So, a couple months ago I bought a Shure SM57. Loved it, sounded good, looked badass(It looked like a lightsaber, hard to get more badass than that), and everyone seems to say they'll be there with the cockroaches and the indestructible Keith Richards after WWIII, but due to a deal, I went out and bought an Audix i5. I couldn't afford two mics at the time, but now I can, and I can't get a satisfactory tone from the i5 for electric recordings. For acoustics it's good and for vocals it's better than the SM57 was, but for electric it just doesn't cut it as well.

Anyway, in the November issue of Guitar Player, in an interview with Black Water Rising, while I may not share a genre with them, apparently, in the words of their rhythm guitarist/vocalist, 95% of the album was recorded via getting "a 50-watt Orange Rockerverb combo, cranking it up, plugging a Les Paul straight into it, and putting a Shure SM57 straight on the cone". Being as that album received an award with that simple a setup, it got me thinking again.

I have a couple hundred dollars lying around, so I can afford to keep both this time, the i5 for acoustic recordings and vocals, and using the SM57 for electric guitars.

R&R has never steered me wrong, and as I've been saving for a more home-studio-friendly laptop than a budget business laptop, I figured I'd check with you guys before dropping the cash. Would it be worth my while to buy the SM57?

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you're going to get a flurry of yes's from the pros. durability aside, if it sounds the way you want it to, then its absolutely worth your while to buy it.
Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
do remember that after the cranked rockerverb was miked with an sm57, that sm57 ran through other gear -- gear that makes as much difference to the sound as the amp itself. it was recorded, mixed, and mastered by industry professionals with years of experience making anything and everything sound like gold.

regardless, the sm57 is a solid buy. if you like the way it sounds and you've got nothing more pressing to spend some cash on, go for it. it's the cheapest good mic you'll find.
Last edited by climhazzard at Nov 19, 2009,
If you're really into getting a SM-57, but ready to use a cheaper clone until you have enough money to buy the real Shure, have a heavy look at the OSP DL-330 priced at $40.

OSP makes SM-58 and SM-57 clones, respectively dubbed the DL-320 and DL-330.

Personally, I couldn't tell the difference between the OSP and the Shure.


Youtube videos about OSP dynamic mics:



Bit of a waste of time getting a copycat model when the real thing is so cheap. anyway he already has the 57.

Mostly with these its about just having the patience to get things right at source, although good mixing and mastering does do wonders.
Get the Shure, be done with it. Shure are well known for their ridiculous reliability. I have abused SM57's and 58's more than any mic should be abused and they've just kept going and going, and I wouldn't risk it to chance with a knock-off.

It's worth the money, it's an investment that will last you literally years.