TTKs Mic Shoot-Out : Shure SM57 vs. Sennheiser e609


Dear All … this is a TTK Style Shoot-Out, where you get to decide which amp microphone is best for you!  Watch the video first, then decide which one you like.  When you’re done watching the video … scroll down to see which mic is which.  I hope you enjoy the video.

Okay … are you ready for the answer?

  • Channel 1 / Microphone 1 is the Sennheiser e609
  • Channel 2 / Microphone 2 is the Shure SM57

Check Prices on the microphones here : American Musical Supply,,, Musicians Friend, Sweetwater, zZounds

Here are some pictures of the set-up :

TTK Jr. helping me set-up the shoot, b/c he loves this stuff about as much as I do 🙂 !!

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Channel 1 / Mic 1 = Sennheiser e609 (taped to keep it in place).  The ‘dangle’ thing doesn’t work quite as well as you’d think.  It needs a little bit of tape to keep it in place!

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The handy dandy Shure SM57

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The set-up.

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Moments before the shoot – TTK Jr. givin’ ya one of them bad boys right there!  BTW – Guitar is a Rico Jr. Gary Holt Sig Series Vixen w/ Seymour Duncan BlackOuts.

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Back of the head and cabs.  I even used the same exact speaker cable for both hook-ups.

Line 6

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Another shot, right before the shoot.

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Another shot, showing a bit more detail on mic placement, and the BBE Supa Charger, and my handy dandy Korg PitchBlack tuner (don’t leave home w/ out em’)

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These shot were taken AFTER I changed mic placement, so you can see how I had everything set-up.

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  1. […] TTKs Mic Shoot-Out : Shure SM57 vs. Sennheiser e609 : The … – Another shot, right before the shoot. Another shot, showing a bit more detail on mic placement, and the BBE Supa Charger, and my handy dandy Korg PitchBlack tuner …… […]

  2. Thanks for the video. And for photos. I see your situation)

  3. audiocircuit says:

    i think Sennheiser e609 is better….

  4. Studio 139 says:

    I have both, still prefer the SM57, I know some people think of it as nasal or brittle,
    which can be true, but also has a better bottom end and more clarity.
    The e609 is designed to be hung right up against the grill cloth, but sounds better
    about four inches back ( i.e. use a stand) but it still lacks the depth of the SM57,
    the tone of the e609 seems dull by comparison. It was easy to identify the the
    two microphones as their tonal qualities are quite different. Both mic’s sound better
    with a little bit of subtractive EQ. The e609 isn’t a bad mic, but I would go with the
    SM57 as a first choice.

  5. jcpwrd says:

    I also got the opposite of ModernGuitarist. Nice that there was an attempt to do a blind subjective test, but an experienced engineer, with audio test experience, would be quick to point out that the test is not properly setup for it to be both objective and subjective. I’ll be happy to explain should anyone not understand the concept I am referring to. Regardless, it still boils down to personal preference, given identical test conditions for each. (i.e. signal source, speaker, & mounting distance).

  6. Taping the mic to the grille of the will likely have some adverse effect on the sound as the mic itself will be vibrating with the cabinet, both mics should be on stands. Also you can see in the pics where the mics are off-center, that the center of the 609 is probably an inch closer to the center of the cone; this is going to make a difference in the sound, the closer you get to the center, the more high end you get. Good concept but the execution needs to be a little more exact for it to be a fair/useful comparison. When you’re micing this closely, tiny differences in position and angle can make a big difference in sound.

  7. Brandon Thomas says:

    I can say from using both live as a guitarist and FOH this test really didn’t reveal the true colors of either mic. Both are fantastic mics and i use them both all the time. The 609 has a more clear tone while the 57 does a good mid range tone. I love to use the 609 on axis just off the center of the cone and then the 57 at a 45 pointing out about 2 inches in from the edge of the cone.

  8. dudeguy says:

    Considering the sm 57 has an impedance of 300 and the sennheiser has and impedance >1k and your rolls unit is 600, you are not pairing either mic with the right preamp and not getting the proper sound from either.

