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Shure SM58 Microphone Review

 

Since its introduction in 1966, the Shure SM58 microphone has become known as possibly the best microphone available for live and studio applications, and after picking one up and testing it extensively, it’s easy to see why.

 

The SM58 is a cardioid (unidirectional) dynamic mic geared towards live vocal use. It has been produced in two versions, wired or wireless, and made either with or without a switch, should you feel the need for one. The wired version connects via a balanced 3-pin xlr plug, and all versions have a frequency response from 50 to 15,000Hz - ideal for even the highest pitched vocalist. With its recognisable silver steel mesh grill and slim profile, it weighs in at approx. 298 grams (or 10.5 oz), making it a superb lightweight option.


The first thing we noticed when plugging it in for a band rehearsal, and at several gigs, was the sheer clarity the microphone adds to the vocals, whilst cutting out a lot of surrounding noise from the rest of the band. It also does superbly well in cutting out pop and wind noise. The midrange to upper frequencies shone through in the lead vocal, adding warmth where other microphones leave many a vocal sounding tinny and ‘lacking’.

 


What we also came to notice through extended use was how the microphone sat in our hands. Its slim profile and light weight ensured no discomfort by the end of a 1-hour set, even whilst moving vigorously on stage. As with all clumsy front men, there were occasions when the mic was dropped, however, the worry of breaking such an exceptional microphone was soon washed away as it kept on coming back for more. This was also true whilst being carted between venues and rehearsals inside a gear case full of other microphones and leads.

 


Whilst reviewing, we were also lucky enough to test out its performance in the studio for laying down vocal tracks on several recordings. The warmth from live use was thankfully not lost in the studio either, allowing the natural vocal to flow into the recordings. The clarity was more obvious in the studio, as there was no interference from the other instruments.

 

The SM58 is a fantastic microphone well suited to rock and powerful vocals. It performs best when up close and personal with the singer’s lips, due to the increased bass at close range from the proximity effect, so remember this when picking up and plugging in!

 


SUMMARY: This microphone takes a (literal) licking, and keeps on ticking! Whether it’s studio application or live performances, you need a reliable and clear microphone, and this is it. It won’t break the bank, or anything else given its lightweight, slender design. Every vocalist should own one (or two, just in case).



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Over the past few weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to get to close grips with Ibanez’s slender RGA42 FM fixed bridge guitar offering, and have been putting it through its paces at home and on stage. Here’s how it lines up.

 

The solid mahogany body with stained flame maple top of the RGA42 is extremely light, and available in Transparent Grey Burst, Bright Blue Burst or Transparent Red Burst. It features a Superstrat style body with Ibanez’s trademark sharper and deeper cutaways for edgier looks and improved access to the higher frets.

 

Hardware consists of “Cosmos Black” Gibraltar Standard through-body strung bridge, one volume control, pickup rings, strap buttons and machine heads. All of these are accompanied by an active EQ switch which acts as a switch to cut out mids, and a 3-way selector switch to flick between the pair of LZ3 humbuckers, or a blend of both.

 

Ibanez’s 3-piece Wizard II bolt on neck is finished with a bound rosewood fret board, pearl dot fret markers and 24 jumbo frets.

 

Out of the box, the guitar is reasonably well setup, with pickup height requiring little adjustment. The neck needed no truss rod adjustment, and in all received action adjustment to suit, and minor intonation adjustments.

 

The Wizard II neck lends itself to budding new guitarists and experts alike, plus everyone in between. It has a comfortable and thin profile allowing it to fit superbly in hand, whether you’re practising chord shapes and scales, or shredding a tight sweep picking solo.

 

The hardware is a very solid set, and kept tuning well, even when tuning down to lower tunings. The sustain through the body, bridge and the active pickups is fantastic; and the LZ3s produce little to no noise at high gain – just very crunching overdrive, while the neck pickup is perfect for blues-inspired playing, or for warmer lead lines. Between both humbuckers and the EQ switch, the pickup configuration provides a very wide range of sounds.

 

SUMMARY: Whether you’re walking through light blues rock, strumming some good ol’ fashioned rock and roll, or shredding heavy metal, this guitar is able to handle it all effortlessly, and comes back for more.


For a Cheap Ibanez RGA42 use Instrumania.com. We compare dozens of retailers to find you the lowest cost musical instruments and accessories.

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Renowned guitar effects pedal producer, DigiTech, has recently launched the new JamMan Solo, a more compact version of its popular JamMan stomp box.

 

This little tool is a must-have for any guitar players who want to play layered guitar lines and loop phrases. It’s a great aid in composing new music and also for playing along with your favourite tracks.

 

The original JamMan won a lot of praise, from both the music press and many respected musicians, all of whom who saw it as a great way to learn, practice and write new music. The reason why you should try one is that it lets you record your guitar playing and/or record the output from an external audio device. You can then choose to play the recorded phrases back, either continuously or on a custom loop with other recordings.

 

So long as the total loop time doesn’t exceed 10 minutes then any number of overdubs can be added to your new sample and (brilliantly) the tempo can be put up or down without altering the pitch.

 

There are a number of pre-set rhythm tracks and nine metronome sounds that you can start building your own loops around. The tough metal case means it won’t break under your weight and we love the fact that you can back-up your loops and settings to either a PC or Mac.

 

SUMMARY: Small in size but not in features, this stomp box is perfect for guitarists that love to tinker around and create distinctive sounds.


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