Uher officially gave the M534 the rather odd title “Dynamic Tubular Directional Microphone”, which refers to its shape (although it is not all that tubular) and its directional pattern (which is cardioid). It has an M/S (“music/speech”) switch, which activates a high-pass filter to increase speech intelligibility and decrease handling noise.
With its fixed cable, it was directed at amateur tape recording aficionados and field reporters, but it has a solid metal body and is quite sturdy. Like many other Uher microphones, its capsule was made by AKG – judging from the specs and a superficial glance (although many AKG dynamic capsules look rather similar), it might share the same capsule with the AKG D190, only its impedance has been slightly modified, probably to match the Uher tape recorders it was sold with. I also happened upon a microphone with a similar body as the M534 labeled “AKG MD 35” (which does not match the AKG mic nomenclature at all) and “AKG in Germany”.
It was also available as a stereo pair, called M634, which came with a stereo bar in addition to the normal table stand that all M534s had. One tiny problem with the Uher M534 is its flimsy mic clip which uses a slide-in system similar to the Sennheiser MD421 – they get lost and break very easily. Luckily, the Uher doesn’t have the same large diameter as the MD421 and can therefore be chucked into smaller mic clips. An SM57s clip should work just fine.
So, what can you expect? Speaking of Shure’s all time classic, I’ve heard it being called a “poor man’s SM57”, which describes its strong and weak points fairly well. It’s really not bad on guitar cabinets, and overall a quite usable all-purpose dynamic mic.
It is very common in Germany, judging from the huge numbers of M534s and M634 stereo pairs sold online and the prices they go for (often incredibly cheap), and since it has a metal body and a quite strong reinforced metal grille (it was built for field reporting, after all), you might want to get some of those and use them on snare drum, toms (splashy surf sound toms!) or other percussion applications where you’d expect the microphone to take a beating or two. And if it doesn’t take the beating too well, it’s cheap to replace it.
Or try and open it to see if a wire has come loose inside. You’ll have to remove the Uher metal band around the lower part of the grille, gently hammer in the tiny metal bolts and then open the mic – see the picture to get a better idea of that.
If you manage to grab a stereo pair, you can also try dynamic overheads, congas or other stereo percussion situations – matched pairs of dynamic microphones are becoming increasingly rare nowadays, and it’s a lot of fun to experiment with these techniques.
To use it with contemporary recording equipment, we’d recommend cutting off or desoldering the 3-pole DIN plug and soldering on a male XLR connector, as the DIN connector does not have a screw thread and thus doesn’t really work well with any DIN-XLR adapters you might already have. You shouldn’t encounter any problems, the original DIN plug is balanced, the output is low-Z only and the connector is wired in a straightforward style.
- Frequency response: 50 – 16000 Hz
- Polar pattern: Cardioid
- Impedance: 500 Ω (Some sources say 600 Ω)
- Max SPL: 128 dB
You’re never too far North for Southern Rock! A sound sample of the Uher M534 on a transistorized guitar amp can prove that.
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Trash:Gold ratio 1:3
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