Ok a while back I was in desperate need of some mics, and I was already ordering some gear from Carvin, so I bought their M68 3 pack. I've been using them for a few months now, but having no experience with any other mics, I wasn't sure if they were very good, or if some of the problems I was having were mic induced.

So I stopped at GC yesterday on my way home from work and picked up a Shure beta 58. Time for a little side by side! I don't have any clips yet, because I only had about 30 minutes to actually mess with it last night, but here's my first impressions...

Build Quality = Tie
First of all, the Shure and the Carvin seems to both have very good build quality. Both are fairly heavy, and have a solid steel mesh windscreen cover. Could probably drive nails with either of them and still have a functioning mic.

Feedback and noise rejection = Shure
I haven't tested this extensively on the Shure yet, but I can already tell from 30 min that it's better than the Carvin in this aspect. The Carvin mics have terrible noise rejection. It's a constant struggle at band practice to get enough volume out of it without constant feedback. So far the Shure has not given me any feedback, though I'll be putting it to the real test next weekend at practice.

Wind noise and plosives = Shure
This is one area where the Shure absolutely DESTROYS the Carvin. I had constant problems with the M68's with plosives. If I had the mic turned up enough to hear it over the guitar, I couldn't have it anywhere near my mouth and not get LOUD pops from P's, B's, and S's. For a vocal mic this is pretty bad. I was always wondering why I'd see people singing on TV with the mic touching their lips and they had no issues... I thought it was my technique or something... nope. I plugged in the Shure, and was instantly amazed at how well it filters out the plosives. I put the mic right up to my mouth and TRIED to make it produce a pop through the PA, and got nothing. Well played, Shure.

Instrument mic'ing = Shure
Once again the Shure dominates. The Carvin just has too wide of a pickup pattern, which makes it unsuitable for mic'ing an amp. I guess it would be ok if you turned the PA speakers off, but if you're mic'ing a guitar at a gig, and not just recording, then you're gonna want it going through the speakers.

So yeah, the Shure pretty much blows the Carvin away. I'm not surprised that the Shure is a better mic, because I got 3 of the Carvins for what 1 beta 58 cost. What surprised me is how much better the Shure was. I was expecting minor improvements at best. I wish I had know how much better the 58 was months ago, because I would now have 2 of them instead of one 58 and 3 Carvins for backup

I should have time to play around with it more this weekend, and I'll try to record some A/B's
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.

You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
In that type of microphone, my bet would be on Shure every time. The Shure 57 and 58 has been a staple of studios everywhere for years. They're still widely used during concerts, too. They're a proven mike, which is why they're used so often. The Carvin? Never heard of them. Funny thing is, I bought a recording engineer book a few months ago and read it from cover to cover. It makes multiple mentions of the 57s and 58s, but not one mention of Carvin mikes. There you go.

Edit: I currently have a 57 and a 58 in my mike locker and plan to add another 57 and 58 soon. I won't buy off brand stuff, even though Carvin is known for guitars. You really get what you pay for.
Last edited by KG6_Steven at May 28, 2011,
Well I've used other Carvin gear, and it's all been pretty good. I bought my PA from them, and that's when I got the mics too. The PA is pretty awesome, and I thought I'd take a chance on the mics since the 3 pack was pretty reasonably priced... But they just don't compare to the 58. Having no experience with mics didn't help either. Like I said above, I wasn't even sure if the 58 would remedy any of the issues I was having, but I'm happily surprised by it.

I mainly posted this because when I was mic shopping there was nothing in any search results I could find that said anything about the Carvin mics, and maybe I can keep someone else from wasting their money on a mic that just isn't that good.
Quote by tubetime86
He's obviously pretty young, and I'd guess he's being raised by wolves, or at least humans with the intellectual capacity and compassion of wolves.

You finally made it home, draped in the flag that you fell for.
And so it goes
This is what I have to say about the Carvin M68 Mic. Before I started singing with a southern rock band, I was really into singing karaoke and I have sung on many different microphones in many clubs, bars and stages. I guess I have tried out so many microhones and I can give you an honest opinion of what mics are the best for vocals. keep in mind that everyone's voice is unique and their phrasing and their vocal techniques are different so different microphones may work better for some than others. It did seem like most of the clubs were using the Shure sm58 microphone and the vocals on thaat was pretty good. In my opinion, the Shure sm58 sound is not too clear and the sound is kinda muzzy when you get up real close to the mic to sing. As a repsonse back to the previous reviewer, the SM 58 does have high feedback. This will happen if you get too too close to your PA system when your volume setting on the microphone is set too high; anyone in a band can tell you this. One night when I went out to sing the DJ handed me a Carvin M68 Microphone. I sang a rock song and the sound was reallyfantastic, great, more sharper and clearer than the Shure sm58. the Carvin M68 had better output, rise and volume for me than the Shure sm58 mic. After I sang, I actually looked at the carvin Mic and wrote down the information so I could purchase my own. In my opionion, this is one of the best microphones for vocalist. Another good microphone for vocalist is the Peavey pvm22 microphone. Some musicians now are suggesting that the Shure Beta 58A is a good microphone, but I have never used it. Looking at the design of the Shure beta 58A mic it's design is a copycat of the Carvin M68. Check this out for yourself. FYI something to think about?
Quote by jrsimm
Looking at the design of the Shure beta 58A mic it's design is a copycat of the Carvin M68. Check this out for yourself. FYI something to think about?

Errr... No.

The M68 is a copy of the SM58, which was released in 1966, before Carvin even started making things other than guitars and basses.
Quote by Dave_Mc
I've had tube amps for a while now, but never actually had any go down on me
Quote by jj1565
maybe you're not saying the right things? an amp likes to know you care.

Geez... I just looked up the Carvin. It is TOTALLY a visual copy of the classic SM58. The beta 58a has more blue in it, but the Carvin is just black and silver... just like the SM58.

That said, my own personal choice for live vocals is the Sennheiser e835/845/935/945 series mics. Basically, the 35 mics are a little less directional than the 45 mics, which means the 45 mics have better feedback rejection, but offer you less flexibility to get off-axis from the mic, for instance, if you happen to be playing guitar and singing. The difference between the 800 and 900 is, I believe, that the 900 is just a slighly newer model series, but basically the same mic.

Using the Sennheiser back-to-back with the SM58, it makes the 58 sound like singing through wet moving blankets.

That said, it does depend a lot on your voice. I recorded one singer with an SM58 that I tried, literally, as a last-ditch effort. I had exhausted all of my other possibilities. Finally, I tried the 58 and it was absolutely perfect for her.

Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.