Review: Shure Beta 98 AMP/C

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Review: Shure Beta 98 AMP/C

Words By Trinski Lawang

JANDS | Enquire for Pricing

Shure has a rich history of delivering amazing audio products. From humble beginnings, they started as a company selling AM kits and components in 1925. From there, Shure have grown exponentially in all facets of the audio industry to the point where Shure microphones can be found in almost every microphone locker worldwide, from the live rig, to broadcasting/professional studio, and of course, in the hands of musicians, expert audio engineers and as a rite of passage for a beginner who is learning the tools of the trade.

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From supplying the Allied Forces with headphones and microphones in the forties, before emerging from the fifties and sixties as the dominant microphone brand for the stage and studio, the brands exceptional reputation for producing incredibly durable dynamic mics has made the brand and their iconic SM57, the de-facto standard for drums (but particularly snares) since the birth of multi-track recording.

While the SM57 boasts a ludicrously impressive resume to date (literally everything from White House presidential addresses, John Lennon vocal takes and an impossible number of canonical, high profile snare and electric guitar recordings), there are still a number of awesome under the radar mics in Shure’s catalogue that have the ability to provide a perfect point of difference to really make your recordings stand out from the pack (especially on drums). The Shure Beta 98AMP/C is one of those microphones, possessing all the qualities to make it one of the best kept secrets in drum mic-ing, exemplifying Shure’s tagline of “Sound Extraordinary”- and at an affordable price.

The Shure Beta 98AMP/C may look familiar, if you’ve handled or used other Shure Beta microphones-it has the same greyish blue matte finish that is typical of the Beta range and has that same rugged, bombproof feel as Shure products past and present. If you have ever seen the video of the Shure employee dropping the SM58 out of the helicopter, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The exemplary build quality of their releases is one of the defining characteristics of the Shure brand and a particularly important consideration for a drum mic.

The Shure Beta 98AMP/C is a small diaphragm electret condenser microphone with a flexible goose neck which is rigid and pliable enough that allows for precise microphone placement or adjustment on your sound source, it also comes with the A75M Universal Microphone Mount which can be mounted on the hardware of your instruments, drum rims or any other surface that the mount can be clamped on.

This mount allows for great manoeuvrability around your sound source without the need of a cumbersome microphone stand and with the reduced stress of cable management and because of its compact design, the Shure Beta 98AMP/C can be attached almost anywhere!

As you would probably expect for a microphone designed for these sorts of applications, the Shure Beta 98AMP/C has a cardioid polar pattern with some impressive off-axis rejection, particularly handy for nullifying hat spill and isolating the mic from other parts of the kit.

Its frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz is particularly notable for a small electret condenser, and its slight roll off at 400Hz goes a long way to ward off some of the dreaded woofiness that comes with close-mic’d drum sounds and the inherent proximity effect that comes with. The subtle bump at 6kHz gives it some nice definition without over emphasising the wires, and the fact that it’s a condenser further aids in giving drum sounds a slightly more natural capture than you would usually hear with a slower, dynamic capsule.

The Shure Beta 98AMP/C has a maximum SPL of 157.5 dB at a load of 2500 ohms and decreases to 153 dBL SPL at a load of 1000 ohms. The Shure Beta 98AMP/C also has an integrated preamplifier which gives it a high output for such a small

Those new to drum mic-ing might be intrigued by its tiny footprint, but this is actually a good thing: given the forest of drum hardware and loose arms, this microphone is likely to be placed. The sound itself is of a much bigger microphone, with a balanced low end and adding plenty of size to drum and percussion recordings.

These sounds translate with a notable transient response and have a similarly aggressive sound to the SM57 but with a slightly brighter sonic character, placing them toms makes them sound larger than life and can produce the same ‘crack’ on a snare as a SM57. The Shure 98AMP/C is also agile enough to take on other instruments such as electric guitar and bass, serving up impressive sounds on both.

With Shure’s history, research and development behind this microphone, it’s only fair to say that big things definitely come in small packages with the Beta 98AMP/C, it is compact, packs a punch and can be highly versatile if given the chance. This is not a replacement of Shure’s flagship microphone, but a microphone that can stand on its own as a reliable tool for audio practitioners.

Head to Shure for more information and for local enquiries, get in touch with Jands.