The SM58. Unless your gigs are in Hell – and it freezes over – your mic will probably have a much calmer life than Studio’s did. Photo (CC) Deseret N/detmusic [myspace].

Just how rugged is your microphone? Mats St̴lbr̦st, editor of the Stockholm-based Studio, took testing to a new extreme last year. He did violence to the legendary Shure SM58 Рthe sub-$100, vocal dynamic mic. It was used to hammer nails. It was dropped several meters. It was frozen. It was dunked in water. It was driven over by a car. It had beer poured on it. It was placed in a microwave atop a pizza. And the thing kept on working.

We covered the gory abuse back in October 2007. Little did we know then that the test wasn’t over. It seems Mats and company buried the SM58. The SM58 has been there, underground, for a year, even enduring a harsh, Swedish winter. To complete phase II of their test, the folks at Studio unearthed the poor mic, washed it (running it under a tap, of course, not doing it properly), and gave it another test. Surprise: still working.

Incidentally, the SM58 and variants make a fantastic gift for a musician. Even if they’ve already got one, they could probably use another.

Shure SM58 Product Page – and yup, positive they do not endorse this sort of thing, but if it keeps working like this, who needs a warranty?

Here’s the new video. May not be suitable for squeamish audiophiles:

And the original torture test:

Sound files promised in Studio 01-09, but that issue doesn’t seem to be up yet. (Selected from the dropdown.)

Got an SM58 – or other mic – that’s taken some abuse? Send us photos!

  • http://www.adamjaymusic.com Adam Jay

    a great gift indeed! but do mind that if your special someone does alot of live performance, a beta 58 would be an even better gift thanks to the higher gain before feedback. ;)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Yep, indeed … Beta 58 is my mic of choice. I haven't tried driving over it yet. You just have to splurge a little extra on them … ;)

  • bliss

    Would a Manley Gold Reference withstand the same abuse? I'd buy one if it would. Get my money's worth.

  • http://www.batuhanbozkurt.com pyramind

    I know an SM58 who is being verbally abused for years, it has lost some of its high-end but still looks fine.

  • http://bitleymusic.blogspot.com/ Patrick Fridh

    Great job Mats! Puttin' the Studio magazine name to worldwide recognition like that! Thumbs up!

  • HMMM

    thank god they put that super cool metal over the video , especially when they played how the mic sounded.

  • http://revolverrecording.com Trey Chandler

    Am I the only person who thinks the SM58 sounds like the bad kind of vintage? I will take an Audix or EV at the same price any day.

  • http://revolverrecording.com Trey Chandler

    And tough??? If you breathe too hard on a 58 you will dent the grill.

  • http://i--x.net vvvoid

    Survives all this, yet one recording session with my doom/noise/extremeselfviolence band and a '58 was in three (irrecoverable) pieces :(

  • ian

    sm58's are damn durable but the ultimate test for them is night after night of metal/punk/hardcore bands! believe you me as a live sound guy we've had to replace more than one sm58/beta58 in the past (we just sent shure a box of 58's and 57's to replace). it should be mentioned also that shure's replacement policy is pretty right on – a 57 or 58 can be sent to shure, out of warranty, without a receipt, and replaced for around 50 bucks. check the shure site for more information (applies to other shure products too but the prices vary according to the product). also vvvoid, post links to your band, sounds right up my alley!