. Harmonica teacher. My facebook.
4627 posts
Jan 05, 2018
11:37 AM
boris that is flat out amazing....

back in black, im back in black....

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