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Wiring my first mic!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:29 am
by Southmaw
I have a couple of questions about wiring a Shure 99S556 to a Hohner Blues Blaster shell. This is my first post here, so here's the quick intro: I'm a blues/rock singer who started playing harmonica a couple of years ago. I received the Blues Blaster as a gift when I first started playing, and I've never liked it. Now I'm finally getting decent tone with a Shaker Mad Dog through a Traynor YCV40.

But I want to experiment some more! My Mad Dog is more than twice as loud as the Blues Blaster. And I keep reading that old Shure elements mount easily in the Blues Blaster mics. So I bought a 99S556 (1.358 ohms) and tore out the laughably crappy element that the Hohner mic came with. So questions:

Is this really as simple as (cleanly) soldering the three mic wires to the two element terminals? And now that I'll have a decent element in there, will I finally be able to use the XLR-to-1/4" cable that the Blues Blaster came with? Or would I still need to use an XLR cable with an inverter at the amp?

And, of course, please let me know if you have any questions or other suggestions.

Re: Wiring my first mic!

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:33 pm
by jeffl
I own one of those, and when it experienced a short in the mic cable my music store owner played tech. He does all his store's complex tech work. When he looked at it he said "this is wired a little different", referring to the three wires. I don't know specifically what he meant.

Re: Wiring my first mic!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:19 pm
by jeffl
I don't know whether this discussion on the jt30 page applies to your situation, but if you're not familiar with this resource, you should be, imo. Scroll down for the article.

Re: Wiring my first mic!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:24 pm
by Southmaw
Thanks. I'm still worried about how I'm going to wire this thing. I have read that the hot rod circuit that comes in the new Blues Blaster is not great with these old elements. And it seems that I'm going to want to swap out the XLR for something more durable. I'm not sure of where to shop or what exactly to buy that will fit, but I was able to find the one guy in the world who sells the rubber gasket that I'll need. So I should be able to do the research and have this mic rebuilt within a year or two.

Re: Wiring my first mic!

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:57 am
by dcblues
You might want to contact Greg Heumann about this. He does great work on mics.

Re: Wiring my first mic!

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:03 pm
by bottleneck
i think blues blasters have a 3 pin hot chord.double check me ; ... 71f2b28b24

or you could do away with the xlr connector and add a screw on connector to the shell.

greg heuman really does that the best IMHO

also it will sound MUCH better with the proper gasket.a jt30 shell with a good CR/CM and the proper gasket can be amongst the best harp mics of all time.

Re: Wiring my first mic!

PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:35 pm
by gheumann

Do NOT wire the 3 wires to the 3 pins. High impedance signals only require 2 wires. The XLR connector in a BluesBlaster is wired for HIGH IMPEDANCE, Pin 3 Hot. There is no connection to Pin 2. Signal + goes to Pin 3, signal - and Shield go to Pin 1.

Your 99S556 is a DUAL IMPEDANCE element. It has 3 wires/terminals because it has both high and low impedance signals. You should only be using the high impedance signal. Place the element face down on with the terminals at the bottom. You should see one terminal on the right, and two terminals on the left, one vertically higher than the other. For HIGH IMPEDANCE: Use the single terminal at the right as Signal +. Wire this to pin 3 of your XLR connector. Use the vertically LOWER of the two on the left as signal -. Wire this to pin 1/shield of your XLR connector.

Re: Wiring my first mic!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:18 am
by devonniedukes
whatta blessed people you are folks, I love playing musical instrument (piano and harp) but luck is so good I can’t use even one of those two. T_T