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sm58 / sm57 differences...

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sm58 / sm57 differences...

Postby molecular » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:11 pm

Can anyone on here advise on whether the 58 and 57 are identical, barring the grille design...? Someone mentioned it this afternoon, and it was a new one on me - although a quick google search suggests that, true or otherwise, it's fairly well known. I had been under the impression that the 57 had a slightly more directional polar pattern, and a more significant treble boost than would be achieved by just removing the foam....
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Re: sm58 / sm57 differences...

Postby grab » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:21 pm

It's not the foam that makes the difference, it's the metalwork.
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Re: sm58 / sm57 differences...

Postby molecular » Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:57 pm

If it's that straightforward, I'm wondering why they haven't made the grills interchangeable? Also, is the same true of the supercardioid beta versions of each?
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Re: sm58 / sm57 differences...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:42 am

From Shure's own website (and edited/mangled by me):
The SM58 was designed for vocal applications and it uses a ball grille that acts as a reasonably effective pop filter. The SM57 was designed as an instrument microphone where a smaller grille size is preferred (and pop and wind are not usually a concern).

The SM58 and the SM57 share the same mic element, the Unidyne III. The main difference between the these two models is the grille design which affects the high frequency response, particularly above 8kHz, and the amount of proximity effect.(However, the unidyne III cartridges are not interchangable between the SM57 and SM58 because the mounting scheme for the capsule is different for the two microphones).

The grille designs employed on the SM57 and SM58 place the diaphragm of each microphone in very different acoustical environments. The SM57 uses an integral resonator/grille assembly, where grille is actually a part of the cartridge. This design allows more proximity effect because the mic diaphragm can be placed much closer to the sound source.

When a mic is placed very close to the source it is quite easy to halve the distance: 1 inch to 1/2 inch; 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch; etc. Remove the ball grill from the SM58 and it will be more similar to the SM57 in its low frequency response.

Any other differences you hear between the SM57 and SM58 are likely to be subjective (psycho-acoustic) or due to slight manufacturing differences due to part tolerance.


So yes, the SM57 and SM58 do use the same capsule, and the only significant difference between them is the body and grille.

Shure are a little more coy about the relationship between the Beta 57/58 and the Beta57A/58A, but from a manufacturing point of view it makes sense to use the same basic capsule in as many different mics as possible to minimise production costs and set-up times. So I would feel reasonably comfortable in assuming that the beta57 has the same capsule as the beta58, and likewise the beta57a and beta58a.

The beta mics have thinner diaphragms than the old Sm mics (roughly 3 microns compared to 6 microns) which makes them more sensitive and gives them a better HF response.

Hope that helps

H
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Re: sm58 / sm57 differences...

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:58 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
...and gives them a better HF response.

...for a while (in my limited but consistent experience).
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Re: sm58 / sm57 differences...

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:00 am

:D
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Re: sm58 / sm57 differences...

Postby Guy Johnson » Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:55 pm

Tee-hee! Agreed. ... And they tend to ssibliance, too.
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