The world’s ubiquitous microphone is bent by the minds at Granelli Audio Labs.
Democratically chosen standards are tough to change in the marketplace, and the Shure SM57 — our industry’s must-have dynamic instrument microphone — appears to have no term limits, despite a bountiful supply of great-sounding, well-built competition.
So, rather than compete with the worldwide standard for guitar cabinets, snare drum top, and nearly every instrument that graces the average amplified stage and/or tracking date, Baltimore-based recording engineers John Grant and Tony Correlli founded a booming business by literally creating a brand new angle for the SM57 — one of 90 degrees, thanks to some inspired late night shop talk and playing around with a PVC plumbing elbow. At that moment, Granelli Audio Labs’ G5790 was born.
The G5790 is basically a stock SM57 shaped like an “L,” thanks to the 90 degree corner inserted into its middle, machined out of a solid block of aluminum; according to Granelli, this extra body part does not alter the acoustic properties of the SM57. Visit Shure’s website, and view SM57 specs; the G5790 is functionally the same microphone, but at a 90 degree angle.
For $49.99, Granelli also offers a D.I.Y. Conversion Kit, where users can mod their own SM57s.
Having an SM57 that literally turns corners in the gig bag can solve many problems that most of us have simply worked around for years. For example, how often has a boom microphone stand holding an SM57 on snare top become troublesome, basically due to the limitations of getting the mic’s diaphragm at exactly the best angle and position while rejecting the loud hi-hat sitting next to it and accommodating for the obligatory extra length of the cable’s female XLR connector? In my world, it happens time and again.
So, over a span of three months, I swapped out countless SM57s with the G5790 in every application I could, most often on snare drums, toms, and guitar cabinets. It’s remarkable how an L-shaped SM57 opens up positioning options. It also allows all available mic stands a new lease on life, as the longest part of the mic’s body can then be positioned more vertically than horizontally, effectively drawing the stand itself closer to sound sources and away from the clutter surrounding drum kits, speaker cabinets, etc. Thus, especially in live sound applications, the practice of using the G5790 can actually increase valuable floor space on stage while providing ideal microphone positioning.
The G5790 simply provides SM57 users with an angle on new ways to position the mic. As a result, I found myself wishing that the Granelli guys would “bend” another one of my favorite mics in the near future.
The G5790 streets for $149.99; the SM57 streets for $99. The natural question: is the difference worth $50? In my experience, yes. At least one or two G5790s amongst one’s SM57 collection will open up worlds of new positioning options — definitely worth the extra investment. I now fully intend to own a Granelli, as I’m now no longer sure I can be content with my snare/SM57 combo without one.
Price: $149.99, $419.99 and $49.99 (G5790, G5790 3-pack, and D.I.Y. Conversion Kit, respectively)
Contact: Granelli Audio Labs | granelliaudiolabs.com