How to Troubleshoot a Shure SM58

Written by robert russell
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How to Troubleshoot a Shure SM58
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

Shure 58 microphones are known for their strength and durability but, nonetheless, the time will usually come when you need to decide to replace or repair your 58. In many cases the problem is minor and easily reparable. The typical problem is a loosen or broken XLR wire in the connector section of the microphone. Shure 58s have three parts: the connector, the capsule, and the transformer. The capsule sits at the top of the microphone. It is delicate and fragile but also reparable. The transformer is in the centre of the microphone.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Soldering iron
  • Contact spray
  • Cotton swabs
  • Mild detergent
  • Towel

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  1. 1

    Insert a small screwdriver into the recessed area on the connector section of the 58. Turn the screw clockwise until the screw is unlocked. Gently grasp a connector pin with a pair of needle nose pliers and remove the connector section from the 58.

  2. 2

    Visually inspect the three XLR connector pins and the three wires. The pins are numbered and the wires are colour-coded. Gently straighten any of the pins that are bent or angled until they are straight and upright. Solder loose wires. The black wire connects to pin 1, the blue wire to pin 2, and the red wire to pin 3.

  3. 3

    Clean the XLR connectors with contact spray. Spray the pins and gently wipe them with a cotton swab. Reconnect the connector section and test the microphone.

  4. 4

    Unscrew the metal grill from the top of the microphone. Place the grill into a solution of mild detergent and water and scrub it with a toothbrush to remove dirt, debris, and bacteria. Remove it from the water and dry it with a small towel.

  5. 5

    Gently lift the capsule section out of the microphone casing. The capsule may be difficult to remove. It needs to be gently nudged and pulled until you are able to lift it out of the microphone casing. Inspect the yellow and red wires connected to the capsule terminals. The capsule wires are small and delicate. The most difficult wire leads from the coil under the diaphragm to a small metal terminal in the centre of the capsule. Re-solder the red and green wires to their terminals.

  6. 6

    Gently replace the capsule inside the microphone casing. Screw the grill back in place and test the microphone.

Tips and warnings

  • Take pictures with a digital camera as you work on the 58 to use as a reference when reattaching the wires.
  • Work in a well-lighted area so that you are able to see clearly.

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