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Classic SM57's Dynamic Microphones
Old 7th April 2006
  #1
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Harley-OIART's Avatar
 

Classic SM57's

Does anyone know a good place (aside from my dreams) to find :

New, Mint Condition (or Close to), American Made, Shure SM57's?

I Love 57's and use them regularly, but I am purchasing some for my studio and I really would like to get my hands on a 'real' one - (American not Mexican).

Should I get in line, or is there hope?

-Scott in Toronto
Old 7th April 2006
  #2
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

There IS hope. Just hold on to it. Mine 'disappeared.'
Old 7th April 2006
  #3
Gear Addict
 

I got a pretty old shure that looks very much like a 57. It has a different name and has also got a switch. Haven't used in ages. I will post the model number and perhaps a picture, when I get home today.
Old 17th April 2006
  #4
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Harley-OIART's Avatar
 

=) I am completely guilty of forgetting about this thread so don't feel bad Gomez ; but with that in mind....

?!?Bump?!?
Old 17th April 2006
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

hah.. I was at a friend who runs a medium sizes pro (live) audio company's warehouse the other day.. he was showing me his collection of vintage 58's.. I said something about alot of studio guys realy liking the old 57's.. and he said something along the lines of "realy.. I ought to buy some new ones and stop talking to old ones to gigs then".. He had about 5 or 6 american made 57's in his mic box :p
Old 17th April 2006
  #6
Is this a myth or what? Old vs. new 57s? Has someone done the listening test? And did it take into account the use/abuse that the older 57 has seen vs. a brand new out-of-the-pouch 57?

Just wondering.

I've heard of one engineer that uses a brand new 57 on snare for every tracking session. No used ones at all. It's a part of his contract. Do you think he specs American 57s?

I've used 57s for years and have never had cause (or need) to ask about one's provenance. To me every 57 I've ever used sounds like a 57. How would you know where it was made? Is there some visual distinction between the two? When did the manufacturing change take place?
Old 17th April 2006
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

I have never AB checked mexican 57 vs US 57's. But did a cheap check between a new mexican 57 and a well cared unidyne (US made) an sure there was difference. Maybe you are refering to the unidyne when talking bout the US 57 ?
Old 17th April 2006
  #8
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Albert's Avatar
 

I have a couple of those old American made 57's and they say "Unidyne III", "Model SM 57", and "Made in U.S.A." on the little band near the top of the mic. The new Mexican made mics have much larger "SM 57" lettering, and don't have any indication of "Made in.. ".

The old SM57's don't have switches, at least mine don't. Maybe that's a yet earlier model, or a variant?
Old 17th April 2006
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
Is this a myth or what? Old vs. new 57s? Has someone done the listening test? And did it take into account the use/abuse that the older 57 has seen vs. a brand new out-of-the-pouch 57?

Just wondering.

I've heard of one engineer that uses a brand new 57 on snare for every tracking session. No used ones at all. It's a part of his contract. Do you think he specs American 57s?

I've used 57s for years and have never had cause (or need) to ask about one's provenance. To me every 57 I've ever used sounds like a 57. How would you know where it was made? Is there some visual distinction between the two? When did the manufacturing change take place?
Those who have compared know, those who haven't grab the first thing available.
I "dicovered" this large difference back in 1991 when comparing very good condition Unidyne III's to the current crop of Mexican 57's. I called an engineer friend at Shure about it. He said the dies and stampers were sent from Ill. to Juarez, Mexico and were not replaced. I believe tired dies and stampers for the mylar diaphrams are part of the reason, just like in pressing records.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 17th April 2006
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Nice to hear this from you Jim!!!

Looks that those ones claiming that there's difference between the 57's and the unidynes are not crazy deaf!

Old 17th April 2006
  #11
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gomez
I got a pretty old shure that looks very much like a 57. It has a different name and has also got a switch. Haven't used in ages. I will post the model number and perhaps a picture, when I get home today.
Most likely a Shure 545SD.....
Old 17th April 2006
  #12
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Kestral's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert
I have a couple of those old American made 57's and they say "Unidyne III", "Model SM 57", and "Made in U.S.A." on the little band near the top of the mic. The new Mexican made mics have much larger "SM 57" lettering, and don't have any indication of "Made in.. ".

