Oktava: Attention – Fakes | Fake Oktava MK-012 Photos

How to identify a counterfeit, Chinese-made Oktava MK-012.

This information was originally published at

Learn more about this microphone in the Mic Database:

Original Oktava

produced in Russia

Oktava from China, so-called "new revised series".
These products are not related in any way
to the genuine Oktava products.
  • supplied with manual and individual response curves
  • supplied without any documents
  • has -10 dB pad and original metal holder
  • all original microphones manufactured after 01.01. 05
    are labelled "Октава МК-012"
  • has no -10 dB pad, supplied with plastic holder
  • labeled "Oktava МC012"
  • every microphone has its own serial number
  • white screws
  • has no individual number
  • black screws
  • bonding area has a dimple for effective contact
  • silver-sputtered
  • no contact dimple
  • not sputtered copper, no corrosion-protection
  • silver-sputtered contact-pin
  • unprotected against oxidation pin
  • _
  • _

Original MK-012 microphones produced by OAO Oktava earlier can also be labelled Oktava MC-012

MK-012 microphones manufactured before 2002 don’t have serial numbers

23 Responses to “Oktava: Attention – Fakes | Fake Oktava MK-012 Photos”

  1. Bryk

    October 9th, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Thank you!! That made it quite simple. Fortunately, I have real MK-012s.

  2. brian

    January 22nd, 2010 at 10:34 am

    hi, i have a couple of Oktava MK-012A-01 that i traded for a few sm57’s

    both have all of the qualifications as stated on this page to be considered “real”, the serial number stamped in the bottom, flat head screws holding them together, silver sputtered dimpled contacts and that copper leather looking contact (as seen in the last photo on the left).
    even the hand painted looking polar pattern on the microphone element housing.. (not a printed one like the china version has)

    only difference is the microphone has A.S.M. printed on it.

    does simply having an A.S.M. printed on the body mean that the microphone is a fake?


  3. matthew mcglynn

    January 22nd, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Lots of genuine Oktava mics had “ASM” printed on the body. Those were the initials of the original importer, Andy S. McKay, whose offices in the UK operated under the name Oktava Ltd. You can read more about the McKay brothers’ claims about the MK-012 here:

  4. will

    January 25th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I’m interested in knowing if my Oktava is real. My mic seems to be half-and-half when it comes to the traits of a real and Chinese 012. It has the metal holder, paperwork, dimpled bonding area, silver flat-head screws, and silver sputtered contact pin. However it has no serial number, reads “Oktava” and not, more or less, “Oktaba,” and has the A.S.M. logo. I bought it recently and is supposedly “new.” Is this an older, real Oktava or a rip off? Any thoughts?

  5. matthew mcglynn

    January 26th, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Will, I’d guess yours is a real MK-012 produced before 2002. As the page says above, “MK-012 microphones manufactured before 2002 don’t have serial numbers.”

  6. Konstantin Zaitzev

    June 9th, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Don’t mind A.S.M., I live in Russia and have bought the microphone from an official dealer, and it has A.S.M. mark. Made in 2004. Most genuine mics have an individual frequency responce chart, made on something like a plotter with a ballpooint pen.
    It was surprise to me to know that these mics are being forged.

  7. Chris

    November 11th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Back when Guitar Center got caught in the whole mess of selling the wrong ones, I went and bought a pair (they were $100 for the pair, I believe), not knowing that there were fakes out there (I just saw the screaming deal advertised on some nice, but cheap mics). They had actually sold me the real Russian versions of the mic, which I didn’t realize until a couple of years later. I was very pleased, and have been very pleased with the purchase. Use them at home for overheads and acoustics, and for the price, I certainly can’t complain!

  8. Neal Money

    January 3rd, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    I bought a pair of what I see now are definitely the fake Oktava MC012’s from Guitar Center so far back I don’t recall the date. For reasons I won’t boor you with I have not yet used them but plan on doing so in the very near future. Obviously I will let MY ears decide if I like them or not but I’m interested in other opinions of these “fake” mics and also what is their value on the open market. Just because they are fakes doesn’t mean they can’t have a reasonably good sound and have a reasonable value. I think I paid $99 a pair, I would think in brand new condition they would certainly be worth that. Inquiring minds want to know.

    Thanks to all who respond.

  9. matthew mcglynn

    January 3rd, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Neal, my understanding is that the Chinese-made MK012 copies sounded good. In the A/B test created by the people who manufactured the mics, I couldn’t hear any difference at all, but then the source of that test was not entirely unbiased.

    The price of Russian-made MK-012s has gone up sharply over the years, so I suspect you’ll recoup your investment pretty easily.

  10. Dave

    February 11th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Was looking through at buying a pair of these and thankfully I found this link on another listing, nearly wasted some good money on these fakes (final 3 minutes of ebay) Thank you Thank you Thank you for this!!!

  11. Dave

    February 13th, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Me too, thanks for the info, I am after a matching pair right now!
    ANd didn;t realise they were being copied.

  12. Ryan

    October 9th, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I had also purchased the MC 012 from Guitar Center in 2000, however my mic looks identical in almost every way to the MK except for the labeling and no serial number–No black screws, has silver contact, has -10db pad, same case etc.. I guess it didn’t come with documentation tho. So it seems not every MC 012 is a fake. Thanks for the article!

