#1
Hey everyone,

In my state of rage and wanting to feel like I'm actually seeking some form of revenge, I have decided to create a thread to try and help everyone avoid being scammed by the low-life scum that wish sell fake gear to us all!

Aside from my ranting, feel free to share your own stories (sympathy is optional, but I'm sure people will feel for their fellow musical brethren!) or tips on how to avoid having the wool pulled over your eyes.

So... where to start :/

Shure SM57 Fakes on eBay
It probably comes as no surprise that a microphone as popular as the trusty old '57 is a widely-copied model, not just amongst legit. brands (T-Bone 75, anyone?) but also amongst the counterfeiters. I'm sure most people know about the ever-improving (if improving is the right word) fakes sprouting up on eBay/Craigslist etc.

Well, perhaps surprisingly, I don't actually own an SM57 yet - I preferred to utilise others' while I pursued other avenues for microphone-collection-growing - but I finally decided the time was nigh for me to bite the bullet and buy a mic I know I'm likely to need at a time when someone won't have one spare as is usually the case at present. Anyway, to cut a long story short I found an auction on eBay for a used - in good condition - SM57 and what looked like a legit listing. The price was around about what I'd expect as people bidded, and I ended up winning for a price of £50 including P&P.

Then it ocurred to me that in my haste, I hadn't checked how the seller had received 100% feedback, and that it was only on a few items - alas, the 11 feeback comments are mostly (9 of them) from buying very cheap products (sim cards, etc.) and only 2 as a seller from people who seemingly won identical auctions to myself.

At this point I knew things were likely to be grim, but crossed my fingers in the hope I was just being paranoid, and did all my research to make sure I could confirm the mic's legitimacy as soon as I received it.



Hi-Res photo of a genuine SM57




My attempt at copying the photo with the mic I received...




Another shot of the mic, just after opening box



Well, to cut a long story short: all looked good until I got further through my checklist and discovered the following problems...



1) The 'logo sticker' on the head, is just a sticker rather than a band, and is glossier than the real deal appears in photos, however the font is correct and it looks like it would appear on a genuine product, if you were to see an SM57 for the first time. One thing I will say, however, is that the text appears to be more silver than white, which isn't true to the genuine product.

In addition, the capsule and body appear to be a 'gun metal grey' as opposed to a darker black, which is a comment I've read about the fakes, and the grille doesn't spin as smoothly and easily as I believe it should.


Close-up of the 'brand' sticker, which should be a solid band and not glossy



2) The join between the body and capsule is much smaller and less of a profile than it appears it should be, going by online comparisons again.

Upon opening the body up, the wires are the correct colours (green and yellow) and the board they are connected at the head end does have a red stamp on, but instead of reading "BE" (which I believe is the quality mark of the company that produces the real deal) it reads "EB".

Additionally, looking into the body of the mic you can see a large yellow lump in the glue seal between lower and upper halves of the mic... the lump doesn't look connected to the wires, which would indicate a fake transformer to my knowledge.


If you look at the real mic, you'll notice the join is more recessed/visible




PCB marked 'EB' instead of 'BE'




Not only can you see the wire hanging from the solder of the capsule, but in the body there is a large yellow 'lump' set in some form of glue, which the wires seem to bypass (hard to spot in the photo I admit)



3) The bottom of the mic has the correct number of holes (2 rather than 3) but the bottom one appears slightly slanted/staggered.

The XLR socket is an interesting one because it looks legit at first, has the Shure name embossed and the pins numbered with a metal strip above them, but there is also a letter A at the top I haven't seen on the real deal, and the cutout for the XLR to be inserted correctly looks different to the real deal from what I've seen.


XLR socket/pins and markings



4) Finally, there are a few problems with the package itself... the mic carry pouch doesn't look to be real leather and is of distorted dimensions to the real one; there is no serial number on the box; the warranty included doesn't look to be correct to the official Shure one; and the included sticker is a flat logo as opposed to one that looks embossed/3D.


The two biggest signs I cannot test for just yet - weight (it should weigh 284 grams) and resistance across pins 2 and 3 (which should be around 400 Ohms, but is quoted as around 600 on fakes). Will improve this when I've tested for those too, and have pictures!


