I was told by a fellow recording engineer that there is a modification that can be done to my VP88 that will improve its performance and make it a bit more quiet. Do you guys know anything about this? I need to do some field recordings and want them better than they have been, I had thought about retiring the ol' 88 and trying out the new Rodes stereo mic or making a rig to hold my AKG C391 & an AKG C3.
This urban myth of VP88 "modifications" can be summarized as follows:
In 1997, Shure Engineering built a prototype VP88. It was given to Shure endorser Tom Jung for his evaluation. This VP88 was a one-of-a-kind prototype.
Engineering improved the output level of both VP88 elements by 3dB. This improved the mic signal/noise ratio as the mic electronics were not changed.
New elements were constructed using 2 mil spacers (1 mil is standard) and using a polarizing voltage of 180 volts (about 120 volts is standard).
The downside is that the bidirectional element had less low end, but the trade-off of more output and less low end was found acceptable by Tom Jung.
This new VP88 design was never implemented in the product as the modified elements could not be manufactured consistently and the low-end trade off was not desired by the market.