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OmnidirectionalCardioidShure KSM141

Multi-Pattern Pencil Condenser Microphone

The Shure KSM141 is an end-addressed electret condenser microphone with a medium diaphragm and mechanically switched pattern control.

Is is nearly identical to Shure’s KSM137, which has a fixed cardioid pattern. The two mics have identical capsules; the KSM141 achieves an omnidirectional pattern by closing the acoustic vents at the rear of the mic capsule.

Like the KSM137, the KSM141 has a 3-way pad switch (0dB, -15dB, -25dB) and a max SPL (at -25dB) of 170dB into a 5kOhm load. The mic’s self-noise rating is 14dBA.

A second 3-way switch controls the high-pass filter, which provides two levels of LF attenuation: -6dB/octave at 115Hz, or -18dB/octave at 80Hz. In addition, a nonswitched subsonic filter in the amp circuit attenuates sound below 17Hz.

Electronic Musician, 2003

Sonically, the KSM141 is not exactly transparent, nor is it airy and open sounding. Rather, it tends toward a darker, drier presentation… In fact, the KSM141 made me think of a Shure SM57 on steroids — it’s a bit brighter and faster than that legendary dynamic, but it definitely has a 57 vibe. There’s a kind of hard and flat (one-dimensional) quality in the midrange, and both the highs and lows — especially the lows — sound overly rolled off. In addition, the KSM141 does not exhibit exceptional transient response, at least as compared with similar condensers.

Just the same, the KSM141 did a nice job on a variety of instruments. I loved it on djembe, and its dark quality helped smooth out some harshness on a tambourine. Recordists with particularly bright sound sources — or overly bright recording spaces — may find the mic helpful for taming edginess.

ProRec, 2003

In cardioid mode, this mic feels like a laser. The rejection was almost like a hypercardioid shotgun mic. The rejection is so powerful that off-axis instruments can sound very out-of-focus and muted… Even at a height of ten feet above the drum kit, it was very obvious where each mic was pointed…

[L]ive sound engineers should take note. This mic is an anti-feedback secret weapon.

Omni mode proved to be a much more musical setting for this mic. In omni mode the mic lost its “pinched” sound and opened up.

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Frequency Response - OmnidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
KSM141 Omnidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
KSM141 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (14 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
Cardioid (14 mV/Pa; 20 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -25 dB (Via Switch)
  • Pad: -15 dB (Via Switch)
  • Filter: -6 dB @ 115 Hz (Via Switch)
  • Filter: -18 dB @ 80 Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 19mm
Diaphragm gauge: 2.5 microns
150 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 159 dB
Self-noise: 14.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
156g (5.50oz) 146mm (5.75'') 20mm (0.79'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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