Fake Ernie Ball's.

Georgiatec

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Looking for something I don't remember what.
If some of you guys are struggling with your guitar staying in tune and strings breaking for no reason, I would start with the strings, especially if you bought from Ebay, Amazon or any other online non-music specific retailer.
We are all trying to save money where possible and the fakers exploit this. If they are half the price they are in proper music stores, then you are buying fakes.
 

Scallywag77

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Over a year ago I experienced the Ernie Balls turning my fingers black. At the time I thought it was the Fast Fret I was using. Why, I have no ideas since it hadn’t done it before or since. I also had a set that just sounded dead right out of the pack.I figured I got a bad set a changed them out. It never occurred to me they might’ve been bootleg but reading this they probably were. Those couple sets probably were ordered from Amazon. Just thrown in on top of something else I was ordering. Since then I just get them from Sweetwater.
I’ve also read about fake Tortex picks. The ink would bleed off onto the users fingers.
 

JeffMcLeod

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I buy all my strings from the local GC here. I guess if you don't live in close proximity to a music store, you're probably at the mercy of ordering online.

The only guitar strings I ever bought online was a 12-pack of high E strings .009's from GuitarFetish.com. That was like 4 or 5 years ago or so. I think I used maybe 3 or 4 of them, still have several left in the closet there somewhere.

I'm not sure what brand they are. Not even sure they ARE a brand, more of a novelty item than anything else.
 

junk notes

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This has been THE WORST sales season EVER!
I want to say that I have always seen high prices for single sets of strings, but bulk there used to be great sales on sets or gross sets. I own many different types of guitars that I play on a regular basis.
I have learned to check running my finger under the strings checking for fret divots.
One time I had not realize how much use I had on an acoustic, and the wrap had completely disintegrated underneath - whilst looking normal from the topside.
 

Deftone

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With all the legitimate places to buy online, why ppl take the chance with the scammers that run amok on Ebay is just beyond my grasp.

Because there are plenty of reputable, legitamate sellers on Ebay, including Sweetwater. Always check who you are buying from and their feedback rating.
 

Edgar Frog

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Because there are plenty of reputable, legitamate sellers on Ebay, including Sweetwater. Always check who you are buying from and their feedback rating.

If it's a big well known online music store I'd rather just go directly to their official site to buy anything from them. A lot of reviews in places like eBay mean very little to me. A lot of people that don't know any better wouldn't even know they are getting counterfeit goods and rate them highly because they got a good deal and fast shipping.
 

johnny q

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Thankfully, I have never had a fake set of EB strings (at least not that I am aware of.) I did have two strange anomalies over the course of many decades - each affecting a set of Regular Slinkies. In one pack, the high E string packet was empty and in another, the high E string physically contained a B string. Go Figure.
 

Deftone

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If it's a big well known online music store I'd rather just go directly to their official site to buy anything from them. A lot of reviews in places like eBay mean very little to me. A lot of people that don't know any better wouldn't even know they are getting counterfeit goods and rate them highly because they got a good deal and fast shipping.

Good points and that's probably a safe bet. Or buy direct.
 

paul-e-mann

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A friend of mine left 3 guitars with me for set up along with 3 packs of, what turned out to be, fake Ernie Ball 10-46's. He bought the strings off Ebay. Not something I would now recommend, but I have bought EB's off Ebay sellers in the past without any problem.
When I went through the string stretching routine, the .10 just unwound at the ball, no problem with any of the other strings, but once I fitted a spare top 'E' and got the guitar up to tune the tone of the strings was really dull and flat sounding....nothing like how genuine EB's would sound.
Curious, I contacted a seller I have bought genuine product off in the past, albeit over 12 months ago now. I asked them to confirm they were genuine before buying. They did not do this, they just said..."We are one of the biggest suppliers of Ernie Ball in the country" (UK). I replied stating that isn't what I asked and wouldn't be buying from them again.
I ordered some strings from Amazon Prime. They came next day and....they are the fakes, so will get returned.
I'm not going to go into detail of how to spot the fakes. There are vids on Youtube that show how to. Just a heads up for EB users that if you have bought off Ebay or Amazon, you may have been supplied with fake strings.
Just had a funny thought you should change the title of this thread to "Ernie Has Fake Balls". :rofl:
 

Deftone

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Money/ profit may not be the motivator behind faking things such as strings. Counterfeiting has traditionally been employed during war times to dilute the enemy's currency, drive up inflation, and cripple the economy.
Flooding a market with low ticket fake items such as strings still impacts the overall health of the economy.
If it costs EB $2.50 to make a set of strings that sells for $6 and they lose 40,000 sales units to fakes, that's a hit. Now expand this to just about everything else.

