SM58 is one of those microphone models that have proven to be able to stand the test of time. Even if you’re a fan of high-end Sennheiser or Audix microphones today, it is a sure thing that you’ll have respect for this Shure masterpiece.
The SM58 has just hit its 50th anniversary but it is true that there are some less-known facts about it that would still surprise loyal users like us. Consider the following:
- The SM series (SM57 and SM58) was developed as a response to a growing demand for broadcast and studio recording microphones. Originally, Shure microphones are meant for use in PA systems. As the nature of demand changed, the company shifted from PA microphones to studio microphones. This is where the series got its “SM” name.
- SM58 microphones were used in some of the earliest NASA missions in space. This proves the capability of the unit to perform well even in an environment with zero air and gravity.
- Las Vegas saved the SM series from being wiped off in the market. During the 70’s a competing brand was so deeply embedded in the market that even when the new SM series mics were launched, sales performance was quite poor. An idea to get these mics introduced to the Las Vegas music, recording, and performing industry eventually paved its way into popularity.
- The SM58 is a beast encased in a lamb’s coat. The microphone’s simple looks would always lead users to think that it can only take the minimum in terms of sound generation. In reality, it can reach the SPL range of 150 to 180 decibels which are beyond what anyone would usually predict. Even in normal scenarios of use, sound distortion is something that would rarely happen.
- The original developer of this series has an inclination for classical music. It is safe to assume that he designed the SM57 and SM58 for classical music. It is quite amusing that these microphones became more popular among rock ‘n roll music performers.
- Numerous “torture tests” have proven the excellent quality and durability of this Shure masterpiece. If you have witnessed how the SM58 was run over by a bus, dropped from a great height, shot by a shotgun, tossed in the ocean, and grilled over hot charcoal, you’d probably mark it as “indestructible”. These and other extreme tests prove how tough the company’s products are.
The ability of SM58 to deliver perfect live sound makes it an obvious choice for those who perform on stage or record music in studios. There is no doubt that it is the perfect example of how a world-class microphone should be.