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EV PL6 question
Old 29th May 2006
  #1
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andychamp's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
EV PL6 question

I just got hold of an Electrovoice PL 6 mic. It's in pretty good shape and a quick A/B with a SM58 showed less highs but richer mids. And a less pronounced proximity effect.

Does anyone here know what applications this mic was used/intended/known for?
(besides "try it and see what works best for you", which I'll do anyway)

Thanks
Old 30th May 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Andy, If memory serves me I think this is the same as the ev 660. Here is a link to countant for some stuff. http://www.coutant.org/660/index.html
I like it for guitar cabs. It is a lot like a re10/15 but with a little less top end/ more lo-fi sound. Still very pleasant and musical.
Old 30th May 2006 | Show parent
  #3
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andychamp's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the link.
The housing definitely has the same shape, so it might well be a low-cost spinoff off the same mic (with the PL in the name).
The main difference I can tell so far is: the 660 is supercardioid, while the PL6 is a cardioid.
Old 30th May 2006 | Show parent
  #4
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DeepSpace's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
We have a pair of EV PL6s here. They are a nice piece of kit so congratulations on acquiring one.

They are great on percussion (esp toms, timbales, congas etc) and will produce a lush full-bodied sound when used on grand piano played in rock and blues styles. The venting arrangement makes them less position sensitive than other dynamics. They are robust, dependable and versatile and suit a range of roles which overlap with 57s, but they provide a notably different character and sonic imprint. Definitely worth having in your repertoire.
Old 22nd July 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp ➡️
Thanks for the link.
The housing definitely has the same shape, so it might well be a low-cost spinoff off the same mic (with the PL in the name).
The main difference I can tell so far is: the 660 is supercardioid, while the PL6 is a cardioid.
I thought the same thing, until I read the service manuals and looked at the polar patterns--they are identical. I own both, and they seem identical to my ears


anyone else try these mics?

I have had good luck with them on kick drum and on guitar amps, so far. a decent tom sound but not my favorite (maybe good for jazz?). not suitable for my voice.

definitely built solidly
Old 29th August 2013
  #6
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tomiwaltz's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
as a trombonist/vocalist i use the pl6 as my all-purpose travel work mic.
its polar response is great for plunger mute work!
and its colour is nice balance between sm57 & sm58.
so enjoy!
Old 12th March 2020
  #7
Here for the gear
 


tomiwaltz, the SM57 and SM58 use the same capsule and most of the body; they are designed to be identical in sound; they are essentially the same mic.

The only difference is that they put a round head on the 58, so vocalists wouldn’t eat it; it forces a bit of distance from the capsule.

You can use a 57 and a 58 exactly the same, unless you must get an inch closer to the source; use a 57. If you have a problem vocalist or a seriously vane crew, use a 58.

These mics usually get treated pretty rough and they are indestructible* yet the sound does shift with age and how they’re treated. Any difference you hear is from how your mics lived, not anything indigenous to the models; it’s pretty purely cosmetic only.

Also, it’s odd you feel the PL6 sounds like either, especially both, since everyone says how different they are from the PL6.

* - not a challenge, just a general reassurance of dependability under normal, even very rough, use.
Old 12th March 2020
  #8
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standup's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Very natural sound on electric bass with a bit of low end boost. Sounds good on my voice, and cool Lodi sound on acoustic guitar.
Old 12th March 2020 | Show parent
  #9
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monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenRoof ➡️
Any difference you hear is from how your mics lived, not anything indigenous to the models; it’s pretty purely cosmetic only.
That's not really true though. The metal grille of the SM58 provides significant coloration. I hear it as a little bit of crispiness in the high end (high mids.)

In some weird way it reminds me of the budget lo-fi version of something like a U47 style grille/headbasket coloration.

I generally prefer the SM57. If I need to do vocals I will use the Shure screw on wind screen foam.

I sold my SM58 for this reason. The SM57 just sounds a little more clear to me.
Old 12th March 2020 | Show parent
  #10
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➡️
That's not really true though.
You're correct.

Shure makes clear that the mics are specifically tailored to sound different in their description and specifications for the SM57 and SM58.

