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  #1  
Old 08-21-2015, 06:42 PM
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Default Why don't we see knock-off drums?

So, here in the drum community we have many kits made in China or Taiwan, but are branded and sold by manufacturers who are outside of China. These are 100% legit kits being made and sold by the real manufacturer.

However, in the world of guitars there are lots of copies and knock-offs of Gibson (Chibson as they are called in that community), Fender, PRS, Martin, Taylor, etc. Its crazy how many of these guitars are being copied and sold illegally by companies who steal not only the design of these guitars, but literally put the original manufacturer's name, serial numbers, and stamp "Made in the USA" right on the guitar. Obviously under a detailed eye, you can see the differences between a real Gibson Les Paul and a Chibson "Les Paul". A bit of poking and prodding around and you can see the cheap electronics, and the shoddy craftsmanship that is covered by plates. Obviously, they have to be built to a price point so these flaws are accepted by the community of people who buy these fake guitars. What I don't understand is how there is such a large group of people who willingly buy rip-off guitars. It feels dishonest and dirty to me to see these people on YouTube giving reviews of these guitars, talking them up as a "great purchase for the price."

What I'm surprised at, and actually proud of, is that you don't see this happening in the drum community. You don't see the expensive drums like Collectors, Starclassics, Prolites, Masterworks, Absolutes, Legacys or other top dollar drum kits being ripped off and sold for $500 on AliExpress. There are no knock-off Zildjian, Sabian, Meinl, Paiste, etc. that I know of. Its good to know that these drums and cymbals are the real deal and not a stolen design being branded as the real thing.

What I'm curious about, though, is WHY have there not been knock-offs made of these kits or cymbals? I wouldn't want to buy this stuff if it were out there and I hope others agree with me that it would be wrong and wouldn't support it. Yet it seems to be a thriving enterprise in the guitar world. I'm sure it is in other musical communities. I would imagine stringed instruments would be a place where this would thrive as well.

Does anyone have any incite or their own thoughts on the topic?

P.S. Before anyone starts throwing feces around saying I'm "racist" or "ethnically biased" because I talk about products that are "Made in China" needs to check their attitude at the door. This is not a thread to talk negatively about products that are made in China. This thread is more about the ethics of stealing other companies intellectual property and selling it as if it was the real thing. Its about the communities who support this type of business strategy. It is about how this business practice has infected other musical instruments but has not yet infected the drum world. Do you think it will infect our world? What are your thoughts on if it did?
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2015, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

I think that it would be too expensive to make a decent-looking knock off.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

There are loads of knock off kits and cymbals, have you not noticed the difference yet?
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

My suggestion would be that drums are already relatively cheap.

Look at the size of an electric guitar, you can imagine for the cost of materials and labour that $500 is pretty reasonable and comparing it with a $3,000 guitar you can see that maybe they're quite expensive for their size, materials and the workmanship that goes into them. I'm sure a guitarist will lay into me for this comment any moment now.

I don't know I'm guessing.

But look at a drum kit, obviously a much larger thing with way more parts and moving parts and suspension systems and blah blah. Perhaps there's less profit margin in these kits for the sellers and that's what they have to do to get a sale.

I would guess that's why. And that's reflected in the base price kits like the dxp, powerbeat etc, they're pretty basic by design and in quality.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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My suggestion would be that drums are already relatively cheap.
This is the truth, along with smaller numbers in the market. Mass market drums are largely already made to the lowest manufacturing cost, leaving the only appreciable savings to the "knock off" traders being distribution & marketing overhead margins (although both of those are considerable). I'd venture the biggest anti motivation is volume.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

Lot's of knockoffs in terms of hardware back in the day.

Many major drum companies subbed out their products and a lot of the seconds made it to market (no label),but pretty much the same design.

There was a company called ROC drums that pretty much had Yamaha and Tama mounts ,snare strainers ,etc.

Looked pretty much like the majors ,but you could see and feel the lower quality.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

I suppose one could argue that drums are "cheap" to make, but at the same time the top end drums are expensive to buy. Is there considerably more money and time being put in to the top end kits that the low ones are not getting? Obviously, yes. The same thing goes for guitars. A hand made Gibson, Fender, PRS, etc. are going to cost considerably more than a cheaper, mostly machine made guitar. We all know Guitars have a wide range in price from the cheapest of the cheap to the most expensive pieces of museum quality. Drums are the same way.

