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Fake Vintage Instruments

M.Ted 22 Feb 02 - 04:55 PM
Wesley S 22 Feb 02 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Skipjack K8 22 Feb 02 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,JJ 22 Feb 02 - 05:59 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Feb 02 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,JJ 22 Feb 02 - 06:19 PM
catspaw49 22 Feb 02 - 06:23 PM
catspaw49 22 Feb 02 - 06:28 PM
C-flat 22 Feb 02 - 06:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Feb 02 - 07:33 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 22 Feb 02 - 09:25 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Feb 02 - 09:39 PM
Rolfyboy6 22 Feb 02 - 09:39 PM
Steve Latimer 22 Feb 02 - 09:54 PM
Coyote Breath 22 Feb 02 - 11:08 PM
Steve Latimer 22 Feb 02 - 11:17 PM
C-flat 23 Feb 02 - 12:13 AM
M.Ted 23 Feb 02 - 12:43 AM
John Hardly 23 Feb 02 - 10:29 AM
catspaw49 23 Feb 02 - 10:51 AM
Rick Fielding 23 Feb 02 - 11:34 AM
catspaw49 23 Feb 02 - 12:14 PM
John Hardly 23 Feb 02 - 12:39 PM
M.Ted 23 Feb 02 - 12:56 PM
John Hardly 23 Feb 02 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,just wanted to add 23 Feb 02 - 01:00 PM
John Hardly 23 Feb 02 - 01:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Feb 02 - 01:10 PM
Midchuck 23 Feb 02 - 01:19 PM
Steve Latimer 23 Feb 02 - 01:52 PM
M.Ted 23 Feb 02 - 04:15 PM
John Hardly 23 Feb 02 - 04:51 PM
RichM 23 Feb 02 - 05:13 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Feb 02 - 05:47 PM
M.Ted 23 Feb 02 - 06:40 PM
Murray MacLeod 23 Feb 02 - 06:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Feb 02 - 07:00 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Feb 02 - 09:05 PM
Arbuthnot 23 Feb 02 - 09:13 PM
Steve Latimer 23 Feb 02 - 11:40 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Feb 02 - 12:07 AM
M.Ted 24 Feb 02 - 12:56 AM
Ned Ludd 24 Feb 02 - 05:49 AM
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Subject: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 04:55 PM

I have a weakness for old guitars, and I am particularly fond of archtops, only thing is that they are really hard to find, and expensive--on top of this, these days, everything that you come across has some special rarity that makes it worth ever-so-much-more. Even worse, I have heard of individuals who specialize in making discreet alterations that upgrade models and even manufacturers--anyone have any insights into dealing with this?


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Wesley S
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 05:19 PM

Over at Mandolincafe.com there has been some threads about fake Loar mandolins ect. You might want to check those out. I'm not a violent man but the kind of folks that do this type of thing should be treated like horsetheves. Hang 'um !!! { I'm in a very George W. mood today }.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: GUEST,Skipjack K8
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 05:43 PM

It's a little late to horsewhip my would-be Antonio Stradivarius. The label provenancing the fiddle as his work of 1721 was never in doubt as a fake (as many thousands are), but I had a violin/cello maker have a close look, and he credited it to Mittenwald, dated as late 19th century.

Oh, but when his equally qualified missus played it in the classical style it deserves (the opposite of the juke-joint style I scratch out) it was the most beautiful sound I think I have ever heard. So I don't hold it against that anonymous German Tony wannabe, just slightly sad he didn't put his own name, with righteous pride, on a fine fiddle.

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: GUEST,JJ
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 05:59 PM

Surely, the only important thing is what it sounds like?

Names are nonsense

JJ


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 06:01 PM

Back a few years ago, this was rampant....and Sooooo easy to do. All the forgers had to do was scam some Martin and Fender decals (from an inside source) and Presto, Takamine acoustics became Martins and Carvin kits became Strats and tellys. Probably harder to pass them off in New York or LA, but the sticks were easy pickins'....and Europeans? They'd rarely seen the real thing, so they grabbed them.

An instrument that cost you 250 bucks could be sold for a thousand.

A lot of Mastertone banjos (really Ibanez and ElDegas) went the same route.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: GUEST,JJ
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 06:19 PM

I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself, but isn't the true worth of any instrument dependant on what it sounds like and how well it plays?

Why else would you buy an instrument?

