New Toys

Shure Beta 27 Side-Address Condenser

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Shure Beta 27 Side-Address Condenser Shure's Beta line of microphones has a new entry: the side-address, supercardioid Beta 27. The supercardioid polar pickup pattern means the Beta 27 pickups less sound coming from the sides and back of it. You get more of the source your aiming the mic at and less undesired sound coming from other instruments on the same stage. In addition to improving its gain-before-feedback performance, this feature becomes more necessary as stages get bigger and are filled with more musicians and instruments.

The durable and lightweight Beta 27 has low noise and a low mass, one-inch externally-biased, ultra-thin 24 Karat gold-layered Mylar® diaphragm for recording studio quality. There is a three-position switchable low-frequency filter to minimize stage rumble or the proximity effect from close singers, a -15 dB switchable attenuator and gold-plated internal and external connectors. The mic also has an internal pop filter with three separate mesh layers to reduce wind and p-popping from those same close singers.

I tried the Beta 27 on electric and acoustic guitars. On a Washburn EA-9, I got a very warm and natural sound. The mic has lots of gain as I only needed about 32dB of mic pre-amp gain to do the job. I also noted that since the mic is very directional, I had to precisely place--I experimented with many positions and you should start over the 12-fret. I ended up moving it towards the bridge for a brighter sound.

On a ZT Club electric guitar amp, I switched in the -15dB attenuator pad and aim squarely at the speaker's dust cover as close as I could without touching the grill clothe. Even at this brightest position, the sound was warm and full. Condenser mics in this position usually sound more "fizzy"--not this one!

With a two-year warranty, the Beta 27 sells for $499 MSRP and for much more, visit

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