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Discussion Starter #1
With $500 "superfake" Rolexes and brand-name fashion goods, I'm fascinated by the prospect of "superfake" Mark VIs.

Copies have been laughably bad in China until now, but they're slowly getting better, albeit really inconsistently. For fun I periodically cruise aliexpress in search of a quality superfake.

This "bronze Mark VI" has a decent-looking octave key, even though it's dimensionally off... too fat and chunky, but it's not laser-engraved for once. It actually has the grid pattern on the pope-hat, though at the wrong angle. Selmer writing has weird kerning/spacing, but a B- for effort.:


Looks like they've gotten the pants guard down, which is pretty cool. Bell-to-bow ring still not even close, but they got the two-point circular body-to-bell bracing. Needs a more convincing thumb hook too.


Alas, when will they realize it's not FABRIoUE but FABRIQUE? Lots of wonky font sizing and spacing, but the HENRI SELMER looks fairly convincing. No longer laser-engraved, but is stamped. Not sure where they think ELKMART is either, so this hasn't evolved.


What this show to me is they have at least the manufacturing process down to make a quality fake, just not the attention to detail. Heck even the engraving sort of looks like the Elkhart engraving.
 

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It's just wrong. Fine, copy the Selmer style but don't put their name on it.

Oh, and lose the fricken' marching lyre holder.
 

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The finish isn't remotely convincing. It looks like the pseudo-vintage gloss available on a score of dfifferent Asian-made saxes. Also, it's miraculous the way a horn that's supposedly old enough and well-handled enough to have lost all its lacquer displays not a single ding, dent, or scratch anywhere. And the engraving is crisp and perfect, "Elkmart" and all.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The finish isn't remotely convincing. It looks like the pseudo-vintage gloss available on a score of dfifferent Asian-made saxes. Also, it's miraculous the way a horn that's supposedly old enough and well-handled enough to have lost all its lacquer displays not a single ding, dent, or scratch anywhere. And the engraving is crisp and perfect, "Elkmart" and all.
They do have gold-lacquered fakes, but these bronzes ones seemed to have the latest innovations. Funny, these listings often say "98%" lacquer, so that it sounds more convincingly vintage.
 

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TaiShan horns look better. Some of the Mercury 875 altos have the 2 point body/bell brace as well.
 

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I bought a tenor neck from Eastern Music, a Chinese company, and it looks just like those aftermarket necks you see from different repair guys. It plays really well on my BA and Mark VI. $80 shipped.
They have a tenor that looks just like an Ishimori for $800. No high F# and no copyright infringement.
 

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I bought a tenor neck from Eastern Music, a Chinese company, and it looks just like those aftermarket necks you see from different repair guys. It plays really well on my BA and Mark VI. $80 shipped.
They have a tenor that looks just like an Ishimori for $800. No high F# and no copyright infringement.
Link for the tenor?
 

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I wonder whether they read SotW to learn how to take the fakes to the next level.
 

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They wouldn't need to read anything on SOTW. Just acquire a real version . . . but that may be beyond their means. DAVE
 

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I wonder whether they read SotW to learn how to take the fakes to the next level.
...or maybe we're just a bunch'a self absorbed sax-playin' tossers with an inflated idea of our own influence ? :scratch:

...so many questions...so few answers....
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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There are factories in China perfectly capable of making very good copies of MKVIs. Provided they aren't counterfeit (ie branded as Selmer they are legal). Most people don't realise how big the country is and how many factories there are capable of making both very good and very poor saxophones.

The better factories, I believe, do not get involved in counterfeiting, most of which I think is not instigated by the factory owner, but by a customer who orders them with the Selmer logo. These lower grade factories will just put on whatever logo you want, they themselves are only incidental to any scamming in that they are just supplying what has been ordered, anyone can do this on Ali Baba or similar and get a $200 saxophone with whatever logo you ask for. They are not good copies because very little money is paid for the product.

The better factories will not do this (and there is some very high quality manufacturing possible in China, they don't all knock out the $200 rubbish). The low grade counterfeiters making a quick sale on ebay would not invest the amount of money required to make a decent counterfeit in one of the better factories, because they are not trying to fool the professionals, they are selling to the kind of people that either really do think it's a Selmer at a bargain (!) price or else someone who doesn't care they - just want a dirt cheap saxophone and don't give two hoots about it being a fake.

However, the higher grade counterfeiters (the ones we see making very convincing Slant Signatures and Meyer Bros) will not bother with vintage instruments because they can make a convincing mouthpiece quite cheaply and get quite a high return. But those people know that to make a convincing MKVI, it cannot look absolutely mint because that is too suspicious and the price it would sell for to look convincing, e.g. upward of 12k, is the kind of price where it becomes very big time fraud and will attract more and larger law enforcement agencies.

Making a convincing looking used MKVI is actually extremely difficult, getting the lacquer to wear and and a proper patina etc. Plus the lacquer itself and the process at modern Chinese factories is different so they are not actually geared up to do convincing vintage lacquer.

There is so little point in that, the higher grade counterfeiters would find it much more easy to make Yanagisawa and new Selmer copies.

The other thing is, I keep seeing people say "you can always spot a fake because of the logo stamp or misspellings etc..." What they should really be saying is "you can easily spot a bad fake...." it's quite possible there are good ones out there that people cannot tell from photos on ebay.
 

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Great explanation Pete.
 
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