Of course there is no reason to make knock-offs of something like a Pearl Export. But a knock-off of a Pearl Masterworks is another story.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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I think that it would be too expensive to make a decent-looking knock off.
I guess I was thinking more in terms of a one-off knock-off as opposed to factory-made knock-offs.

Even if the shells were given to you, once you pay for a decent wrap (about $450 for a sparkle), lugs (ranging from $4 - $8 EACH), spurs, suspension mounts (if you want them), hoops, etc., there's not a ton of money to be made.

IMO.
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Old 08-21-2015, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

With those different types of guitars, they all have a unique look. Even non musicians sometimes recognise the differences

With drums, who really cares? Many drummers don't even care. A drum is a drum.

Drummer joke, anyone?

At pretty much every gig I've ever done as a guitar player someone came up during the break and wanted to look at my guitar, pedals and amp. Never seen anyone ask the drummer even once.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by pgm554 View Post
Many major drum companies subbed out their products and a lot of the seconds made it to market (no label),but pretty much the same design.

Looked pretty much like the majors ,but you could see and feel the lower quality.
I have seen this with bass drum pedals and generic hardware, but its always branded under a different name, with a slightly different design. You can see what the original design inspiration was (ie. Tama Iron Cobra), but its different enough that it is not sold as an "Iron Cobra" or even as Tama. Its some "Grizzly" branded hardware or something like that.

In the guitar world you get things like this:





There are clearly differences between the two when side by side, but you can tell the manufacturer is going out of their way to try to make a fake, or "replica" as they like to call it.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I guess I was thinking more in terms of a one-off knock-off as opposed to factory-made knock-offs.

Even if the shells were given to you, once you pay for a decent wrap (about $450 for a sparkle), lugs (ranging from $4 - $8 EACH), spurs, suspension mounts (if you want them), hoops, etc., there's not a ton of money to be made.

IMO.
A person working from their basement buying parts at retail price will never be able to make any money trying to make a fake. Thats for sure. But a manufacturing plant who has access to all the pieces and parts, or commissions cheaper knock-off parts to be made, can easily replicate a DW Collectors kit and sell it for $750 new. Use the asian maple that many of the lower end all maple kits are made out of, stamp DW Tru-Hoop on the side of some hoops, make a badge, put a timber sticker on the inside and boom, there's your fake.

Again, do not condone this, but I could easily see it happening and being profitable to the forger.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

I think the profit margins on drums are less, and more importantly, drummers are less likely to buy multiple kits.

Guitars are cheaper to make, and many guitarists will have 3-4 guitars. I don't know many drummers who have 3-4 drum sets.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
With those different types of guitars, they all have a unique look. Even non musicians sometimes recognise the differences

With drums, who really cares? Many drummers don't even care. A drum is a drum.

Drummer joke, anyone?

At pretty much every gig I've ever done as a guitar player someone came up during the break and wanted to look at my guitar, pedals and amp. Never seen anyone ask the drummer even once.
Oh I used to piss off my ex at concerts to walk down drool over the drumsets used by the band.

I used to check out what Steve Smith was playing when he used to do gigs at the small clubs in the east bay.

Got to see my first Sabian cymbal by asking him what he was playing at Larry Blakes.
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Again, do not condone this, but I could easily see it happening and being profitable to the forger.
It is worth mentioning:

In the case of the Chibson, they are made legally in China. US Copyright, Patent, and Trademark laws do not apply there. It is when someone in the US imports one that the law is broken. Chibsons are typically sold by the manufacturer for ~$350. It is the US reseller that is scamming people for $1700 on Craigslist.

While I'm definitely against the import of counterfeit instruments (look at how many fake Stradivarius violins there are), we need to understand that our government granted monopolies are not given the same protections in other jurisdictions. If we want to blame anyone for their proliferation, it is the importer and reseller that should be the focus of our attention.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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It is worth mentioning:

In the case of the Chibson, they are made legally in China. US Copyright, Patent, and Trademark laws do not apply there. It is when someone in the US imports one that the law is broken. Chibsons are typically sold by the manufacturer for ~$350. It is the US reseller that is scamming people for $1700 on Craigslist.

While I'm definitely against the import of counterfeit instruments (look at how many fake Stradivarius violins there are), we need to understand that our government granted monopolies are not given the same protections in other jurisdictions. If we want to blame anyone for their proliferation, it is the importer and reseller that should be the focus of our attention.
I believe China is cracking the whip on trademark and intellectual property rights. Weather this is just for manufacturers within their own borders, of if it is to help protect the rights of companies outside of their borders (as a means of cleaning up their relations with other countries and help promote ethical business practices around the world), I am not sure. There are studies and reports that have been make on the topic that are far too lengthy and convoluted for me to maintain interest after a couple pages. But they are out there.

