Author Topic: How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone *pics fixed*  (Read 50329 times)

stecykmi

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How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone *pics fixed*
« on: February 10, 2013, 02:18:19 PM »
I got this used sm57 a few years ago in a craigslist deal. I forget what I paid for it, but I seem to remember it paying a less-than average amount. I never really used it extensively, but I had noticed poor performance from it (muffled high-end, low output, fairly noisy). One day, I compared it against another 57 and found it to almost certainly be a fake. I decided to document the differences.

A google search will provide plenty of links to help spot a counterfeit mic, but some of the information contradicted my particular fake (although a lot of the info was right on). There are probably several plants out there making these, so fakes will likely vary from unit to unit.

This fake actually has a Shure logo on the connector, as well as pin numbers for the XLR connector. According to what I gathered from online, this is apparently usual as most fake typically have the numbers, but lack the logo. It does however, lack the common connector tab that a genuine SM57 will have. The "C" connector ("C" for common) is shorted to pin 1, the ground reference for the mic. Not the best picture, but it was difficult to photograph from my phone.



Note the lip around the fake's connection versus the smooth profile of the genuine. The counterfeit also has brass-coloured pins, while the genuine has silver.



The length of the fake is slightly longer than the genuine. The fake also has a third hole in between the set screw and the XLR clip that the genuine does not. The logos along the bottom of the diaphragm are very similar (font's are matched fairly well). The sticker does seem cheaper, the fake has thin plastic while the genuine has thicker vinyl. The counterfeiters messed up the mesh below the diaphragm, as they forgot (or were unable) to paint it black.



The top profiles vary slightly, although it would likely be difficult to spot these differences "in the field" without another genuine mic to compare it to. Both the real and fake have 24 notches.



This is probably the most reliable way to spot the difference. Every Shure mic will use a yellow and green wire (at least the SM57 and SM58 anyway), but counterfeiters consistently mess this up. Also note the QC stamp on the genuine mic. If you see a mic you're not sure about, it's perfectly okay to unscrew the mic to have a look.



Another tell-tale sign is the lack of serial number on the fake. The threading on the real mic is also very shiny stainless steel, while the fake has a much duller finish. I did not have a scale, however the fake is significantly lighter than the genuine. I would estimate 2/3 the weight.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 07:44:21 PM by stecykmi »

jimilee

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Re: How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2013, 04:08:39 PM »
I switched to sennheiser a while back,way better results.
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Haberdasher

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Re: How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2013, 05:14:58 PM »
I'm not seeing the pics in firefox.
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jkokura

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Re: How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2013, 05:16:50 PM »
nor I in safari

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pryde

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Re: How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2013, 06:39:32 PM »
Wow, good to know. I cant see any pictures either but this freaked me out as I just bought a combo pack shure SM57+X2U adapter from ebay  :o

I just watched a video and read some articles on how to spot a fake SM57 and mine appears to be the real deal from what I can tell. Jeez

Stomptown

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Re: How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2013, 06:46:02 PM »
I bought two fake SM58's on ebay about 2 years ago. I was doing some browsing before they had shipped to me and came across all sorts of info on counterfeit sure mics at "to good to be true" prices so I pretty much knew they were fake before I even got them. I was able to get my money back through ebau and they let me keep the mic which I carry with me to gigs in case someone forgets their mic. I have another real 58 but I make them use that as a punishment  ;D. What a learned is that if it sounds to good to be true it probably is and sm57/58's are super cheap in the first place so why take a chance on a used one or a "new" one from an unauthorized dealer...

And FYI I hear there are some fake sennheiser mics floating around on ebay as well so buyer beware...
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 06:49:09 PM by Stomptown »

stecykmi

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Re: How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2013, 07:28:07 PM »
better now? sorry guys, apparently dropbox doesn't like being used as an image host. i didn't realize because they showed up fine for me, hah.

jimilee

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Re: How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2013, 07:35:10 PM »
Yeah it's hard to find genuine stuff anymore on ebay. And damn near impossible to weed through all the china crap.
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pryde

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Re: How to spot a counterfeit Shure SM57 microphone
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 07:39:06 PM »
Pics are there now. thanks. It appears my recent ebay purchase is legit based on your pics as well  :)