I have never I do not know if I have ever been the victim of purchasing fake gear. I don’t think that I have but it does come up from time to time. I stumbled onto this on one of my favorite spots online, the Reddit Music community, specifically WATTM (We are the music makers). Before I pass on the info below I would love a share if you happen to have an “I was bamboozled!!” story. Your misfortune could help others.
I also want to make the distinction between fake and knock-off. Why? Because believe it or not there are some knock-off products that are actually valuable. Now, when I say knock-off I don’t mean cheating scum-sucking copyright infringers. I mean companies that openly make products that are meant to be less expensive versions of premium brand products. There are many, many in all categories of goods, including computers, paint, cars, cat food and MICs. A specific example I have shared with others, and one that I own, is the Superlux mic. I have the CM-H8B. I have used it directly against a couple different Neumann’s we have here at TM and it stands up. I’m not saying to rush out and buy it but check out the specs, read some reviews and make your decsion. Plus its like $143 bucks.
Now some good info from Reddit. This guy has great info on one very specific Sure mic (SM57). Not a mic often used by VO folks but the images and video give you some good general pointers on what to be looking out for when buying used/after-market gear. Enjoy!
Firstly, here is a direct comparison of outer cosmetics between one of the fakes I received and a genuine one.
Second, a video dissecting a genuine SM57 and a fake.
Finally, a gearslutz user, Meirone, posted this: G for genuine, F for Fake.
- Weight: the G will be heavier then the F in few grams.
- Color: the G is very dark gray, almost black. The F is deep gray, brighter the th G.
- Logo: The G has the mode and brand name printed on a metal band. On the F it’s a simple plastic sticker.
- Pouch: The G has half matt finish. The F will be bright and shiny.
- Screwing: The gap between the body and the had of the mic is almost 1mm in the G while in the F it’s less the 0.5mm
- Wires: The G has yellow and green wires connecting the body and the head. As for the F, well….
- Connector: On the G you’ll find the brand name and the wiring numbers (1,2,3) in the connector.
- Sound: The G is deeper then the F. The fake will usually have unpleasent high-mids.
- Signal: If you make an A/B test, you’ll find the F louder the the G.
- Feedback: Due to the said above, the F is more likely to feedback.
It’s important to note that not all of the signs of a fake will always be present. Contacting Shure is a definitive route to identifying your mic. Additionally, my genuine mics have a blue dot, HOWEVER, I saw a lot that didn’t.
EDIT 2: Added some additional info.