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Indirectly related to the recent topic on fake Shures, but probably worthy of a new topic...


Paul's recent "one really good reason not to buy this mic" topic gave me a long overdue nudge to check our own inventory before getting them laser etched with a small asset number, to prevent swap outs for fakes, intentional or otherwise.


I weighed eight SM58s, and recorded between 323g and 326g for all of them. However, the spec sheet states they should be 298g - so all of ours are ~10% overweight.


Moving on to SM57s, I weighed six units between 277g and 281g, vs. a spec sheet weight of 284g, so none a million miles away.


Four Beta58a units at between 278g and 285g, vs a spec sheet weight of 278g, again none too far adrift.


Two Beta 57a units at 273g and 276g, vs a spec sheet weight of 275g - can live with that.


Finally, a grossly overweight Beta 52a, nearly 12% over at 673g vs a spec sheet weight of 605g.


As all of our Shure stock came from an extremely reputable distributor (Leisuretec), I spoke to Shure UK Technical Support - a very helpful chap (Verdi? - spelling may be wrong) who was at first adamant that an SM58 weighs 298g. After I gave him my weights, he weighed an SM58 and found his to weigh 314g, leaving him puzzled. He went away to investigate further.


Within the hour, Verdi called back after speaking with Chad Wiggins, Microphone Caterogy Director (at Shure US, I believe).

He confirmed there is now a 10% tolerance in actual weight, vs spec sheet weight, due to different components/materials used in the manufacturing process. He also weighed some other SM58s and found a 323g one.


Therefore, two conclusions. Firstly, all our stock seems to be good (I was fearful of finding a 250g SM58 or two, but gladly didn't). Secondly, just because a Shure doesn't weigh what the spec sheet states, doesn't mean it's counterfeit. I did suggest the 10% tolerance should be referenced on future updates to the spec sheets.

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Doesn't this also suggest that they may well sound different too? I'm assuming transformers, and perhaps body material? If they have morphed into different weigh specs and nobody noticed. it would be interesting to stick a few in front of a white noise source and plot each one and see if they're the same?
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Let's build up a database of weights from our mic boxes and compile it from multiple sources. Any interest?


I just grabbed my mic box - here's the results. I'm pretty certain they are all genuine apart from the Beta57 - which seems far lighter than I remember, and I wonder if some kind soul has swapped it at some point? It's a lot lighter than Doug's, and the Shure spec, so I'm certain it's a dodgy one!


All weights in grams.


SHURE SM86 283 282 RANGE 1g

SHURE BETA58 269 283 269 RANGE 14g

SHURE SM58 326 319 324 314 309 RANGE 17g

SHURE SM57 274 269 270 RANGE 5g


AKG D112 286

AKG D202 329

BEYER M58 276

BEYER M201 234

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I'd certainly be interested in the weights of my mics. Did a gig yesterday, and one of my older SM58s sounded like it was on its last legs; out of the 8 58s I had with me, 3 were alot lighter than the others (all these 3 bought from a Shure distributor in Oxford, the others bought in the US). After opening up the one that sounded like it was its last legs, I found that the glued area in the bottom came out easily and stuffed into the bottom was Chinese newspaper to act as wadding.
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Crikey I've not seen a 202 in a while. We have a 222 that we've used over festival season to mic up the most weird and wonderful things we could. The D222 is now my preferred microphone for micing up a bucket of gravel, and certainly in my top 3 for micing up an air raid siren.



As has been mentioned there is more to the whole fake thing than just the weight, but on its own it is a good indicator. If its 100g less then its fairly certain you're not dealing with the real thing, but that doesn't necessarily mean that one around the correct weight is genuine.


There are a few copies of other things knocking about, Audio Technica Lecturn Mics I spotted a little while ago.

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There were loads of video camera OEM boxed mics around a while back, and the video people were buying them to replace broken or lost original camera items. All came in Sony, Panasonic or JVC branded boxes, and nobody could really work out if these were genuine, or counterfeit - because very often these add on accessories are not made by the main manufacturer anyway. I had a JVC one, and I think Gary Natress had a Panasonic, and we concluded they were the same item, and both worked just as the originals did.


To Rob - The 202 is a rather weird mic - nobody else has ever made a mic with separate HF and LF dynamic transducers. A cardioid that sounds like an omni. Had it years and it looks like it!

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Have taken some photos of the insides of my fake and real Sm 58s


Fake on it's own (complete with Chinese newspaper):




Real & fake together:



There is a marked difference in weight when holding the fake over the real one. Also if you look closely at the screw and nut holing the capsule head into the body, the real has a flat washer, whereas the fake has a smaller nut and a dimpled washer.


Edit: spelling.

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