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SM 57 new versus old?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by swingguy, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. swingguy

    swingguy Guest

    I've been using an AKG C 1000 for recording saxophone (tenor, alto and soprano) and not satisfied. In fact I just tried an old cheapie Fostex M7 an it had a cleaner brighter sound! In researching the world of cost effective mics (under $300.00 or so) it seems maybe I should just find a Shure SM57 and go with that?

    The 57 seems to come up in everyone's discussion of what mics are used in stidos from pro to home based. These things have been around for what ... 50 years?

    Have their specs changed at all since they first came out?

    Is there any merit in finding an old one (not beat up) over getting a brand new one?

    Or is there a substantial difference in the newer mics, like AT 2020 or Shure Km27(?) or mid range Marshalls over the 57's?
  2. David French

    David French Distinguished Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    40. I've got the t-shirt :)
  3. frob

    frob Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2004
    as far as i know they havent change mutch if at all.

    ive heard (get it?) good things about the md421 on horns, it just above your price range.
  4. axel

    axel Guest

    you can't simply go wrong with a sm57 in your mic collection, it will always remain a good investment. just my 2cents, i have bought a couple used, they came from stage use really beaten up even the front mash of one of them is heavily dent!, still sounding, still working, i use them in nearly every recording i do... and you can get them dead cheap, i paid 30quid fo a piece (years ago), just full of ugly scratches, but performing fine like new...
  5. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Can't go wrong, indeed. You'll always find a use for the 57, a nice instrument mic. Buy a nice new one, it'll be prettier and smell better...

    Another option, just for fun, is the Audio Technica 29HE - ahh, H29E, ahh, something like that(?) - you'll find it with a quick search. Used a couple a few weeks ago and they were very nice, too. Miced an upright bass from about 2 feet away, about halfway up the neck and it sounded beautiful!(Yes, it was a mistake - another story - but it sounded good!).

  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I cannot tell you that the specs on the newer 57's are the same as the older ones. I CAN tell you that they are now being made out of the USA.Does this change their sound?.....maybe...At one time, when I owned a rental PA ...I had 20 of em. Some were really really old and some were newer. When I sold the PA, I chose the two very best 'old ones' and two of the newer models. There is a marked difference between these two eras of mics. Whether or not its the ageing process that naturally takes place...I dont know...BUT every Unidyne III SM57 I've ever heard sounds head and shoulders better than the new ones....for what ever reasons.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I don't know how new ones compare to older ones as far as what they spec out at .... Daves remark about them now being manufactured outside of the USA shows good reason why this question bears examination. Perhaps someone could do a comparison of a NOS 57 with a new one?

    I do know that many well "heeled" studios advocate the purchasing of new 57's every couple of years. The thought is that dynamics exhibit a type of slight compression that increases with the age of the mic.

    I personally have not heard this phenominon myself though. I have 6-57's that I have had since the 80's and they all work / sound as good to me as the day I bought them.

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