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Shure: A Long Journey That Continues To Pick Up Steam
This article was originally written and published on ProSoundWeb in the year 2000.
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Then, in 1958, the company introduced a new stereophonic cartridge, the M3D, which gained acclaim as the first cartridge that effectively met the performance requirements of stereo recording.

With further innovative products, such as the V15 Stereo Dynetic Cartridge in 1964, Shure became the market leader in phono cartridges, a legacy that continues today through the hip-hop artistry of turntablists and scratch DJs.

In the early 1960s, Shure engineer Ernie Seeler led a team to build the ideal vocal microphone, one that provided high-quality sound and was rugged and dependable.

After three years and hundreds of tests involving dropping, throwing, cooking, freezing, salt spray, and water immersion, the SM microphone series was born.

Easily recognized by its unique ball-shaped grille, the SM58 proved its worth in its early days by surviving field tests performed by young rock-and-roll bands like the Rolling Stones.

Into 2000, musical performers such as Beck, Buddy Guy, and Melissa Etheridge, along with broadcasters, politicians, and speakers the world over are heard through the SM58.

One of the most recognizable and most used audio products in the world, the Shure SM58 has been the best-selling, all-purpose vocal microphone for over 30 years.

Shure then leveraged its expertise in audio to embark upon the creation of a small, integrated sound system widely used by musicians, religious institutions, schools, auditoriums, etc. The Shure Vocal Master, introduced in 1967, integrated a power amplifier, mixer, and speakers in a compact package – the first “portable total sound system.”

Subsequently, in 1968, the company introduced the first of a line of mixers that brought greater mobility to broadcasters - the M67, a lightweight, rugged, portable mixer.

Eddie Kramer, famed producer and engineer for such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Santana, and David Bowie, proved that the M67 could be applied in live music when he used three of them to record all of the live performances at the Woodstock music festival in 1969.

The late ‘80s and early ‘90s were a time of both audio refinement and the desire for greater freedom of movement, resulting in development of the Beta line of microphones and the company’s return to the wireless market more than three decades after an early foray in 1953.

Shure also introduced another key product for performers in 1997 with the PSM 600. This in-ear personal monitoring (IEM) system went a long way in perpetuating this then-new concept to the mass of the sound reinforcement market by making it affordable while retaining professional quality.

S. N. Shure died at the age of 93 in 1995. A true visionary, whose rare blend of integrity and perseverance made an impact on the world, his legacy continues to guide the company today.

Link to related articles:
History of Shure
Timeline of Notable Achievements
Interview With Michael Pettersen


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