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FAKE Sennheiser MKH 416 ALLERT!

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I purchased a Sennheiser MKH 416 as a backup from eBay (price was great) and A/B'd to my current one. Its ABSOLUTELY fake. About sound; Nothing close to original! I mean Nothing! Sounds like a $10 radioshack mic with no sound reduction. Harsh. My backup Sennheiser me66 sounds like a Schoeps in comparison.  Any physical difference? I honestly can't tell other than the tip of the windscreen which is cut and it's definitely different looking than my original 416 windscreen. (Attached a photo of this. Windscreen on the left is my long time used 416 screen and the one on the right with darker color and cut tip is belongs to the fake one.)

Seller refunded immediately right after I sent a message saying that it's fake and asking for full refund. It came with free shipping originally and seller sent me $80 on top of refund for return shipping and bunch of sorry, etc.... What a nice guy!!!  >:(

 

This is disgusting! It already sucks that there are many fake SM57/58 around but 416 ??????? (I won't be surprised if I see a fake schoeps one day!!) 

 

I believe it will help others so I'm attaching the screen shot of the seller's response and some links to some other mics from China on eBay which I'm 99% sure that they are all fake cause info, description and photos are EXACTLY the same. 

 

WHAT CAN WE DO to stop this ASAP? Does anybody know how vendors can be informed as fast as possible? I'm worried cause if we're not fast and stop the spread of those fake ones in the market, one day we'll start to sell each other the fake ones cause there are just too many of them around. (Well, we'll hear the sound once it's shipped to us but I don't think it is fun to be known as that "x" person selling fake stuff "by mistake" cause they didn't know it.) Please spread the word. I'll let pro-sound, NY know about it so they mention this to their people, sound professionals and customers. (only vendor that I work and kind of know at this point)

 

listing of the mic I purchased:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/99-new-Sennheiser-MKH-416-P48U3-Condenser-Cable-Professional-Microphone-/171042208292?ViewItem=&ssPageName=ADME%3AX%3ARTQ%3AUS%3A1123&item=171042208292&nma=true&si=AuvY1gWyQNepDE7RdTDm97rEdk8%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

 

Some other 416s on ebay that I'm 99% sure fake:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sennheiser-MKH-416-P48U3-Condenser-Cable-Professional-Microphone-99-NEW-/281117090408?pt=US_Pro_Audio_Microphones&hash=item4173e26268

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sennheiser-MKH-416-P48U3-Condenser-Cable-Professional-Microphone-99-NEW-/181151890380?pt=US_Pro_Audio_Microphones&hash=item2a2d7e7bcc

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sennheiser-MKH-416-P48U3-Condenser-Cable-Professional-Microphone-99-NEW-/181151890346?pt=US_Pro_Audio_Microphones&hash=item2a2d7e7baa

http://www.ebay.com/itm/99-NEW-Sennheiser-MKH-416-P48U3-Condenser-Cable-Professional-Microphone-/271216477892?pt=US_Pro_Audio_Microphones&hash=item3f25c306c4

http://www.ebay.com/itm/99-new-Sennheiser-MKH-416-P48U3-Condenser-Cable-Professional-Microphone-/290923927963?pt=US_Pro_Audio_Microphones&hash=item43bc6ad99b

http://www.ebay.com/itm/99-new-Sennheiser-MKH-416-P48U3-Condenser-Cable-Professional-Microphone-/290923486913?pt=US_Pro_Audio_Microphones&hash=item43bc641ec1

 

 

Suspicious one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SENNHEISER-MKH416P48-SHOTGUN-CONDENSER-MICROPHONE-BLACK-VERSION-W-XLR-CONNECTOR-/310679089975?pt=US_Pro_Audio_Microphones&hash=item4855eab337

 

 

 

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The first clue was it coming from China at a discounted price. 

 

I'm not sure there is much manufacturers can do about this, unfortunately. 

 

Did you get all your money back?

 

+1

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I'd seen that an similar listings and was suspicious, if it's too good to be true, it is. If you want a cheap 416, buy a secondhand one from a trusted, local source.

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This is a common scam with electronics, but first time I have heard of it with professional gear as I would have thought that most of us would be buying from known reputable sources.

