Skip to comments.Chinese Company Creates Counterfeit Martin Guitars
Posted on 02/24/2011 7:51:52 AM PST by Dr. Scarpetta
UPPER NAZARETH TWP., Pa. -- A Northampton County guitar company says its brand has been high jacked and there's not much that can be done about it.
Counterfeit Martin Guitars are being sold in China and the company doing it isn't breaking any national laws.
Martin Guitar has been making guitars in Northampton County for 178 YEARS.
Just recently it decided to expand its market to China.
When the owners tried to register, they found that someone else had already trade marked their name and was putting it on what they call poorly made guitars.
"A Chinese national has highjacked our brand and is making, unfortunately, poorly made copies of Martin guitars with my families name on them," said CEO of Martin Guitar, C.F. Martin.
It's a sour note for Martin Guitar Company.
"Stop putting my name on your guitars. It's just not right," said Martin.
"It appears that the Chinese government has sanctioned the counterfeiting," said Martin.
"In China it really is the first person to register the brand gets to own it. Even if they didn't found the brand."
A simple Google search of "Martin Guitars" and the word "China" results in an ebay guide warning consumers about the fraud.
"You can feel it," said Martin, holding one of the fake guitars with his name on it.
"You can feel it's crack and it will eventually pull itself apart and implode."
(Excerpt) Read more at wfmz.com ...
Man, that’s rough. Martin — the American one — is the finest acoustic guitar I’ve ever played.
The Japanese did this in the 1950s.
Some mechanical parts were stamped “Made in USA.”
Upon investigation, the parts were said to have been made in Usa, Japan, a tiny fishing village...
"C. F. Martin produced a total of 80 black D-42JC Johnny Cash Signature Model guitars in 1997, #1 of which Cash played for the rest of his life, except for a short period when it went back to Nazareth for repairs after an onstage mishap. But, for years previous to the arrival of his D-42JC, Johnny Cashs favorite Martin was a modified D-35 Custom, his and Martin's first with an original polished black finish. It was this guitar that Cash played on stage for nearly 20 years."
Famous Martin Owners
Reason #756,427 why.....You support Free Trade with Communist China...you are a Communist
Hope Martin can get this situation fixed. Unfortunately, too many of the Free Trade Communists support the Communist Chinese over American companies
They do this with everything.
In my line of business, I have to look out for counterfeit ICs (Integrated Circuits) chips.......
It’s their mindset for thousands of years. Copying someone else’s product is not considered a crime or immoral, it’s normal. They have no sense of intellectual property rights, it’s a foreign concept to them.
A man I used to work for had his electronic product design essentially stolen from him, overnight. The people he was working with were busy making ‘his’ product under their own brand, all the while telling him there were ‘delays’ and stalling his product’s debut........
Many people are not aware of this problem.
My dad was a procurement officer for the Army in Japan. I don’t think he never saw any “Made in Usa” parts but heard the story plenty of times.
Seems it was always the Navy buyer who got duped.
I first heard the story during the 1980’s, when the Japanese were going to own us all.
They see a device or object and perceive it as a thing that can be copied and manufactured for profit, not as the sole property of the designer. Like the 'wheel' or anything that has been around for centuries, it is the same to them. They simply cannot understand Western thinking that you are not to copy this thing for yourself. This problem has been around for quite a while, not just when a famous musical instrument maker gets burned..............
I hear of this time and time again. And still American Companies in the search for short term profits get burned.
When I was a young lad I had the chance to visit the National Museum of China. The displays of Artwork were stunning even for a 11 year old. But I remember then my teacher making a comment about how the artists who made these beautiful things were never remembered and comparing it to Westerners who always made the attempt to identify the artist with the work.
Example would be Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
In China there has never been a concept of Intellectual Property, never. It was always dog eat dog and if someone had a good idea, take it, use it. It might be the difference between surviving or not.
Chinese Company Creates Counterfeit _________________
(fill in the blank....almost anything will do...)
Report this fraud at the following links:
That is exactly right. They consider everything ‘fair game’. If your design works better than the (stolen) one I currently use, then I will use yours. Kinda like evolution theory, survival of the fittest.............
They CAN fight it, although in China, its never easy. Its a common problem, so many Chinese and foreign law firms in China have experience in this are of trademarks. Chinese consumers themselves are aware of their national disease of “counterfeiting” and will go to great lengths to be sure they are getting the “real thing” - so marketing can focus on this also.
Of course, it takes a lot of money, and commitment to be in China for the long-haul.
