Is the SM58 exactly the same as the SM57 apart from the grill ?

Discussion in 'GEAR Talk Forum' started by ManicMiner, May 19, 2019.

  1. ManicMiner

    ManicMiner Member

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    If you put a SM57 grill on a SM58, would it turn it into an SM57, or is it more complicated than that ?
     
  2. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    I believe they are the same. They have the same cartridge design. Although, spit and rust on a well toured 58 pop shield obviously makes it sound way better than a 57 though. ;)
     
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  3. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon KSP Wizard

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    IIRC they're not voiced in the same way, so it's not just the grille.
     
  4. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    The different grille assembly of the 57 gives a slightly higher output above 5khz. Other than that, they are basically the same. 57 is an Instrument mic. 58 is Vox where wind and pop noises are a concern.
     
  5. X-Bassist

    X-Bassist Senior Member

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    OP should keep in mind this is why a 57 usually sounds harsh or thin on vocals. In practice the 57 works great at higher decibels- a close snare, blasting guitar amp, or other loud source- the capsule compresses well. The 58 sounds better for softer sounds, vocals, solo instruments. Perhaps partially by the ball keeping you from getting too close to the capsule, but take the ball off and it still doesn’t match the 57.

    So much that you can do with just those two mics. Just mixed a 6 piece live gig with those two mics and a kick mic (RE20). I really don’t need much else for a live show(besides great speakers and monitors, and a nice mixer). For $90 new, they are both built like tanks, can survive the road, and are very reliable. For recordings or studio work I pull out condensers to get detail, but for live work you can’t do better. The Beta 87C’s are are also cool (has a little more detail and a 10k bump) but after using both (and many others) I always come back to the 58. :)

    I think Led Zeppelin got that right. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  6. OP
    OP
    ManicMiner

    ManicMiner Member

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    So you're saying that simply swapping the grille does not turn a 58 into a 57 ?
     
  7. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    What is your intention? Curious. They are both very affordable mics and I guess I could be rude by saying this but they are "workhorse" mics. Great mics, both can handle huge spl but so similar I'm curious what your intentional use between them is. Basically, they are built to last and in a live situation, each has a role that leads to incredibly similar results.
     
  8. TigerTheFrog

    TigerTheFrog I'm supposed to be working now.

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    From Shure Website

    SM57 vs SM58
    Date Updated: February 16, 2016

    FAQ #1083
    Question:
    What are the real reasons an SM58 should be used for vocals, and an SM57 be used for instruments? Of course, everybody seems to use these mics as mentioned. No one has given me a convincing reason for this, other than 'That's just what you do- everyone does it this way'. Please ease my anxious mind!

    Answer:
    The SM57 and SM58 microphones are based on the same cartridge design. The main difference is in the grille design. The SM58 was designed for vocal application and it uses a ball grille that acts as an effective pop filter. The SM57 was designed as an instrument microphone where a smaller grille size is preferred. In this application, pop and wind are not usually a concern.
    The SM57 uses an integral resonator/grille assembly, where grille is actually a part of the cartridge. These two grille designs place the diaphragm of each microphone in a different acoustical environment. The distance from the top of the grille to the diaphragm is shorter on the SM57 compared to that of the SM58. This allows for a closer miking position with a more pronounced proximity effect. The different resonator/grille assembly design of the SM57 is also responsible for its slightly higher output above 5 kHz.
     
  9. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    Well, there you go! haha!

    It's been so long since I thought about the specs of a 57 and 58 it feels refreshing my brain remembers some of that!

    Just buy and use both. Everyone else does haha!

    Cue the VI-C (surely there's a Gearslutz comparison somewhere) 57 vs 58 mic test. I propose Bono being the Vocalist. Apparently he even recorded much of his music with U2 with a 58.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    ManicMiner

    ManicMiner Member

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    I do have access to a dozen Sm58's and can use them when I want for vocals.
    However, there are no Sm57's around.
    I want to know simply if I buy SM57 grilles I can use them as instrument mics (without having to actually spend $200 on two Sm57s).
     
  11. jononotbono

    jononotbono Luke Johnson

    Totally fair enough man! I was just being curious! I will predict, when you buy (or get) a 57, it will not move mountains compared to what you have. When you use one, would love for you to report back in this thread and give your reaction ;)
     
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  12. Jeast

    Jeast Member

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    Just removing your SM58's grille will give you all you need. This is a very known "trick" in recording land. After having done this a lot myself and being around a lot of recorders doing this a lot, I do not believe people that say they hear a difference ;)
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    ManicMiner

    ManicMiner Member

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    Well, I just phoned Shure, their engineering department, got it straight from the horse's mouth.

    They said that putting an SM57 grille on an SM58 would turn it into a 57 ! But that it wasn't possible because the grille mounting was different and so the grill would not fit properly.

    @Jeast did you say you were doing this OK?
     
  14. bill5

    bill5 Active Member

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    Speak for yourself. ;) I've no use for a 57 and there are IMO better vocal dynamics around for the same price as the 58 (e.g. the Senn 835).
     
  15. YaniDee

    YaniDee Active Member

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    You never know..I recorded a (grunge) singer once, and I put up an AT 3035, then a Rode NT..but he couldn't get into it, he said he didn't like these "fancy mics". So I put up an SM57, and he did a flawless take that also sounded good..
     
  16. bill5

    bill5 Active Member

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    Oct 18, 2018
    I do know. :) I should have clarified: I literally just don't have a use for one. I'm not saying it (or a 58) isn't a great mic at all. But those uses are N/A for me.
     

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