The old SM57's don't have switches, at least mine don't. Maybe that's a yet earlier model, or a variant?
Yup, I have one of these too, a "Made in the USA" "Model SM 57" with "Unidyne III". It's definitely a lot better than the modern Mexican ones. I should know, I sold my Mexican one after A/Bing the two.
Old 17th April 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestral
Yup, I have one of these too, a "Made in the USA" "Model SM 57" with "Unidyne III". It's definitely a lot better than the modern Mexican ones. I should know, I sold my Mexican one after A/Bing the two.
I have an older scratched up Unidyne 111 model sm57 that I got from a pawn shop in Chicago about 5 years ago.
On a testing day, I put a small marker dot on the grill cloth of my speaker cabinet, and played samples of guitar through that Unidyne 111 and then carefully swaping out a shiney new 57.....
Not a night and day difference, but a little less harsh in the mids, I liked it better.
The Unidyne 111 gets the 1st call now.
Old 17th April 2006
  #14
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
I was given 2 Unidyne IIIs from a friends' basement clean out and yes, they're superior. You could make a whole record with them, go figure.

Next to the new 57s, or anything new in the 'cheap dynamics' category, they're far superior. These two sound very different to each other, as would be expected.

One of them is bright and probably needs some help, the other has more mids and a nice 251/rasp curve ... it's great on everything from a scratch vocal to a guitar cab to a bass cab to a drum kit.
Old 17th April 2006
  #15
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Harley-OIART's Avatar
 

Man I love this board

So anyone know of a good vintage dealer or place to start shopping to find a mint condition Unidyne III USA SM-57?heh

I know i'm dreaming but if anyone can start to point me in the right direction... I want my first 57 to be a real one =)

~Scott in Canada
Old 18th April 2006
  #16
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 

Even a relative novice like me can hear the difference.
Got mine via ebay, along with two other 'ol Shures, the 546 and 548.

BTW a mic that not a Shure SM7, but has similar tone, is the Beyer Soundstar MKII
aka the Model 400 or M400. Way cheaper and less fussy as to "which pre".
Harvey Gerst's Internet posts on these first alerted me.

Any of these through a pretty good pre matches (or beats) a U87ai on my voice FWIW.

Chris
Old 18th April 2006
  #17
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Watch out for the chinese fake SM57s.
Old 18th April 2006
  #18
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Harley-OIART's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov
BTW a mic that not a Shure SM7, but has similar tone, is the Beyer Soundstar MKII
aka the Model 400 or M400.
U mean SM-7 or SM-57? (I only ask cause i love SM-7B's and finding a good similar knockoff would be great.)
Old 18th April 2006
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley-OIART
=) I am completely guilty of forgetting about this thread so don't feel bad Gomez ; but with that in mind....

?!?Bump?!?

Thanks. I apologise, I have been really busy. I'll post the pics on Wednesday.

Old 18th April 2006
  #20
Quote:
Watch out for the chinese fake SM57s.
is there a page out there what to remember when comparing Shure orignals and chinese fakes?

like on the oktava page..
Old 18th April 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Yep. The Unidyne III does sound cooler. I got my first 57 in probably 96 or so and plugged it in to a four track and could not figure out what the big deal was. I remember thinking "That's not what the amp sounds like!" Then again, it was a solid state amp with a 57, tascam preamp going to cassette tape. I remember thinking the peavey beta 57 knockoff (cant think of the model) sounded cooler on guitars in the four track days and early computer days.
Old 19th April 2006
  #22
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chessparov's Avatar
 

Harley, I did mean the SM7, regarding the Beyer Soundstar MKII.

Mic placement with it seems less critical vs. the Unidyne III's IMHO.
(the 548 is my favorite of my Shure's-also more forgiving)

The Beyer is pretty resistant to singers who "pop" their P's, so they make an excellent hand held vocal mic too.