  13. Larry

    June 13th, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Interesting. I purchased three (3) MC 012’s back around 2001 or 2002. All three were purchased from an eBay seller. I bought the first one based on a magazine review/shootout. It got such glowing reviews I couldn’t resist. And, at the time, the street price was around $120 if I remember correctly. I fell in love with it instantly. Shortly afterwards I bought two more although I don’t recall if they were bought from the same eBay retailer. The next two came to me with cosmetic damage. The “damage” was a dent in the side of the microphone body (both mics had a similar dent). I found this odd and disturbing thinking the mics had been dropped (or something heavy dropped on them). I requested an exchange for the two dented mics and received two un-dented mics as replacements. Been using them successfully here in my studio ever since. My MC012’s have been used on countless albums and demos over the years. When I read about the Chinese fakes, I immediately examined my three mics and they all appear to be original Russian-made with the A.S.M. initials and no serial numbers. All three came in the small plastic cigar cases.

  14. Larry

    June 13th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    btw: I should mention something that might be of interest. The original metal mic clips that came with my mics didn’t last long. I seem to remember that they stopped working (the securing screw became loose over time and couldn’t be tightened). I found a great replacement: the plastic clips that come with EV 468 mics work perfectly and can be ordered directly from Electro-Voice. In fact the EV clips work great with many different pencil style condenser mics. I don’t know why it’s so hard to make a freakin’ mic clip lol

  15. Jim

    December 5th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Just inquired with Pixel Pro Audio about a matched pair I got and they had some clarifying words on the situation that I thought I might share here:
    “The Chinese version of this mic has large screws on it, that’s the easiest way to tell they are the Chinese version. So this is not that. The funny thing with the Chinese version is that they aren’t knock offs either. Oktava says they are, but Oktava originally sanctioned them, and almost all of the supposed knock offs were sold through Guitar Center. Ultimately it ended in a business disagreement, and Oktava went after the Chinese version all over the place, even though Guitar Center had already purchased tens of thousands of them, and were selling them in their stores. Crazy. We avoid the Chinese “knock off” version at all costs. But again, the easiest way to tell is the screws. The Chinese version has big black screws on the sides.”

  16. digital realm studio

    February 7th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Hello everyone,
    I allmost bought a pair of counterfeit chines mk-012’s
    instead I bought a new pair from ken heaton of Oktava usa,
    Not as good as my akg.c-451 eb’s. or my matched set of pelusa’s

    but they do sound good,what suprised all of us at the studio was. a mic shoot out,’
    A matched pair of EV re-15’s won the contest,
    neuman km 89’s 2nd place
    shure ksm 141″s 3rd place
    AT 4051″s 4th place
    AKG c-451 eb’s with ck-1 capsules 5th place

    The EV re-15’s won the shoot out,
    the case study was a martin d-28 acoustic
    and kitt was a vintage slingerland radio king kitt,
    older custom K’s cymbols.

    We would like everyone to try a pair of the vintage EV re-15;s
    we tried re10…re18. The- re15’s where the dog to hunt with,’happy tracking everyone,
    Listen for yourselfs to GATHERING MERCURY band
    youtube-reverb nation, download itunes. the kitt they used was DW
    ziljan K’s and z’s the overheads are the EV RE-15’s
    toms blue mouses
    kicks beta 52’s– beta 91’s
    snare royer ribbons-top-bottom
    floor ev re-20
    hi-hat ,AT 4051
    hi hat bottom. ksm 141
    china akg c 451 eb
    floor toms/ Ev re-1000’s with earth works pads 10 db-
    tippiny 2xsm-7’s AT 20 db pads inline,?
    room mic;s AT 2×4050
    2x rca ribbons
    pre’s 12ch vintech
    8 ch universal’s
    conversion hammerfall M-32 ad
    board neve 6045

    enjoy. digitalrealm studio / tippcity ohio

  17. Steve

    March 11th, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    So what’s the deal nowadays? I’ve never seen any currently available MK-012’s with the label in Russian.

    Are the modern mics that are pretty widely available Russian or Chinese?

    E.g. this one:

    So confusing.

  18. VermeSound

    March 12th, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Mine has all the features from above, but no serial number.
    Scared the shit out of me, because i beleved it was a genuine.
    but, at the bottom of the list, it said the oktava´s did not have a serial number untill 2002, and mine is from 2002 so i am good, which is nice

  19. matthew mcglynn

    March 12th, 2015 at 9:42 am

    @Steve, that ebay auction is from the worldwide distributor for Oktava. Denis and Natalia Kuzmenko of Oktava-Online, aka, aka Oktava Gmbh, are family relatives of the factory in Tula.

    @VermeSound, I think the physical characteristics of the microphones are more important than the presence or absence of the serial number.

  20. Konstantin Zaitzev

    November 1st, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    > I’ve never seen any currently available MK-012’s with the label in Russian.

    It seems, they manufacture them with all inscriptions in English, as it’s expensive to have 2 versions of mikes.

    See photo from the official website:

  21. Gary Neal

    November 22nd, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Thanks for the good info and the notes from the responders. It has let me know that my pair of MK 102’s are the real deal and were made before 2002.
    Thanks again

  22. Michael Harvey

    May 3rd, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Whew… all seven of my MC/MK-012 mics are real. I bought them from various new and used sources before and after 2002, two of them being that famous Guitar Center $99/pair deal. I guess I lucked out. Since, I have had three mics modded by Michael Joly. I understand the confusion. My seven mics are labelled in about 5 different fonts, some are MC, some are MK. Some say A.S.M., some don’t. Five have serial numbers, two don’t. Two have black plastic cases, two have grey plastic cases, two are a matched pair with the extra hyper and omni capsules in a wooden box, and one was bought used with no case. ALL, however, have metal clips and a -10dB pad. I’m glad I found this to clear it up.

  23. Diy Music Biz

    June 2nd, 2021 at 3:12 am

    I absolutely love these microphones. I wish I purchased them when they were sold at GC. I was lucky enough to run into a seller who happy paperwork on them, luckily they were all brought up to spec.

    Absolutely good sounding mic and works wonder on dialog. Toss it in a blimp and you’re good!

Leave a comment