As a closing note, after reading a lot of guides on how to spot the fakes circulating the net, it would appear that the counterfeiters have taken more steps to get closer to the original - the wires are now the correct colours; the fonts are correct; the XLR connectors have the numbering and Shure name; the correct number of screw/keyholes are present (older fakes seem to have copied a model with three holes at the base)... I'm aware that anyone reading this could 'improve' on the fakes, but this should at least help people with the current batch of fakes circulating the net, and there's plenty of other places they could read similar points about the differences - I suppose the lesson is to only buy from a registered supplier/someone you trust with your life, and then their evil trade will lose momentum!


Steve
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Apr 2, 2011,
#2
Not to be unsympathetic or anything, but I'd be curious to see if it *sounds* like a 57 when A/B'ed against one.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#3
Quote by axemanchris
Not to be unsympathetic or anything, but I'd be curious to see if it *sounds* like a 57 when A/B'ed against one.

CT

Of course, and I'm going to try and do such a test next week at uni, but until then I'm going to presume it sounds poor. If it sounds fine, and I get my money back I may keep the product too (as I'm sure eBay won't want the seller getting illegal/counterfeit goods back) but I imagine the cheap components and lack of a transformer will make a considerable difference to an SM57, whether or not that turns out to be a good thing!
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#4
Quote by axemanchris
Not to be unsympathetic or anything, but I'd be curious to see if it *sounds* like a 57 when A/B'ed against one.

CT


thats exactly what I was wondering, but it doesn't appear to be an exact clone
#5
To be clear here, as it's counterfeit (or at least, I believe it to be) it's a clone of the appearance of the microphone as opposed to someone trying to faithfully recreate a microphone in the way someone like Peluso might recreate a U47 etc.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#6
Quote by DisarmGoliath
To be clear here, as it's counterfeit (or at least, I believe it to be) it's a clone of the appearance of the microphone as opposed to someone trying to faithfully recreate a microphone in the way someone like Peluso might recreate a U47 etc.


i meant internals
#7
Quote by FireHawk
i meant internals

Lol fair enough, I'm just in a bad mood about the whole thing.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#8
Pro Tips for using Ebay from Lockwolf:

1. Check the Feedback. Typically, I try and find people who usually have at least 500+ positive feedback. These people usually are selling legit products. Either that or they've gotten away with a ton of sleazy transactions.

2. Check where its shipping from. A lot of the time, fake products I've seen on Ebay ship from China, Japan, Singapore, Korea & several smaller countries nobody cares about. Basically, for me at least, if its not from my country of origin (USA, sometimes Canada), I stay away from it.

3. If its too good to be true, it probably is. Everyones first reaction to something like a Gibson LP at $200 is "ZOMG! I CAN GETS THIS GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOMS FOR $200! BUY! BUY! BUY!". There are 2 things that are going to happen. One is that its a complete knock off made by a 4 year old in his parents basement. Two is that its being shipped from China with the shipping charge being close to what it would cost to go to the store and buy a LP for. Same goes for Mics. A SM57 new in box for $50 looks tempting but do you really want to risk getting a knockoff?

4. Look carefully at the product. Just doing a search for the SM57 popped up a ton of knock offs for $25. As nice as a mic "LIKE" the SM57 may look, its still not a SM57.

Still, not to lecture, just throwing some tips for Ebay out there. Still, interested in the A/B Comparison.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#9
i tried to order a cheapish 57 a while back.

never even showed up.

i should have done research BEFORE i tried to get it, because i found out how many fakes there are floating around ebay.
#10
Unless I resolder, an A/B is currently out of the question as one of the wires to the capsule has come apart from the solder joint after I unscrewed the body for only the third time so I could show my girlfriend the tell-tale signs (as it's her eBay account)!

Once I've sorted out getting my money back I think I will resolder the joint just to see if the thing even works lol, but the other reason is that I can check the resistance across XLR pins 2 + 3 then.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
#11
that sucks man, it really does. i'd be interested in the a/b comparison as well, that being said ....

sometimes a crappy horrible sounding mic can be good y'know. i've used a little pc microphone (that $2 piecer that they used to pack in with computers) and while it sounded terrible, that terrible is what i needed.
#12
Thanks for warning the people here. Sorry about your situation.
Though eBay can be the greatest place for deals if you buy new items.

