Review: Shure SM98
Positives:GREAT tom and horn mic
Negatives:Not made anymore, mini xlr cables are delicate
The now discontinued Shure SM98 was has been hailed as a a giant for its performance in front of toms and horns, despite it being less than 1″ long. It’s not the size that counts, its how you use it, and with a list of available options, this mic can be used a whole bunch of different ways. For micing toms, an available metal gooseneck and rim attachment (with drum key style screws). There are other clip attachments for horn (though I do not own and have not used them) There are available Filters that more than double the size of the mic and provide a nice bit of padding so attacks are not as harsh. (a wind screen is available for this attachment as well, which is great for outdoor use). The mics connect to a small preamp via a very long mini xlr cable. Take real good care of these cables as they can run almost as much as the main mic component. The pre’s, which runs off phantom power and transfers that current to the element, look like a black cylinder with a bunch of switches, a mini xlr connector and a regular xlr connector on the other end. The switches allow for a bass roll off and a 0 or +10db gain setting. Shure thought it would be a good idea to take these mics and replace their element with a neodymium element (all their “BETA” mics) and re-brand it as the Beta98… bad call SHURE! The original mics sound WAY better than their harsh and brittle sounding counterparts. If you can find a full set or even piece a set of the cable, mic, pre and clip, you’re looking probably around $150-$250 each for a full set… the mic by itself (useless) can be found for around $100 on the used market. A must have for some serious tom tone! Downsides to this mic are that its just not made anymore and have to be found on the secondary market. Well, that and these things are SO tiny you could very easily lose one if you dropped it on a dark stage or in a less than well let studio.