JJ


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 06:23 PM

Happens with everything.......Ever seen a really good fake Pontiac GTO? Pathetically enough, I have to hand it to some of these crooks.....Good forgery is truly an art form.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 06:28 PM

JJ, there is a huge market in vintage instruments and the value goes beyond the sound...often in spite of it. Some wonderful pieces go into glass cases never to be played again. I think it's stupid, but the market is there. Some are really worth the extra value if they sound as they "should." But like in so many other things, age has taken over and name value plus age = big bucks.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: C-flat
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 06:31 PM

If there was less emphasis on "labels" this wouldn't be such a problem! I'm as guilty as the next man for heading straight for the Martins,Santa Cruz,etc. If we could only trust our other senses more. I recently asked Mudcat for help with info. on a guitar I'd bought.Even though I "knew" the instrument was good I wasn't happy until one of you guys could fill in the blanks. We do it to ourselves!


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 07:33 PM

I'm with JJ on this. If it sounds good, that's the only thing that matters. As for collectors of vintage instrumnts who are worried about labels, so what?

Forgeries that damage people who are have made insruments, or are making them today, now that's a very different thing.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 09:25 PM

We have a guest (JJ) I can agree with.
A distinction must be made between a well-produced instrument and cheap forgeries for the ignorant. No decent musician would be taken in by the latter. Fake labels were often inserted by dealers. The original purchasers in the 19th C might pick one of these rather than an unlabeled instrument to impress their friends, but only the non-musician is fooled.
Good instruments have been attributed to makers such as the Stradivari or Amati, etc. makers, but they are appreciated in their own right and are used by professionals today.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 09:39 PM

A sixties top of the line Ibanez and El Degas, is actually SUPERIOR to a Sixties RB250 Mastertone.

As Catspaw has recounted, I watched a blindfold test in New York where about twenty guitarists picked a Brand NEW Yamaha as having better tone, volume and projection, then a series of vintage Martins and Gibsons.

But try to get a gig with a serious Bluegrass Band if you're NOT playing a Martin or a Mastertone or at least a hand built copy of a Loar!! (even the veteran bluegrassers don't expect someone to pay fifty grand for an F-5!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 09:39 PM

My son's fiddle was probably made by Spaw. The label reads "Antonius Stradivarius, Columbus, Ohio".


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 09:54 PM

My sister Susan has a couple of Japanese guitars. One is an older Takamine, it may be one of the ones that Martin sued Takamine over. It has the same shaped headstock as a Martin and the logo looks a lot like the C.F. Martin script.

The other is a Yamaha that I actually bought for my ex, hoping she would start to play. Susan helped me pick it out, and it was their second from the very top of their line. When it was just collecting dust and Susan was having pick up problems with her other guitar, a Daoin, I suggested that she play the Yamaha until she got the Daion fixed. That was a couple of years ago and I haven't seen the Daion since. She has been playing with a lot of players different players, many of whom have Martins, Gibsons etc. She said that at first she was intimidated by their instruments, now she says that it sounds as good as most, better than a lot that were far more expensive guitars.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 11:08 PM

indeed how it plays and sounds wins hands down for me. Real quality vintage instruments usually play and sound better than the average. The epitome of having an instrument for its "name", in my experience anyway, was a guy back in the sixties who was called "The Banjo King" who had a huge collection of banjos, the best of the best and numerous times over. In the Chicago Sun Times article on this collector it was mentioned that he couldn't PLAY!

too sad!

CB


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Feb 02 - 11:17 PM

Recently there was a thread (another reason to be Homeless?) that showed a vintage Martin that had obviously been played hard for many years. The asking price was $140,000. It occurred to me that it would be nice if there were some sort of fund that puts these instruments in the hands of worthy musicians. I believe that this sort of arrangement is in place with major orchestras and this keeps the Stradivarius's etc. in play where they belong. Sure many vintage instruments look pretty behind glass, but looking pretty is not how they became vintage instruments.

I'm hoping that the Aria Pro banjo that is on it's way to me will be in the league of the banjo's that Rick described. I sure can't afford a vintage Gibson. Apparently the parts on the Aria are interchangable with the Mastertone.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: C-flat
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 12:13 AM

I read the same thread Steve, and it occured to me at the time that it's the serious collectors, many of which probably don't even play, that are creating these ridiculous situations! It's got to be an artificial market that can put a price of $140,000 on a guitar! These guys are just looking for investments whether its guitars or vintage cars and I for one wish they would move on and leave these beautiful instruments in their rightful place,i.e.the hands of a player rather than some vault!


