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Can you turn an SM58 into an SM57? Dynamic Microphones
Old 22nd November 2011
  #1
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Can you turn an SM58 into an SM57?

Hi guys,

I have an SM58 and have been curious to try a 57, without actually having to buy one

In this story here, Shure Notes Issue #30 - Revisiting the Classics, they say:
Quote:
The basic difference is the grille. The other parts -- the diaphragm and voice coil combination, the magnet, the transformer that’s in the handle, the handle itself, the closing ring that surrounds the cartridge – are identical.
So, I got to wondering whether it's possible to turn my 58 into a 57, simply by unscrewing the 58 ball-head and putting on the 57 grille. I found that you can buy a replacement 57 grille (part # RK244G for under $20)

Can anyone here with both a 57 and a 58 confirm whether you can simply unscrew the grille head off the handle of one mic, and screw it onto the handle of the other? Are the threads a match?

I've searched through a lot of SM 57/58 topics here and didn't find an answer- apologies in advance if I missed it.

-John
Old 23rd November 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
Dude you can buy a 57 for $50.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #3
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jchas's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnplanetz View Post
Hi guys,

Can anyone here with both a 57 and a 58 confirm whether you can simply unscrew the grille head off the handle of one mic, and screw it onto the handle of the other? Are the threads a match?John
No you can't - no threads on the 57 cap - it's a clip on. It will friction-fit onto the capsule of a 58 but would probably fall off at the worst possible moment. The mics sound so similar - any particular reason you want to do this? Trying to get the mic another 1/2" closer to a speaker cone? Just unscrew the ball and use it that way if you want to try it. It won't hurt anything other than 'pop' like crazy if you sing into it. I have a 57 cap he're i'll sell you for $19 ;-)
Old 23rd November 2011
  #4
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@jchas - thanks for the answer. That's what I was looking for. My reason is just curiosity- I use the SM58 for vocals, but want to try mic'ing my amp cab. I wanted to do the test to see how much a difference it made in the sound. I read here SM57 vs SM58 that the sound of the SM57 is a bit different than just removing the ball-head from an SM58...

-John
Old 23rd November 2011
  #5
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basmartin's Avatar
The difference between a 58 and a 57 on a cab, isn´t that the 57 will sound amazing compared to a 58... Just place it were it sounds the best at the cone and play something nice. Try to unscrew the ball, might get some hi-end back on the 58.

I´m not a big fan of the 57/58s on cabs, takes some time to find the sweet spot with them. Once I find the spot, it´s mixable. I prefer my Beyer M88 on cabs, I just put the mic up in front of the speaker and it sounds good in any place...

I´m not a super experienced recordist, but if the guitar, the amp and the player sound good, I have no trouble in using a 58.

Last edited by basmartin; 23rd November 2011 at 01:41 AM.. Reason: spellning
Old 23rd November 2011
  #6
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_Ludovico's Avatar
 

Either sell the sm58 to a friend and get a new sm57 or just get some cash to buy an sm57 because what you want to do is unthinkable
Old 23rd November 2011
  #7
Registered User
The SM58 is a better mic - don't sell it.

(Pause for the surge of anger and red eyed blinding rage in a million gearlutz to reach peak adrenalin levels ...)

Little known fact that Shure discuss in their FAQ section:

SM57 has a plastic grill that offers ZERO EMI protection. If your SM57 hums - don't blame Shure, because they already know about this, and the answer is to buy something with a metal grill that is electrically grounded - such as an SM58.

Plenty of people used SM58s in instrument applications. Take the grill off if you really want to - two different flavours. At least you have options.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #8
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andersmv's Avatar
 

Technically there are some differences between them, but if I have to use one in place of the other I'm not going to loose sleep over it.

The biggest difference I've noticed is that the 58 seems to have a bit wider pick up pattern/spread, it's probably due to the grill design. According to shure, the 57 goes down to 40 HZ while the 58 cuts out at 50 HZ. Since it's tailored to vocal use, you're probably going to be cutting that range out at the least.

Personally, I've started using SM58's to mic guitar cabs when they are available. I've had a few instances where I've thrown a 57 on a cab and had some weird distortions present themselves come mix time. I believe the grill on the 57's can get damaged/loose a lot of times and give you some problems later because it can ride on the capsule.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #9
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Old Goat's Avatar
 

Just take the foam out of the 58's windscreen.

