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CardioidShure KSM42

Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The KSM42 is a new large-diaphragm FET condenser microphone, intended for studio vocal usage.

The capsule is an edge-terminated design, with dual one-inch membranes made of 2.5-micron Mylar. The same basic capsule design can be found in the KSM44, KSM44A, KSM27, SM27, and Beta 27.

Like the KSM44A, the KSM42 uses Shure’s “Prethos” amplifier circuit design. These circuits are described as Class A, transformerless, and low-noise. The KSM42 has a self-noise level of 8.5dBA. (The self-noise measurement was verified with the capsule attached to the amplifier circuit, in a test facility capable of measuring 4dBA.)

Unlike the KSM44A, the KSM42 is optimized for vocal applications:

  • A non-switchable EQ circuit rolls off low-frequency information below 100Hz.
  • The mic includes an external pop filter.
  • Proximity effect is minimized.

The KSM42 uses a dual-diaphragm capsule, but the rear diaphragm is not wired into the circuit. According to Shure, the dummy membrane in the KSM42 capsule helps reduce proximity effect by “[creating] an acoustic phase shift at the rear of the microphone [capsule].”

KSM42 ShockmountThe mic ships with a ShureLock® rubber shockmount (Shure p/n A42SM), spare elastics (p/n A42OR), an external “PopperStopper™” pop filter (p/n A42PF), a velveteen storage pouch (p/n A42VB), and an aluminum flight case (p/n A42SC).

A foam windscreen (p/n A32WS) and stand mount (p/n A32M) are available separately.

The included shockmount has a 5.3'' diameter, and attaches magnetically to the front of the shockmount. The same shockmount/popfilter assembly can be used with the KSM32, KSM44, and KSM44A, but the filter will not attach to any shockmount other than the A42SM.

Permalink: Shure KSM42

The mic was released in 2010.


Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
KSM42 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (14.1 mV/Pa; 60 - 20,000 Hz)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 25mm
Diaphragm gauge: 2.5 microns
147 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 139 dB
Self-noise: 8.5 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
494g (17.43oz) 185mm (7.28'') 56mm (2.20'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 11–52v

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