    Test is flawed. You need to use a preamp with variable impedance.

    Do over.

  9. mike says:

    The 609 definitely has an overall smoother balanced tone. I think so many people prefer the 57 because of its midrange boost. but if you listen again closely it’s actually very brittle and breaking up a little. yes the 57 cuts through more but in a harsh way. remember you can’t polish a turd. the 609 will give you more options in mix down, and/or more options to eq for the stage at the board in live situations.

  10. Pieter says:

    I like the the sm57 off axis, and the
    sennheiser e609 on axis.

    The e609 is better for cleaner sounds, and sound
    more ambiant.
    The sm57 is on axis to direct, i like it better
    of axis, especialy with the more compressed sounds.

  11. trevor says:

    well he didn’t try them at different distances or angles from the amp. there aren’t obviously only two places to place a mic on an amp. i have both mics and i prefer the 609, but you gotta scoot it back 3-6 inches for a more balanced tone. also you don’t have to fuckin tape it. it comes with a mic clip hahaha.

  12. jake says:

    I like how you did a unbiased review of 2 mics, and didnt let us know which one till the end. That way our minds dont make the decision for us. I went into this thinking the sennhieser e609 would prevail. be cause i have its counter partner the e906 which is way better.(In my opinion)More expensive to priced at 189. How ever the Shure SM57 sounded better in the rythym more detailed a little more bass which sounds thicker it was nice. However you did a lead styled riff on the 609 that you did not do on the SM57. I have to say the 609 sounded more define on the higher pitched lead. Never put a mic center cone you will get buzzy sounds… the sweet spot is 4 0’clock 3 to 5 inches away. a friendly tip use a sennhieser e906 for your cab at 4 then add a SM57 or audix i5 at 45 deg as close to the condenser as possible and pan each mic slightly down a different channel stereo imaging is nice trust me

  13. […] and a lil somthin special: a SHOOT OUT vs a condensor mic […]

  14. Moo Kahn says:

    The Shure wins for me. It won 35 yrs ago and still sounds better to my ear – both center and off-axis placement were more defined, more crisp, etc. That said, either the Peavey amp and/or the guitar itself sounded terrible, particularly “cleaned up” – very nasally – no chime, no clarity. That’s one problem with one-channel amps IMO.

  15. TubeMetal says:

    I dug the E609 if I had to have just one mic, but combining them with different angles etc gives good results recording. My opinion is if you have the cash grab a few of each! 🙂 Rock on TTK!

  16. […] the time, but The Tone Kings does the most thorough gear reviews / comparisons I have ever seen. This new one is just another […]

  17. SM57 all the way for me, actually I’ve been looking into both of these mics to buy so found this very helpful thanks.

  18. Ritchie says:

    I think the Sennhieser was better…

  19. Stormleader says:

    I think that I like the SM57 better for the Higher-gain stuff, the E609 might have had the clean sounds a little better though. My final opinion? I would use either, but I think I would prefer the 57 just a little more.

  20. JRIFF says:

    The sennhieser seems to have a little more punch for rhythm but the sm57 seems to be more balanced and have a better lead tone. I think you could use them both. To all guitarist ripp it up for 2010!!!!

  21. Hesh91 says:

    I thought the e609 sounded best on the center of the cone, when it was off center it got really muddy, however I think the SM57 sounded the best overall, very clear, it didn’t get a ton of extra buzz and treble, unlike the e609. I think I’m going to pick up some SM57’s.

  22. Daenius says:

    haha I got the opposite of ModernGuitarist… I thought I would like the SM57 better but turned out I liked the e609 for the on-axis sound… It had a lot more highs and mids but I thought it made the rhythm sound punchier…. Definitely prefer the SM57 for lead sounds and the off-axis sound though. SM57 seems better overall (AND it’s a bit cheaper) xDD

  23. ModernGuitarist says:

    I’m actually suprised the SM57 did better than the e609, given its reputation as a better mic. The e609 picked up a lot of unwanted sounds, IMO. It had WAAY to much mids and highs, and lacked some bass. The SM57 was perfectly balanced to me.

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