Shure SM86 Cardioid Condenser Handheld Vocal Microphone


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  • The Shure SM86 is a unidirectional (cardioid) condenser vocal microphone for professional use in live performance. An extremely rugged microphone,the SM86 withstands the rigors of touring while delivering studio-quality sound.The tailored frequency response of the SM86 reproduces vocals with clarity. A cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source while minimizing unwanted background noise. The built-in three-point shock mount minimizes handling noise, and a two-stage pop filter reduces wind and breath pop noise.

    • Condenser cartridge for studio quality sound
    • Tailored frequency response for a clear reproduction of vocals
    • Rugged construction withstands the rigors of touring sound
    • Cardioid polar pattern minimizes unwanted background noise
    • Excellent choice for stage monitors and personal monitors
    • Built-in three-point shock mount minimizes handling noise
    • Two-stage pop filter reduces wind and breath noise

    PROXIMITY EFFECT:Unidirectional microphones, like the SM86, progressively boost bass frequencies up to 15 dB as the microphone gets closer to the sound source. This phenomenon, known as proximity effect,can be used to create a warmer, more powerful sound. To prevent excessive or "boomy" low frequency sound during close-up use, the SM86 bass response gradually rolls off. This provides greater control and helps the user take advantage of proximity effect.

    APPLICATIONS AND PLACEMENT:The SM86 is ideal for close-up vocals and can be held in the hand or mounted on a stand. Some of the most common applications and placement techniques are listed in the following table. Keep in mind that microphone technique is largely a matter of personal taste"”there is no one "correct" microphone position.

    SUGGESTED MICROPHONE PLACEMENT:Lips less than 15 cm (6 in.) away or touching the windscreen, on axis to microphone.;15 to 60 cm (6 in. to 2 ft.) away from mouth, just above nose Height.;More than 60 cm (2 ft.) away.TONE QUALITY:Robust sound, emphasized bass, maximum isolation from other sources.;Reduced bass.; Thinner, more distant sound;noticeable levels of ambient noise.

    GENERAL RULES FOR MICROPHONE USE:Aim the microphone toward the desired sound source and away from unwanted sources.Locate the microphone as close as practical to the desired sound source.Work close to the microphone for extra bass response.Use only one microphone per sound source.Locate microphones at least three times as far from other microphones as from the sound source.Use as few microphones as practical.Place microphones far from sound-refl ecting surfaces.Add a windscreen when using the microphone outdoors.Avoid excessive handling to minimize mechanical noise.

  • Transducer TypeCondenser (electret bias)
    Frequency Response50 to 18,000 Hz
    Polar PatternCardioid
    Output Impedance150 Ohms at 1 kHz(recommended minimum load impedance: 600 Ohms); Sensitivity (at 1,000 Hz)
    Open Circuit Voltage-50 dBV/Pa (3.15 mV)(1 Pa = 94 dB SPL)
    Output Clipping Level1000 Ohm Load at 1,000 Hz: +3 dBV (1.41 V)
    Maximum SPL (at 1,000 Hz)1000 ohm load (1% THD): 147 dB
    Self-Noise23 dB typical, A-weighted
    Dynamic Range (1000 ohms)124 dB (maximum SPL to A-weighted noise level)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio71 dB at 94 dB SPL (IEC 651)*
    PolarityPositive pressure on diaphragm produces positive voltage on pin 2 relative to pin 3 of the output connector.
    PowerPhantom Supply Requirement: 11 to 52 Vdc, positive at both pins 2 and 3; Current Drain: 5.2 mA
    ConnectorThree-pin (XLR) professional audio
    CaseDark gray enamel-painted steel with matte-finished silver colored steel grille
    Net WeightNet: 278 grams (9.8 oz)
    Environmental Conditions
    Operating-18 degrees to 60 degrees C (0 degrees to 135 degrees F) (relative humidity >90%)
    Storage-29 degrees to 74 degrees C (-20 degrees to 165 degrees F) (relative humidity >80%)
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