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Microphone for live performances

Hi guys and girls!

I would like to hear Your opinion regarding microphones for live performances. I have been singing for some years (since the 90’s), and way back when I started, I hooked up with the Shure SM58, which was THE WAY TO GO back then. I consider the SM58 a good and stable lead microphone with a nice sound. About a year ago, when I needed a new mic, some sales guy advised me to try the Beta 58A instead (stating that I was a bit old-school using the SM58). The BETA 58A should have a much brighter sound etc. and in his opinion the best vocal mic on the market at that price, he stated.

I decided to try it out, and I quickly found out that the sound was much brighter and more crispy than the SM58, with some nice EQ boosts. However I became heavily disappointed, when I realized that This mic is somehow divided into two areas when it comes to distance. It seems to have a very sensitive area when singing very close to the mic, and then a less sensitive area when dragging away from the mic. Now especially when high belting in cover versions of Axl Rose, Robert Plant and Steven Tyler etc., I find this feature inconvenient, due to the fact that it generates some kind of "hard breaking point" while changing distance to the mic. I don’t like this feature, and I have now decided to go back to the SM58 again. However I find it hard to believe that the SM58 is THE ONE AND ONLY mic after all these years, and I would like to upgrade if I can find a mic. That “suits my purpose” better.

So my questions are:

Have any of you experienced the same with the BETA 58A?
What kind of microphones do you use?
Any recommendations for new mic’s I should try out - based on my story?

I would be so happy if you would share your ideas about this topic. The SM58 is a cool mic, but maybe I could find an even better one.
And thanks to all of you, and not at least to Ken Tamplin, for establishing this nice fora!

Big Hugs!



  • 6 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 9,665Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    I have probably about 7 SM58's and no betas. I have a Sennheizer 945 and love it. I also have a Neumann KMS 105 and I love it, too. The Neumann I find doesn't have much of a proximity effect like the Shures and even the Sennheizer have. I can sing off-mic and get a good sound with the Neumann. That makes it really nice if I'm singing harmonies and don't want to cover up the other singers. I can be off-mic and you hear everybody at once, clearly.

    The down-side is that the Neumann costs a lot more than the Shures or the Sennheizer. You would probably like the 945. It's really got a nice upper midrange. My bandmates have betas. I'm not that crazy about the sound of them. I can dial-in a really nice sound on the Sennheizer or the Neumann, but the betas seem muddy and limited by comparison.
  • My 2 main go-to's are the Shure Beta87 and the Sennheiser E945.
    I always found the SM58 a bit muddy for my taste... the proximity effect you mention is always a factor; but I like the fact that the 2 I mentioned don't pick up as much ambient stage noise and is more focused on what I am feeding into it.
    It's a hard thing to decide on what works for you, as it takes time and money and using them in the way that you're intending to for the end game.
  • I lean towards Bob...I am a reformed Sennheiser guy, but have plenty of friends that love the Beta87.
    If I were forced to choose, I would go Sennheiser E945
  • Thanks Phil! I agree in the SM58 being quite muddy. Regarding the proximity issue, how do you see this when it comes to the beta87 and the 945?
  • Thanks a lot for your comments guys - I will check out all of your proposals.
  • Try Electro-Voice. I used C07 (still strong after 10 years), n/d 767a, n/d 967 concert. All have internal shock mounts integrated for extra protection against accidents and stage abuse. I started using EV mics because I was tired of messing with compression, EQ so much.
    I personally don't like shure mics but I'm not goin to bump on them. The only way to know how a mic is gonna work with your voice is to test them out.
  • Yeah those EV's are nice... I had an N\D 857B, which I really liked until the capsule died :-(
    When I was looking for a replacement, I took into consideration allot of the advice on here, and I've been a Sennheiser E945 guy ever since
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