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Thread: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    D'Addario's website has this page giving detailed information on how to identify counterfeit strings:

    http://www.daddario.com/upload/DABR_...wRes_12587.pdf

    It seems to me this won't be much help if purchasing online, as most of the identifying characteristics require physical contact, and conterfeit packaging are hardly going to be displayed by an internet merchant. I just hope none of our associated dealers get taken in by some disreputable distributor.

    Another sad aspect of this is that they have virtually given counterfeiters a primer in how to improve their techniques to more closely imitate the genuine articles. But it's still very helpful to consumers for the time being.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Just a quick reminder that one can purchase strings directly from D'Addario at reasonable prices. There can be no better way to ensure you're getting 'the real thing'. For example, here is the page for buying J74 mandolin strings (one would choose option 3 to purchase directly from D'Addario).
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    It just occurred to me that D'Addario must have notified its dealers of the situation. And since they would be getting their strings from the source, patronizing the dealers we always have should be safe.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    It just occurred to me that D'Addario must have notified its dealers of the situation. And since they would be getting their strings from the source, patronizing the dealers we always have should be safe.
    Agreed. The major online vendors like Juststrings or Elderly shouldn't be affected by this. It shouldn't hit any local mom & pop music stores that are buying direct from D'Addario either. This is mostly about "too good to be true" deals on Ebay, which should always be approached with caution.

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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    I agree with you JB. I buy my strings from Janet Davis Music,but i reckon that all the well known dealers will get their strings direct from D'Addario so they should be a safe bet. It beats me why,when the authentic product is available for a very low cost (especially when compared to UK prices),anybody would think it worth while to counterfeit strings.To attract potential buyers,they'd have to price them below the lowest price of the authentic product,so the profit margin would be very low,& unless they expect to sell thousands of sets,why bother ?,
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    Registered User chipotle's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    I didn't know you could get individual strings directly from D'Addario, though it makes sense. Counterfeit strings, wow.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Kelsall View Post
    I agree with you JB. I buy my strings from Janet Davis Music,but i reckon that all the well known dealers will get their strings direct from D'Addario so they should be a safe bet. It beats me why,when the authentic product is available for a very low cost (especially when compared to UK prices),anybody would think it worth while to counterfeit strings.To attract potential buyers,they'd have to price them below the lowest price of the authentic product,so the profit margin would be very low,& unless they expect to sell thousands of sets,why bother ?,
    Ivan
    They counterfeit strings because it's easy and cheap. Buy any kind of string and print up some packaging -- what could be easier? It's not as hard as making a phony handbag or watch. 15 million guitar players in the US alone. If your profit margin was even only $1 a set and you could get 1% of the market--what did the article say? D addario produces 80 million sets of strings a year? That's 800,000! That's real money! Even if you fall short of 1% and only make 50 cents a set it's pretty profitable particularly if you live in China.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by chipotle View Post
    I didn't know you could get individual strings directly from D'Addario, though it makes sense.
    Yes, that was an upside to this weird story. Years ago I ended up at Strings And Beyond after searching the web for best prices (Janet Davis made the short list, too) and have stuck with them ever since. Single strings were a bit harder to find, but now that I have learned D'Addario has them at the same price as elsewhere, I will get my extra E strings right from them. Might as well send some bucks their way for all the good times they have brought me (however indirectly) over the years.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Years ago on eBay there was a seller selling a big lot of guitar strings in very plain packages labelled "Daddadio". There was no resemblance, tho the real packaging. They would be real nice strings to put on a Givson guitar.
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    garded
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    The thing that has me baffled in this whole thing is why can't I buy singles of EXP's???? Dealers can't, they don't offer it on their site, what's up wit dat?

    And I never buy my strings anyplace except a dealer, whether online or local.

    One weird thing though is I got the new micro-fine coated EXP 75's. They sound better than the previous coating, but for the first time in using EXP's, I'm getting that oxidization "black" on my fingers. I thought coating was to stop oxidization? Anybody else notice this?
    I got these strings from one of the big boys, so they should be "real". Makes me wonder though.

    And also looking through that "guide", literally none of it applies to mandolin strings. There's no "anti corrosion bag" to check #'s, no ball end, the wraps don't look the same. nuthin'.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    I always buy my strings from a music store. It's an excuse to go and then since I'm there I get to test drive a few instruments. There is nothing better than playing a top quality instrument in a room adorned with hundreds of very expensive reverberating speakers hanging on the wall. I know I'm not buying when I pick up a $8000 Altman or a Duff or a vintage F4 or a Sexauer guitar so I can somewhat relieve my guilt about being a total deadbeat by buying something I can afford and strings fall into that category. I guess a question about the counterfeits would be, Does it apply to mandolin strings? Fewer mandolin player,lots of guitar players maybe the counterfeiters haven't branched into that market. Tony P, do you get black on your fingers from all stings or just the EXP 75's? Some of us are more acidic than others, myself included. Almost all the water I drink has coffee mixed in it and is a possible cause of the problem. Some people are absolute string killers and others seem to never have the problem at all. I used to play with a woman that would never blacken her fingers from playing.Her strings lasted forever and looked like new but if I played her guitar my fingers would turn black, it wasn't the strings.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    When I was using plain ol' J 74's I'd get a little black. My strings would last usually about 6weeks with a couple gig's a month. When I went to EXP 74's, no black, and I'd get 6mo easy out of a set strings. The first EXP 75's, no black, 6mo.