Anyway, I can see that blame can be passed to the importer and resellers, but the supply would not be there without the demand. I believe you have to blame the community of people who buy these fakes and promote them as well. Throw the manufacturers in there too because they are willing to remove their ethics to make money creating "fake" products. Yes, they are real guitars, but they are fakes of the real "Made in the USA" "high end" guitars that are sold by the real manufacturer.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Anyway, I can see that blame can be passed to the importer and resellers, but the supply would not be there without the demand.
In many cases (take a Fender for example), you can simply remove the (e)Squire decals and apply USA decals. Sand the neck a bit, distress the body, and sell it as a USA Custom. I see no difference between that, and a Chibson scam.

The main thing that confuses me is why some guitarists choose to purchase a knock-off when there are so many fan-fucking-tastic licensed guitars out there. A $400 Epi-LP plays great and looks wonderful. Eastwood licenses the old style Moserite (and other) designs and makes a guitar that's better looking/playing/sounding than the classics they seek to imitate. It challenges my imagination as to why Chibsons have become so popular. Vanity?
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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In many cases (take a Fender for example), you can simply remove the (e)Squire decals and apply USA decals. Sand the neck a bit, distress the body, and sell it as a USA Custom. I see no difference between that, and a Chibson scam.

The main thing that confuses me is why some guitarists choose to purchase a knock-off when there are so many fan-fucking-tastic licensed guitars out there. A $400 Epi-LP plays great and looks wonderful. Eastwood licenses the old style Moserite (and other) designs and makes a guitar that's better looking/playing/sounding than the classics they seek to imitate. It challenges my imagination as to why Chibsons have become so popular. Vanity?
And that's the part that confuses me as well. If you can't afford a real Fender Stratocaster, there are TONS of licensed guitars that have the same body shape, pickups, tone controls, etc that are sub $400. As you mentioned a Squire is a perfect example of this. And its actually licensed by Fender! Same thing with the Epiphone Les Paul to the Gibson Les Paul. For $400 you can get in to a pretty nice looking Epiphone.

So why, with such vast amounts of actually licensed copies out there, are people looking to buy a counterfeit copy of the licensed products? Are people that cheap that they can't afford the extra $50 for the licensed product?

As mentioned before, I'm very glad that there isn't this kind of stuff in the Drum world.
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Old 08-21-2015, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

I think it's because people are willing to buy a guitar online, but due to shipping, they still tend to buy drums locally in a store. A store sells whatever its distributor carries, and these are legitimate businesses and would be sued out of every penny of profit they made if they carried bogus items. There's just less opportunity for profitable fraud.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

Those Ali-Baba prices don't impress me at all. Sometimes shipping costs more than the item.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
This is the truth, along with smaller numbers in the market. Mass market drums are largely already made to the lowest manufacturing cost, leaving the only appreciable savings to the "knock off" traders being distribution & marketing overhead margins (although both of those are considerable). I'd venture the biggest anti motivation is volume.
This 'is' why.




Go try and make a 'knock-off' set of LUDWIGS, it'd be cheaper to buy them new as real LUDWIGS. No way you, or anyone in China is going to produce a cheaper variant, LUDWIG is already producing the cheapest variant, the real thing.

An LP guitar? Yeah that could be (and is being) put together with room for a profit to the unsuspecting consumer, and maybe even those who know they're knock-offs. Drum set, no way, too may separate pieces.

LUDWIG literally has ppl on their payroll who's job it is to find the cheapest components and ways/means to produce a drum kit, these are pro level people as in- that's their job. Counterfeiters cannot compete with that.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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LUDWIG literally has ppl on their payroll who's job it is to find the cheapest components and ways/means to produce a drum kit, these are pro level people as in- that's their job. Counterfeiters cannot compete with that.
I would think there are people on every big company's payroll who do this. Isn't this called industrial engineering? There are college degrees dedicated to this exact thing.

