Shure SM58 comparison to Behringer XM8500

Discussion in 'Microphones, Speakers & Audio Processing' started by KC3SWL, Feb 11, 2020.

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  1. KC3SWL

    KC3SWL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I just got my Shure SM58, in used condition, the other day.
    It came looking almost brand new with very few signs of use. So at half the regular price of a SM58 at Guitar World in Wilmington DE, which doesn't charge sales tax btw, this was a pretty good deal.
    Mounting it to the boom was easy and within minutes I had it working on the Kenwood TS870. By using the dummy load and monitor I was able to test it and first thing I noticed was the complete fullness of my voice.
    I found that the Behringer was getting my highs and some of the lows but the midrange was not there.
    The SM58 seems to capture the midrange and as a result that audio input was much stronger needing me to reduce mic gain and compression .
    The Shure seems to have an edge over the Behringer with complete range of voice. It may not be a lot to other ears but to mine I noticed that right away. Future A/B comparisons might be able to be done with local hams in the future.
    I'm not denigrating the Behringer by any means. For 20 bucks , it's at a price /quality point that can't be beat.
    It will work well with any Kenwood rig that I have. I just wanted to experiment to see if there would be a difference. It appears there is.
    I wish I had a scope to see the actual signal on a screen but all I have is my ears, a Vectronics dummy load and a pair of Kenwood HS5 headphones.
    AG5CK likes this.
  2. KW6LA

    KW6LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The true spirit of Ham radio trying / seeking out what works better. SM 58 has been the go to

    stage mic for decades. I do own the XM 8500 and for the price it’s really a good mic! That said

    I have a lot of high end microphones TLM -103 / RE-20 to name a few. Your 870 Doesn’t a lot

    of pre- emphasis on the mid-range, so the SM-58 is the winner. Some radio do with the lesser

    bandwidth, so the Behringer might just play better? Compared to my pro- microphones, the

    XM 8500 has a sweet –spot you have to hold, or its too bassy or wimpy. Your voice will choose

    the mic on different radios. That said, a good EQ will let you tailor any mic for whatever radio

    you choose to operate. Most Ham don’t really care about Hi definition audio. Can you hear me

    NOW ???
  3. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    What you're hearing tracks closely with the plotted response curves for the two microphones.
    The SM58 has a nice rise in frequency response in the region of 4-6Kc, which is the area of speech where the "articulation" sounds provide clarity.
    The XM8500 has a ragged response in that same region, which gives the Shure the advantage for crisp (but not shrill) sound for communications.
    In my part of the hobby it is a popular pursuit to compare microphones, compression/limiting, and equalization to make best use of one's voice. I invite you to come join us sometime for extended discussion on the air.
  4. KM3F

    KM3F Ham Member QRZ Page

    It has not been mentioned but you have not told us how you are hearing the mike response to compare the two..
    Unless the radio has had wide banding modifications, it won't pass audio much beyond 2.8 to 3k, so the upper response beyond 3k will not go through the filter and not be heard by the receiving end..
    Note the receiving end has to have a decent receiver and speaker to hear and offer you a fair appraisal.
    I use the 8500 into audio processing equipment with ability to hear it right out of the processing chain into head phones.
    It sounds wonderful but through the 3k wide radio , not nearly as fine on the Tx monitor in the radio.
    With processing and EQ I can add or subtract any part of the spectrum requardless of the difference in mike response as long as the mike quality is there to begin with.
    When you get into audio improvements, it's a whole new area separate from the radio but the radio has to have the ability to pass it.
    Out on the air, your audio is mostly judged in comparison to others they hear and can sound much better with in 3k without truly being wide banded. Hint, add just a >>"touch"<< (**not** banging off the wall sound) reverb in the back ground, and it changes the whole presentation. Most won't know what they are really hearing except the experienced.
    For really good audio, you need to be in a 'club' gathering with others who can apricate it.
    No what that can mean later on?
    Hey 'Bud' your taking up to much frequency space at 4 and 5k wide AM signal, eventually be prepared for it.
    There is no band width limit rule as of the moment.
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  5. KC3SWL

    KC3SWL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I thought I said I was using the monitor feature. With a set of Kenwood HS5 headphones.Transmitting into a dummy load.Not really wanting to fry my TS430 front end listening to the TS870:D
  6. KW6LA

    KW6LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do listen to SSB thru my TS 430s no coax / antenna, and a dummy load on the 870. You wont blow up the front end this way. Just have to know where to put the IF shift
    using USB vs LSB on that ( TS 430 ) radio. Also use a diode detector devise to monitor AM audio with AKG 240 phones. This get me very close to what I want. Just know the monitor in that radio ( 870 ) is GOOD, but not great !! As you found out ( like most hams ) the SM 58 plays better, cuz you are not using an EQ. As KM3F said, you can change
    the response of any mic to your taste/ requirement with this device. No longer my EQ, the W2IHY is very Ham friendly, should you go that route. Many Hams listen @ 2 KHz RX SSB and will NOT hear a difference using the
    Behringer or the Shure. If I get into a conversation about SSB audio, I will narrow my TX on the 870 down to 2.1 KHz. I ask did you hear a difference??? NO I DID NOT.. know I know they have their RX close down !!!
    WE are done testing Hi Hi.

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