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Forum Contributor 2016, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Hi Everyone, I have three of these fake vintage mouthpieces coming to me in the mail from a past student of mine ( 2 Slants and a NY Meyer) to write a blog article on and would be interested in what kind of questions you guys have on these mouthpieces. I was basically gonna take tons of photos and see if we could define a clear way to tell the fakes from the originals. I was also going to play them and perhaps also do my usual sound clips and talk about how good or bad they are. If they play well, I have mixed feelings on perhaps giving these deceitful guys business though........ Any thoughts on the subject? Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My thougt is you should not review fraudulent products. It gives credit where there should be no acknowledgement.
.....but then people will keep getting ripped off like my past student was. My goal is to shed light on these pieces for what they are so not as many people are fooled........
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My thougt is you should not review fraudulent products. It gives credit where there should be no acknowledgement.
The reason for the sound clip and trying them is that I know if I write an article on these fake pieces, everyone and their mother will email me and ask how they actually play..........
 

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I think you should help people tell the difference but they are not worthy of a sound clip and simply address in your article that you refuse to review criminal items.
 

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Imagine they do have any sonic merit and actually play reasonably. Through your review they will find more buyers and will continue exploiting people through their unlawful stealing of a brand name.

If they do a good job making good mouthpieces they should do it under their own brand name, and be compensated accordingly.

I agree with Phil, they deserve no acknowledgement, aside from warning people of this unlawful practice.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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They are illegal, any kind of review legitimises them and is a very bad idea IMO. For many of these, there is no reason why would not play well so that would merely help the criminals. Also they are not a "brand" so a review is pointless, one counterfeit Meyer may be good, another one may be crap. The whole concept of a "brand" is that customers know what they will get.
 

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Honestly, while you know mouthpieces do you feel comfortable claiming to be an expert on vintage vs fake models?

Im not saying you dont but before I put something down in writing that may not be quite right I would be 100 percent sure of what I was saying.
I think it opens you to problems you dont need.

IMHO this is the job of a vintage expert who knows and can easily identify production techniques through history.

...I think your intentions are noble...but noble intentions are, too often, met with a sad ending.
 

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You may be able to find a good angle here, but you would have to be very careful.
I agree with the above, don't give these guys oxygen, unless you can help close these scammers down.
A sophisticated counterfeit ring has made tens of thousands of dollars from ripping off saxophone players. If your sound clips are half good you may inadvertently add to the problem.
Sakshama's SOTW thread on fake slants details how to identify these--Sakshama knows a lot about slants, particularly about getting them to play fantastically well, he has a special gift here, and he was ripped off buying a fake.
If you want to address this problem, perhaps consider writing to ebay and paypal, the billion dollar corporate beneficiaries of this counterfeit ring, these corporations should have no part in this scam...yes I have already told them myself.
 

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I agree with Pete. There are plenty of people who straight up copy vintage pieces but put their own stamp on it that you can try for sound samples. The counterfeits don't deserve the time (even if they're somewhat similar).

If you can consult with an expert and want to write an article to expose the counterfeits and how to identify them, I dont see the problem with that. State upfront in the article you did not play them and you're not going to, that it's simply to help educate players about the fakes.

- Saxaholic
 

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I think you should help people tell the difference but they are not worthy of a sound clip and simply address in your article that you refuse to review criminal items.
I agree with Phil.

This is a tough one. Even an article showing the difference has limited value as the fakes will continue to evolve over the next months / years. However, an article alerting players that fakes are on the market is a good thing.

As a dealer of used and vintage mouthpieces, this is becoming a big problem. Over the past year, I've seen counterfeits of modern and vintage mouthpieces.

I'm pretty much at the point where I don't purchase "Early Babbitt" Tone Edge tenor pieces anymore. Since the late 1990s, these were hard-to-find pieces and I would find 1 every 12 - 18 months. However, in the last 6 months, I've had probably 20 customers with them for sale. We looked at several, and while they were older and probably modified links, they were definitely not EB. These were misrepresented by someone and sold for 4-5 times what they are worth.

For new pieces, if the price is too good to be true, then it probably is...they cannot sell new Meyer, Otto Links, Vandorens, Jody Jazz etc and ship from China for $25. My sales of new Meyer and Vandoren pieces were at an all-time low this past year and I suspect it is because of the cheap counterfeits all over eBay. Parents are told to purchase a Vandoren mouthpiece and they find them for $19 on eBay.

The best way to protect yourself is to know your source. If you are buying from an established dealer, you are probably safe. If you are buying from an old estate, you are probably safe. If you are buying from an unknown ebay, amazon, reverb, etc source, then you are taking a chance.
 

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Hmmm........How about getting a Forbes Debut, Hite Premier, Rico Graphonite, and a Yamaha 4C or 5C mouthpiece and comparing them to the knock-offs. Do the comparison for yourself before considering posting something online. I am wiling to bet that these legitimate mouthpieces are a better value (and more consistent) for a young player on a budget than the knock-offs.
 

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Steve, I think since you have such a large presence for mouthpieces online, simply reporting about it would be a very good thing. I am guessing that most people who search for these things have no idea fakes are so prevalent. You and your website can help this by informing the general public.
Then you can let readers know of a few legitimate brands that are Meyer style they can purchase instead.
 

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Hmmm........How about getting a Forbes Debut, Hite Premier, Rico Graphonite, and a Yamaha 4C or 5C mouthpiece and comparing them to the knock-offs. Do the comparison for yourself before considering posting something online. I am wiling to bet that these legitimate mouthpieces are a better value (and more consistent) for a young player on a budget than the knock-offs.
And if they are decent or good you encourage people to support criminal behavior. I see anything but anwarning ending poorly and not without significant blowback. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot piece of cane.
 

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And if they are decent or good you encourage people to support criminal behavior. I see anything but anwarning ending poorly and not without significant blowback. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot piece of cane.
That is why I suggested that he try for himself first. - Presenting a legitimate alternative for un-educated purchasers is a public service.
 

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I think a simple warning that these pieces exist and perhaps pointing to a few links both on SOTW and elsewhere so that people know what to look for.
 

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I bought a couple replicas from Asia a decade ago on Ebay. Selmer Jazz copies I guess but they were labelled "Glodstar". Spelling is correct, I think they were supposed to be labelled Goldstar, lol. They were ok, but not loud, and they eventually tarnished a bit. They served the purpose. They would make good blanks to practice your facing skills. I never considered them fakes.

Now I have seen what look like straight up fakes. There are straight up fake Selmer saxes out their for only hundreds of dollars new. Like Reference 54's for instance. That would be a counterfeit, since Ref 54's are in current production.
 

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One last thought.

You have a good following and a sound business model.

Taking it a different direction is risky. Inthink people will drive you crazy. Especially those looking for a bargain regardless of law and ethics.

Inreally dont see an upside for you.
 
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