1/4" balanced output from SM57?

FAQ #748 Updated August 25, 2017

Question:

Can I wire my SM57's to use "XLR --> Tip, Ring, Sleeve" cables to obtain balanced output using a 1/4" jack? Also, it was long ago when I purchased my '57's (used for drums) and I was connecting them to a Teac Tascam porta-studio high-Z input(s)using "XLR --> 1/4 phono" cables. It seems to me that I had to open the mike and change one of the connections inside. Does this sound right?

Answer:

It is possible to wire the SM57 to a 1/4" balanced connector, but we have never seen any device with a balanced, mic level, 1/4" connector. When 1/4" connectors are used for microphone level signals, they are almost always unbalanced.

How do I wire an XLR to 1/4" adapter cable?

The current SM57 is only low impedance, but many years ago, we did have a dual impedance version. To change from the lower impedance to higher impedance in the older version, follow these instructions:

1. Remove the XLR connector insert by turning the slotted setscrew in.
2. Unsolder the RED lead from pin 3.
3. Solder the ORANGE lead to pin 3.
4. Insulate the end of the RED lead with tape.
5. Reassemble the insert in the microphone and seat the set screw securely by turning out.

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