Balanced Rewire Mod for Pyle PDMIC78 and PDMIC58

In recent years, several clones of the Shure SM57 and SM58 have hit the market, appealing to budget-minded live sound and recording enthusiasts. The Pyle PDMIC58 and PDMIC78 are two of the cheapest and most popular of these mics. They look almost identical to their Shure counterparts, sound quite decent (particularly the PDMIC78), and sell for around $10 or $12 each. You heard me right: ten or twelve bucks. Man, I really wish these had been around 20+ years ago when I was a poor, struggling college student trying to build up a mic collection for my band’s PA system and recording rig. I could have really gotten some mileage out of them. But I digress. Being a ten or twelve-dollar mic, they have a few shortcomings:

  • The mics are often wired internally for unbalanced use. This makes them more prone to interference, noise, and feedback, particularly for long cable runs (e.g., using with an installed sound system or a snake).
  • They include an unbalanced XLR-to-1/4″ cable that’s also wired incorrectly (assuming you would want to use it in conjunction with a mic that has a balanced output).
  • The wire used inside the mics is very thin, and the soldering work is poorly done. This can lead to intermittent shorts or leave the mic completely unusable if a wire or solder joint breaks. That can happen pretty easily after a couple of hard smacks from a drumstick, or after the mic is dropped on stage a couple of times.
  • The capsule may be wired out-of-phase. This can cause phase cancellation when used in conjunction with other mics (e.g., miking a drum kit).

The good news is this: it’s very easy to fix these problems to allow these mics to live up to their full potential. Here are my recommendations:

  • Promptly throw the included cable in the trash. The cable is very stiff and inflexible, and it’s made from unbalanced, single-conductor instrument cable (as opposed to dual-conductor mic cable). The connectors aren’t that great either.
  • Completely replace the internal wiring with better-quality, thicker wire. Pulling the two inner conductors from a scrap piece of any decent-quality mic cable will work fine. If you don’t want to completely replace the wiring, at least check the solder joints and touch them up where needed.
  • Wire it for balanced use. This involves clipping the wire jumper between Pins 1 and 3, then de-soldering the wire from Pin 1 and re-soldering it to Pin 3. Note that in some production runs, they are reportedly wired correctly for balanced use, but I would still recommend replacing the wiring completely with better-quality wire.
  • Ensure that the capsule is not wired out-of-phase. One of the solder terminals on the bottom of the capsule should be labeled with a + sign or some red paint. The wire that’s connected to that terminal should be connected to Pin 2 of the XLR socket. The other terminal/wire should be connected to Pin 3.

If you’re on a budget, you may be enticed by these budget mics that turn in a respectable performance. But do yourself a favor and follow the steps above to improve the mic and ensure that it can perform up to its full potential to keep from being side-tracked by noise, interference, or a completely dead mic. Watch the videos below for more details on how to perform this mod.