Specifically, they say that the SM57 response curve is "specifically shaped for guitars, drums and vocals" whereas they describe the SM58 as "specifically shaped for vocals, with brightened midrange and bass roll-off to control proximity effect".

The frequency response charts for the two models clearly show these differences, with a notable lift above 10kHz and different LF roll-off for the SM58. Moreover, the different voicing of the 57 and 58 is clearly apparent in the many of each of them that I have used (dating back to the 70s, LOL).

FWIW, I've also had plenty of experience with PL6 mics (though I didn't start using them until the mid-80s) I would say that in general the characterization tomiwaltz has given is fair, although it should probably be noted that the low end character and behavior of the PL6 is noticeably different from either the SM57 and SM58 - mostly due, presumably - to it's vented chamber design.
Old 8th April 2020 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenRoof ➡️
The only difference is that they put a round head on the 58, so vocalists wouldn’t eat it; it forces a bit of distance from the capsule.
What's interesting is the additional distance in front of the SM58 is minimal: only 4-5mm. You can see that more easily if you take off the grille and put it next to an SM57. I'm guessing what helps the most with wind and plosives is actually the additional distance on the sides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➡️
That's not really true though. The metal grille of the SM58 provides significant coloration. I hear it as a little bit of crispiness in the high end (high mids.)

In some weird way it reminds me of the budget lo-fi version of something like a U47 style grille/headbasket coloration.

I generally prefer the SM57. If I need to do vocals I will use the Shure screw on wind screen foam.

I sold my SM58 for this reason. The SM57 just sounds a little more clear to me.
Agreed, at least with my one SM58 and many SM57s/545s. The SM58 just sounds a bit, well, poopy in comparison. I almost always use 545s with windscreens for vocals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky Media ➡️
You're correct.

Shure makes clear that the mics are specifically tailored to sound different in their description and specifications for the SM57 and SM58.

Specifically, they say that the SM57 response curve is "specifically shaped for guitars, drums and vocals" whereas they describe the SM58 as "specifically shaped for vocals, with brightened midrange and bass roll-off to control proximity effect".

The frequency response charts for the two models clearly show these differences, with a notable lift above 10kHz and different LF roll-off for the SM58. Moreover, the different voicing of the 57 and 58 is clearly apparent in the many of each of them that I have used (dating back to the 70s, LOL).

FWIW, I've also had plenty of experience with PL6 mics (though I didn't start using them until the mid-80s) I would say that in general the characterization tomiwaltz has given is fair, although it should probably be noted that the low end character and behavior of the PL6 is noticeably different from either the SM57 and SM58 - mostly due, presumably - to it's vented chamber design.
My guess is those descriptions are pure marketing from Shure, as opposed to specific design criteria. Especially since, if the frequency response charts are to be believed, the SM57 actually has *more* bass roll-off.

As far as the OP goes, yes, the PL6 was a rebranding of the 660 (also available as the US660/US660A from University Sound and the 664A/US664A with a built-in stand mount and switch). I have a few of these but I haven't found a use for them, yet. They feel a bit muted on top to me, although a bit of HF lift may work well with them; I just haven't played around with them that much. I'd argue they definitely sound quite a bit different from the SM57/SM58. And they do have reduced proximity effect.
Old 8th April 2020 | Show parent
  #12
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DarkSky Media's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukpac ➡️
My guess is those descriptions are pure marketing from Shure, as opposed to specific design criteria...
Could well be. But regardless, the '57 and '58 do not sound "identical", as the earlier poster with the broken roof asserted.
Old 8th April 2020 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky Media ➡️
Could well be. But regardless, the '57 and '58 do not sound "identical", as the earlier poster with the broken roof asserted.
No question there, at least based on my experiences.
Old 8th April 2020 | Show parent
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSky Media ➡️
Could well be. But regardless, the '57 and '58 do not sound "identical", as the earlier poster with the broken roof asserted.
If you remove the ball end from the 58 it gets pretty damn close to the sound of the 57.

The 58's windscreen is it's strength and it's weakness, this is why Shure made both the 57 and the 58 and has continued to make both mics for over half a century.
Old 8th April 2020 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast ➡️
If you remove the ball end from the 58 it gets pretty damn close to the sound of the 57.