I knew they’d overpaid for damned near everything they bought here. When Bridgestone bought Firestone, they paid the equivelent of $78/share for a near-bankrupt tire company that had just recalled almost a million tires (the Firestone 500.)
Firestone had no radial products, its plants were old and the labor union was on strike every 12 to 18 months.
Bridgestone bought Firestone only because Pirelli of Italy wanted to buy it.
"At Martin's Nazareth, Pa., factory, Sophie Eckhart inspects a 1 Series guitar. The new model is an effort to maintain sales with cash-strapped musicians." (2009)
“Guitar Maker Revives No-Frills Act From ‘30s”
By TIMOTHY AEPPEL...2009
NAZARETH, Pa. — “At a bustling factory on the outskirts of this eastern Pennsylvania town, one of the world’s oldest guitar makers is using a Depression-era strategy to keep production flowing and avert layoffs.
Workers at C.F Martin & Co. are putting finishing touches on the solid-wood 1 Series model, so named for its simplicity.
It lacks inlay, as did the company’s stripped-down 1930s model, and is expected to sell for less than $1,000, breaking a key price point and far less than its $100,000 limited-edition guitars made of Brazilian rosewood.
More popular Martins generally sell for $2,000 to $3,000.
Initial reaction is promising. The company, which had sales of $93 million last year, introduced the 1 Series in April and promptly sold out its first year’s output of 8,000 guitars.
“We needed something so we wouldn’t have to start laying people off,” says Chris Martin, the company’s chief executive and sixth generation of his family to lead the closely held company, which was founded in 1833 in New York City.”
I love my Martin. I’ve got a DC16RGTE. It’s kind of a prima donna, but it’s been a good guitar.
I recently fell in love with a D-35. It’s very pricey and very beautiful. It would make such a great addition to my guitar family (Martin, Guild, Gibson, Gretsch, Tacoma, Fender) but I haven’t been able to convince my husband to spend $2300 right now.
“I recently fell in love with a D-35. Its very pricey and very beautiful. It would make such a great addition to my guitar family (Martin, Guild, Gibson, Gretsch, Tacoma, Fender) but I havent been able to convince my husband to spend $2300 right now.”
Don’t buy a D-35. They tend towards the “muddy” sound.
If you’ve got upwards of $2k to spend, and have a little Martin GAS (guitar acquisition syndrome), I’d recommend something in mahogany with an Adirondack spruce top, such as:
* D-18 Golden Era (one of the best models they’ve ever made - used ones go for about $2k)
* D-16A (Adirondack top and beautiful appointments). Just saw a beautiful used one at umgf.com for $1,300.
* Something else with an Adirondack top
The combination of adirondack & mahogany gives a wonderful clarity of individual notes combined with plenty of volume, “woodiness”, and punch.
As a side note, I remember back 35 years ago, with a young Chris Martin and Dick Boak traveling around in a van, setting up a display with some current Martins at bluegrass festivals, selling strings, etc. I bought a guitar from him back then.
One other thing:
Nothing against the Martins, but have you ever thought of trying a Bourgeois? Amazing instruments. I’d suggest looking for a gently-used “Country Boy Deluxe” (which has the adirondack top). That’s my “go to” instrument these days.
Absolutely! They do it with drilling rigs too. If you subcontract any part of your business to a Chinese company you can expect it to be stolen if it is worth anything. If you need to outsource any of your work, find your subcontractor on shore. You will be happier in the long run. It’s too bad that that has not been the mind set of big US companies over the past 20 years.
Why, of course, copyright violation, patent violation, reverse engineering, industrial espionage and copying and counterfeiting are mainstays of the Chinese economy, and have been for decades.
What rock was C.F. Martin hiding under the last 10 years or so...China copies EVERYTHING that ANY American company allows them to produce.
That said on one of the link's - I can't find it at the moment - it was claimed that Martin >sometimes< drop ships wood supplies to China where the parts are cut. The parts are then shipped to the USA where they are assembled. I don't know if it's true but anymore I wouldn't be surprised.
FWIW I think Martin's - and MANY other makes, USA and foreign - are WAY overpriced. You are buyng the name. A couple of years ago a friend put me on to Seagull guitars made in Canada. Part of the Godin family. Great sound and very reasonably priced. Cedar and Sitka tops with either solid wood or laminate other parts depending on how mush you can spend. Even the laminates sound great!
That said I like to fingerpick and learned a long time ago that sometimes it isn't the guitar, it's mostly how it's set up.
