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Thread: SM58 vs. SM57

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    Ptron is offline Senior Member
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    I've been told by a coupla different people that an SM57 uses the same diaphragm as the 58. They test the batches and the ones that don't spec out as well become 57s. Sounds far-fetched but like I said, I've heard it from more than one source. Is this just a myth? It would sure be embarassing to those who say the 58 is better for vocals and the 57 is better for amps/instruments.
    Also I have a coupla Shure mikes that are shaped exactly like SM57s but they have PE66L written on them instead. What's the deal with these?

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    JimH is offline Dedicated Member
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    My understanding has always been that the SM58 has a slight peak at around 2KHz whereas the SM57 is flat. This gives a little extra presence for vocals and is why the SM58 is considered more of a vocal mic.

    A little anecdote: years and years ago (I don't want to tell you how many ) I used to work sound for a small live band for about a year. The band had a female lead singer who used a SM57. At one point we switched her to an SM58 and I did hear a subtle difference. The guitar player didn't believe that I heard it. But when you listen to the same thing over and over again like I did, it's more likely you'll be able to hear a change. I probably couldn't hear it today.

    Jim

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    mastahnke is offline Linux Man...
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    I certainly don't claim to be an expert in this field, but I will tell you what I can about this. The 58 is for vocals due to a proximity effect having to do with bass response, although I am not exactly sure about what that means. I really don't like the 58. The 57 is indeed identical, only without the proximity effect. So, if you have money for only one mic, get a 57. Some guys sing through them onstage anyway, (see another thread in this board). I am sure someone around here knows more than I do, so I will let them do their magic.

    MIKE

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    dondottcomm is offline Junior Member
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    I have allways heard that the 58 ,57 are the same the difference is in the head 58 ball shape is not as tight as the 57 in its pickup pattern and thats how the differences come about..I could be wrong...they are both good mics..I've heard that the 57 is a better choice for a female vocal in live performance,because its the proxsimity effect..causing it sound like more of a chest sound than head sound..If someone knows more about this it would cool to hear about

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    These microphones are essentially identical with one difference: the SM58 is optimized for vocals--i.e. the round windscreen contains a pop filter whereas the SM57 does not. Their response patterns are identical except for a slightly lower presence peak in the 8-11 kh range which I would theorize is due to the damping effect of the windscreen. (This contradicts the popular but erroneous idea that the SM58 has more presence than the SM57--in fact it's about 1db less at the freqencies I just mentioned. The writer above has sharp ears and noticed the difference.

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    First of all, the "proximity effect" is a natural phenomenon that occurs with all microphones.

    The SM58 compensates for the proximity effect such that you can get right up into it and sing really loudly without it "booming". Sing "buh buh buh" really loudly into both an SM57 and an SM58 and you should hear the difference. Especially with the Beta 58.

    Other than that they are very similar microphones.

    Slackmaster 2000

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    JimH is offline Dedicated Member
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    Not to beat a dead horse but... Tapehead is absolutely right. A quick look on Shure's web site at the frequency response of both mics proves it. Sorry. I guess I was just hanging on to an old memory of a rumor. At least I'm finally straight now!

    Jim

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    There's nothin' here cause I edited it out--I misread the previous posting...

    [This message has been edited by Tapehead (edited 03-17-2000).]

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    wolfie is offline Newbie
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    Actually, proximity effect doesn't occur in omnidirectional mics; they sound the same at any distance. The Shure SM57 and SM58 are both unidirectional mics. Just though you might like to know. I read about this in Practical Recording Techniques, written by Bruce and Jenny Bartlett. This is a great book. It's used at a lot of colleges.

    wolfie

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Slackmaster2K:
    First of all, the "proximity effect" is a natural phenomenon that occurs with all microphones.

    The SM58 compensates for the proximity effect such that you can get right up into it and sing really loudly without it "booming". Sing "buh buh buh" really loudly into both an SM57 and an SM58 and you should hear the difference. Especially with the Beta 58.

    Other than that they are very similar microphones.

    Slackmaster 2000
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


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    Yep.

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