Shure PGA58 Dynamic Mic Review / Test

Today we're reviewing one of the cheaper dynamic microphones from Shure, the PGA-58.

For this review, I have the mic connected direction to the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (1st Gen), with the input gain set at approximately 75%. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in finalcut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $55-$60 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Clip (No 5/8 to 3/8" adapter)
  3. Carrying Pouch
  4. Documentation
  5. Sticker

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 16kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  3. Sensitivity: -55dB
  4. Impedance: 150-ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is on par with most other Shure microphones. It has an all metal body, and a metal grill that feels like it could handle the stage rather well. It has an off switch on the side which is always handy in spoken word situations, it has the XLR port on the bottom like you'd expect, and it has a good amount of weight to it, coming in at 10.37 oz.

The frequency response is listed as 50Hz - 16kHz. It begins to roll off frequencies starting at around 500Hz, and then is relatively flat up through 3kHz. At that point it has a boost that peaks at around 5.5kHz followed by a steep cut down to 6.5kHz with additional variations of a few dB through ~12kHz, which ends up rolling off at around 15kHz. 

The polar pattern of this mic is listed as cardioid. It does a good job at rejecting noise around the rear of the mic which would be ideal for live situations. This will assist in avoiding feedback from the PA and from on stage wedges. 

The overall performance of this mic is pretty decent. It did not do a great job in terms of handling noise or background noise rejection, but neither of these are bad enough to destroy the microphone. The off axis coloration of this mic does seem to lose a bit of the low end and high end as you move around to 90-degrees giving you a somewhat mid forward sound around the sides. The rear is quiet enough that you're not going to get much coloration from it though. 

Due to the bass roll off beginning around 500Hz, this thing will seem to lack body on instruments. On the electric guitar, I found it to be somewhat muddy, while the acoustic guitar lacked a bit in the low end and didn't have much shine to it. Where this mic really excels is on the vocal performances. It has a flatter response when compared to the SM58, and it rolls off the low frequencies to help ensure your voice doesn't get too muddy. 

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Pros

  • Less boosted High End compared to SM58
  • Cheaper alternative to SM58
  • Great build quality
  • On/Off switch

Cons

  • Dull sound on instruments / Slightly muddy on bassier instruments
  • Not the most flattering off axis coloration
  • Less smooth sounding than SM58

Conclusion

I think this is a rather decent alternative to the SM58 if you're on a limited budget. I don't think this microphone is ideal for acoustic guitar or electric guitar, but I think it is a fine vocal microphone for the $60.00 price tag. The less prominent presence boost, and the roll off in the bass frequencies may not be preferred for some musicians, and it may not stick through a mix as well, but I don't think you will have many issues with this in a live situation. Or if you do have this microphone and you want to start a podcast, or do gaming commentary, I think this would suffice for that as well.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2myIaI6
UK: http://amzn.to/2mgtHjf
CA: http://amzn.to/2FVlCrb
DE: http://amzn.to/2HK1XuE