A pig of a guitar can sound just fine. To prove the point I bought a "Silvertone" - probably re-branded Samick - on Ebay a few years ago for $6 and shipping of $30. The action was moderate as it came but I tinkered with it, re-worked the frets, replaced the plastic bridge and pins and tried different strings until I found the ones I like.
The action is smooth and fast. Not as fast as my electric original Venture's model Mosrite but good and easy to play.
It actually appears to be of solid wood construction! Tone is fine but it could use more sustain. The only problems are that it does have some very light buzz at times. I could eliminate that but it's so light it's almost unnoticeable. Besides as long as it isn't "slappy" I kinda like the overtones. Almost 12 stringish or similar to that effect rockers seem to like.
The other problem is that like almost all dreadnoughts the bass can get boomy with medium to heavy strings. I use the combo bluegrass strings or the Martin lights I have on now. Bluegrass can boom some but there is very boom with the lights.
Yeah...wish I had been a luthier...sigh.
The Globalist have wanted to implode the dollar and collapse the US economy for a long time. They’ve built up the Chinese, shifting our manufacturing and industry there the past twenty years so they’ll be right there to pick up the slack. There won’t even be a shortage of guitars after we go down.
Most people are clueless about this.
I’ve heard Bourgeois but haven’t had the opportunity played one. The guy from Nichol Creek plays one. Some friends have been bragging about Breedloves. Also, a lot of folks swear by Taylors. I guess I’m just a Martin girl at heart.
I’ll keep you advice in mind when I get the money (always have the craving) for another guitar. I also have a banjo, mandolin, fiddle, electic bass and just got a soprano ukulele which I’m having a lot of fun with.
I friend has a wonder D-18 that she bought for nothing many years ago. Such a great sound. She also has a Martin ukulele. She said she traveled all over Europe with it and it never went out of tune.
“Ive heard Bourgeois but havent had the opportunity played one. The guy from Nichol Creek plays one. Some friends have been bragging about Breedloves. Also, a lot of folks swear by Taylors. I guess Im just a Martin girl at heart.”
I was that way for years, then started exploring other makers.
I’ve got a 1966 D-28 I bought new — went to work in a supermarket to get it at 17. A 45-year-old “one owner”!
But for about 20 years my favorite was an early Santa Cruz “D-Rice”.... till I found the Bourgeois (bought unseen from ebay).
Lately, I’ve discovered something VERY interesting: carbon-fiber guitars. You can leave these is hot cars, cold cars, take them right out and play them, they’re weather- and humidity-resistant. The perfect “festival/travel” guitar. And they sound remarkably good. The Rainsongs I’ve tried have much of the clarity and tonal characteristics of mahogany/adirondack. Of course, it LOOKS ‘way different than a wooden guitar, and some folks might give you funny looks at the festivals. Hand it to them and let them play it, and they may change their minds!
You might check out the Rainsong “S-DR1000N2 Dreadnought”. It’s very affordable, sounds great, has Fishman electronics and a built-in tuner. You can see pics and hear a sound sample here:
BTW, thepodium.com also carries Martins, and others. The sound samples are terrific because they are all the same. It’s possible to download them as mp3’s, then play them “side-by-side” to compare the tonal differences between instruments.
Another site that has good sound clips is themandolinstore.com.
(no financial interest in either of the above businesses)
A friend bought a carbon-fiber upright bass. She says not even airline baggage handlers can hurt it.
I’ve borrowed & played a number of Martins over the years, but the best guitar I ever played was Glenn Tilbrook’s 6-string Taylor. Smooth action and great sound with (probably) medium light strings. I’m sure he’s got a great tech to set it up, or he’s a whiz at it himself, but I was all but drooling for the guitar after playing it.
The Chicoms have been flooding the market with fake Zippo lighters for years.
Not true at all. I was in China in 2008, and tried to buy some Olympic merchandise. The ChiCom Government held a monopoly on that trademark, and trust me, it was honored by the business community. In a major city, millions of people, a large manufacturing sector, and an important transportation hub, there were TWO officially sanctioned stores with Olympic merchandise. In three cities I never saw a single Olympic themed product for sale, except at an official store.
This in a country where DVDs of American movies that hadn't even been released in theaters in the US were hawked by street vendors. The Chinese understand intellectual property just fine. And they absolutely honor those property rights when they are held by the ChiCom Government. The Government just don't care if they ripoff everyone else in the world.
Yes, when the government is the property rights holder, the enforcement is at the end of an AK-47...........
Ahhh. There’s nothing like guitar lust. ;-)
Hadn’t heard about Zippo...