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old sm57s better

Discussion in 'Recording' started by chico, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. chico

    chico Guest

    i heard the older shure sm57s sound better. but how do i get one or several. nothing on ebay now...

    i assume this is the low-end of vintage microphones...but it's such a workhorse that i'd like one for my project studio.

    any advice?
  2. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member

    Urban legend! :eek:
  3. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Personally, I have no time for the "vintage 57" business. If I need a 57 and see it in a pawn shop or second hand guitar store cheap, sure, I'd get it, and maybe luck into one of these "magic" ones, but if you're worried about getting a better mic than a 57, just get a better mic. Might even be cheaper than the 57 hunting in the same circles, since a pawn broker probably doesn't know Sennheiser and Beyer from Realistic. I hope to get lucky and get an Ela M 251 cheap sometime 'cause they don't know it needs phantom power, but I'm not holding out any great hope of it.

  4. chico

    chico Guest

    good point!
  5. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    I did a blind a/b with the 'vintage' (unidyne III) with a regular "sm57" today, and no one in the room could hear the difference. If there is in fact a difference, I doubt it's one that is worth the effort of hunting down 'old' mics....
  6. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Member

    Has anyone A/B'd the 57 with the Beta 57?
  7. I thought the ELAM 251 had an external power supply like most tube mics. I don't think it needs phantom at all. What do I know? I am the guy who started the rumor that certain old 57's sound better...

    I guess I should stop judging things by how they actually sound and make more assumptions. ;)

    Here is my hypothesis: If not all Telecasters sound good, and not all U47's sound good, and not all LA2A's sound good, then may be some 57's don't sound good. Furthermore, a lot of older guitars, mics, and compressors sound superior to the newer versions of the same models. Perhaps this is also true of the SM57?

    I have discovered by conducting my own listening tests that in some cases it is true. Virtually all of the new 57's I bought in the last 5 years don't sound as good (or at least they don't have the same mojo) and many of them have broken. Most of my old 57's work great and have nice character.

    Don't take my word for it. Go try it yourself. Unlike the ELAM 251, these mics are cheap and plentiful. Pawn shops and music stores usually have one or two hanging around.
  8. Many SM57's probably get damaged and nobody notices- expectations not too high to begin with! I'd be wary of this possibility.
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    And here I thought the main reason people bought them was because they are indestructible! Kind of reminds me of those ads for Technomod (was that the name?) Speakers - they used to show them being thrown off a bridge, hit with a flamethrower, etc. and then plugging them in and they still played! Of course they kind of sounded like $*^t even when you didn't throw them off a bridge, etc. Or maybe I was missing the point - maybe you HAD to throw them off a bridge to make them sound good... Hmmm.... maybe I should try that with my NS-10m's....
  10. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Damn, you're right, I forgot about that. Well, you can figure out a different scenario where the idea works, but I guess it wouldn't be as valuable of a find. I'd settle for an ELAM without power supply, though. Have SPA build me a new one or something.

  11. crazy_guitar

    crazy_guitar Member

    I got a new 57, and it sounded wonderfull, then I borrowed a "used" 57(not vintage) from a studio that used it a lot, and guitar cabs sounded like $*^t, compared to my new 57. So I agree that 57 get damaged more than we think.
  12. BarefootStudios

    BarefootStudios Active Member

    I read in a Music retail trade magazene that Shure of somone have confiscated Counterfiet 57's!! Imported from China! Maybe there Are some bad one floating around out there! Anyone know how to verify if you have a real one? Yikes! Just when I though it was safe to mic the toms!
  13. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Probably 797 Audio mics. The ones they produce for Chinese consumption are to a casual observer pretty indistinguishable from Shure, AKG or Sennheiser mics, but the logos and some other details differ. Never seen anything they've done in a dynamic mic up close, so I couldn't comment as to how to tell the difference between an attempted counterfeit and a Shure. Maybe see which one you can pound nails with and still use?

  14. WLoveday

    WLoveday Guest

    I've heard about this as well. I remember someone saying in the 80's shure changed at least one of the following: The materials, the pattern, or frequency response. (I think it was freq resp)

    Any one know if this is true?
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I read somewhere a long time ago, that the characteristic of 57's can change over time. Something to do with compression of the voice coil, especially with mics that have been subjected to high SPL's. This particular engineer (some guitar sound god) was advocating purchasing a new stock of SM57's once a year. I personally have had several 57's for 15 or so years now that I purchased new for my band PA (instruments and drums) along with 4 58's and they all seem to sound fine. If you want your new 57 to be "Vintagized" send them to me for a while. It usually takes a year or two for "processing" them but they will be returned well "broken in". ……… Fats :D
    It's my opinion, I'll play with it if I want to!
  16. Soup

    Soup Guest

    The SM57 and SM58 use the same basic transducer for both. Both microphones are prone to loosing dynamics over time, especially the highs. It's a decent backup mic but not one I reach for at the start of a show or session. There are a lot better mics out the for about the same amount of money. Take a look at the Audix OM2, AKG880, AT artist pro series, etc.

  17. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

    We appologize for the inconvenience, but this member's posts have been deleted.


    [ January 29, 2003, 01:51 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]
  18. Soup

    Soup Guest


    Yes oh yes it's me and I'm still here. I checked your site and it's you, hahaha. What happend to "mixman" did the rappers rename you...haha. I was thinking of you the other day. I ran into crazy man Robin Dimaggio at Via's place and he told me you were doing a project. Great players! I want to hear it when your done. Man the Mackie talk on here reminds me of the Peavey talk in the 80's.....I saw that post. Man you haven't changed a bit. I'll have to dig around for your number or you could be a kind soul and e-mail me.

    Later Friend,


    P.S. It's a small, small world. oh I'm over on your side right now, maybe we can get up.
  19. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    I myself hate the SM57 sound. I instead go Beta57´s. at the sanre top I would never use the Sm57. It lacks treble and if I end up having to eq +6db at 5k, +6 db at 3K and +6 db at 225, definatly this is not the mic to go. the drum kit is fine, the drummer is oka..
    there are much better mics down there.
    I would use the vintage 57 maybe only on heavy bass/spl instruments
  20. mixman77

    mixman77 Guest

    We appologize for the inconvenience, but this member's posts have been deleted.


    [ January 29, 2003, 01:52 AM: Message edited by: SonOfSmawg ]

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