 

How the scam works is that an ebay store (Usually located overseas) sells fake stuff for cheap. even if 70% of the buyers return the fake object they still make a ton of money from the other 30% and because they are offering full refunds to anyone who spots the fake and returns the item it doesn't raise any flags with Ebay. The returned items will be re-listed for sale and eventually they'll sell to someone who either doesn't realize that they have a fake, or someone who just can't be bothered to ask for refund on such a cheap item. 

 

Why would a professional who relies on quality gear risk buying from a grey market seller?  I have bought products on Ebay before, but the things I have bought have been from known sources that  have an Ebay presence and not some random person / store that I have never heard of.

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Buy from a reputable dealer!!!!!!!!!!!!

If the deal sounds too good to be true ......

You get what you pay for!

Buyer beware!

You basically got lucky that the seller refunded you the money.

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Buy from a reputable dealer!!!!!!!!!!!!

If the deal sounds too good to be true ......

You get what you pay for!

Buyer beware!

You basically got lucky that the seller refunded you the money.

+1

Production Sound Mixing for Television, Film, and Commercials.

www.matthewfreed.com

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This is a common scam with electronics, but first time I have heard of it with professional gear as I would have thought that most of us would be buying from known reputable sources.

Sure, but think how many of these things they can sell to newbies or amateurs who think that they're getting a "steal" on a 416 and have nothing to compare it to. If they can turn them out for $10 and EBay them for $500 a piece then a run of a couple thousand of them would net close to $1million, even with packaging and shipping. The biggest victim in this might just be Sennheiser's reputation if there's enough "buzz" about crappy 416s.

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You can not stop this but you can slow it down.  File a dispute with paypal even if the seller refunds the money.  Also file complaints with Ebay and make sure to leave negative feedback and 1 star across the board.  This will eventually shut their account down until they get up and running under a different name.  Even after they are back under a different name at least the feedback on the other account will alert others to the problem in general.  You can also send the links to Ebay customer service and they will investigate the products.

 

The biggest issue is that many times amateurs don't even realize they have bought a counterfeit.  They counterfeit many mics and headphones and get away with it a lot of the time because the product does work. Someone that can not compare to the real thing is liable to believe it is a legit product. When someone complains they immediately refund the money to avoid complaints and bad feedback so the can keep the operation running.

 

It's just very unfortunate overall.

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I read one of the comments on the ebay site and the poor guy was commenting on how his "new professional 416" was making his room sound terrible and was blaming it on the new awesome mics ability to showcase the deficiencies of the room.

 

a kind of miserable variation of the Emperor's new clothes...  

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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How does one open one of these up? I purchased a 416 from the same seller on ebay. While the packaging makes it clear that the seller used a few tricks to get around some customs fees, it certainly doesn't sound like a '$10 Radio Shack mic' to my ear. If what I've got here is a counterfeit, it came from a very sophisticated counterfeiting operation. That said, I'm not a sound technician.

 

Any advice? If opening it up isn't too difficult I'll have a look in there myself. Otherwise, I'll probably see if I can get somebody at Cinequipt to have a look at it on Monday.

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I'm curious what serial numbers might be assigned to these fraudulent Mics ?

EBay CAN be restrictive to the benefit of some brands..... Apple was very aggressive in getting listings for "hackintosh" Dell Minis removed - sometimes within hours of being posted.

Fwiw - just about anything I seen eBay that has a Chinese or Hong Kong origin is dubious.

Especially rather current CDs I see listed. It really bothers me that these counterfeits steal revenue from the artists and groups that I like and support.

MF

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The common s/n is: 111505 at the xlr end and 00111505 on the box.

The label on the box is also "MKH416 - P48 3U" and not "MKH416-P48U3" as it should be.

In the one I encountered there is also a little tell tale sign in the manual that reads "all quattro microphones" when it should say "all sennheiser microphones".

I know right?

 

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Serial number of the one I got was 00111502 on the box and 111504 on the XLR end. Funny that the serial numbers don't even match. Also the blue paint job on the Sennheiser logo on the case is pretty shoddy, looks like it was hand painted on there. With all the trouble that clearly went into these counterfeits, you'd think they could at least get a decent paint job on the case.

 

Other differences are that the contacts on the XLR connector appear to be gold plated, whereas they are silver on the genuine 416s I have. And the little set screw near the base that you loosen to take the mic apart is gold on the fake version, but black on the originals.

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