Quality drop in new SM57/58 mics? - Gearspace.com
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Quality drop in new SM57/58 mics?
Old 1st September 2002
Capitol Studios Paris
jon's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Quality drop?


Just purchased some new 57s and a 58...got to the studio and compared them to our 10-15 year old 57s and 58s.

I was surprised to hear that the new mics have less high end and low end than the 'vintage' ones. They sound much worse and I plan to return them.

I'm wondering if it was just a bad batch, or if all the new 57s and 58s sound like that?

Any experiences to share?
Old 1st September 2002
Tim Farrant's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Yes, I agree, the quality of these mics has slowly slipped over the years. I believe the 58 and 57 (and probably many other models) are manufactured in Mexico, have been for some time.

Buzz Audio
Old 1st September 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I don't know. I bought a few new SM57's about four years ago when I was first setting up the studio and they sound fine to me. I've never gotten a complaint about them from another engineer either. Of course I don't have any older ones to compare them to. Oh, and my new ones work fine as hammers.
Old 1st September 2002
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
My old 57 had no windscreen anymore (it had been beaten off over the years). I needed to replace it, so I went and got one from the local music store, $79. Sounded the same to me as any 57 ever did. I even remember feeling rather comforted when I brought the new one up on a snare drum, like "good ol' 57, you always know what that POS is gonna sound like" yuktyy
Old 3rd September 2002
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
I had this same experience a couple of years ago. I have repeated the experiment several times and have found the older 57's to be better every time. Now I just buy old 57's and 56's whenever I find them. Time and again I have had other engineers roll their eyes at me for this. Without fail, the engineers who have been willing to compare the old 57's with the new ones have started to collect old 57's as well.

Personally, I find the old SM 56's to be better than old SM 57's. I don't know why this would be. Maybe they have different transfomers? Who knows.
Old 3rd September 2002
Capitol Studios Paris
jon's Avatar
🎧 15 years
We returned the mics today and exchanged them for other new ones ... will let you know if they sound better ... I am a bit skeptical, but we'll see.
Old 4th September 2002
Lives for gear
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
🎧 15 years
yup .... same experience here too ... the new ones suck. they sound like radioshack mic's compared to the original ones.

I didn't pay that much attention to the low end ... surprised by the "dull" sound they produced .... even had to check if there wasn't some Low pass filter in the chain by accident. Sounded like recording with a bad pop filter nylon winter stocking in front of it.
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