Some randumb stuff I posted at TOMB:
Modding is fun, but not so much when the return for the money isn’t high.
If you want variation on the 57, I’d reco buying other, similar mic’s.
This be the way to madness, but I’ve had a blast recently buying used dynamics, usually around US$25-30 each. Old AKG, EV and Audio Techica mics are often in the “sound area” of 57’s. And, of course, old Shure’s.
And while I think “better” is certainly, even onna song by song basis, subjective, it’s a hella lotta fun and useful to have variations on the theme.
Once in a while they have to be cleaned or even repaired, what gets my DIY jones satisfied.
+1 on cheap ribbons; I have a few, and all of the cheaper ones have greatly benefited by the simple removal of some of the wind screen material, and by installing absorption in the mic body.
A little cheaper [than a Sennheiser E906] is the E609 what is a nice alternative to a 57, not super dissimilar, but definitely different; I think of it as mebbe brighter and dirtier. FWIW, I’ve read it sounds different (the E609) at a distance, but I bought it to hang, damn it, and hang it shall.
I have found ribbon mods to be pretty easy. The basic mod of stripping the screening means figuring out how to get the headbasket off, and then using pliers to pull the screening out. I then stuff the bodies with cloth scraps, after making sure the wiring is straight. While not complex (a little muscle is involved), the results are obvious, and I believe worthy. I have also been able to tighten ribbons by loosening the clamp and using a bit of tape to pull it up before tightening. I have done this on 3 mic’s with no issues.
FWIW, as posted elsewhere, I bought a mic with a bad ribbon which I “successfully” replaced with aluminum foil, corrugated with a gear. I have some actual ribbon on the way, but I thought it cool I could fake it.
I did buy some caps and resistors to do the 603 mods on some condensors – haven’t actually done ’em yet.