This is really resonating with me, and scaring the hell out of me.
 

El Gringo

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Thanks for the heads up! I never knew there was counterfeit guitar strings out there. I guess I'm done buying strings off of Amazon. Only Sweetwater from here on out. I think I may have some packages of fakes.

Here's a vid I found on youtube on how to tell from the packaging.

This is a really good and most informative post and makes me want to go look at my EB strings which I know are real as I get all kinds of stuff forever from American Musical Supply . Strings , Picks, Pedals and other assorted accessories , and some amps as well as that's where I got my first 2555X half stack and my second one came from Sweetwater . Many Thanks for posting !!!!!!!!!
 

DaDoc

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I use Ernie Balls, have for years. Kind of went full circle with trying other brands and went back to Balls and stuck with them. Balls on my electrics, D'addarios on my acoustics.

Fake strings huh? Damn, I guess "they" (Not going to start naming names, don't want to be the one to get the thread shut down, but I think we all know who "they" are) will fake anything.

This is the first I've heard of this, as I've had no problems..But I buy all my strings the good old fashioned way, in person, at the local music store!

Online retailers like amazoid are destroying small business, and so I avoid them as much as possible, convenience be damned..Fake and shoddy merchandise is another excellent reason to avoid online retailers.

Something I HAVE noticed more recently is that it seems my EB high E strings are breaking more often than they used to..:facepalm:
 

TheLoudness!!

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I use Ernie Balls, have for years. Kind of went full circle with trying other brands and went back to Balls and stuck with them. Balls on my electrics, D'addarios on my acoustics.

Fake strings huh? Damn, I guess "they" (Not going to start naming names, don't want to be the one to get the thread shut down, but I think we all know who "they" are) will fake anything.

This is the first I've heard of this, as I've had no problems..But I buy all my strings the good old fashioned way, in person, at the local music store!

Online retailers like amazoid are destroying small business, and so I avoid them as much as possible, convenience be damned..Fake and shoddy merchandise is another excellent reason to avoid online retailers.

Something I HAVE noticed more recently is that it seems my EB high E strings are breaking more often than they used to..:facepalm:
That's kind of where I am these days. I went through a trial phase of DR strings as well. I then got three sets that would not intonate properly.

Tried D'addario and they were OK but seemed to be way stiffer. Harder to bend. Then got the NYXL set and high e broke rather quickly. Not happy at $14 a set or whatever they are now. They did have a nice bright attack though.

Never tried Thomastik or Pyramid as they seem pricey.

I did get some Ernie Ball strings recently that had black spots on them (b and e). In their defense, I sent them an email and they replaced them for me.
 

TheLoudness!!

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And genuine, Fresh Ernie Balls are not exactly expensive.
This!

I did watch a video on YouTube about some guy trying some off brand Chinese strings that were clearly terrible.

There were people actually in the comments defending them saying "not all of us can afford the finer things in life". What ???

Cheap stuff was like $3 a pack and locally Ernie Ball strings can be had for $6.

Look at what a decent guitar and amp costs. The $3 price difference then for strings becomes highly irrelevant. I mean if $3 makes that much of a difference, they should make some different life decisions LOL ...
 

tallcoolone

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Watch out there—I bought some GHS Burnished Nickel strings off AZ that were obviously counterfeit. Posted this in the review section and AZ issued me a warning that if I did it again they would cancel my account. @anitoli is speaking the truth
 

DaDoc

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Watch out there—I bought some GHS Burnished Nickel strings off AZ that were obviously counterfeit. Posted this in the review section and AZ issued me a warning that if I did it again they would cancel my account. @anitoli is speaking the truth
Apparently, they have no problem with selling counterfeit merchandise of all kinds. For that reason, I avoid doing business with them if I can avoid it.

To be fair, I will add here they have no problem with refunding on returns. But still, that's kind of a hassle IMHO..Especially on something as simple as guitar strings.
 

TheLoudness!!

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Watch out there—I bought some GHS Burnished Nickel strings off AZ that were obviously counterfeit. Posted this in the review section and AZ issued me a warning that if I did it again they would cancel my account. @anitoli is speaking the truth

I've never actually ordered anything from Amazon but if they are going to pull shady stuff like that...not sure I ever will.
 

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