Monday, December 14, 2009

I was out of state over Thanksgiving, but had a sweet new toy waiting for me when I got back!  I had sent my gig mic, an SM 57, to Greg Heumann at  For $129 he turned it into one of his "Ultimate 57's".  The mic works exactly like a regular SM 57, but besides the difference in appearance, the mic is smaller, lighter, and now has a volume control.

I also have an original volume control from Greg.  Because of the nature of using a 57 and his original design for the volume control, the stand alone unit could never fully turn off the mic.  However, the Ultimate 57 allows me to turn the mic "off".  This took me about one song to get used to.  I play a lot of rhythm parts and had to adjust my use of the knob.  With the other unit, I was able to roll it all the way counter clockwise and have enough signal to comp.  Now, I have to remember to leave it on about 50% or so.

Tone wise, the two set ups sound identical, which sound just like a 57 without the volume control.  I love my new mic!  It looks great, works great, and the difference in size and weight is of great advantage to me.

If it broke and could not be repaired, I'd for sure buy another one from Greg.

This mic is perfect for going wireless - although the wireless strips some of the Double Trouble's punch - just check out the difference in my mic rigs!

The Ultimate with the wireless transmitter is still smaller than just the 57 with a regular volume control.

Here is my "Lightsaber" rig that I hardly used due to the huge size.  If the wireless didn't suck tone (I try and compensate by running the tone control full out, but there is still some spank missing) I'd use it full time.  With amps that have a three band eq and not a "high cut" type knob, you can get the wireless to sound just like a cable, IMO.  I might put a small pedal board together this holiday season and hope that one of the pedals gives me some of the presence back.  The Kinder AFB+ kinda does that.  I'd like to note that I used the mic at one gig wireless into the AFB then amp.  The next night, I went with a cable right into a delay and then into the amp (no feedback problems at all...amp on 7 and tone on 6).

I thought I'd have clips with the new mic and DT for you, but no luck.  I thought we were taping our December shows, but that hasn't been the case.  Hopefully this weekend!  I thought about taping at home, but it is a full band setting that counts!!!


  1. Hey Mike,

    Did you go with the "grill lock" option on your Ultimate-57, or does the handling noise due to the rotating grill bother you at all? I'm guessing not...since you've never commented on it before.

    Just wondering... since it really bothers me with my 545sd.

    Love the blog... keep those posts and sound/video clips coming!

    Brian (aka "BHarpAdams"

  2. Brian,

    I did not get the grill lock as I've never had an issue with the extra noise, etc. However, I think it is an excellent idea. I am just worried about twisting it and having it break (because of my noodling with it at time).

    I know what is meant by the extra noise, but I guess it doesn't bother me. Hope this helps!

  3. Thanks for the kind words too, btw! I should have a lot to post right after Christmas, so be on the look out.