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185 counterfeit guitars valued at $1 million seized at Jersey City bulk mail center

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  • 185 counterfeit guitars valued at $1 million seized at Jersey City bulk mail center

    If they caught this many in one bust, how many are out there? I've read articles saying seasoned pro's can be fooled on one hand while some are so cheesy and shoddy they wouldn't fool anyone. I saw a few pics where a "Gibson J50", sat beside a "Martin", both counterfeit, but the pics looked pretty convincing.

  • #2
    Cheesy? Shoddy?

    What are you talking about?

    They were valued at over 5 grand each.
    "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

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    • #3
      Originally posted by FretFiend.
      I've seen some damn convincing Gibson fakes. They're good enough to make me afraid to consider buying a used Gibby. I'll admit I know little to nothing about Gibson acoustics.

      OTOH, I haven't yet seen a fake Martin that could fool anyone who bothers to look just a bit closely.

      BTW, the value of a hundred dollar bill is a hundred bucks. The value of a counterfeit Franklin is considerably less, regardless of how well made it is.
      Thinking the same thing.
      -----------------------------------
      Call me Hoyt. Hoyt Guthrie.
      -----------------------------------
      Interesting...

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      • #4
        I almost bought a counterfeit Les Paul in a pawn shop some time back. The guy was gonna sell it to me for $1000 and I was sucker enough to bite. I admit I was fooled. His wife, who I now respect as an honest person, happened through the store and informed me it was counterfeit. Stopped the deal cold, of course. Before I left, she showed me a letter from the Gibson people that denounced the instrument as being fake. Another individual had purchased it and eventually realized that it was not legit. The letter basically stated that it was an illegal instrument and advised them against sale. After I looked at it, I began to notice oddities in the finish work, primarily binding. It was for the most part well put together and sounded just fine, but not up to the standards that you'd expect on a "real" Les Paul. Needless, to say, I don't visit that shop anymore.

        If a deal sounds too good to be true....it probably is.....eh?
        _________________
        Strangers passing in the street
        By chance two separate glances meet
        I am you and what I see is me . . .

        Roger Waters
        Echoes
        from the MEDDLE LP

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        • #5
          There are US agents combing the docks where container ships arrive who routinely search for counterfeit trade of all types. Gucci (bags) is a huge business. Women will typically fall victim to "designer" goods at steep discounts making them the target market for fakes. The agents are experts at spotting fakes. It was an interesting show.
          -----------------------------------
          Call me Hoyt. Hoyt Guthrie.
          -----------------------------------
          Interesting...

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          • #6
            Does anyone know where these come from?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by monstermaker View Post
              Does anyone know where these come from?
              Pacific Rim for sure. Specifically, probably China. If you want to know who specifically makes them (i.e., Samick, Cort, etc.) that's anyone's guess.
              Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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              • #8
                Originally posted by monstermaker View Post
                Does anyone know where these come from?
                Sears.

                Let's face it, that's the 64K question isn't it? If I had an accurate answer for you I'd also be having suits knocking at my door within the fortnight. My theory is they're made by the very people identified on their headstocks. What better way to advertise than letting the talking heads do it for free and make you out to be a premier player in the biz? Just a theory.
                Last edited by Idunno; 05-14-2014, 06:41 PM.
                -----------------------------------
                Call me Hoyt. Hoyt Guthrie.
                -----------------------------------
                Interesting...

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                • #9
                  FF is right. Out the front door go goods made for US manufacturers... out the back door go counterfeits that end up on the global market to the highest bidders.
                  The secret of man's creative power is imagination.

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                  • #10
                    Hopefully they don't turn up at dealers. I'm not sure I could tell the difference.

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                    • #11
                      Real, fake, what difference does it make? If the fakes are reasonable facsimiles of their namesakes then all is not too far afoul. For all intents and purposes, the guy sporting the genuine article may be, in fact, the one who's been duped. I know I'm not keen enough of eye and ear to tell the difference.
                      -----------------------------------
                      Call me Hoyt. Hoyt Guthrie.
                      -----------------------------------
                      Interesting...

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                      • #12
                        It's easy to make a counterfeit Martin especially when Martin sells kits that are copies of their popular models. If you can counterfeit the Martin logo on the head you can make one that is pretty convincing.

                        Big Al
                        Instruments:
                        Custom Dreadnaught Solid Hog

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bigald18 View Post
                          It's easy to make a counterfeit Martin especially when Martin sells kits that are copies of their popular models. If you can counterfeit the Martin logo on the head you can make one that is pretty convincing.

                          Big Al
                          This is one method of copying. Another is to carefully disassemble a few samples and then duplicate the parts. I think I can do a reasonable job of it without much difficulty. The band arrested for selling fakes (in another thread on this topic) got the headstock logos down convincingly and that's the litmus test detail after the construction.

                          So, who here actually thinks they have the genuine article and not a fake? Can you prove authenticity? I know I can't.
                          -----------------------------------
                          Call me Hoyt. Hoyt Guthrie.
                          -----------------------------------
                          Interesting...

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, most of the fakes cut corners someplace - some of them cut corners all over the place, so it's very obvious for people who are even casually familiar with the real deal to tell the difference. Making a high-accuracy fake takes more time, expertise and money, and all of that cuts into the profits, so they're less common - although some are out there, and they don't all come from overseas. Unscrupulous players in the USA have tried modifying Squiers and other lower-cost instruments to make them look more like Fenders and other upscale guitars, then try to pass them off as such, etc. Those tend to be one-off examples of counterfeiting. The stuff coming out of China is often done in much greater quantities. Their laws are sufficiently different than ours that companies sometimes unknowingly hand over their rights, while apparently other times, it's a matter of black market manufacturing with little to no regard for the rights of the original developer / manufacturer. It's been a problem that the US and China have been at odds over for quite some time.

                            Here's a couple of links that some of you may find interesting - one from the US Government, and the other from NAMM:

                            http://www.namm.org/library/global-report/china

                            http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.c...cting_ipr.html
                            **********

                            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                            - George Carlin

                            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Idunno View Post
                              Real, fake, what difference does it make? If the fakes are reasonable facsimiles of their namesakes then all is not too far afoul. For all intents and purposes, the guy sporting the genuine article may be, in fact, the one who's been duped. I know I'm not keen enough of eye and ear to tell the difference.
                              When someone takes a design and makes their version of it, or develops the idea in a different or new direction, that's one thing - but building something designed to confuse the buyer into thinking they have the "real thing" by putting another company's name and logo on the item as if it was built by them hurts everyone other than the people trying to profit off of that fraud. Consumers get a (in most cases) substantially inferior product, and from that they form an inaccurate opinion about the brand that they think they're playing. The inferior products and the damage they do to the public's perception of that name brand hurt the owners of that brand, the people who work there, etc. Not only do forgeries take potential sales away from them, but the inferior nature of the products hurt their image and reputation - no one blames the un-named factory in China that built the guitar, they blame Martin, Fender or Gibson when they have problems with the supposed "name brand" guitar. And it definitely hurts us as players and folks who are interested in buying used guitars, since it makes it easier for us to be deceived and defrauded.
                              **********

                              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                              - George Carlin

                              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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