Or pony up $30 on the bay and have both. You need both.

Really.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
SM57 has a plastic grill that offers ZERO EMI protection. If your SM57 hums - don't blame Shure, because they already know about this, and the answer is to buy something with a metal grill that is electrically grounded - such as an SM58.
No kidding- thanks for that info. I just found it in their FAQ here: SM57 hum

As for the "just buy one cheap" comments- I've been worried about the cheap SM57's on ebay, due to the fakes.

Thanks for the replies!
-John
Old 23rd November 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnplanetz View Post
Hi guys,

I have an SM58 and have been curious to try a 57, without actually having to buy one

In this story here, Shure Notes Issue #30 - Revisiting the Classics, they say:

So, I got to wondering whether it's possible to turn my 58 into a 57, simply by unscrewing the 58 ball-head and putting on the 57 grille. I found that you can buy a replacement 57 grille (part # RK244G for under $20)

Can anyone here with both a 57 and a 58 confirm whether you can simply unscrew the grille head off the handle of one mic, and screw it onto the handle of the other? Are the threads a match?

I've searched through a lot of SM 57/58 topics here and didn't find an answer- apologies in advance if I missed it.

-John
you can buy the gls58 and gls57 for less than the parts

swap the real 58 capsule into the gls57 shell if you dont think the gls sound better

i would just buy another mike instead of futzing around

actually i would buy teh gls58 and gls57 instead futzing around
Old 24th November 2011
  #12
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_Ludovico's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnplanetz View Post
No kidding- thanks for that info. I just found it in their FAQ here: SM57 hum

As for the "just buy one cheap" comments- I've been worried about the cheap SM57's on ebay, due to the fakes.

Thanks for the replies!
-John

Definately be careful when buying shure mics from Ebay, I have myself bought 3 fake chinese sm58 when I was younger without being aware of it of course. Seller told us it was a rental company which turned out to be plain bullcrap. The mics still sound decent though so we overpaid for average mics but still got something...and not a box full of rocks. I would only buy from official dealers.
Old 24th November 2011
  #13
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travisbrown's Avatar
Differences or not, for a zillion years in working studios if you needed another 57, you took the ball off a 58 and got on with it.

Think of them as essentially the same. If you like the results of the ad hoc 57, then you'll be fine with a real one. Turning a 58 into a 57 by replacing the grill is stupid. Just go buy a used 57 for a few buck more.

Never, ever, ever had a problem with 57s and EMI, nor do I know anyone who has. I think it would have to be a very unique situation for that issue to arise.
Old 24th November 2011
  #14
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Analok's Avatar
Speaking of knock offs...

I bought a pair of 57s from the bay a couple of years back. Claimed they were a US Seller. Took over 3 weeks to arrive, so I asked the seller "what's up?"...no reply. I took it up with eBay, stating that seller gives zero response, claims to be in the US, hasn't delivered in a month, and that I now fear they're in the Orient selling fake goods. eBay gives full refund & slams the seller as fradulent. Less than a week later, the mics arrive...complete with export tags all over the tattered box from...you guessed it-China!! They look leggit, and they 'work', but with nothing from Shure in my locker to compare them to, I just don't have a love/hate thing for them...they just 'are' & nothing more. *yawn* These are the swiss army knife of the industry?? I should find a real one & compare, cause these are boring as watching paint dry.
Old 24th November 2011
  #15
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The Shure SM57 is identical to the SM58 internally but the SM58 has the round cage top to house an internal windscreen and because the ball forces the singer to be a greater distance from the mic's diaphragm, the proximity effect is lessened. The windscreen also dampens the hi frequency response as it cuts wind noise. but with its shorter grill design it allows the singer to get closer to the source and therefore can have a greater proximity effect
Old 24th November 2011
  #16
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travisbrown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Analok View Post
I bought a pair of 57s [...] they just 'are' & nothing more. *yawn* These are the swiss army knife of the industry?? I should find a real one & compare, cause these are boring as watching paint dry.
Aaaaaand that's why they are such a useful mic. They just are whatever you throw in front of them.

Not every mic has to be exciting. 57s and 58s are the pinnacle of utility mics.
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