Home Microphone Comparisons SM58 vs. Beta 58 | IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS!

SM58 vs. Beta 58 | IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS!

by Stuart Charles Black

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Updates:

  • 1/26/21. Article/link cleanup.

Hi friend and Welcome!

Before we get into the SM58 vs. Beta 58, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

First I will review the SM58, and then compare it to the Beta 58 instead of doing each review separately since they are so similar.

  1. Iterations
  2. Ratings/Price
  3. Specifications
  4. Summary
  5. Pros
  6. Cons
  7. What this mic is good for/not good for
  8. What you will need
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Similarities & Differences
  12. Vocal comparison test
  13. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Iterations of the Beta model

Before we get into the review of the SM58, it’s helpful to distinguish between some of the old Beta microphones.

The Beta 58’s origins started as a Beta 58C (chrome grille), or Beta 58M (matte grille). The 58C was discontinued in favor of the regular Beta 58. The Beta 58 eventually got discontinued, and the 58A is what we’re left with!

The difference between the original 58 and the new 58A comes down to a different cartridge. The 58A does sound a bit different, the major differences are as follows:

  1. Shure removed the humbucking coil on the new model.
  2. They also added an output transformer.

So essentially, we will be comparing the new Beta 58A with the SM58 today, since the older model is no longer available. 🙂

Shure SM58

Ratings/Price

Specifications

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid. What is a cardioid capsule?
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz-15kHz
  • Output Impedance: 150 Ohms
  • Color: Black
  • Connector: XLR. What is XLR?
  • Weight: 0.66 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Part Number: SM58-LC

Summary

To start off, there are 4 different versions of the 58, but they come with subtle differences.

  1. SM58-CN (Cable included).
  2. SM58-LC (Cable not included).
  3. SM58S (On/Off Switch included).
  4. SM58-X2U (XLR to USB signal adapter, same as with Sm57).

The SM58 is the best on-stage dynamic vocal mic you can buy. Condenser mic vs. Dynamic mic. It’s the other industry standard for live sound. Like the Sm57, it’s about as durable as it gets. Need a hammer for your next DIY project? Use the SM58. Lol. Frustrated with your drummer? Throw the SM58 at him. Need a tool for self-defense after live gigs in back alleys? Get an SM58. It won’t fail! Just know that its primary use will be with vocals, backing vocals, etc.

Same important note as with the Sm57: Beware of counterfeits. Use extreme caution when buying, and only buy from reputable, authorized amazon sellers!

Pros

  • Extremely durable. Like hammer. “Don’t you know what a hammer is?!” -Hank Hill.
  • The industry standard for on-stage vocals. There is no other option more sought after for this purpose.
  • Price to performance ratio through the roof.
  • Ball-shaped grilles are very sturdy.
  • No feedback issues. High SPL (Sound pressure level). What is SPL?
  • Comes with an internal shock-mount and windscreen, but you may need a stand, foam windscreen/pop filter for in the studio.
  • Recordings are faithful to the performer’s vocals.

Cons

  • Some don’t like the power switch that comes with SM58S, saying it’s too loose, and kind of cheap.
  • Muddiness around 250 dB.
  • The high end isn’t as pristine as some other expensive dynamics. Maybe a bit shrill/sibilant. What does sibilant mean?
  • Gain may have to be turned up a lot to get the most out of it.
  • Some say the mic holder is a bit cheap.

What this mic is good for/not good for

Good for

  • Speech
  • Singing
  • Chanting
  • Beatboxing
  • An interesting one: Turning regular sounds or instrument sounds into sound effects.
  • Interviews
  • Church praise and worship, bible study, etc.
  • It’s perfect for podcasting, just make sure to get a windscreen.

Not as good for

  • Instruments
  • Sax
  • Guitar

What you will need?

You could go a few different routes:

  1. The X2U adapter enables you to plug right into your laptop or PC. The easiest path.
  2. A better and more versatile option would be a mixing board like the Yamaha MG06X. A much more flexible system.
  3. A third option is an Audio Interface. What does an audio interface do?  I have the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and love it. Another option is the Steinberg UR22, which has MIDI capabilities and supposedly better built-in preamps. You may or may not need MIDI, however. Preamp vs. Interface. Either would work fine with the SM57!

Check out the simple video on how to hook it up to your X2U!

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • The mic is designed to be kissed. Not in that way 😛 Most people enjoy it right up against their mouth. You should get pretty intimate with it.
  • If you have a softer or weaker voice, the 58 will do you well.
  • It’s a highly directional mic and has a noticeable but manageable proximity effect. The bass increases the closer you are.
  • It has a prominent frequency boost in the upper mid-range, but the top end rolls off right after that. It helps keep feedback low, but may not give off that hi-fi sound as with other mics. The top-end may lack that “sparkle.”
  • It can be turned up louder than almost any other mic without that annoying PA squeal. Feedback is quite low as mentioned in the Pros.
  • You may end up taking this mic to the casket with you. It just holds up incredibly well. Someone even said it still worked after they accidentally ran it over. Wow.
  • Mic stands highly recommended for in the studio.

Consensus/Conclusion

It’s pretty easy to sum this baby boo up. It’s durable like a Hank Hill hammer, at it’s best live on stage. VOCALS!

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • They both look very similar, but the Beta 58A has a slightly different color scheme than the SM58.
  • The logo and lettering are placed differently on the Beta 58A. It is aligned on the front of the mic rather than wrapping around it.

Differences

  • The Beta58A is said to be of a bit higher quality, with better sound and gain before feedback.
  • Your voice may sound more clear with the Beta58A. People are saying it just sounds better.
  • The Beta58A has a sweeter high end and a stronger output level. It’s a bit brighter and crisper.
  • The Beta58A may have more sizzle on the high end, but the 58 might sound smoother if not “warmer.”
  • The polar patterns on each is a bit different. The SM58 sports a regular cardioid pattern, while the Beta 58A has a super-cardioid pattern. The difference? A regular cardioid will reject sound best from the back, while a super-cardioid is more directional and less susceptible to feedback.
  • The Beta58A has greater sensitivity and a 4db hotter output than the Sm58.
  • The frequency response is a bit different. As you can see below, the 58A reaches higher and lower on both ends of the spectrum. This doesn’t necessarily make the 58A “better.” It all depends on your voice, and you may not benefit from this added response range.
  • The Beta 58A has a more durable grille.
  • The 58A is quieter overall.
  • The 58A is a bit more expensive.
  • The Beta may do better with female vocals.

Some specs:

SM58

Cardioid pattern.

Super cardioid pattern.

Pattern: Cardioid
Freq: 50-15K Hz
Output: 1.85mV
Weight: 10.5 oz

Beta 58A
Pattern: Supercardiod
Freq: 50-16K Hz
Output: 2.6mV
Weight: 9.92 oz

Vocal comparison test!

Final Word

The Beta58A is an upgrade in many instances, but if you’re really letting this mic has it and yelling into it a lot, the extra sensitivity may be a detriment. Other than that, I would recommend it over the SM58.

SEE IT FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!

 


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you came away with a better idea of the SM58 vs. Beta 58, and the differences between them!

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Let me know down below or Contact me!

Which of these suits your needs more? I would love to hear from you…

Until next time, all the best and God bless…

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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