I used both microphones for the same purpose, recording an acoustic guitar.
I tested them indoors.1 m away from the soundhole in front position at approx. 1m distance from the mic and slightly to one side.
The NT-1 Overview
the nt1 has a warmer and more natural sound than sm58 however it seems to lack some high frequencies .specially compared with the sm58 which is brighter, crisper, and has more clarity so it catches even more detail and brings up low-level details better than the nt1 does result in a more balanced mix later on but that’s just my opinion since its not exact science, its all pretty subjective interpretation of what’s best for your own ears depending on taste/how you like your guitars to sound etc.
Shure sm58 Features:
- Dynamic vocal mic with rugged construction and proven Shure quality.
- Unsurpassed ruggedness, superior sound, and customer-replaceable parts make the SM58 the professional’s choice.
- Consistently delivers outstanding performance in extreme conditions.
- The rugged wire-mesh cap protects the cartridge from wear and tear while remaining easy to wipe clean between songs.
OTHER VIEWS: It’s very obvious that shure sm58 is a “standard” among live bands since it’s been used on stage by most artists for decades now and its design actually is pretty great, its tough built it can take bumps easily which makes it good for gigs but also its sound is quite balanced, it lacks some low-end but is crisp and has enough highs to be heard above drums.
SM58 doesn’t feel as sturdy as NT1, NT1’s grill feels solid like it’s milled from a single block of aluminum where SM58’s grill looks like plastic (but feels tougher than it looks which is good).
Rode NT-1 Features:
- NT-1 came with a shock mount included whereas sm58 didn’t so that was an immediate plus but the rubber on the nt1 was slightly harder on the first touch but got softer after using it for 10 minutes compared to sm58s which felt rubbery out of the box like new gummy bears.
- NT-1 had a bigger handle which makes it easier to hold for hours but looks like it could break off easily if dropped.
- SM58 had a smaller handle which makes it easier to store in small racks but is harder to hold for long.
- NT-1 had more weight than sm58 (likely because of the shock mount included) and felt more sturdy,sm58 was lighter however didn’t give off a “cheap” feeling at all.
The sm58 is brighter and has more clarity, it catches even more detail and brings up low-level details better than the nt1 does resulting in a clearer mix later on.
It’s tighter with less bass compared to nt1 but I think it is because of the lack of high frequencies which makes it duller so overall not as natural sounding as nt1 but still sounds ok enough for recording acoustic guitars.
I thought about getting shure sm57 instead but I think they’re pretty much identical (at least with my ears) and 57 is way cheaper than 58 and if you already have one then there isn’t much reason to spend that extra 30€ for another 58 especially when we consider that we’re talking about a 5€ cable vs.30€ cable and considering that even studio mics typically don’t cost as much as the cable, that’s what I call value for money.
The bottom line is:🤪
I liked both microphones equally, they’re pretty much the same microphone with different exterior designs & colours, NT1 sounds warmer/mellower while SM58 has slightly brighter character but on first impression, both mics look solid, well built and seem durable so let’s see how these do on loud gigs!
NT-1 sounds more natural but lacks high frequencies so it gets muddy when you turn up the volume or mix it with other drums/instruments
SM58 has more clarity and is brighter than nt1 so it’s better at picking up details but lacks some low-end bass resulting in a less balanced mix unless you cut lows on your console during the mixing stage which would require more attention to detail.it also has more self-noise hence 58’s are usually used with preamps especially on stage where noise isn’t an issue.
So overall I think sm58 is brighter and more heavy duty than nt1 so if you mainly record instruments that are usually played on stage then go for sm58 but if you are recording acoustic guitars then the warmer, more natural but slightly duller sound of nt1 might be better depending on taste.
I haven’t tried other brands like Carvin etc. or compared them to each other since I got both at the same time but after listening to both closely I can say that Shure sm58 has more clarity, it is brighter with less bass/low mids plus it’s cheaper which makes it a clear winner in my opinion.
if you planning to record vocals as well then you should get one with a switchable p rating because they’re compatible with both dynamic and condenser mics.