Tired of your generic style vocal mic? Then a Retro Microphone could be just what you need! Vintage style doesn’t have to mean lo-fi vintage audio quality though! We round up six of the most appealing retro mics currently available, at all budgets, and give you our verdict…
Retro Microphone Roundup
With an increased interest in all things vintage and retro, many performers want a microphone with mid-century aesthetics too! Furthermore, there is a great selection of great looking and great sounding retro mics for all budgets. Importantly, all of these microphones use modern technology making them suitable for modern stage or studio use.
For under £100, there are clearly two choices: The Superlux WH5 and the t.bone GM55.
Superlux’s WH5 looks great and features three switchable capsules with different frequency responses and a super-cardioid polar pattern. As well as that, there’s the t.bone GM55 which offers a cardioid polar pattern and THAT iconic look.
If you’re on a budget, these are both solid choices although if you’re in a demanding live situation we’d suggest you spend a little more cash. Undoubtedly, there’s one microphone we simply must mention…
The Authentic Choice
Shure’s model 55 microphone was introduced in 1939 and was the very first single element cardioid microphone. Its resistance to feedback and general durability made it ideal for the Rock ‘n’ Roll revolution. Still in production today, Shure make two versions of the model 55 , which both offer that iconic look.
If you want to buy an authentic Shure 55, then there are two versions currently on offer: The SH55 II and the Super 55 Deluxe. Choose the 55SH II for a modern authentic recreation of the legend; alternatively, pick the Super 55 Deluxe for lower handling noise and improved resistance to feedback thanks to its super-cardioid capsule.
The Premium Choice
Last but not least, If money is no object, and you want a retro microphone which especially looks and sounds amazing, then we have two great suggestions for you:
Heil Sound’s The Fin offers a superb 50-18kHz frequency response from its cardioid capsule and, well, just look at it! Internal LEDs light up the grille cloth making its art-deco aesthetics unmissable.
The real show-stopper for us though is the Sontronics Corona; with a look reminiscent of pre-war Western Electric microphones it’s a show stopper. In contrast, its sound is thoroughly modern thanks to a premium dynamic capsule tailored for vocals.