A friend of mine gave me this Shure PG58 cardioid microphone package the other day. All that is in the picture here is identical except for the microphone cable. The microphone cable that came with mine is an unbalanced one. But no matter about the mic cable…I want to talk about the PG58 microphone
I have had a Shure SM58 for a number of years now and it has always served me well. I must say that when it comes to legendary microphones, Shure hangs in there with the best of them…good, clear sound, a body that can take stage and tour abuse and finally, an affordable price. I never thought about the other *58 mics like this PG58 that my friend gave me. But now I have one so let us have a look at it.
The first thing I did was to check the microphone capsule. The SM58 has a very unique capsule and I can spot one very easily. This one does not have the same capsule as the SM58 of course, but it sports the same, if not similar, removable windscreen and pop-filter. To be honest, the capsule does not look very strong…it looks like it may damage easily but then again, this is a PG58, not an SM58.
Another thing different is the the presence of an ON / OFF switch. There is no such thing on the SM58. There is a saying that all mics that come with such a switch are low-quality ones. I beg to differ on that. I have used many a microphone in the past with switches and they have all held up very well and had good, crisp and clear sound. But what I like about the body is that it feels solid…not unlike the SM58.
This is what this package consists of…features if you like:
- Tailored frequency response is smooth and extended. Tuned specifically for vocal applications.
- Cardioid polar pattern picks up the most sound from in front of the microphone and some sound from the sides. Less susceptible to feedback in high volume settings.
- Dynamic cartridge has a simple, rugged coil. Handles extreme volume levels without distortion.
- Cartridge includes a neodymium magnet for high output level.
- Internal shock mount for reduced handling noise.
- Durable metal construction.
- On/off switch for onstage control.
- Hardened steel mesh ball grille that resists wear and abuse.
- Integral “pop” filter reduces explosive breath sounds and wind noise.
- Includes 15ft (4.57m) cable, break-resistant mic clip and storage bag.
- Replacement cartridge: RPM150.
So it looks like the cartridge is replaceable, like the SM58. Looks like it will do the job. Now and I can probably retire my old AKG D2000 microphone, with its disintegrated pop-filter that cannot be replaced, with this new Shure PG58.
I used this microphone the other day at an event on New Year’s Eve. I was quite amazed at the sound of it and as you know, when you pay for Shure quality, you get awesome quality. I should know because I have always trusted Shure microphones, especially their legendary SM58 microphones. I liked this but the only bugbear about it was the fact that the transmitter in the wireless microphone used two AA batteries and they did not last very long. If I do get something like this, I may have to go the rechargeable route or spend a fortune on batteries. I had batteries running out on me twice in the night and it sure as hell was not funny. My AKG WMS 40 Mini can go for hours on a single alkaline AA battery, and it is cheaper too! In any case, here are the specs of this wireless microphone and receiver:
- Frequency response tailored for vocals, with brightened midrange and bass Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise
- Pneumatic shock-mount system cuts down handling noise
- Effective, built-in spherical wind and pop filter
- Supplied with break-resistant stand adapter which rotates 180 degrees
- Legendary Shure quality, ruggedness and reliability
- Cardioid (unidirectional) dynamic
- Frequency response: 50 to 15,000 Hz
- Automatic Transmitter Setup
- Backlit LCD with timeout feature
As for the receiver:
- Automatic Frequency Selection
- Automatic Transmitter Setup
- 960 Selectable frequencies across 24 MHz bandwidth
- Detachable 1/4 wave antennas
- Microprocessor-controlled diversity
- RF presence LED
- 5-segment audio meter
- Multi-function, backlit LCD
- Low battery indicator
- Frequency and power lockout
- Rugged metal chassis
- Volume control on rear of unit
- 1/2 rack design
- Furnished rack hardware
- Non-slip bumpers for use out of rack
- XLR and 1/4″ outputs
I will say one thing and that is the receiver gives me the option of using either an unbalanced 1/4″ phone jack or a balanced XLR output. My AKG only has a balanced 1/4″ TRS phone jack as the output but it works out very well and I have no complaints at all. Oh well. Maybe in the future, when my AKGs die out on me, I may make the move for this.
I was looking for this wireless microphone set when I was buying a second WMS 40 Mini wireless system recently. For some reason, the shop I normally buy my stuff from did not have it. I would have loved to have this as it manages to fit two wireless microphones in one package. I have this microphone wireless set, but in a single package, called the WMS 40 Mini and would have loved to get this. A write-up of the features here is from the website here:
Unique HDAP (High Definition Audio Performance) technology ensures the best possible, most realistic sound at any time.
The SR 40 Mini2 receiver provides three status LEDs each for channels 1 and 2, indicating ON/OFF status, received signal strength (RF OK), and audio clipping (AF CLIP). The VOLUME control sets the level at the ¼” output jack. Each receiver comes with a universal 12-V switched mode power supply with EU, UK, and US adapters. The illuminated ON/OFF button switches both channels on and off simultaneously. The rugged HT 40 Mini handheld transmitter features an ON/OFF/MUTE switch and a sturdy wire-mesh cap protecting the cardioid dynamic microphone element. Battery life is the same legendary 30 hours off a single AA battery as for the standard WMS 40 models, reducing the need to replace batteries and thus saving real money in the long run. The system includes an SR 40 MINI2 receiver, 2 HT 40 MINI handheld transmitters, a universal power supply with US/UK/EU adapters, and 2 AA size dry batteries.