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 12:43 AM

Dicho--I was talking to an ex-vintage trader, who says he has quit the business because it had become increasingly difficult to recognize the fakes--the time is long past when sound and feel were a giveaway--and there are luthiers around who can crack out instruments that are close enough in sound and look to the classics that age marks and smell are the only sign(except that they tend to be proud enough of their work to want their own name on it)--


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: John Hardly
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 10:29 AM

I've never liked the notion of the "collectible" market, whether its beany babies or vintage Martins that get stuck behind glass.

When it comes to buying instruments on sound only though...
I don't think that we will ever judge our instruments soley on their sound

I find that much of what we want in the appearance and style of our guitars (I guess I should limit the assertion to myself) is.....well...
We'd rather have a neutral reaction to the appearance of our guitars (when we perform) than a negative one.

You're swimming upstream if you think your audience won't draw certain conclusions about your music by the visuals you give them – hell, music is full of "costuming" whether it's hats/no hats country or a bandana to show you don't give a damn (when in fact you've just illustrated that you do)

One way we do this is by going the traditional route------Collings, SGC, H&D. We know that, if we play one of these, we aren't likely to elicit negative thoughts about the appearance of our guitars------especially as it might imply more about our music than we want it to.

The converse is true to some extent. If we play a Breedlove (a guitar with a high degree of idiosyncratic design) we might fear alienating our audience before we even begin. Now, if we are of a confident nature, we make take this as a challenge----that people will appreciate the difference in our guitar and us

. One other way to avoid being taste-commited in our choice of guitars is to have one that is well worn. this conveys to others that we have more important things on our mind than the appearance of our guitar-----but it also takes away the fear of them thinking more highly of us than we're comfortable presenting.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 10:51 AM

Outstanding post John. No matter that we say it's just us, it ain't. I think it is virtually impossible to live without both projecting an image and also making judgments on the images of others. The words themselves often do it.......Folksinger=? Yeah, you can fill in the blanks as well as I can and the real thing is that what we might see is probably a lot different from what the general public sees. And it's true in any field of endeavor or facet of life you care to name.

Speaking of Breedlove, since you brought it up.......Have you played one? I really think they'd sell a lot more if they weren't so visually quirky.

Interesting thoughts John.....

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 11:34 AM

Two of my friends bought "AMAZING" electric violins. They're designed sort of like a Gibson Flying V..and don't look at all traditional. In both cases they reported that their audiences complained. It bothered SO many at a contra Dance that my friend drove home on the break to get his other fiddle. Ironically his OTHER fiddle is an electric Barcus Berry PAINTED brown......but it LOOKS like a violin.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 12:14 PM

Exactly Rick!!!

Listening to amplified Bluegrass, I KNOW the sound isn't the same but it's okay as long as I see them playing trad looking instruments, but let's outfit the band with these:

Fiddle
Mandolin
Banjo
Guitar
Bass

And now it's somehow "different"..............

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: John Hardly
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 12:39 PM

Rick and catspaw,
Y'know it sorta hits me as visual "Muzak". We all know that the music in Muzak is technically excellent -- but so damn homogenized it lacks any feel.

When we're at a contra dance, or bluegrass concert we really want the visuals that make the experience complete. I mean, man, if we wanted JUST the music of the experience we'd stay home and spin CDs. We want to be reminded of our humanity and, god forbid, want to have some romantic notions that technology (including "improved" violins) aren't going to homogenize the whole damn world.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 12:56 PM

Dancers can be real idiots when it comes to what is "appropriate"--when we had to replace our upright bass player in the int'l folkdance band, we found an electric player who knew the music and the dances, but the dancers raised Holy Hell--better no bass than an evil "electric" one--he quit after two gigs because he didn't enjoy the nasty remarks--


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: John Hardly
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 12:58 PM

...also catspaw,
I just know you were lookin' for a link to the "flying V" takamine that Elderly had a few months ago -- 1 part "flying V" one part D28 -- what a bluegrass instrument!

Scruggs on banjocaster and Flatt on Flying V


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: GUEST,just wanted to add
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 01:00 PM

take a look at willie nelsons guitar, looks like crap. So with him it must be the bandana!


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: John Hardly
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 01:00 PM

M.Ted,
seriously, you don't see any rhythmic difference between an upright's thump and an electic's sustain?


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 01:10 PM

I don't think at dances over here people seem to worry much about that stuff. Who watc hes the band apart from other musicians anyway? Does it sound all right, and does the caller have the knowledge and the knack, that's what people care about.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 01:19 PM

I have a Collings D2H that I paid $2100 for. (Hey, I bought it from Jack Lawrence. It had been on stage with Doc his own self for years. Jack only wanted what it was worth as a guitar, without the bragging rights. What choice did I have?)

