What's you experience with the Shure Betas?

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Rich_S, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'm thinking of buying a better vocal mic that the SM58 that I have now. The Beta 58A is at the top of my list, because that's what my old singer prefers, and it would be nice to have one in the locker for her when she comes in from the west coast for our occasional reunion shows.

    The rest of the time, it would be used for vocals in my home studio/office/family room. I'm sticking to dynamics mics since it's not a real "studio". It's not a bad room, but it's not treated at all. I think a LDC is just going to pick up a lot of the room's failings, so dynamic it is... but a better dynamic is probably worth the bucks.

    So, what is your experience with the Beta 58A and its mate the Beta 57A? How do they compare to their older brothers the SM58 and SM57 (with which I have years of experience)? How do the Betas compare to each other? And, should I want to use them for guitars (mostly electric, but also acoustic), how do they each behave in that application?

    Since this mic would be doing double duty on stage and (mostly) in the "studio" I'm not considering studio stalwarts like the SM7 and RE20.
     
  2. '64 Tele

    '64 Tele Tele-Holic

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    I had always used a SM57 for live vocals. I bought SM58's recently as they are a little crisper.
    An old band mate told me the Beta 57A was a huge improvement over 57's and even 58's.
    He brought it with him when we were doing some rehearsing a while back and he made a believer of me.
    It was head and shoulders better than the 57 or 58's. I was doubtful before he showed up with his Beta 57A.
     
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  3. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    Firstly, the Betas are electret, not dynamic. Secondly, they work pretty good for all kinds of crap. Bluegrassers love em.
     
  4. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    It may just me my own very simple use of our small PA, but I've always found Beta 58's to be too hot/overpowering compared with regular 58's. So I prefer that the 3 of us that sing use regular 58's.

    We just use PA for vocals and when used,, acoustic pickups or condenser mics.
    I guess it's just a familiarity thing- 40 years using SM 58's has been just fine.
    ( but we are a small/medium room 3/4 piece R&R.band )
     
  5. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    The Betas are hotter and a little less forgiving, they are crisper and clearer. The trick using them with most PAs is to turn the master up more, less volume with the individual channels.
     
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  6. Rob77

    Rob77 Tele-Meister

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    I'm not much of a singer but have an SM58 and have used a Beta 58A. I remember doing a blind test with a friend who could spot the Beta and said it had a "warmer" tone than the SM58. Also the Beta 58 has a higher db output I believe which I think would suit softer singers, like myself. However where i'm from theres nearly $100 difference so I persist with the cheaper option. I would prob get the Beta only if I was to do any vocal recording.
     
  7. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    There are two major differences between the standard 57/58 and their Beta counterparts:

    -The Betas use neodynium magnets, which make them brighter sounding and give them more output.

    -The Betas have a supercardioid pattern instead of cardioid- this means they have more rejection on the sides, but do have a pickup lobe at 180 degrees where the "regular" 57s and 58s don't. This is BIG deal in feedback rejection with monitors, you really need to place your monitors appropriately for your mic's pickup pattern or you'll be in feedback city.

    A Beta 58 wouldn't make my top 10 list for best studio vocal mics, but I've definitely cut scratch vocals with them that became keepers. You'll want to dump out some low mids and maybe add a slight broadband HF lift.

    Nope, the Beta 57 and 58 are dynamic.

    https://pubs-api.shure.com/file/259921
     
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  8. Fluddman

    Fluddman Tele-Meister

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    Think more along the lines that, the Beta 58 is different to, not better than, an SM58. Of note they have different polar patterns which is significant for rejecting feedback. If you run one monitor directly in front, you are probably better with an SM 58.
     
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  9. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I always preferred SM57s for amps and SM58s for vocals, even though they're basically the same thing. I've tried others, some are good, but none have made me put down the '58s. I've tried the Beta 58s, they're fine. To me, the SM58 is a little warmer; the Beta 58 is a little hotter. Different people prefer different things; there's really no accounting for personal taste, is there?
     
  10. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Meister

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    Yup, that's why they make more than one type!
     
  11. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    Dangit. Which one uses the he battery in the mic?
     
  12. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    The Beta 87 is an electret, but runs off +48v and doesn't take batteries. I use 87s as wireless capsules every day, I'd totally forgotten they make a hardwired version of it.

    I used to have a pair of SM94s (poor man's SM81) that could run off AA batteries- I'm sure there are others, but this isn't a typical feature.
     
  13. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    the beta 57/58's . do not have a line matching transformer in them , and the 57/59 do, this part of the reason for the higher out put in the betas , not one of my favorites, but in a pinch.....

    not shure ( see what I did there?) how ,"Work horse" or robust they are for longevity.
     
  14. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks. I looked and can't find the Betas I was thinking of. Wrong number anyway. Pencil Betas with a battery.
     
  15. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    The first versions of the Beta 57/58 were transformerless, but the current "a" versions do have one. The change had something to do with the earlier transformerless versions with the humbucking coil not playing nicely with transformer splitter snakes.

    I've got Beta 58s that are 20 years old and, in traditional Shure fashion, they keep on rockin' in the free world.
     
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  16. studio

    studio Poster Extraordinaire

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    Something to note, when gigging with Betas you might want to have
    all of your vocal mics Betas so you won't have a big contrast in
    sound difference.

    "Hey, how come HER mic sounds better than mine?"

    Unless of course you might want to use the regular 58/57s
    for people who only sing background? Totally up to you.

    Betas are cool but you just can't have one.
     
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  17. Crawldaddy

    Crawldaddy Tele-Holic

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    The Beta 58A is a solid mic and has of the proximity effect compared to the old SM58.

    However, for my money, I'd forget any of the Shure products, because (controversially) I think they're overpriced new, and there are too many fakes floating around second hand.

    The AKG D5 gets my vote, or D7 if you're feeling fancy. Just as solid and reliable, but way clearer and no premium on the price.
     
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  18. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    The important, set-in-stone difference that can't be adjusted for is the pickup pattern. The Betas pick up a little bit from behind, but less from the sides. This can be good or bad, depending. They usually have the preferable pattern for use as fixed-location mics, or for hand held use with side fills. Hand held with floor monitors, the Betas can [intermittently, as the singer moves around] cause more feedback problems than a regular 57 or 58 would.

    57 or 58 are the safe bets for a roaming singer when there are floor monitors, and Betas can usually offer more advantage with minimal drawback when used for fixed mics.

    Personally, I hate floor monitors. In an ideal world, I would just want the house mix coming in as side fills, and Betas for vocals. But that's not the reality most of the time, so it's a good idea to always have regular 57s and 58s in your PA kit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  19. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    Forget the Shures, why not just treat her to a Sennheiser e935 and be done with it, you won't regret it.

    Well, maybe you will, when you realise that all these years.....
     
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  20. zeoy

    zeoy Tele-Meister

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    I have the Beta57A and have used it for recordings (vocals, electric and acoustic guitars) with very good results. Seemed a little crisper compared to the regular 57.
     
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