Pretty good eh? I know that it was priced very competitively. Its a shame really but then again, I already bought another AKG WMS 40 Mini so now, I have two wireless microphones. That ought to work well together.
Yes. That is how small the Yamaha Stagepas 500 mixer is and it shows that one does not need to have the most expensive stuff to run a road-show in Singapore. That is what we did a few days back. On the left of the picture is the trusty AKG WMS 40 Mini wireless microphone receiver and on the bottom is my trusty Nokia mobile phone playing the radio, which served as another sound source. The green cable plugged into the mixer was a feed from a CD player some distance away, hooked up via a DI box. That is all it is. Pretty cool eh?
I bought my second AKG WMS 40 Mini wireless microphone yesterday. The reason I bought it is because there are events where the customers say that they want two wireless microphones instead of just one. Also, if any of my wireless mics are giving issues, I would have a spare handy. In any case, the shop where I bought the first one from was having a sale. I bought the second one for about $35 cheaper than the first one. I have used this AKG microphone for quite a few times and I am very happy with the sound, quality and portability of this very excellent wireless microphone.
There seem to be a lot of these single-polar-pattern condenser microphones available these days, at pretty affordable prices too. I covered the Audio-Technica AT2020 yesterday, today is the day of the AKG Perception 120. Nw, for the record, I have always loved the sound of AKG microphones. The big brother of this microphone, the AKG C414 BULS was a staple when I was working in the recording studio ages ago and it is still a microphone I would use anyday for miking up vocals. I do not think I can afford a Neumann U87 or U89 because frankly, those awesome microphones are bit out of my budget right now. But if you want quality on the inexpensive, read on.
First of all, it is built sturdy. Now that is a big plus-point because it shows that you can use this microphone for live-sound, where the harsh and rough-tumble environment may mean the death-knell for many a condenser microphone. Secondly, it is rather inexpensive. You can buy it for less than $200 Singapore dollars so it will not hurt the pocket too hard. Thirdly, its a condenser microphone. Nothing else needs to be said about condenser microphones and their capabilities. You need phantom power on your mixer to power this microphone.
There is only one polar-pattern (as I have said before) on this microphone and that is cardioid. Good for vocals and I would try it out as an overhead microphone kit on a drum-kit. There are two switches on this microphone. One of them is a bass filter and the other one is a -20 dB attenuation pad.
So for up-and-coming sound studios, podcasters, even DJs. If you can, get this microphone. From what I can tell, this is one of those condenser microphones with the best bang-for-buck.
I have been using this microphone for ages…and till today, it is still providing stellar sound. AKG…German technology at its best. I have compared this with the Shure SM58 and I still think that this microphone outperforms it. Sharp-eyed readers will see a switch below. That is not an ON/OFF switch though. It’s a B-M-Off switch. According to this website, the B–M–Off switch allows the performer to shape and control the warmth of the sound, reduce proximity effect when the microphone is close-talked, reduce feedback, or increase intelligibility in over-reverberant halls and auditoriums. Being a super-cardioid microphone, its rather sensitive. And another thing, this thing is nickle-coated which means the paint does not wear off. If you can get this, get it. Its superb!
So I finally ponied up and bought the AKG WMS 40 Mini wireless microphone system a few days back. Got it at a pretty good price and what can I say, the microphone sounds absolutely superb! The only issue was the connection behind it:
This thing uses a 1/4″ balanced connection, not an XLR. I suppose it is to keep the cost low. So it looked like I would have to make a cable, or at the very least buy one. What I needed was a 1/4″ TRS plug and that I did not have. I had to go to the local electronics shop to buy one. It was pretty inexpensive…only costing me less than $2 for it. I came back home, looked through my junk box for a three-core balanced audio cable and a male XLR connector. I managed to find what I needed. Firing up my soldering iron, I began to prepare for Operation DIY Balanced Microphone Cable
One hour later, I had the microphone cable ready and it looked like this:
The male XLR plug goes into my mixing board and the 1/4″ TRS jack goes into the new unit. For just an hour of my time and a plug that cost less than $2, I had a great sounding microphone system. Thanks AKG. You make great mics and this one is NO exception!
The hunt for a wireless microphone goes on. These past few days, I have been looking at offerings from Mipro, Shure, AKG, Line 6…you name it, I have looked at it. I have narrowed it down to this one…the AKG WMS-40. As the website says, the price for this baby cannot be beat. It is retailing somewhere above $200 here and it looks like excellent value for money. The only issue I can see is that it does not use a 3-pin XLR connector but uses a phone jack….a balanced TRS phone jack it is too. Another thing worth mentioning is that it is an analog wireless system. So in a sense, we do get what we pay for.