Recently I had won a bid from a "NEW" Shure SM58. I was chuffed to win it at such a low price. When it arrived packaged in it's new Shure box, I unwrapped it and picked up the mic for the first time. The first thing I noticed was how light the thing was. I'd worked with SM58's before and know they weigh around 300 grams...... I was automatically suspect.
Rule number 1. New Shure mic's are not around $120.00.
Looking closely at the mic, one begins to spot the differences. The band around the mesh ball on the copy is around 5mm. The real Shure is 4mm. The cuff at the base of the mesh ball is a different shape and real Shures have a cuff which fits smoothly to the cartridge. This particular copy has an clear indentation at the base of the cuff and a slight overhang at the cartridge.
(The image of the copy was taken by me. The image of the real shure came straight out of their brochure...just so there is NO CONFUSION!!)
Rule 2. Before bidding, check the sellers return policy.
After removing the mesh ball I saw that the foam membrane protector was black. Shure mics use a grey foam. I also found a sticker which told me,"Caution Do not attempt to open or turn-Warranty will be voided. Assembled by Shure in Mexico". Shure do NOT place these labels on their mic's.
Rule 3. Always buy from a reputable Shure dealer.
There are a few other internal differences which I have not mentioned, that's because you don't usually see that online. Talk to your local music store and get educated before bidding.
Rule 4. If in doubt of a recent online purchase, take your mic, go to your local music store and make the comparision yourself.
As if all of that wasn't enough, I looked in the "Shure" box, my "Shure" mic can in, I didn't find the standard sticker for my guitar case. A real Shure comes with a sticker. Keep an eye out for this in a sellers description. It's only a small thing. But if it's really a brand new Shure mic, there really should be a brand new sticker!
Rule 5. Don't buy what you can't see.
If the seller only shows a Shure box at auction, ask them to supply a clear close up photo of the mesh ball and cuff or better yet, ask them to unscrew the mesh ball and supply a photo of the foam membrane protector. Black or grey? That should sort things out.
Not all Shure mic's online are going to be cheap copies, but some of them are.
Rule 6. Don't be afraid to ask the seller questions. The only dumb question is the one never asked.
Even the packaging is copied!
The copy box seems to be reproduced in grey scale. The shadow under the mic on the copy is a hazy grey blur. The real Shure box really shows the mics reflection. The highlight on the top of the mics cartridge is strong on the real box. Also the SHURE trademark on the copy box is a dark grey, not like the light silver/grey of the real one.
There are sellers who sometimes put the warranty into the photo, check the boarder on the warranty. If it looks like the one above, it's a copy. Shure have an art deco box-like swirl around the edge.
Rule 7. Be wary of used mic's too. These could be unreturnable copies.
I recently sent all this information to SHURE Incorporated via email and have had it confirmed by them that I had indeed purchased a copy.
Rule 8. Caveat emptor! Let the buyer beware.
I have been sent some images from eBayer WM81 of a fake Shure they purchased....Enjoy the laugh!
Shure looks like a 58! Uh Oh! What's with the wiring? DM 58 ???
Shure use one green wire Note the warning sticker!
and one yellow wire!!
Deconstructed DM 58 Close up of WM81's secret gift!!
What's with the piece of cloth?
It was stuffed into the cartridge!!