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Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Dave B » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:46 am

You should have mentioned that you were going to do this Wonks and I'd have thrown a genuine Chinese copy of a 58 (and a 57) at you as well. To my untrained eye, they are so close that I'm keeping them for body/head spares in case my real ones break. I'm not sure that the innards are worth anything...
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Wonks » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:15 am

Dave, you can try this Fame out at a rehearsal (once it's modified), just for a laugh!
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Wonks » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:22 pm

OK, screwdrivers arrived, so the XLR insert in now out of the body. The screw got slightly chewed up a) because its quite soft metal and b) I was trying to screw it out, when I should have tried to screw it in to the XLR so that it no longer held the XLR insert in place and it could be withdrawn. It's been a long time since I last did this!

So here's the XLR. I've numbered the pins so that it's clear to see that pins 1 and 2 are connected, and that there's also a link from pins 1 and 2 to the metal tab that holds the XLR grub screw.

Image

What isn't quite so clear and difficult to photograph, is that the link to the tab doesn't actually make contact with the tab. Although the wire link has some solder on it, it's failed to bridge the gap between the link and the tab, which is why the body remained un-grounded.

Image

So it's time to fire the soldering iron up and see what we can do to improve things.
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:31 pm

Okay... So since all the soldering looks a bit rough and ready anyway, why not de-solder the XLR completely, clean it up, and then re-wire it with the red wire on pin 2 (assuming the red wire carries a positive voltage for a positive air pressure*), the black on pin 3, and link pin 1 straight across to the chassis tab.

* Put the Fame and Shure mics alongside each other, record into your DAW, and compare the waveform polarity when speaking something with plosives like "Peter pecked a pickled pepper... etc" In the unlikely event that they are the same, re-wire with red on 3 and black on 2...

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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Wonks » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:47 pm

An as-is polarity test with me going 'pup' into the mic shows that the polarity appears correct as it was wired, so it's out with the solder sucker.

Image
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:07 pm

Okay. Red on 3 and black on 2 it is! :-)

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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Kwackman » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:40 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Okay. Red on 3 and black on 2 it is! :-)
I know it's right, but that feels so wrong!
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:55 pm

Yes... very odd! :-)
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Wonks » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:57 pm

Modifications made to the MS 58; pin 1 (ground) linked just to the XLR screw tab, Pin 2 (+) black wire, pin 3 (-) red wire.

This has made a significant difference to the mic. The output signal level is now about equal to the SM58 and all the noise has gone.

The Fame MS 58 Mk II now sound a lot closer to the SM58. The MS 58 still sounds slightly brighter to my ears, and more prone to sibilance and has the more obvious handling noise.

I've re-done the frequency response charts (using white noise this time which I should have done before) and they now look closer. The previous sub-60Hz response peak on the Fame MS 58 has now gone. (I did also use pink noise for comparison as I'd used that before and the LF peak was gone from that as well). The mics were again positioned in between the main driver and tweeter, 10 cm from the monitor. Note that these are rough graphs and the results would look slightly different given perfect test conditions, but I think they are good enough for a comparison.

Here's the Fame MS 58 Mk II.
Image

And here's the Shure SM58.

Image

The Fame still shows higher frequency peaks than the SM58, and the dip in the response from approximately 4.5kHz to 6.5kHz is a lot greater than the dip in the SM58's response between approximately 6kHz and 8kHz. With my voice, the mics showed similar response to plosives, but the Fame sounded overall a little bit brighter and suffered more with sibilance. Please note that I can't hear above 10kHz any more so the mics may sound more different to those with better ears than mine.

I've also done a voice recording comparison between them with my mouth about an inch away from the mic. Here's a straight, no processing at all version:
https://soundcloud.com/stormy-simon/shu ... 8-straight

And here's one with a 12 db/octave 100Hz high pass filter on, as most live desks would have one one so this would be a more realistic vocal sound from a PA:
https://soundcloud.com/stormy-simon/shu ... -hp-filter

The SM58's body is filled with epoxy and a transformer, which partly explains its increased weight over the Fame. But that epoxy is probably also responsible for helping damp the mic body, resulting in a lower handling noise than the Fame. The SM58's handling noise was quite low in frequency, so would lessen when a HP filter was used, whereas the Fame's handling noise was maybe twice as loud and generally of a much higher frequency, so less likely to be reduced with a HP filter. You probably wouldn't notice it being hand-held in a loud rock track, but it's more likely to stand out with a singer hand-holding the mic in a piano accompanied ballad.

What I haven't been able to do yet is see how feedback resistant it is in a live situation. Or know whether it has the robustness of a real SM58 and will still be working in 20 years despite looking severely beaten up.

I omitted mentioning a few minor things that I planned to in the initial review, so here they are for completeness.

1) There is no polar pattern diagram for the mic at all. The mic is simply described as 'unidirectional'.
2) The mic came supplied with a 5/8" threaded plastic mic clip, very much like a Shure clip, but there was no 5/8" to 3/8" adapter included.
3) There was no plastic pouch for the mic supplied, as is often the case.

So I really need to revise my opinion of the Fame MS 58 from my initial opinion. It definitely needs converting to balanced operation and ensuring that the shell is grounded; which if you can use a soldering iron, is a matter of a few minutes. It will be slightly brighter sounding than an SM58, which will be good for some voices and bad for others, but probably nothing turning down the treble on the desk couldn't cope with. It's going to be best left on a stand rather than being hand-held.

So for a £17.20 vocal mic when on a tight budget, then providing you can modify it, I think it's doing OK. I'd still recommend going for some of the more professional budget offerings such as the AKG D5, which is under £70 and regarded by many as a lot better than an SM58, but if you've only got £25 spare and you need a stage mic, then given basic soldering skills, then it's going to be useable.
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Janneman » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:09 pm

Thank you Wonks for this nice review and lot of work.
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:27 pm

:thumbup: :clap: A worthy investigation. Thanks Wonks.

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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Rich Hanson » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:31 pm

And you owe a qualified apology to it for saying it is worse than a C1000 :bouncy:
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Wonks » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:57 pm

Well, as bought, it was. As modified, it's probably a bit better than one. Though you'd never knock a nail in with it. :D
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Rich Hanson » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:54 am

Wonks wrote:Well, as bought, it was. As modified, it's probably a bit better than one. Though you'd never knock a nail in with it. :D

Challenge accepted :-D
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby ManFromGlass » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:19 pm

Great stuff, Mr. Wonks!
Will it survive immersion in a half pint of beer? (This is not a dare :headbang: )
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Wonks » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:34 pm

That's a waste of half a pint of good beer!
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby blinddrew » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:40 pm

Doesn't have to be good beer, you can use Carling for testing purposes.
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Wonks » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:45 pm

There are limits to what I will buy!
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Wonks » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:10 pm

Errata: I've just realised I'd got the XLR pinout wrong, and had pins 2 and 3 crossed over in the photo-mark-up and text. So the red wire does go to pin 2 and the black wire to pin 3.

Sorry chaps.
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Re: Fame MS 58 Mk II Dynamic Microphone.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:37 pm

Doh! I should have spotted that -- pin 3 is always the one in the middle on an XLR! :headbang: So that makes much more sense -- black as the cold side and red as the hot. :-)

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