Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

DR103, DR103OL, DR504, DR504OL, DR103S (Gilmour), CP103 (Townshend), Lead 30, Lead 50, Lead 100, DR201, DR405, SA112, SA212, SA412, SE4121, SE4122, SE4123

Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby Callaway_1 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:32 pm

I am faced with a moral dilemma.

I have been compiling a list of Fake HIWATTs made by MG. These amps were sold to unsuspecting people as "All Original Vintage Amps". Most were HIWATTs of some sort either PA heads or Slave amps, then converted into more desireable DR504's, DR103's, DR201's and DR405's. Counterfeit serial tags were made, sometimes using the original serial number.

Last year I bought a DR405 from a very cool person who I honestly believe did not know the amp was anything but legit. After countless hours going through the amp, trying to determine what was not "right" about it, I stumbled on pics of the same amp taken years earlier when it was still an STA400. I was sick to my stomach.

I realize that no one wants to be stuck with the counterfeit, but when must someone speak up and stop the chain of deceit?
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby 57lpjr on Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:24 pm

I'd sure want to know if I had one...
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby pckpat on Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:04 pm

yes,it sure hoovers to be sold items under false pretenses.as far as speaking up,esp.when this fraud has been perpetrated more than once,by the same people,yes,definitely.and,even though i have very little faith in the various law enforcement agencies,perhaps they should be given a heads up as well.it seems even worse when the people involved in the scam set themselves up as some kind of experts in the field,as m* has for years.i don't see how they have been pulling the sh!t on hapless musicians for years with impunity.i try to deal only with people i know personally,and who really do have the professional ethics to back their reputations.and it's really hard to seek redress when you are separated by international boundaries.i particularly feel empathy with you this week,calloway.i just found out last week i've been scammed for $750 by my former insurance broker.(who has been fired in the interim)hopefully the guy didn't charge you top dollar for the rebadged item,because a well-done counterfeit hiwatt wouldn't be a total burn.still, i know i would be very po'd after paying for and expecting to get the real thing.unfortunately this kind of thing has been going on at least since i started getting involved with the vintage musical instrument market 35 years ago.i was had on a les paul deal when i was about twenty,and since then have tried to educate myself against the same thing recurring.
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby jcmh on Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:19 am

made by MG


This is an interesting theory. I am sure you know a lot more about the world of HW than I, but why would MG bother doing this? With the concession for UK and the rest of the EU to profit by, by the time they pay someone to do the mods would it pay them as much as putting out the new re-issues? Besides, if they really did get nailed for it, it would park their reputation in "go to jail" rather than "get out of jail" as far as the people who might buy their products ... If they have done this, it has been a REALLY dumb move. Taking these amps and modifying and being transparent about what they are would be an entirely different matter ... then the buyer knows what they are getting. As in all business, it's all about transparency that makes markets work ... without it, they fail ... perhaps all the odds and sods for sale out of Doncaster is an indicator of a need for cash ... especially at the inflated prices being asked

.. j
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby Callaway_1 on Tue Mar 03, 2009 2:04 am

Why bother? Slave amps in the 1990's and early 2000's were dirt cheap. The retail price of gear in the MG store = premium. They sold a DR504 to an unsuspecting guy in Texas at the Arlington Guitar Show. The buyer told me the story. The counterfeit 400 I owned was acquired by them just a few years ago when it was still the original STA400.

Have you any idea of the price of a 1973 DR405? a 1974 sold in Europe last spring for $7700.00

A couple thousand Pounds net on a DR405.

Several hundred Pounds net on a DR103/DR504
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby Big_Stu on Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:01 pm

Stop the press! Hold the bus! You're not saying that MG tell lies to sell things are you???? :shhh:

Is this the same MG who had/have for sale a "phallic shaped" alleged John Birch custom guitar. JB himself told me it was forged, & hatchet job using his parts off an old guitar.
MG sold it as having belonged to Andy Scott of 70's band The Sweet, I asked Andy & he told them it was lies so the owner took it back to MG. They now have it back on the Bay for almost £3000 - NOW claiming it was made for another minor 70's band - which is still a lie - I checked with them too.

