The VP88 is one of the most unique microphones I've ever encountered. The M/S encoding function is breathtaking and you can simply dial in the stereo width right there on the mic. As a studio recording engineer, I was excited to get my hands on one of these; as a sound designer, I'm impressed beyond measure.
I go to a recording school and we recently got this microphone. I have been using it as an acoustic microphone and it is absolutely fantastic. It give a very warm, accurate sound that makes the guitar sound fantastic. It has very quickly become my go to microphone for acoustic MS recording.
Highly Underrated Microphone
I have used this microphone from drum overheads to stereo location recording and I cannot think of another microphone I would rather have to do the job. Used on an acoustic guitar, it's like taking blinders off. Even the Shure representative was surprised I used it on an acoustic guitar. You truly hear the entire instrument. This is definitely a "desert island" microphone.
If you are looking for a stereo microphone the vp88 is a tool to consider. The VP88 is a fantastic but often misunderstood microphone. It is a useful addition to any microphone locker for its flexibility. It is a great microphone for field recording and for studio applications.
The VP88 features a forward facing cardioid capsule (mid - on axis) and a bi-directional (figure of eight) side facing capsule. There is a built in stereo matrix for selecting the width of the stereo field (wide, medium, narrow).
In addition to the stereo options there is also a setting for recording in mid/side for the option of adjusting the stereo width in post-processing. With a mid-side decoder it is possible to precisely adjust the width of the stereo image based on the needs of your chosen application (little more room/little less room). This also provides the possibility of only using the mono signal from the forward facing capsule. I highly recommended it. It has a robust build quality and is money well spent.
Great for location video too
I use this mic for live concerts, quick piano stereo, and location video. It's really five mics in one. Three stereo-using the built in m-s matrix, regular mid side for decoding in the studio, and there is the single mic option (sans the side mic) if you want, though I have other mics for that purpose, but in a pinch you could use it that way. If you are shooting video then you know that your sound needs to be mono compatible. VP88-problem solved. The "hoity toitys" will knock this baby for whatever reason, but, in the real world this thing rocks. The y adapter is short though, and that little oversight cost the Shure folks that half star I withheld. If the times I use this thing is any indicator then it wins the "run 'n gun" category.