I also have an all-plywood-including-the-top lawsuit Tak (Takamine Martin copy) that I paid $150 for, plus shipping.

The Collings sounds better than the Takamine. Maybe twice as good. Maybe not quite that.

What's wrong with this picture?

Peter. (who would buy them both again, naetheless)


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 01:52 PM

It's funny, I mentioned that my sister has a Daion that she doesn't play anymore. It is a very nice sounding and playing guitar, but it's a very unique design. She got tired of people talking to her more about her guitar than her music.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 04:15 PM

John,

You can get any sound you want out of an electric, if you can play it, and the electric guy was a way better player than the upright guy--


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: John Hardly
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 04:51 PM

well I guess I haven't heard the right players then :>)


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: RichM
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 05:13 PM

Have a look at this site__Ed Roman's thoughts about vintage fakes.

Clicky


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 05:47 PM

My understanding has always been that the Stradivarius label inside a factory violin was simply intended to indicate that the instrument was built in the "style" of Stradivarius, rather than being any attempt at deception.

I remember as a child peering in the F-hole of my father's fiddle, seeing a Stradivarius label and becoming excited. But the excitement was short-lived.

Undoubtedly, there has to be a thriving trade in fake vintage electrics, but I cannot imagine anybody successfully selling a fake vintage Martin these days. Apart from anything else how would they duplicate the branded logo in the back reinforcing strip ?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 06:40 PM

If Martin did it once, there are any number of people who could figure out how to do it again--and even when there are details missing the forger is ably assisted by buyers who want to believe--


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 06:54 PM

Well, Ted, you would have to have a branding iron made to duplicate the Martin iron, and my bet is that no manufacturer would be prepared to do it. And I very much doubt if the security at CF Martin is so lax that you would be able to obtain a branding iron illegally.

But, you're right, people want to believe ....

Murray


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 07:00 PM

As I understand it there's a distinction between "Stradivarius me fecit" - which means "Stradivarius made me" and "Stradivarius me faciebit", meaning "Stradivarius could have made me" - meaning it's claiming to be as good as.

In both cases it'd probably be a fib anyway.

There's the story of a man rummaging around in an attic, and he finds a battered old vioin, and an odd-looking old picture. So he takes it along to an expert.

And after a good look at them and looking around inside and all, the expert comes out and says "This is really strange. You know what you've got there? You've got a Stadivarius and a Rembrandt."

So the man is hopping around with delight - and the expert says. "Yes - but I'm afraid I've bad news for you. It was Rembrandt built the violin, and it was Stradivarius painted the picture. And they are both real rubbish."


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 09:05 PM

Steve, they just want to MEET HER! Steve's sister looks a thousand times better than STEVE!

On the other hand the Daion WAS a very radical guitar...lotsa brass stuff....it held MY interest!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Arbuthnot
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 09:13 PM

If you want to fake a Martin, they'll sell you the parts from their luthiers supply arm, but the work you have to put in makes it not worthwhile. If you want to make a fake the easiest targets are Les Paul and Fender electrics.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 23 Feb 02 - 11:40 PM

Rick,

Gump Worsley looks 100 times better than I do.


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 12:07 AM

You're hot tonight Steve!

One of the commonest "Legitimate" fakes are all those hundreds of "TB" (tenor banjo) Mastertones, that were converted to five strings throught the sixties to present day. The tenors sold for relatively small bucks ('cause Dixieland was seen as passe) but the five string conversions fetch huge prices. That's what motivated a lot of folks to start taking "The Gibson" pearl peghead inlay off really cheap ukes etc. and putting them on Ibanez and El Degas fives. Many five hundred dollar banjos were being sold for three and four thousand. The original forger just had to say..."I didn't know. It was that way when I got it"

Rick


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 12:56 AM

Murray,

As Arbuthnot says, the trouble/profit ratio makes electrics, such as the Pauls and Fender things more likely targets. Also, it has been pointed out that, though American mfgs might be hesitant to do such things, foreign manufacturers would likely have much less hesitation--


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Subject: RE: Fake Vintage Instruments
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 24 Feb 02 - 05:49 AM

Many of the German violins were made as 'replicas' of Strads with no intent to decieve. To the 19th century makers the label was an important part. I recently aquired a violin with a Berlin label, and noticed the corner of another one under it. This turned out to be the best copy of a strad label I have seen, and it had been hidden for over 100 years.


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