JB was mostly a nice guy, certainly did me a couple of favours; now dead, so he can't defend himself.
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby jcmh on Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:11 am

MG tell lies to sell things


This is all quite depressing to hear, and I don't doubt what you are saying. I was just expecting more class. Unfortunately it does fit with the "factory blow out" sale they are running ... VERY inflated prices ... much like anything else I have seen them list on Ebay in recent memory .. few details and big price

.. j
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby awkwardsilence on Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:28 am

It sounds like some folk here don't know about what MG have been doing for a few years now; serious 'high end' vintage amp collectors won't touch anything that passes through MG, I'm mainly talking about rare/early Marshall amps, as apparently many an early PA has gone into their workshops never to be seen again then a few months later they've miraculously found yet another stash of ultra rare super early JTM45s from somewhere...

I really feel for Clayton with the DR405 and agree that something should be done to stop this practise as with the prices some of these rare amps fetch (in excess of £10k for rare Marshall examples) it's way beyond a joke. I would say that they are commiting a criminal offence by knowingly trying to pass off an amp as something it was not originally in the same way as forging a piece of art or any other important/valuable historical item. I am sure they could be prosecuted but I guess it comes down to how much evidence there is and if anyone can actually prove that whatever changes were made to these amps occured in their workshops, which I presume would be hard to do.

Clayton, if you're serious about doing something about this or at very least would like some more examples, post something in the Marshall section here asking folks to come forward with details of any rare amps they suspect have had the 'MG treatment'. It's a busy forum and there are many incredibly knowledgeable vintage Marshall folks there who I am sure would be happy to help with information.

I've never bought anything from MG and I never would, so I don't have a personal issue with them but I do hate what they have done.
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby Callaway_1 on Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:38 pm

I think the issue with the 400 has been resolved.
There is a DR103 that has been discussed here recently that is in the same boat.

The seller tried to sell it on the Gear Page and I questioned him about it and the threads disapeared. I saved pics of it for my registry, and to help prevent others from getting screwed, but someone new bought it without any knowledge.

There are people out there that are going to be really angry and in denial when they face the facts.......
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby mkguitar on Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:42 pm

Is there a quick and easy method to discern the fakes?

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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby Big_Stu on Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:23 pm

mkguitar wrote:Is there a quick and easy method to discern the fakes?

MK


Not really, you'd have to judge each one on it's own merits - or lack of them! Though if the ad was anything to do with MG I'd already have alarm bells clanging.
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby mikhail on Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:51 pm

mkguitar wrote:Is there a quick and easy method to discern the fakes?

If you know what to look for, yes. The font on the fake s/n tags is slightly different, and the ones I've seen have a swirled/burnished look to the aluminum, different than a genuine Hylight.

If you get to inspect the guts you'll find extra preamp holes (if it was originally a PA head), and the pot date codes might vary widely.
Last edited by mikhail on Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby marantz1300 on Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:28 pm

I am shocked.Naive I suppose.Surly they should be prosecuted .I saw the one on gear page and wondered why he wanted to get rid of it so quickly . Is this really true?
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby Callaway_1 on Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:53 pm

I have several pics of serial tags. The key to identifying the counterfeits is the scale of the parenthesis around HYLIGHT ELECTRONICS. Once you know what to look for it is unmistakeable. There are always internal things to see, and I will add pics as my schedule allows.

Sadly this is completely true.
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Re: Lies at Leeds or Duped by Doncaster

Postby Callaway_1 on Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:31 pm

Fake tag. Notice the parenthesis. This amp is pictured on Mark Huss' site in its original form an STA 400. recognize the "B"???

Image


Genuine tag.

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