The 58's windscreen is it's strength and it's weakness, this is why Shure made both the 57 and the 58 and has continued to make both mics for over half a century.
It's interesting that while the 545 (precursor to the SM57) was introduced in 1960, the 565 (precursor to the SM58) wasn't introduced until 1967.

Also interesting that early catalogs claim "Polar Patterns and Frequency Response: Same as Model SM58" regarding the SM57 and SM58. Yet they also claim the 56/57 went down to 40Hz while the 58 went down to 50Hz. I've been told engineering and marketing weren't always on the same page.
Old 8th April 2020
  #16
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The PL-6 is essentially the same as the 660, but it was sold through a different dealer network. It was promoted as a stage microphone whereas the 660 was promoted for install work.

The spec sheet differences (like "cardioid" vs. "supercardioid") are in great part due to the different expectations and methods of the two markets.

There may be differences between the microphones, but taking them apart they don't look any different inside. However, seeing the age of all of these microphones, they may have sounded identical once but are no longer identical today. In which case it doesn't matter how they sounded originally, it matters what yours sounds like currently.

There are people who have said that the PL-series microphones were made to lower tolerances than the rest of the EV line, or that they were fallouts from the rest of the EV line. This might be true for some models at some time, but I have never been able to get actual verification of this anywhere.

And yeah, if you take the ball off an SM-58, it sounds very much like an SM-57... you get all that upper midrange back. But if you drop it, or it gets hit with a drumstick with the ball off, it's toast. So only do that with rental microphones.
--scott
Old 8th April 2020 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
There are people who have said that the PL-series microphones were made to lower tolerances than the rest of the EV line, or that they were fallouts from the rest of the EV line. This might be true for some models at some time, but I have never been able to get actual verification of this anywhere.
FYI:

"Hello, Stan! Good to hear from you. I hope that retirement is treating you well.

Ah, the PLs vs. the REs. It’s a tale of great mics and marketing. At the time the PL Series was conceived, the RE Series was well established as a broadcast and ENG standard. However, people discovered how great these mics sounded on all sorts of other sources in the studio and on stage. So, a decision was made to sort of relaunch some of the RE series in a new line—the PL Series. Most notable of these were the RE20 and RE11, but the 635A was also pulled in and remarketed. There were also some mics that were unique to the PL line (the PL76, for example), but the main pillars of the line were the PL20 and the PL11, which, aside from the prefix and color of the mic itself, were exactly the same as their RE counterparts. For various reasons, the PL line has gone away, but the RE line lives on.

So, at the end of the day, the PL20 is the same as the RE20, the PL11 is the same as the RE11 and the PL5 is the same as the 635A. The only real difference is color and marketing. Some people will claim that they can hear a difference, but that is due to factors other than design and components (age, condition, etc.)

Hope that clears things up. If you need anything else, as always, just let me know.

Sincerely,

Ethan Wetzell
EV Technical Services"

http://www.coutant.org/evre20/index.html
Old 8th April 2020 | Show parent
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukpac ➡️
It's interesting that while the 545 (precursor to the SM57) was introduced in 1960, the 565 (precursor to the SM58) wasn't introduced until 1967
According to Shure the 57 came out in 1965 and the 58 in 1966.

The SM stood for Studio Microphone, Shure hoped that these mics would be popular in the broadcast industry but they couldn't break into that market in the U.S. where Electrovoice had it pretty much locked up.

The original SM mics (57 58 and SM5 models) were made in a non-reflective finish for tv which was a change from Shure's many earlier chrome finished models.

The studio dream went out the window and the mics didn't even sell well overall initially until rock and roll found them to be useful stage mics. Roger Daltrey of the Who swung a 58 around like a madman and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones danced around it while countless others have used SM mics live and in the recording studio. Also the the SM5 (precursor to the SM7) got heavily adapted by radio stations in the U.S.

The 57 has been in front of every U.S. president since Johnson in the late 60's and probably on more guitar amps and snare drums than any other mic ever.

If you can't get a solid professional sound out of a SM57 or SM58 it probably ain't the mic... just had to say it.


Oh yeah, EV made and makes some nice mics too. The Re20 is alive and well but hopefully the RE16 doesn't get lost and go the way of the RE15.
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