If you think about all the channels Ludwig has to go through to put a product out to market: manufacturer, to worldwide distributor, to regional distributor, to local retailer, and finally to the customer, there are a lot of middle men who need their cut, and a lot of profit margins that need to be made. Ludwig may be able to produce a Legacy Classic kit for $600 cost (probably less), but they sell it for $3500 because there are huge margins on it to pay for all the middle men, advertising, taxes, profit, etc. on the product. A counter-fitter can make lots of money on a making a fake of this kit by using cheap labor, sacrificing the fit and finish (where it isn't seen), work in a country who's taxes are not as strict, and selling more directly to the customer removing all the middle men. I'm sure a counter-fitter could sell a "Legacy Chlassic" for $750 and make money doing it. If they can make "Chibson Les Paul Supremes" for $300 to the customer and still make money when Gibson sells the real thing for $3600, there's money to be made on drums as well.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by tcspears View Post
I think the profit margins on drums are less, and more importantly, drummers are less likely to buy multiple kits.

Guitars are cheaper to make, and many guitarists will have 3-4 guitars. I don't know many drummers who have 3-4 drum sets.
There could be a volume element to it. Guitarists tend to collect lots of guitars. Though the "How many kits do you have" thread is revealing the hordes of drummers who... hoard... drum sets as well. I have 3 kits myself. There are snare drum collectors who have 30-40 snare drums. But I think its safe to say that your average guitarist has 2 or 3 guitars, and your average drummer has 1 kit.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

Cymbals can't really be knocked off because they are just too difficult to make.

Asian companies have spend 30-40 years trying to figure out how to make Zildjians, but they can't They can grind up the cymbals and figure out all the metal, but the process of blending the metals to make it sound musical is mystery that Zildjian and Sabain strongly protect.

As for drums, I could argue there are, to an extend, knock off do exist. Most brands have a long of drums they don't make, they just import and put their name on them. Grestch Catalina's aren't made by Grestch in any way, shape or form, but they are sold under a distribution agreement.

OC drums lower lines aren't made by OC drum at all. Guitar Center imports them from China with the OC name on them under a license agreement.

There is a perception here that the drums are better than they are, by pushing a name known for making high end custom drums. True, they're not illegal fakes, but it's still an attempt to knock off a high end name at a low price.

As far as true "fakes" as said, the market for high end drums isn't that big.

Guitar collectors will buy collectable guitars and hang them on their wall. A collector can easily hang 10 or 20 or more guitars on a wall and not take up any floor space. A drum collector who has more than a just a few kits needs space to store them.

And there are simply way, way, way ,way more guitar players than there are drummers in the world.
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Old 08-22-2015, 01:44 AM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
With those different types of guitars, they all have a unique look. Even non musicians sometimes recognise the differences

With drums, who really cares? Many drummers don't even care. A drum is a drum.

Drummer joke, anyone?

At pretty much every gig I've ever done as a guitar player someone came up during the break and wanted to look at my guitar, pedals and amp. Never seen anyone ask the drummer even once.
Maybe you just have ugly drums? :-P

Every time I setup my Gretsch USA Custom burnt orange lacquer kit someone in the band or audience comments on it.
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Old 08-22-2015, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

It's always interesting to hear what luthiers have to say about Chibsons.
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Old 08-22-2015, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

...ummmm...taken from steve maxwell's website:

"These great new cymbals are really something. It is rare to find such a great product so well priced! The Dream series of cymbals is produced in China from B20 bronze alloy. There are five different lines available for Dream cymbals, but it is their Bliss and Contact series that we are stocking primarily. These cymbals are handmade and are reminiscent of a cross between fine Turkish cymbals and certain Oriental cymbals. The feel is soft under the stick and the cymbals are very responsive, with excellent undertones. You will think you are playing a much more expensive Turkish cymbal. Prices are amazingly low and quality is exceedingly high. These can't miss."
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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I would think there are people on every big company's payroll who do this. Isn't this called industrial engineering? There are college degrees dedicated to this exact thing.

A counter-fitter can make lots of money on a making a fake of this kit by using cheap labor, sacrificing the fit and finish (where it isn't seen), work in a country who's taxes are not as strict, and selling more directly to the customer removing all the middle men. I'm sure a counter-fitter could sell a "Legacy Chlassic" for $750 and make money doing it. If they can make "Chibson Les Paul Supremes" for $300 to the customer and still make money when Gibson sells the real thing for $3600, there's money to be made on drums as well.

Every big co does, they have to to be competitive. LUDWIG as a brand singled out only bc it was mentioned in this thread.