    Now, the new set of EXP75's I'm getting black. They have only been on about a week. They sound so much better than the old EXP75's, I'm happy about that.

    I drink coffee in the morning, and never after like 9am. And no soda's, only iced tea every once in a while. Water is my main drink. I've never had an acidic nature, so that's why I'm kinda shocked about the new strings. Now if they last like the old EXP's I'm not worried about the black. But if this means that the coating is now so thin as to not do what's it supposed do, that's no bueno.

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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Fake J74s - is nothing sacred?

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    Registered User Lefty Luthier's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    I began to notice fake D'Addario strings about three years ago. I have warned my customers to be very aware of the issue. Since one can order strings directly from D'Addario, there is no excuse to purchase fakes.
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty Luthier View Post
    I began to notice fake D'Addario strings about three years ago. I have warned my customers to be very aware of the issue. Since one can order strings directly from D'Addario, there is no excuse to purchase fakes.
    I was not aware of the fake strings issue. I'm not concerned because I buy only from reputable string vendors or music stores but when you noticed these fakes who was selling them -- eBay or places like that? Thanks.

    Lefty, never mind I just found the other string on the topic. TX
    Last edited by Bernie Daniel; Dec-08-2010 at 10:10am. Reason: more info
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    I am stunned to learn this has been going on for so long. And to just hear about it now.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Do you think it would be safe to assume that my brick and mortar Guitar Center gets it strings directly from D'Addario?

    I had been bugging them for months to carry mandolin strings, and at my recommendation they now always have a few sets of J74s in stock. Since I'm pretty much responsible for them carrying the strings, I'd like to continue buying them there if I know I'm getting the 'real deal'.
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    I'm no expert, but I would think any reputable store would get its supplies directly from manufacturers. Stores usually have to pay licensing fees to carry official product, and these fees vary widely. So some stores may look for ways to cut corners. And stores that are not specifically music stores may be more suspect. Anyway, that guide from D'Addario shows what to look for, even in the packaging. Being able to hold a packet of strings in your hand and inspect it gives you a great advantage over buying them online.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    I am stunned to learn this has been going on for so long. And to just hear about it now.
    Me too!! Here is the link to the original reference in the Wall Street Journal: Associated Press:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/AP3d97...ecfce46e8.html

    I'm am sure there will be action on the part of the governments involved to deal with this matter sometime over the next decade or so. But there is a more effective approach I think. If the user community (like folks on this site) start communicating this to everyone you know who uses fretted instrument strings it will really help make this issue more widely known.

    Also legit vendors of D'Addario strings would be wise to start posting notices about this issue and to include assurances that they purchase their strings wholesale ONLY from the Long Island factory.
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    ... Being able to hold a packet of strings in your hand and inspect it gives you a great advantage over buying them online.
    Agreed. But even in a metro area as large as Cincinnati, OH it is not possible to find a reliable vendor for D'Addario mandola, octave or sometimes even tenor guitar or banjo strings. Further, while there are a few places around here that I could pick up D'Addario mandolin strings (usually) the chances that I would find a choice between J74's or J75's is a c-r-a-p shoot -- usually they might have only one set for sale? I wonder if others find this to be true as well?
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Are we to assume that all the fakes are guitar rather than mandolin strings? as the link in the original post only refers to guitar strings.

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    Work in Progress Ed Goist's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Goist View Post
    Do you think it would be safe to assume that my brick and mortar Guitar Center gets it strings directly from D'Addario?...snip...
    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    ...I would think any reputable store would get its supplies directly from manufacturers. Stores usually have to pay licensing fees to carry official product, and these fees vary widely...snip...
    Journeybear, you are correct about this. I just spoke with the manager of my local Guitar Center and he confirmed that they get their string inventory from a regional Guitar Center distribution center which is supplied directly from manufacturers. He also pointed out that the list of retailers who purchase directly from D'Addario can be found on the D'Addario web site.
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    garded
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Well I don't want to cast dispersions here, but several years ago GC used sell Oktava mic's. It was a crazy good deal, as you'd see the retail price was like $499, and they were selling them for $159. I bought one, it died. I went back and they swapped it out for another and we were good. But not too long after that, they started selling them for $99, so I got another. No prob. Then they went down to 2 for $99!!!! And then they went away. I didn't get in on that deal as it was quick. Not until later did I find out why. It seems they got caught by Oktava selling Chinese knock offs, and dumped the whole line Oktava all together.

    There is really good documentation of the differences of the Chinese and original Russian mics. I wish the info we had posted here was more for mandolin. But, like was pointed out, they probably aren't targeting mandolin as there's just not as many of us. But still would like to have better specific info.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    I know what you mean, Bernie. I started buying strings online only after the local store went out of business. There were a couple of other places as well, of which now only one remains, and their prices were/are higher than Strings And Beyond - with whom I had formed a relationship. It didn't make sense to drive 150 miles each way to go to the next closest music stores.

    I noticed that too, Ray. Not a word about mandolin strings. It could well be that the counterfeiters are going after guitar strings only, that being a much larger market share. Still, wise to be cautious.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario Guide To Identifying Counterfeit Strings

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    They would be real nice strings to put on a Givson guitar.
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