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Eric Johnson says vintage SM 57's sound better?


Chubtone

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Any truth to this claim that vintage Shure SM 57 mics sound better because they have alnico instead of ceramic parts in them.

 

I remember reading this a few years back in an Eric Johnson interview, so I started hording older SM 57's. Now I have 5 of them and I only ever use one.

 

Did I fall for cork-sniffing BS?;)

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Originally posted by Chubtone

.......so I started hording older SM 57's. Now I have 5 of them and I only ever use one.


Did I fall for cork-sniffing BS?
;)




Do you want to sell one of them........I'm interested in comparing it to my current 57 actually.

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I have 13 57's I've collected since about 1975 (what did Eric consider vintage?)and I have scoped them and done listening tests. Only 2 exhibit a slight mid range bump and they are late 80's ones. I can't say wheter they sound better or worse or even whether they are alnico or not. Maybe it depends on the speaker, like you should use an alnico mic on an alnico speaker....., just kidding. I do know that they sound different after a beating with a drum stick!

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ANYway to do an a/b test?

i guess if all the mics you had kurt were in the same condition, used in the same way (i.e. used for micing up inst) etc etc then we could actually see if there is some truth to what EJ says.

my guess is that the mics were all used in different applications, abused and used/cared for differently - can mics tell stories?
who knows.

i think EJ is kinda kooky. Great guy, but he really is picky to the point of craziness. One time he came into Guitar Oasis, tried out an old plexi, started playing then stopped. turned teh amp off, pulled out one of the fuses, turned it around, and then turned the amp back on again. He swore he heard a difference.

its a true story.

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I was messing around recording some stuff the other day with two SM57s and I noticed the older one (not quite sure of the vintage but I think it's 1970s at least) sounded a little warmer than the newer one (mid 1980s). Not really a huge difference, but noticeable.

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For regular old cab mic'ing to the PA for an average show, I doubt you could tell the difference. But part of EJ's rig involves mic'ing the speakers and sending the signal to a mixer with his Echoplex in the mixers loop, then to powered JBL speakers. So its actually part of his rig that he's hearing on stage, so it may be noticeable to him. But we are talking about Eric Johnson. Some of small differences that he says he hears, most of us will never notice or be that anal about it.

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keep in mind now...you're talking about a guy who claims he can hear the difference between two stompbox batteries, or the shape in which his cables are lying on the floor

i'm guessing there's a good chance that shure has altered the inside of the sm-57 in one way or another over the years, common sense tells you they probably don't sound identical...whether it's a difference many of us could hear tho, i don't know

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Originally posted by pedalpat

ANYway to do an a/b test?



i think EJ is kinda kooky. Great guy, but he really is picky to the point of craziness. One time he came into Guitar Oasis, tried out an old plexi, started playing then stopped. turned teh amp off, pulled out one of the fuses, turned it around, and then turned the amp back on again. He swore he heard a difference.


its a true story.

 

 

Ok that guy seriously really does have some kind of compulsive issues.

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Originally posted by BrentSP



Ok that guy seriously really does have some kind of compulsive issues.

 

 

 

 

no {censored}.....that is insane. I'd love to talk with him about that, and what he thinks the "difference" is in his cables laying straight, or in a tangled mess lolol

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Originally posted by guitarist17





no {censored}.....that is insane. I'd love to talk with him about that, and what he thinks the "difference" is in his cables laying straight, or in a tangled mess lolol

 

 

Can you imagine trying to work for a guy like that. I'd end up beating him to death.....lol

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Originally posted by guitarist17





no {censored}.....that is insane. I'd love to talk with him about that, and what he thinks the "difference" is in his cables laying straight, or in a tangled mess lolol

 

 

He also says they sound different if you swap the ends around, ie plug the end that was in the guitar into the amp and vice versa.

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Originally posted by Bob Savage

Eric also claims that he can hear the difference in battery brands in his OD pedal.

 

 

 

Its actually his fuzz face. And even I can tell the difference between an alkaline battery and a non alkaline battery in a fuzz face. The Alkaline is brighter and a bit tinnier while the non alkaline is smoother/warmer.

 

I didnt believe it at first, until I got my analogman sunface. You really can tell the difference.

 

But his anal retentiveness doesnt end there. I have heard some crazy stories from a guy that used to work on his guitar about all sorts of weird things...

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Originally posted by telephant




But his anal retentiveness doesnt end there. I have heard some crazy stories from a guy that used to work on his guitar about all sorts of weird things...


Here is a quick one:

eric took his guitar in to have it worked on. I forget exactly what work he was having done, but the pickguard needed to be taken off of his strat. He gave specific instructions on how to take apart his guitar.

Every screw that came out of the pickguard, he wanted labeled and put back in the same exact spot it came out of! :eek:

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Originally posted by telephant




Its actually his fuzz face. And even I can tell the difference between an alkaline battery and a non alkaline battery in a fuzz face. The Alkaline is brighter and a bit tinnier while the non alkaline is smoother/warmer.

 

 

BTW, here is an actual comparison of Alkaline versus Non Alkaline batteries in a Sun Face (fuzz face clone) straight from Analogmans Website:

 

Battery comparison: two identical NKT 275 pedals. Starts with Alkaline Duracell (twice), Cheap General Purpose type (twice) then Duracell (twice again) on a Les Paul. Listen to the high end change.

 

http://www.mikepiera.com/samples/duracell2.mp3

 

edit: the "cheap general purpose type" is the non alkaline.

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