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Shure SM57 or Beta 57a?
Old 21st February 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Shure SM57 or Beta 57a?

I am in the process of getting a little recording set up on my macbook, and intend on buying either a 57 or 57a as an all round microphone for recording amps and such. it will mostly be used for recording distorted guitar, some clean, some acoustic, and vocals (not ideal i know but only for the sake of knocking together a few demos) if need be. Will be used on both deep and high voices. They both have thier own unique qualities, but i was wondering if anyone with good experiance with both of these microphones could tell me which would be best for my purposes?
Thanks.
Old 21st February 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
seansolo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
57a has a louder output. and it's shiny silver.

that's about all I got for you. Can't really go wrong with either. I'd recommend the SM7b as well - a little more money, but well worth it.

Which preamp are you plugging this mic into?
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
maxpidge's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by seansolo ➑️
57a has a louder output. and it's shiny silver.

that's about all I got for you. Can't really go wrong with either. I'd recommend the SM7b as well - a little more money, but well worth it.

Which preamp are you plugging this mic into?
here we go, he says he's doin demo's and someones already gonna bust his balls about pre-amps....
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
seansolo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
haha I know but I was just wondering how he was gonna get that 57 into his MacBook...
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
maxpidge's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by seansolo ➑️
haha I know but I was just wondering how he was gonna get that 57 into his MacBook...
xlr to 1/8 inchheh
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
JoeyM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
For live performance of vocals and instruments I can't express how dissapointed I was with the beta 57a. In this incarnation I was hired for live sound for a University show choir for one full season, and they already had a mic locker to die for. When i brought in my beta58 though, on vocals they fought to get it!

So in conclusion I reccomend either a regular 57 but most especially a TAB-Funkenwerk 57 available here: Mercenary Audio - AMI TAB-Funkenwerk (TAB V-78 Mic Pre, TAB V-71 DI, Oliver Archut, TAB FAQ)
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyM ➑️
For live performance of vocals and instruments I can't express how dissapointed I was with the beta 57a. In this incarnation I was hired for live sound for a University show choir for one full season, and they already had a mic locker to die for. When i brought in my beta58 though, on vocals they fought to get it!

So in conclusion I reccomend either a regular 57 but most especially a TAB-Funkenwerk 57 available here: Mercenary Audio - AMI TAB-Funkenwerk (TAB V-78 Mic Pre, TAB V-71 DI, Oliver Archut, TAB FAQ)
Looks, interesting, what are the advantages of this mic over the regular 57?
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
JoeyM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
To my ears it's very near exactly the same sounding as that old road dog trick of removing the transformer from the 57, but of course with higher output. A little more highs and lows. But with the transformer you don't have to worry about what you're plugging it into.

There's a comparison here @ GS somewhere and I encourage anyone interested to have a listen. Some have called this a poor man's SM7 but all I know is it's a fantastic dynamic, by comparison inexpensive.

My theories on microphones affect of the final mix, I may as well say this: We're probably all familiar with Windows Themes. All those sick colors converge to look good (at least the Themes I use).

Mics are the same way, one mic may sound better than another on its own - how many comparisons do we listen to and the winning mic dosen't work right in the final mix?

It's like comparing one color of a theme, ok this blue is bluer, but does it ruin the theme with its eccentricity?

So I'm a lot quicker to make judgements based on the final mix (I dont' know if that needed to be said).

But TAB-Funkenwerk is a beautiful thing and I wish Shure would just sell them so we were (oh here comes the pun) shure it has some standard of durability because there's not much data right now.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by seansolo ➑️
57a has a louder output. and it's shiny silver.

that's about all I got for you. Can't really go wrong with either. I'd recommend the SM7b as well - a little more money, but well worth it.

Which preamp are you plugging this mic into?
I'll more than likely be using an M-Audio Mobile Pre for my mic inputs.
One like this.
M-Audio Mobile Pre USB (GAK)
Yes, i am a newb!.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyM ➑️
To my ears it's very near exactly the same sounding as that old road dog trick of removing the transformer from the 57. A little more highs and lows. But with the transformer you don't have to worry about what you're plugging it into.

There's a comparison here @ GS somewhere and I encourage anyone interested to have a listen. Some have called this a poor man's SM7 but all I know is it's a fantastic dynamic, by comparison inexpensive.
Looking at it, it seems ideal, but it also seems its not available in England! Bummer.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
JoeyM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
57 then
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Hardtoe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I owe and use both frequently - the beta has more prescence and is more "rawk" in my opinion - the original is a lot harder to drive and sounds smoother and more natural - depends what you are looking for....
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Beta 57 and 58s remind me of cheap consensor mics. They promise something they can't deliver......yes, there's more output and more thickness but ever since a did a live shootout during a soundcheck (having the singer switch between a regular 57 and a Beta 57 thru a small PA system) I know that the regular models VASTLY outperform their Beta brothers. There was so much better clarity and frequency balance on the 58 that it was almost shocking.

