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Shure Beta 58a

Shure Beta 58A

4.15 4.15 out of 5, based on 5 Reviews

A nice update from the 1966 design SM58 that is a classic dynamic mic. More top end, larger magnet, just as durable and still providing that mid punch of the original.


28th December 2011

Shure Beta 58A by Tube World

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Shure Beta 58a

The SM58 came out in 1966 when rock music took off when they needed a mic for stage use that pushed the vocalist out front of the mix. It was a great mic, very durable and is one that has been used more than almost any other mic. As time went by and other company's came out with dynamic mic's with improved frequency response, Shure decided to come out with an updated version of their beloved SM58.

The Beta series hypercardioid mics were originally launched in 1989, but Shure updated them in 1996 by making minor alterations to the design and now called Beta 57a and 58a. A pneumatic shockmount is used to minimise handling noise, and the frequency response is designed to suit close-miked vocals. With a useful frequency range extending from 50Hz to 16kHz, the mic has a falling bass response below 500Hz to compensate for the proximity bass boost that results when the mic is used up close. The top end features a dual peak presence rise at around 4kHz and 10kHz which helps to produce a sound capable of cutting through a loud backing track.

Tests like this one Dynamic Microphone Comparison Test SM58,BETA57A and AKG D5 - YouTube and here Vocal Microphones Comparison: PG58 / SM58 / Beta 58A - YouTube clearly allow you even on computer speakers allow you to hear the difference between the SM58 and Beta 58a. The 58a clearly pickup up more of a vocalist (or guitar amp) higher frequencys which allows you to capture a more accurate representaiton of the original source. If you find you want to adjust the tope end, you can of course adjust it with the mixer EQ to tailor it's sound to your taste. But it is always better to capture a more accurate represenation first then to try to add more high end that was not originally captured. +

Though I showed the youtube videos as only examples, I have used SM58 and Beta 58a's for years. Some think that the high end is harsh while I do not. There are other things that could attribute to the harshness like the pre, connections, amp, monitors, EQ settings etc. This review forum is not a place to convince someone their wrong with what they like, but to point out your experience with them. I have found more people prefer the Beta over the original, but there will always be those who like the original better which is fine.

The good news is the new Beta 58a is just as tough and durable as the original SM58. The purpose of the mic also just as broad as well. I found the original to have more of a muffled top end, and the new Beta series allows singers to have a more natural sound. Mic a guitar cab and you will also hear more of the guitar freq's being heard, and not just the mid push that the original offers you. However I preferred a Blue Encore 100 on a guitar cab as it was not so mid punchy and a little more even. Though many will still like the sound of a SM58, as an engineer, I prefer capturing more of the frequency's of the source. The 58a still offers you a classic Shure mid freq. punch and offers you a nice full sound making it a great option for vocals when you need them to to push through a mix. Though microphones choice is factored in a lot on your personal preference, I found the Beta 58a and Beta 57a to sound more natural and pleasant over the beloved original. I personally though prefer the Beta 87a over the Beta 58a when wanting to hear more fidelity on vocals. But for punchy mid vocals, or capturing guitar amps nicely, it is highly recommened.

28th December 2011

Shure Beta 58A by John Eppstein

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 2.5
Shure Beta 58a

There's really only one problem with this microphone - it sounds significantly worse than the original. It has a really irritating harshness in the upper midrange that becomes really fatiguing when listened to over a period of time - assuming that you're using it on a system with good enough fidelity to be able to hear such distinctions, which many inexpensive live systems are not.

It has been conjectured by some that this is the result of employing a neodymium magnet, which gives the mic its increased output (the magnet is NOT "bigger", it's stronger.) I do not believe this to be the case - other companies (notably Electro-Voice with their N/D series and Audix) have managed to avoid undue harshness in their neodymium based designs. IMO it's simply sloppy mic design. But Shure has emphasized ruggedness over sound quality in their live performance mics for a long time.

Due to the sonic problems I would NEVER use this mic for recording. I don't even like to use it live and generally only do if there is no alternative available at a gig. In fact, I tend to avoid the entire Beta series like the plague. They simply don't sound good.

BTW, anybody who chooses a mic on the basis of a Youtube video - or thinks you can tell anything about sound quality based on a Youtube video, (well, how can I put this gently) is painfully naive.

21st March 2012

Shure Beta 58A by Wesma

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Shure Beta 58a

I have had the Shure Beta 58A for a couple of years now and have mainly been using it for live vocals. In the studio I sometimes use it on drums as a snare bottom mic. It can also sound pretty nice on guitar amps.

As a vocal mic for live use I think the Beta 58 really does a great job. I have not done any real comparisons with the regular SM58 (though I have used them both) but I think they are very close sound wise. From what I have heard the Beta is supposed to be slightly brighter. It is also more rigid and has higher output and tighter polar pattern. I like how I don’t have to be careful with it.
As a studio mic it can be useful from time to time but I often prefer the SM57 instead. If I don’t have enough 57’s, that’s when the 58 comes to the rescue. They actually sound very similar to my ears so the main reason I like the 57 better is really the slimmer design. Also I find the grill/pop-filter on the 58 to muffle the sound a tiny bit but of course it is pretty easy to just unscrew the grill.

A very nice mic overall. I got a pretty good deal on it, if that was not the case I think I wouldn’t have felt bad about getting the regular SM58 instead.

4th March 2013

Shure Beta 58A by iandyha

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Shure Beta 58a

there have been many times where i've made reference tracks with this and in the end just decided to use that reference for the record.

it just sounds good. there are no bells and whistles on it but it sounds great.

11th July 2013

Shure Beta 58A by Nick Di Lorenzo

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Shure Beta 58a

Good sturdy reliable microphone for live applications.

I had 2 of these and a spare one. The Spare one I drove a car over and it still worked...... Literally, a medium sized family car and it only warped the shape of the outside, still performed 100% :D

 
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