New Gear Review: Telefunken Elektroakustik M80-SH

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The Telefunken Elektroakustik M80-SH and M81-SH are the new lower profile versions of the M80 and M81 Telefunken dynamic microphones. Their shorter lengths allow the mics to get in close—right where I like to put microphones on snare drums, toms and guitar amps. Their built-in mic clips and included 5-meter XLR cable with right angle female XLR make tight miking in the studio or on stage a breeze without compromise.

I tried the M80-SH in the same positions and applications as I would with a brand new Shure SM57. On snare drums I found it to have a clearer and more open sound that didn’t compress as much as the Shure. I used the same amount of gain for each using the console’s API mic pre-amps. The level of off-axis sound (leakage) from the kit’s other drums and cymbals was about the same except the M80-SH’s off-axis sound was better. I tried M80-SH on rack toms and it reminded me of the Sennheiser MD-421U dynamic in many ways—it is less boomy and has more attack compared to a SM57—I didn’t have to do any equalizing.

Compared to the 57, the ever so slightly brighter sound of the M80-SH necessitated aiming it farther away from the dust cap toward the outer diameter of the cone of a Tone Tubby Red 12-inch speaker in the guitarist’s amp. Definitely a good alternate mic for guitar amps—with less low mid-range buildup and no need to “rethink” the guitar sound or production. It simply sounds great.

The M81-SH and MH81-SH are offered with either chrome or black head grills and come with a leather microphone bag and 5-meter SGMC-5 XLR cable with right angle female XLR. They each sell for $249 MSRP. Visit http://t-funk.com.

By Barry Rudolph

miniBio: Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer with over 30 gold and platinum RIAA awards to his credit. He has recorded and/or mixed: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and Robbie Nevil. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and also teaches recording engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. http://www.barryrudolph.com