Saturday, August 15, 2015

Pyle PDMIC78 Microphone Review: The 10 Dollar Wonder


I got a box full of stuff to try out a while back and was slightly taken aback by one of the items inside – a dead-on knock-off of the Shure 57 microphone. This dynamic microphone is made by Pyle: the PDMIC78. Get it? They changed the model numbers so you do not think they are trying to pass it off as a real SM57…

You may remember Pyle as the company that made those mediocre yet big, thumpy, and cheap car speakers back in the 1980s. Well, it turns out that nowadays they crank out mediocre yet amazingly low priced pro audio equipment that is generally good enough to get the job done.

Well, it sure looks like an SM57, as it has the same barrel shape and copies its distinctive head and grill. But when you pluck it out of the box, the first impression is that it is quite a bit lighter than its doppelganger. It is not plastic, but is some sort of lighter alloy than Shure uses. Another difference is that there is no transformer in this microphone, so that cuts down on the weight too.

Pyle gives some specs on their website, but god only knows if they are accurate: “Frequency Response: 50HZ to 15kHz” and “-54db (+/-) 3db(0db=1v/pa @ 1khz).” If any of you get around to doing in-depth testing on one of these, let me know. I can tell you that this thing is wired out of phase with Shure mics, so you will want to rewire this thing if you are running the real things on the stage at the same time. And while you are rewiring stuff, you might as well put some normal gauge wire in there, as they really cheaped out on the guts of these things.

Does it sound like an SM57? Not really, but it is actually not bad either. It has a little lower output (no transformer, remember?), and the sound is a bit more boomy on the low end and ringy on the top end. They scooped the crap out of these things as the midrange is a bit lacking. There is definitely a proximity effect with these , but it lessens predictably with distance. They are definitely usable.

These are amazingly cheap microphones, yet they get the job done and they do have a place in my kind of snobby world. See, Shure mics cost about $100 each, and many times it is not worth the risk of putting them out there for the unwashed masses to grab.

You’ve seen it before. The drunk lady tries the Roger Daltrey microphone swing during karaoke, or the best man fumbles the mic while making announcements, or the mic stand gets kicked over as young bands are hustling while loading or unloading during a festival or party. And do you need high fidelity for any of these gigs? Most likely not.

The list price on the Pyle PDMIC78 is a ho-hum $37.99, but these things sell all day long for 10 bucks on Amazon, which is pretty much an unbeatable deal. For this you get the microphone and a terrible quality 15-foot XLR to ¼-inch cable that you will end up throwing away after trying to use it once. No stand clip or carry bag is included. I recommend picking a couple of these microphones up for situations where you are not going to want to put your good stuff on the line. Let me know what you think!


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