I've used the Beta 57 on some guitar amps for live use but it only worked well in sitution where a regular 57 wasn't the best choice. Say my Fender Blues Jr. amp doesn't really sound that great thru a 57 so the Beta 57 is somewhat warmer and bigger sounding. I sold both my Beta 57 and Beta 58. Never once did I use them in the studio.
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
JoeyM's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yeah I agree 100%, but my beta 58 is a pre-a version at the beginning of the first manufacturing run. I'm certain the transformer is better. I've never heard another one like it.
Old 23rd December 2011 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Tube World's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker ➑️
Beta 57 and 58s remind me of cheap consensor mics. They promise something they can't deliver......yes, there's more output and more thickness but ever since a did a live shootout during a soundcheck (having the singer switch between a regular 57 and a Beta 57 thru a small PA system) I know that the regular models VASTLY outperform their Beta brothers. There was so much better clarity and frequency balance on the 58 that it was almost shocking.

I've used the Beta 57 on some guitar amps for live use but it only worked well in sitution where a regular 57 wasn't the best choice. Say my Fender Blues Jr. amp doesn't really sound that great thru a 57 so the Beta 57 is somewhat warmer and bigger sounding. I sold both my Beta 57 and Beta 58. Never once did I use them in the studio.
This surprises me. The Beta series sound very similar to the SM series with the exception of two things. It offers more output due to the larger magnet inside, and it captures higher freq's that the SM series does not. The SM sounds like someone put a sock over the mic when you sing through it. The Beta offers more top end without being harsh. The SM cuts off too much higher freq's on vocals and even guitar cabs. When you record with a SM 57 or 58 you don't capture what you hear live in front of you. The Beta 57 and Beta 58 are more accurate microphones than the SM series. If you don't want as much high end (which all condensor mic's give you), you can always reduce it with an EQ. But as someone else on the forums said, its better to have the higher freq's that you can reduce than not have them at all.

I agree the Beta 58 is closer to a condensor mic because it allows you to hear the higher freq's, however it still has the mid foward sound that people like about dynamic mic's. You can go to youtube and hear several samples of shoot outs between the 58 and Beta 58. Now if you like more muffled high end, that's fine, stick with the regular SM series.

Beta 58A versus SM58:
Polar pattern: Beta 58A = supercardioid; SM58 = cardioid
Output level: Beta 58A is 4dB hotter than SM58
Handling noise: Beta 58A is quieter than SM58
Grill: Beta 58A has a hardened grill that is very difficult to dent
Frequency response: Beta 58A has extended low end and high end compared to SM58
Old 26th September 2012
  #16
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
I realize this is an old thread, but I just thought I would throw in that the thread starter may possibly have the best handle on this forum.

David
Old 26th September 2012
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I really really like the Beta 57A on snare. It just .. SMACKS
Old 24th October 2012
  #18
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
hello guys I don't think you can say this mic is better than the other mic because that depend on the source. Bono use the Beta 58a everywhere including in studio recording because it fit perfectly his voice.
I bough the beta 58a because i liked the sound on another person I saw on youtube. I was certain the beta 58 gonna be great on my voice too but after trying at home the sm58, sm57, beta 58a and the EV-RE320 I discovered the sm57 fitted better my voice. After that I started searching for the right mic and discovered that many best selling standard products are not fitting well my need and a seller his paid to sell the product he has in stock and most of the time they have only the best selling product in store. When you are recording in a pro studio you learn a lot about that and start to know which kind of mics fit well on certain voices.
I found that the sm86 and AKG C5 fitted my voice better than 57 beta or beta 87 too. Next I want to try is the Heil Pr35.
Old 24th October 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Hendyamps's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
For recording primarily electric guitars I'd stick with the regular sm57. I also have the TAB modded 57 and it does indeed have more presence but for electric work the 57 rolloff is just plain nice to use. With good positioning I find I have very little trouble making the guitars sit in the mix right.
YMMV
Old 24th October 2012
  #20
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
FWIW on my voice through a nice prosumer pre (typical home set up), would go with the Beta 57a over a 57. IMHO the 57/58 needs a better pre than the Beta 57a/58a.

Chris
Old 24th October 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
edva's Avatar
 
26 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
On guitar cab, a regular 57, because it is the "standard" sound. Same with snare. On vox though, I actually am OK with the beta 57, and would never use a regular 57 unless the artist had to have it. Same with regular 58, I never use them unless specifically requested, and I always cringe at the inferior sound, especially through several hundred feet of snake. Beta 58 is OK, more output and better sound than standard, but I actually prefer the beta 57, it is smoother on top, and I really like the small form factor. Some mics, especially if an Artist requires a windscreen on them, leave you with a visual of some eyebrows behind a large phallic object. The little beta 57 allows you to actually see the face of the singer. Especially good for smaller faces, i.e. most female vocalists. Excellent sounding mic? Absolutely not, but actually quite good on non-classically trained singers (99%). For truly great vocalists, I like Neumann 105. But they are NOT a match for most of today's young singers. IMHO, and YMMV.
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