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Thread Two Equipment Questions

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1 Two Equipment Questions
I'm recording live acoustic instruments into Garage Band (about to be replaced by Cubase 4 Studio), on a Power Mac G5 Quad. My audio interface is a Presonus Firebox. I use an old Mackie mixer for playback but plug my mics directly into my Firebox.

When I record with my Audio-Technica AT 2020, the acoustic guitar (for example) sounds bright and crisp, but the mic picks up every single sound in the room (including, unfortunately, my G5 fans) and pretty loudly too. When I use my Shure Beta 57A, the room noise goes way down, but the guitar sounds mushier and muted. Is this simply a function of the difference between condenser and dynamic technology and frequency response? And is there anything I can do to keep my instruments sounding clear and full but lose a little bit of this ambient noise?

Second question: In order to get a decent recording level, I have to turn up my computer's audio input level to max, turn up my Firebox mixer level to full, check the little "+12dB" box on my Firebox control panel for the channel I'm recording on AND turn my MIC 1 record level to absolute max. I'm not sure why I have to max everything out just to get an almost strong enough signal. Would it help to run my mic into the Mackie 1202 mixer first and then go from there to the Firebox? Or do I need a better mixer or another pre-amp?