Simply Awesome Live Vocal Mic
I stumbled across this mic a couple of years ago while attempting to purchase a Shure Beta 58 for another member of my band to use on backing vocals during live performances. Prior to my introduction to Sennheiser, I had purchased Shure mics exclusively based upon the recommendations of other professionals I trusted in the business (I was relatively new in the "pro" end of live performing and didn't know my pro gear the way I do now). Always having been the lead singer, I was using a Beta 58 wireless rig, a Beta 87 as my secondary mic, and just assumed that the best mic for the other members of the band would be a Beta 58 as well. So I called up one of the well-known music gear providers and proceeded to attempt to order one.
That's when the sales rep asked me if I had tried a Sennheiser 835. I told him the same thing I have written above, but he reminded me that the specs were exactly the same on the two mics, but that the Sennheiser was considerably cheaper and had a 10 YEAR WARRANTY to boot! I waffled a bit, but he convinced me to try a Sennheiser by telling me that he would personally handle my return if I were not completely satisfied (in other words, if the Sennheiser did not meet or beat my expectations of the Shure Beta 58!) Since I was already planning on spending the price of the Beta 58, I moved up a bit in the Sennheiser line from the 835 he had recommended and got this 845S while still saving a couple of bucks.
All I can say is that several years later I now have three of these for the other members of the band and when not running wireless, I use a Sennheiser MD 431 II for my lead vocals. I never purchased another Shure mic and there are a couple reasons why. First of all, this mic cuts through the mix better than a Beta 58, and almost as well as a BETA 87 at half the price!! Secondly, the Sennheiser mics very noticeably feed back less (or are more forgiving of poor mic or monitor placement), which is paramount during a live performance. Third, this mic gives you a switch, which is very handy in eliminating stage noise or feedback potential from your mix when not in use (your live engineer doesn't have to worry about remembering to push the 'mute' button at the right time all night long!). You won't get that on a Beta 58 or 87.
The bottom line is that this mic gets 5 stars because of its price-to-performance ratio against its peers. It is crisp and "hot" without feeding back like most of its competitors, and the fact that it costs less while performing better makes it simply mind-boggling why so many performers are still hanging on to the Shure SM58 and Beta 58. Being a performer and engineer for over 15 years, I have become very accostomed to "getting what you pay for" when it comes to pro music gear. Sennheiser mics are the exception to this rule, and more people should know about it!