(not directed at you goliath. just in case people want a different alternative to avoid your issue.)

To save money:






            Quick example.
            The Focusrite Saffire 6.







                  40,000+ feedback. Only a few negative feedback in the last month. Out of that many, it isn't an issue. There's tons of stores like that on ebay.
                  You can literally find just about any item like that from cell phones to microphones to inflatable pool toys. Okay, maybe not inflatable pool tools but it's useful. I've bought a lot of stuff that way and it's all worked perfectly and came brand new. Great way to save money. The huge retailers just charge more because they know people will buy it.
                  It's like why a female skirt might cost the same as a pair of huge guy jeans that has like 20 times more material. They know people will pay.

                  So you can either buy the overpriced version from a huge retailer, buy a used one that might not be too trusted/ reliable, or buy a fair priced one from a smaller retailer.

                  Option 3 is your best bet I'd say.
                  Last edited by TechnicolorType at Apr 1, 2011,
                  #13
                  Quote by TechnicolorType
                  It's like why a female skirt might cost the same as a pair of huge guy jeans that has like 20 times more material. They know people will pay.


                  Waits for "ZOMG! Techie is a girl?" comments
                  Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
                  Last edited by lockwolf at Apr 1, 2011,
                  #14
                  Quote by TechnicolorType

                  To save money:


                    I wouldn't say don't buy used. I would say be a smart shopper and make sure you know you are getting a good deal used.

                    I got my pair KRKs for 100 bucks basically new (2 months old), I got my m-audio midi 61 ker keyboard for 20 bucks (and its came with a 2 octave novation midi keyboard), when i bought my Lexicon Lamba back in the day it was $50 used, and my mpd24 was refurbished (if you want to count that).

                    Oddly all of those were better quality then my brand new UX2 which went defactive after one day (even though it was only a cosmetic issue).

                    You just gotta be a smart shopper....sometimes used....sometimes new...I buy most stuff new myself though, but I always snag a good deal if I see one....pawn shop tomorrow actually

                    EDIT: I wouldn't buy used online (unless refurbished), because if its used I make sure I can try it before I buy it...


                    Quote by lockwolf
                    Waits for "ZOMG! Techie is a girl?" comments

                    ZOMG she has bewbzzzzzzzzzzz! lolz

                    *waits for her to now scold me*
                    Last edited by FireHawk at Apr 1, 2011,
                    #15
                    Quote by FireHawk
                    ZOMG she has bewbzzzzzzzzzzz! lolz

                    *waits for her to now scold me*

                    Well, if that's what you're into...

                    Aaaanyway, I thought buying it used would reduce the chance of it being a fake as a) the counterfeiters should expect to make less money from a used mic, and b) you'd think people would be more honest about something used as they're not supposed to be trying to pass it off as new. Guess my hopes were a bit naiive though - damn scammers!
                    Hey, look. Sigs are back.
                    #16
                    Quote by DisarmGoliath
                    Well, if that's what you're into...

                    Aaaanyway, I thought buying it used would reduce the chance of it being a fake as a) the counterfeiters should expect to make less money from a used mic, and b) you'd think people would be more honest about something used as they're not supposed to be trying to pass it off as new. Guess my hopes were a bit naiive though - damn scammers!


                    maybe they got scammed and decided to scam the next person...and now your suppose to sell it and scam someone
                    #17
                    well I don't mean all-together. used buying is great.
                    but I meant for ebay in specific. like, when it comes to music gear (and just about anything that's popular) you can usually find new items just as cheap as the used ones. so when that happens you might as well get something new. ;D

                    Yes, I has bewbzzzzz. isn't it amazing.
                    #18
                    Ebay is funny. For me, I rarely use it. The big issue for me is, so much of the stuff is from the USA, and while it looks like a good deal at first, but once I get nailed for paying duty on the damned thing, I could have bought it brand new here. So, basically, I only buy from Canadian sellers, but strangely, shipping is more expensive from Canada to Canada than it is from the USA to Canada half the time.

