The Nady Starpower SP-5 ($8) vs. the SM 57 (Audio Samples)

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Which Microphone Sounds Better?

Nady's SP-5 ($8)
1
14%
Shure's SM-57 ($90)
6
86%
I can't tell the difference
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 7

cdbabel
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The Nady Starpower SP-5 ($8) vs. the SM 57 (Audio Samples)

Post by cdbabel » Sat Feb 25, 2006 9:24 pm

There has been some talk on this board about the Nady SP-5, sold at Musician's Friend for $8.

Nady has a generally bad reputation when it comes to anything but wireless systems, but its hard to pass up the 3 pack of SP-5s when you need more dynamic microphones and you have no money.

Here I have provided audio samples of the SP-5 vs. the gold standard of dynamic microphones, Shure's SM-57, sold for around $90.

Both of these tracks, presented in the original 16-bit 44.1 kHz AIFF, were recorded the from the same position (give or take an inch horizontally). They were both run through the same model pre-amp, Channels one and two of the Mackie DFX-6, both at +50dB. Both are coming through my MOTU 2408. No EQ or any other alterations were done after the recording.

I personally like the sound of both equally. I can barely hear a difference, if there is one.

I apologize in advance for my singing, but it was the only instrument I had on hand.

Nady's SP-5

Shure's SM-57

Tell me what you think and leave your vote on the poll! If you think one sounds better than the other, please explain why.
Last edited by cdbabel on Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TheStevens
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Post by TheStevens » Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:01 pm

It's the $8 giant-killing mic!!!!!

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Roboburger
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Post by Roboburger » Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:25 am

I myself was shocked recently (and no, it wasn't a ground lift problem) at an instore when I removed a SM57 from a location and put a SP-5 in it's place, thinking that I'd hear a reduction in top end, body, and overall level. It sounded the exact same- just a little less on the top end, but not a bad amount at all. especially for the budget of the average record store PA.
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Post by RefD » Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:43 am

sounds better when recording what?

appropriateness of the mic you choose depends largely on what you're trying to capture and what the desired result is.

i got a Nady Starpower 9 for free from Musician's Fiend about 4 years ago and it's bright, painfully bright, most sizzly dynamic i own.

it works great for opening up dull-sounding instruments and woofy vocals without beating on the EQ or sliding the shoulder frequency of the HPF into the stratosphere.

but i wouldn't use it, OR a 57, on everything.

what we're talking about here is like comparing 99 cent menu items at Wendy's and Jack In The Box.

i prefer Wendy's cos i get sick less often there! :wink:
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Post by kdarr » Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:12 am

an $8.00 mic will last as long as you would expect an $8.00 mic to last.
not long at all. it's a plastic piece of shit. you could smash it to pieces with one hand. who cares how it sounds if it dies on you after a month?

an sm57, on the other hand, is pretty much bulletproof.

is that worth the extra $80 bucks?

well... yeah.

[<|>]

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Post by cdbabel » Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:18 am

kdarr wrote:an $8.00 mic will last as long as you would expect an $8.00 mic to last.
not long at all. it's a plastic piece of shit. you could smash it to pieces with one hand. who cares how it sounds if it dies on you after a month?

an sm57, on the other hand, is pretty much bulletproof.

is that worth the extra $80 bucks?

well... yeah.

[<|>]
While the body is made of a metal-like pastic, it seems reasonably durable. I read your post and decided "Hell, its an $8 mic" so I threw it again the ground rather hard and across the room (probably confusing my roommate in the processs). Despite the denting of the grill, it still seems to work great.

I don't think i'll do the same test on my SM 57 though...maybe thats what I bought with that extra $80, incentive to take care of my equipment.
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Post by kdarr » Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:23 am

cdbabel wrote: While the body is made of a metal-like pastic, it seems reasonably durable. I read your post and decided "Hell, its an $8 mic" so I threw it again the ground rather hard and across the room (probably confusing my roommate in the processs). Despite the denting of the grill, it still seems to work great.

I don't think i'll do the same test on my SM 57 though...maybe thats what I bought with that extra $80, incentive to take care of my equipment.
haha, that's probably what it's all for.

not gonna put your beer on a fucking SSL, that's for sure.

unless you're like Paul Allen or something.

he prolly uses 456 for toilet paper.

[<|>]

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Post by RefD » Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:23 am

kdarr wrote:
cdbabel wrote: While the body is made of a metal-like pastic, it seems reasonably durable. I read your post and decided "Hell, its an $8 mic" so I threw it again the ground rather hard and across the room (probably confusing my roommate in the processs). Despite the denting of the grill, it still seems to work great.

I don't think i'll do the same test on my SM 57 though...maybe thats what I bought with that extra $80, incentive to take care of my equipment.
haha, that's probably what it's all for.

not gonna put your beer on a fucking SSL, that's for sure.

unless you're like Paul Allen or something.

he prolly uses 456 for toilet paper.

[<|>]
the lacerations must be awful! :shock:
?What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.? -- Seneca

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Post by RodC » Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:20 pm

SP5s make good drum OH, the main problems I have found are:

Handling Characteristics, very noisy

Distort much easier, Try to scream into it or record a loud guitar.

Highs are well, weird, but can make some cymbols sound good.

Compaired to the 57, try it on a snare, you will miss the body.

I use them for live sound, and drum OHs. Musicians friend sells them 3 for $20

Heck for $6 they aint bad.

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Post by cdbabel » Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:30 pm

RodC wrote:SP5s make good drum OH, the main problems I have found are:

Handling Characteristics, very noisy

Distort much easier, Try to scream into it or record a loud guitar.

Highs are well, weird, but can make some cymbols sound good.

Compaired to the 57, try it on a snare, you will miss the body.

I use them for live sound, and drum OHs. Musicians friend sells them 3 for $20

Heck for $6 they aint bad.
Yah, I haven't tested them out using louder sound sources. Those I'll be interested to see if they do "distort" easier. The SP-5 came out slightly hotter then the SM 57, but I suspect any distortion can easily be controlled by adjusting the gain, unless the mic simply can't handle high sound pressures, which is a possibility.

I tend not to use microphones that aren't in mic stands, so handling noise really isn't a problem, particularly in the studio. The SM 57 gives you plenty of handling noise when its not in a stand, so even if the SP-5 gives more, for me, any really isn't acceptable.
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MAR
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Post by MAR » Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:48 am

That is some of the most robotic sounding singing I have ever heard! That shit is downright funny. You can tell ennunciation is paramount to this guy.

Sorry man but that is funny.

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Post by MAR » Mon Feb 27, 2006 7:52 am

Wait I never made it to the end of the clips, the best was laying there waiting for me. I love the crack on the high note and then that odd series of notes at the end, all slightly out of tune.

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Post by A-Barr » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:07 am

Gotta say the 57 sounds a little more natural and balanced to me. The Nady's definetly brighter, but I see what a previous poster said about the highs sounding "weird." But the Nady's not unusable or anything, just a little different and for 8 bucks, why not add some extra color to your setup?

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Post by Harry » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:49 am

they are a great deal...I got 6 of for free with some junk mic stands.
FREE!!!
I'll give you 6 of em for your 57 and I'll pay shipping.

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Post by eeldip » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:05 pm

MAR wrote: I love the crack on the high note and then that odd series of notes at the end, all slightly out of tune.
i like the little crack. its very sweet.

anyway, yea, the sm57 is better. to me this just shows that you gotta pay a lot for incremental improvements. its not like, leaps and bounds better. but its better. and its way more expensive. typical really.

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