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Shure SM57 Vs. AKG D5
Old 29th January 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
333Studios's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Shure SM57 Vs. AKG D5

Okay so here's my problem. I'm slowly building up my mic collection and I recently decided that I would buy and SM57 for recording snare and other percussion, guitar amps, and the usual you would do with an SM57.

I figured the SM57 was a safe bet because it's the "industry standard" and I have heard nearly nothing bad about it. However when talking to a representative at a store which specializes in recording equipment I was told by one of their sales representatives (who apparently has been in the recording business for over 20 years, including owning her own studio and so on and so forth) that in fact the SM57 is over rated, and generally thin sounding and that instead the AKG D5 is a better mic for the job, with a fuller sound and an overall better presence.

So this makes my decision even harder, which do I buy? the industry standard, or the mic that is actually marketed as a live vocal mic, but one person who is very experienced told me is better for all the things I want to use it for.

Maybe some of you believe the same, maybe some of you have other opinions, what do you think? I need some guidance.

Cheers,
j.
Old 29th January 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
profit margin on sm57s is next to nothing because everyone has to discount them to oblivion in order to sell them. profit margin on AKG mics is usually better. many retail sales people are paid a % of profit, influencing them to be more motivated to sell products on which there's a wider margin.

not saying that's what's going on here, but you've gotta consider the source.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I sell these mics and profit margin is ABSOLUTELY higher on the AKG....plus, they're relatively new, so they're being *****d-out by dealers and rep.'s.

I have wondered about this before, so I tried mic'ing up my toms with Sennheiser e835's (usually would use 57's). The hi-mids were out-of-control, and I didn't get the "tight" sound I'd usually get using 57's. There seemed to be more unwanted sustain. The e835's were switched out pretty fast. Don't know about the D5, but it is similar to the e835 in spec.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
A LaMere's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
LOTS AND LOTS of sm57 love and hate here at Gearslutz man....

I'd say if you don't already have an sm57 in your arsenal, then yes... you need one.
There are some who say that they sound 'thin'...
Bottom line: Time tested, classic, bulletproof... and among the most versatile mics that someone can buy.

I tend to hate AKG's cheaper mic choices for the most part...
but take that with a grain of salt... Just my personal opinion.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This is what sold me on the SM57 once and for all. I was at full compass in Madison and there was an engineer (Older guy, can't remember his name, sorry) there doing a seminar. When he was done with his thing, some smart ass kid standing next to me started talking about how overrated the SM57 was compared to all the other options in it's price range that sounded much more fuller and truer. The kid actually said the 57 was obsolete.

Well, the guy pulled up a full band session and fed a guitar direct line out to a fender deluxe in the room and just threw an SM57 on there and recorded the clip. Then the guy challenged the kid to go ahead and use any of the mics he talked about and that they would do a shootout right there. The Full Compass guys dug a bunch of microphones out from rental and the kid placed 3 different ones on the amp and recorded the same direct feed out to the deluxe. He pulled up all three mics and compared them side by side with the SM57, each soloed.

Everyone in the room agreed that the SM57 did not sound as good or full as the other mics in the shootout. But then the guy giving the lecture put each into the context of the song, and the SM57 was the only one that punched through the mix. The rest of them were hardly even audible with the other instruments going, and when you turned them up they just made things muddy. He just smiled and said "Time is money".

There are things that the SM57 is just great at. Just because there are "better" mics out there that sound fuller does not mean they are going to do the job better. There is just something about a 57....
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
There's an interesting mic shootout podcast or two over at Project Studio Network:

The Project Studio Network Recording Podcast Is On The Air!

There are samples of an SM57 alongside some other mics in one or two of the installments. Check out, uh... I think it's #94. Listen for yourself.

"Industry standard" is a totally meaningless expression. (Extreme poverty is also an "Industry standard.") Personally, I wouldn't buy either a 57 or a 58, because to me they are terribly inaccurate for the acoustic stuff I do. But, as they say, your results may vary!

It's all about whether the results suit your ears. If they match "that sound" in your head, it doesn't much matter that it's their inaccuracies that produce it. Tape saturation is a case in point. We all know it's distorted, but we grew up on it and can't let it go.

Learn to trust your own ears.
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv ➡️
This is what sold me on the SM57 once and for all. I was at full compass in Madison and there was an engineer (Older guy, can't remember his name, sorry) there doing a seminar. When he was done with his thing, some smart ass kid standing next to me started talking about how overrated the SM57 was compared to all the other options in it's price range that sounded much more fuller and truer. The kid actually said the 57 was obsolete.

Well, the guy pulled up a full band session and fed a guitar direct line out to a fender deluxe in the room and just threw an SM57 on there and recorded the clip. Then the guy challenged the kid to go ahead and use any of the mics he talked about and that they would do a shootout right there. The Full Compass guys dug a bunch of microphones out from rental and the kid placed 3 different ones on the amp and recorded the same direct feed out to the deluxe. He pulled up all three mics and compared them side by side with the SM57, each soloed.

Everyone in the room agreed that the SM57 did not sound as good or full as the other mics in the shootout. But then the guy giving the lecture put each into the context of the song, and the SM57 was the only one that punched through the mix. The rest of them were hardly even audible with the other instruments going, and when you turned them up they just made things muddy. He just smiled and said "Time is money".

There are things that the SM57 is just great at. Just because there are "better" mics out there that sound fuller does not mean they are going to do the job better. There is just something about a 57....
Man, I'm so glad you posted this. I used to have a 57 and hated the sound of it. I replaced it with an Audix I-5, a much "nicer" sounding mic. I also use an AKG D-19. Both mics are much nicer and fuller sounding on my guitar amp and when soloed the tracks sound great. But at mix time I've experienced exactly what you described. The guitar tracks just don't stand out like they should. Then I realized it's that "damn presence peak" of the 57 that makes electric guitars and snares stand out the way they should in the mix. I stopped and bought another 57 on my way home tonight. Can't wait to see how it works out. Thanks again for your post.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
DistortingJack's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by adathead 53 ➡️
Man, I'm so glad you posted this. I used to have a 57 and hated the sound of it. I replaced it with an Audix I-5, a much "nicer" sounding mic. I also use an AKG D-19. Both mics are much nicer and fuller sounding on my guitar amp and when soloed the tracks sound great. But at mix time I've experienced exactly what you described. The guitar tracks just don't stand out like they should. Then I realized it's that "damn presence peak" of the 57 that makes electric guitars and snares stand out the way they should in the mix. I stopped and bought another 57 on my way home tonight. Can't wait to see how it works out. Thanks again for your post.
Old thread bump time!
You could also get an i5 and boost the presence with a good EQ to make it stand out. Takes exactly 10 seconds and sounds better than the 57.
Beyer M201 even more so. If you like the presence of the 57, you only need to know how to replicate it once with your EQ; the best "ingredients" make the best sound in the end!
By the way I do like the SM57, a lot more than the 58.
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