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Shure KSM353/ED Ribbon Microphone

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Shure KSM353/ED Ribbon Microphone

Prized for their warm and smooth sound since the early days of recording, ribbon microphones have made a comeback in recent years. But ribbon mics have an Achilles heel: the delicate aluminum ribbon element is susceptible to bending and breaking. High-SPL sources like drums or horns can ruin a fragile foil ribbon with one transient blast of air, upsetting its delicate tension and stretching it out of shape. It would take an extraordinary ribbon to hold up Shure's reputation for building nearly-indestructible microphones -- and that's exactly what you'll find inside the Shure KSM353/ED.

Roswellite: One Tough Ribbon

The Shure KSM353/ED's ribbon element is engineered from proprietary Roswellite, an acoustic nanomaterial with the tensile strength to retain its shape and sound under extreme conditions. The funny name means serious performance: This ribbon can handle up to 146 dB SPL, while delivering classic ribbon-mic sound on stage or in the studio. So go ahead -- use the 353 on guitar amp, bass amp, vocals, brass, even inside a kick drum! Roswellite's "shape memory" means it'll bounce right back.

A Boutique Pedigree

Gearheads with an eye for detail will notice that the Shure KSM353/ED ribbon microphone looks (and sounds) a lot like the El Diablo mic once made by Crowley and Tripp, a now-defunct boutique manufacturer. When Shure acquired Crowley and Tripp, they secured the rights to Roswellite. In the El Diablo mic, and now in the KSM353/ED, a revolutionary Roswellite ribbon can go where no ribbon has gone before -- and retain the smooth, natural character that defines a ribbon.

A Ribbon Mic For Any Source

The Shure KSM353/ED is ideal for high-SPL applications like kick drums and blaring guitar cabinets, yet it's sensitive enough for delicate vocals or violins. Like all ribbon mics, the 353 has a bidirectional pickup pattern and can be addressed from front or back, with excellent rejection of its null points to the sides. The design lends itself well to stereo Blumlein pairs, great for natural, spacious room ambiances or orchestral ensembles. In short, the KSM353/ED for use anywhere you'd use a top-quality boutique ribbon mic, plus it's durable enough to use on extremely loud voices and instruments.

Attention To Detail

Like its predecessor, the KSM353/ED is hand-assembled in the USA, before being tuned and tested to exacting standards. As one of Shure's premium KSM offerings, the 353 is built with top-quality materials inside and out. The pure stainless steel case protects a custom ribbon motor assembly, designed to tailor bass response while delivering full low and mids. The KSM353/ED also boasts upper-range presence beyond that of a typical ribbon, with a smooth rolloff above 10 kHz -- an excellent choice for taming sibilant or shrill voices. Shure's attention to detail is even evident in the included "wire rope" shock mount, a robust and beautiful device created by the Shure industrial design to improve on the typical elastic.

Shure KSM353/ED Ribbon Microphone Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Roswellite Ribbon
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz - 15,000Hz Pro Audio KSM353 Response Curve - Small view larger
  • Directional Polar Pattern: Bidirectional
  • Output Impedance: Transformer, balanced, actual 270 Ohm
  • Polarity: Positive pressure on front side of ribbon produces positive voltage on pin 2 relative to pin 3,pin 1 ground
  • Sensitivity (at 1 kHz, open circuit voltage): 53.5 dBV/Pa (2.11 mV/Pa)
  • Dimensions & Weight Diameter: 4.83 cm (1.9 in) Height: 15.75 cm (6.2 in)
  • Weight: 633g (1.4 lbs)
  • Weight: 833g (1.84 lbs) w/shock mount
  • Max SPL: 146 dB
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