Chris
Old 19th April 2006
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov
Mic placement with it seems less critical vs. the Unidyne III's IMHO.
(the 548 is my favorite of my Shure's-also more forgiving)
Do you have, or know where, I can get a manual for this microphone? the one I have could definately do with a service and I'd like to know what to do regarding the wiring, ect.
Old 20th April 2006
  #24
I got 2 Unidyne 545 IIIs on ebay for $60 including the weird 4-pin to 3-pin xlr connectors. That was about the best gear purchase I've ever made.

To me they sound quite a bit different than a new, mexican-made 57. They don't have that pronouced midrange bump that the new ones have (which I've found to be good and bad). More importantly they reproduce low frequencies MUCH better than the new 57s (which I've found to be only a good thing).

They sound great on snare top when you want lots of body. Amazing on rack toms. Best rack tom sounds I've ever gotten are with my Unidynes. Kind of hit and miss with electric guitar though. In many cases I've found that they don't capture the top end well enough. I've never had the chance to pair them with a really great pre though.

I've attached a picture of one that looks just like mine. Mine say made in the usa on them, and I believe they were made in the 60s.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/attachmen...1&d=1145522962
f5_1.JPGe made in the 60s.
Attached Thumbnails
Classic SM57's-f5_1.jpg  
Old 20th April 2006
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
arpodthegreat's Avatar
 

beta 57?

i have a unidyne III SM57 that i use instead of the 57 but always because i just assumed it was better, never checked it against my other 57s. i was wondering how the beta 57s compare to the mexican 57s and the american 57s. are these american or mexican made?
Old 20th April 2006
  #26
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crypticglobe's Avatar
I've got a couple of the old unidyne 57's with switch on them. I do honestly prefer them over the "newer" 57's I have (purchased new about 6 years ago). I don't know any of the history of the 57. All I know is that I found these two unidynes at a garage sale for $2.00 each and I bought them because they looked like 57's. I didn't use them for a while because I just thought of them as those cheap "radio shack"-like mics that I found at the garage sale. I finally got around to trying them out... stuck one up on a snare. Wow! Sounds just like a 57. Really good actually. I stuck one of my actual 57's up there. Wow! The unidyne had more presence! Now.... they are the first 2 57's I put up. Love em. Got one of the Unidyne 58's too that I use on low or floor toms a lot. It's great for that.

JMTC...
Old 20th April 2006
  #27
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firby's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtGarceau
Jim....you are the only informed person (aside from me) on this topic. People automatically assume that made in Mexico means outsourced to a sweat shop. That is NOT the case here. It is a Shure plant with Shure employees building the mics the same way they've been built for years using the same die and stampers. When a company as large as this adds a new plant in a different country it is more about global presence and creating larger distribution channels than it is about cutting costs.

I agree with you, and this thread except for this statement. When an American company like shure does this, it is 100%, soley, absolutely, to cut costs. They have to compete period.
Old 21st April 2006
  #28
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Harley-OIART's Avatar
 

Great thread everyone


My exciting news !?!?!? ---> I went to Local Retailer to buy a new SM-57 today, (my first, I could get by without them before) and ended up leaving with a used SM-57 Unidyne III in Great condition! I'm stoked! Great deal too!

It looks a little different than the picture posted by ElektriKaZ, so I will post a picture and an mp3 comparing it to the new Mexican 57.

On a related note : I know of a guy who restores top grade microphones, usually vintage and high end Condensors. My question is, do any of you veterans know if there is anyone who re-conditions (restores) Dynamic Moving-Coils? Just Curious.


~Scott in Toronto
Old 21st April 2006
  #29
I bought six 545's on ebay for a hundred bucks, and the guy was so happy I paid him quickly he threw 2 more in for free



nah na nah na naaah na
Old 21st April 2006
  #30
Gear Guru
 

I have this interesting looking Unidyne IV - I didn't even know they made a IV

I have not had a chance to A-B it with a new 57, but soon....

meanwhile, gotta search eBay for those NOS 57s!
Attached Thumbnails
Classic SM57's-udiv.jpg  
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