Counterfeit gear is still a thing and one ought to be wary of it. Not only can cheaply made clones of big brand equipment sound nasty, they may be outright dangerous (you know, electricity and all that).
Last October, a raid was conducted at a factory of China’s Soundpu (Voxpu) Electronics Equipment, ProSoundWeb reports. Inside were hundreds of clones of products by Shure, Sennheiser, Yamaha, and Harman – including microphones, power amplifiers, compressors, consoles, and pretty much anything else you can imagine in terms of studio hardware. Although natural competitor, the four pro audio giants have teamed up against the counterfeit manufacturer in the upcoming criminal prosecution.
Soundpu/Voxpu had already been fined in 2018 when faux Shure mics were found in its factory during a routine market investigation, ProSoundWeb states. Apparently, the company went on to continue its malpractice, and is now going to be sued by Shure with Sennheiser, Yamaha, and Harman assisting in the case, whose cooperation Shure “greatly appreciates.”
According to ProSoundWeb, Shure company president Chris Schyvinck encourages customers to purchase pro audio products exclusively from authorized dealers to guard themselves against counterfeit products, which in some cases are barely distinguishable visually from the originals they copy. Lord knows how many fake Shure SM58s are being sold between gearheads each year, sometimes without people even knowing about their faux origin. So if you are shopping used gear, keep your eyes peeled. Ask for proof of purchase, and in the best case scenario, have a look at the unit and check out its serial number or look for clues whether you are buying original or fake. Fake microphones, for example, can be easily discerned when dismantled.