Just a heads up, I came across some shure mics at cash converters (park meadows) and was going to picked up a sm57 for R750. Of course I looked for all the tell take signs on the outside of the mic for a fake. This thing was spot on! Even the tiny Shure logo by the pins was there. Only when I OPENED IT UP did I see this was a fake. This fake was extremely close so even the Youtube video seem a little out of date regarding counterfeits.
Jaaa....the fakers are getting better and better...that's the worrying part.
Firstly, thanks Vic. Important, comprehensive post.
The thing is that they will continue to improve superficial surface features because that's cheap. Making an object look like an expensive product is not expensive. But there's a limit. They want to make maximum profit so it doesn't serve them to actually make something that can really pass muster or is a good instrument item. So yeah, it's often when you open them up that you'll confirm. Like in Gibsons: mini-pots. Less acute headstock angle (although an enterprising maker could use a scarf joint to get a more strongly angled headstock for cheap). Short, ill-fitting neck tennon. Very poor routing of cavities. More obviously evidence of ply or chipboard.
Basically yes. Fakers get better. As they get more sophisticated you're less likely to see obvious visual clues on the outside of the instrument. You've pretty much got to know what to expect inside these products to be sure.