                    It's mostly just frustrating.

                    As far as new vs. used... I've gotten a lot of great deals buying used.

                    CT
                    Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

                    I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

                    Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
                    #19
                    Updated the first post with most of the pictures I promised, will take some better ones of the package itself to upload later, as the ones I have aren't the best. Hopefully this can show just how much detail these people go into create a convincing fake - if they spent this much time on a real product themselves, it might even beat a '57!
                    Hey, look. Sigs are back.
                    #20
                    To get the SHURE into the plastic near the XLR isn't a simple task (unless they modeled the entire case themselves). I'm not saying its not fake, but not everyone has that setup in their garage you know?

                    Looking at other pictures though the lower part of body is definitely different. To be honest everything else looks like it could be just a different generation SM57 (not sure if that really exists though, but heck even the body could technically fall into this.)
                    #21
                    Just got around to solderingthe broken cable back on, amd checked the mic passes signal (it's quarter past one, so I deleted my whispered death metal voice to save it being discovered ) but anyway - it works. Will be interested to see how it sounds and to compare it to a real '57.

                    Good news on the refund front - seller is refunding me full amount as I made sure I got eBay involved ASAP.

                    Oh, and sorry for the necrobump but thought it was an excuse to majke sure more people are aware of the scams and people said they wanna hear a comparison! Will have a real 57 in a few days (from a licensed retailer this time!).
                    Hey, look. Sigs are back.
                    Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Apr 12, 2011,
                    #22
                    Quote by DisarmGoliath
                    Good news on the refund front - seller is refunding me full amount as I made sure I got eBay involved ASAP.
                    i love it when that happens and you get to keep the item.
                    #23
                    Quote by TechnicolorType
                    i love it when that happens and you get to keep the item.

                    That's what I think is happening, as the seller is obv. not from the UK judging by their communications, and on the plus side if I can keep it, once I've done an A/B for it, I think I'll take out the innards and make my own take on a 57 with high quality components or experiment with how things change the sound so I can learn about mic design a bit more
                    Hey, look. Sigs are back.
                    #24
                    Quote by DisarmGoliath
                    That's what I think is happening, as the seller is obv. not from the UK judging by their communications, and on the plus side if I can keep it, once I've done an A/B for it, I think I'll take out the innards and make my own take on a 57 with high quality components or experiment with how things change the sound so I can learn about mic design a bit more
                    Or you can pass it off as a Shure SM57 and sell it on ebay.

                    I kid.
                    #25
                    Quote by DisarmGoliath
                    That's what I think is happening, as the seller is obv. not from the UK judging by their communications, and on the plus side if I can keep it, once I've done an A/B for it, I think I'll take out the innards and make my own take on a 57 with high quality components or experiment with how things change the sound so I can learn about mic design a bit more


                    lol crap i was hoping if it sounded good but not SM57 wrothy you would pass it off to me for cheap lol i would find use for it lol
                    #26
                    Quote by axemanchris
                    Ebay is funny. For me, I rarely use it. The big issue for me is, so much of the stuff is from the USA, and while it looks like a good deal at first, but once I get nailed for paying duty on the damned thing, I could have bought it brand new here. So, basically, I only buy from Canadian sellers, but strangely, shipping is more expensive from Canada to Canada than it is from the USA to Canada half the time.

                    It's mostly just frustrating.

                    As far as new vs. used... I've gotten a lot of great deals buying used.

                    CT


                    I hate ordering stuff too. it always seems to be a coin toss on how much shipping is gonna nail me (and then the duty invoice comes in later on too)..

                    For example, when i bought my 7 string from Rondomusic.com, i paid no tax, and no duties. came to just over $400 CAD.

                    However, a $60 pair of calipers I ordered for working in a machine shop, ended up costing me an extra $70 in duties and other mysterious fees. (still cheaper than what other students paid for their school bought calipers, but the shock still sucks haha)
                    Grammar and spelling omitted as an exercise for the reader.
                    #27


                    Does this look like a fake to you guys? The seller provided only this picture in his thread.
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