The 57 is a classic, and for ovious reasons. I always used a beta58 for guitar cabs though, without really knowing what I was doing I just started that way. Later, I heard everyone used a 57 on guitar cabs, and once I tried it, I think i know why. Not because it sounds great, but I think the way alot of guys used it was to capture LOUD amps, so the 57 probably worked nicely for that, I tried it and had to CRANK my amp to get the same input signal as putting my 58 in the same micing spot.
If I had to guess, and I'm not an expert, the 57 probablly became so popular on cabs because of this. Not enough headphones for all the recording artist at once, so crank all then amps so everyone can hear each other, and the 57 will sound good. The 58 would sound like death this way. It's like the 57 was desgined for this, it just works.
I can barely turn up an amp, and the beta58 does it for me, sounds more
open and natural. Since the 58 seems to reach out more for the signal, to me, it brings in more air/room sound with the amp/guitar sound, which is an awesome thing. The 57 sounds like it as a screen or coffee filter infront of it, just seems filtered sounding, but I think that's why people like it on guitar amps and snares, takes some of the harshness out of the sound.
Again, some of you old timers can set the record straight, I'm merely guessing and using my own impressions on the 57 legacy. It sounds awesome on snares to me. But then the Audix I-5 stole that role too.
I think it's an all around great mic. I like darker sounding recordings, and for that it's so easy to get almost anything sounding good with it.
I could make an albulm with 57's and 58's. I just want my Akg Perception 420 to team with my LA-610 for vocals, good night........ Instant 1970..