I just bought a counterfeit by accident - and it sounds better!

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I had just one Samson C2 microphone and for a cheap mic, it was quite nice. I remember buying it because it at the time it was a bargain. Most mics now I buy in pairs so I gave it away to a money stuck friend. I just bought a twin pack on the net and I think they're counterfeits - the mic clips are not shock mount types, and they're black. I can't find any black C02 mics anywhere. They're also very heavy. They have 5 slots in the screw on capsules, when the Samson site shows 3 - yet lots available from quite reputable dealers have 5, like mine.

They actually sound really nice, so I can use them - but the same twin packs appear on amazon here with 5 slots. Same thing on the Sweetwater site here. UK some Gear for Music have the three slot versions Here?

So are the real ones available in 3 and 5 slot heads, or has the design changed recently? Very tricky. The clips on my seem to be the conclusive thing - they're wrong for certain, and I can't find any black ones at dealers.

I'm pretty sure that these sound better than the one I had - weird!
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
The Samson website shows them with three slots, but, just to be perverse, in the pic of them in their nice little case, they have five slots:

 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
I'm guessing it's a case of the old "specifications subject to change" problem. When even Samson has two different pictures for the same item on their website, you have to think there are two versions.

I know Sweetwater, and there's no way they would be buying counterfeit stuff. They are among the most reputable major dealer I've dealt with. They show the 5 slot version. Maybe it the C02 MkII. 😉

When you ordered the mics, did they show silver or black? I know that Warm has both silver and black versions of the WA47jr. I've seen a few other mics that had color options.

Pap, I'm pretty sure they aren't AKG P170s. Those only have 3 slots, and look totally different in the windscreen. Rob knows enough about mics to spot that difference at 10 yards! FWIW, I like the AKGs. I have a pair, as well as a pair of CAD GXL1200s which are probably closer to the Samsons.
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
I'm sort of half annoyed - I don't like the idea they're not genuine, but they sound better than the other cheap condensers I have. I saw silver or black in the listing, so picked black. It was a dealer advertised in between facebook posts - I'm not wanting a refund or anything but clearly the inside of the box is laid out differently - the real ones show offset slots and mine are next to each other. Oh well - just one more to be aware of. SM57's, SM58's and now Samson C02's.
 
Cheap mics aren't known for their consistency. You're lucky - this time you found a good pair. When I bought my first Chinese LDC (I didn't know it was Chinese at the time because it had a US brand name) I tried a black version at the UK distributors. I wanted a silver one and we had to go through 3 or 4 mics before we found a silver one that sounded like their black demo model.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
JP, I don't agree that Chinese mics are that inconsistent anymore. It might have been true when they first started importing mics to the US, but I think that's changed. Most of my mics are made there. I have 3 MXL 992s that I acquired years ago, at different times, and they all sound very close. I have two AKG P170s, bought about 2 years apart and they are a close match to my ears, at least as close as my Lauten matched set of LA120s.

I think that the better factories have nailed down the process so that consistency is actually good. They may not have the right circuit to match the capsule, and they may not use the best parts, but I don't think they deserve such a bad rep except for the really cheap ones like Neewer and FFine that sell for $30 with a cable, and desk boom!

If the Samsons really are counterfeit, that just shows how low some people will go. It's like counterfeiting $5 bills when you could be printing 20s. There can't be much of a profit level when a real pair, with case costs $100. Heck, I almost bought a pair of Behringer B-2 mics, just to get the case, clips, mic bar and foam screens. Those alone can cost more than the $50 that Behringer charges. It would hold my Rode M5s just fine. Give the mics to Goodwill!
 
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rob aylestone

Well-known member
I also trade in two way radios and marine electronics and have noticed that I can get from a few sources products that appear to be counterfeits, but are, I think, factory overruns or discontinued items. Brands such as Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu seem to have a 5th year cutoff point when suddenly old models suddenly appear in my suppliers lists. I'm told that when a new model is issued, the old factory stock just sits there and after a contractual period, the factories simply sell them. I have as an example a Kenwood that I bought new from the UK main dealer. I just bought an identical one from China and I cannot find anything inside that is different. The hand soldered attachment of the DC cable inside is a good example. The real Kenwood factory clearly had issues with small burn marks from a soldering iron in the confined space - the Chinese one is exactly the same. Chips, PCBs, aluminium chassis mould marks - all exactly the same. The difference is that the original does not say made in China, it says made in Japan. Exactly the same thing has happened with the Icoms and Yaesu radios and I have a couple of brand new Motorolas that also seem identical to the originals that were supposedly made in Malaysia.

I'm wondering if Samson actually sourced these cheaper products from China, and when they did a design change, the remaining stock (with 5 slots) was just sitting there? As Rich says, why counterfeit a cheap product?

Gibson get very annoyed about counterfeit guitars, but Fender don't. It's not beyond economics that it could be simpler to bring in containers of parts from overseas, and then put them together in the US or Mexico. They make a big thing about MIM or MIA as justification for price - but you often hear buyers saying how good the cheap one is or how ordinary the expensive one is, and of course they have their budget lines too.

If a factory makes a mic for Samson to sell it's genuine. If they sell the same item themselves, it's counterfeit. Funny world.
 
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