Labor isn't the issue, its parts. Where is a counterfeiter going to find LUDWIG lugs, they would have to cast them themselves and no way that's even a profitable possibility. There aren't multiple companies (or even one) out there making replacement LUDWIG lugs, so unlike guitar tuners they can't just place an order for 1000 and get on with it.

Guitars and drums are very different when it comes to manufacture. Someone could make a fake set of LEGACY CLASSIC's but the end result wouldn't be profitable. They would have to produce to much of their own stuff, better to just make a cheap set of drums, that would be more profitable.
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
....As for drums, I could argue there are, to an extend, knock off do exist. Most brands have a long of drums they don't make, they just import and put their name on them. Grestch Catalina's aren't made by Grestch in any way, shape or form, but they are sold under a distribution agreement....
Yes - long established companies leveraging their hard won reputations.
Better they should profit from it than some shady knockoff manufacturer.
As long as the consumer knows what they're getting.



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...ummmm...taken from steve maxwell's website: .....
If Dream ever starts putting someone else's logo on their cymbals, then they'd be knockoffs.
As it is, they're just a less established, legitimate manufacturer.
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  #29  
Old 08-23-2015, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
Yes - long established companies leveraging their hard won reputations.
Better they should profit from it than some shady knockoff manufacturer.
As long as the consumer knows what they're getting.

.
I still think that point is debatable though.

Sure, I realize most people who buy a Catalina or some such kit realize they are getting a lower level kit that was manufactured overseas, but how many realize they are buying a kit that Grestch (or whomever) had nothing to do it's construction, and the only connection a licensed name?

In the gear forum, we see thread after thread of people asking which kit is better, or the best for a price range, when their choices are pretty much nearly all made in the same factory. So while it's not a "fake" it's not exactly clear the average consumer understands they're not buying a drum made by the brand on the label.
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:23 AM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

I think higher end drum lines tend diverge so that drummers have more choices, so that the drummers can choose the setups that most closely fit their fancy, whilst guitar lines tend to converge to that one signature line.

I think there is a substantial vein of guitarists who are very conformist in their approach to guitar. I brushed up against this when looking for an eight string dobro/slide guitar as a back up to my homemade eight string slide dulcimer. Greater than ninety five percent of all guitars are six strings tuned eadgbe, not that there aren't plenty of counter examples, the absence of people that like doing it differently is the key aspect.

Anyway, the only thing better than conforming to a standard, is faking it without really trying.
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:14 PM
drum4fun27302 drum4fun27302 is offline
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

1 way more guitarists then drummer.

2. Each guitarist has at least 3-4 guitars (drummers not so much)
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  #32  
Old 08-25-2015, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Sure, I realize most people who buy a Catalina or some such kit realize they are getting a lower level kit that was manufactured overseas, but how many realize they are buying a kit that Grestch (or whomever) had nothing to do it's construction, and the only connection a licensed name?

In the gear forum, we see thread after thread of people asking which kit is better, or the best for a price range, when their choices are pretty much nearly all made in the same factory. So while it's not a "fake" it's not exactly clear the average consumer understands they're not buying a drum made by the brand on the label.
But is that true? Is it true that Gretsch had nothing to do with its construction, that it's pure licensing? Do we know for a fact that Gretsch just cashed the licensing check and said, "Yeah, screw it, whatever"? I doubt that. That's an exceedingly unwise position for the brand owner to take.

Do we even know it's licensed, and not simply Gretsch outsourcing production of certain lines? I get that the differences between, say, a Gretsch Catalina Maple and a Sonor Select Force and a Tama Superstar Maple and a PDP Concept Maple are not profound because they're basically the same drum with cosmetic differences.* But are they licensed? In licensing a totally separate company pays the brand-owner for the right to make a thing, then produces the thing without the brand-owners interference. Or is it the brand-owner sourcing product rather than producing it in-house?

That's what many companies do, including many if not most well-regarded American brands. Pork Pie's Hip Pig kits are APAC-sourced, in all likelihood made in the same KHS factory as any number of other brands. It's clear from posts Pork Pie's founder/owner made on this forum that he's personally involved in the development and QC of his APAC-sourced instruments. Same with Martin Guitar; I know Martin reps regularly fly back and forth to the Pacific Rim to ensure QC, because I've talked to several of them. I've read that Sonor tightly controls QC on its APAC-sourced product.

Is that a problem? That's question one. Is there a problem with sourcing product globally? I mean, if a Catalina Maple isn't really a Gretsch, then by the same logic a Hip Pig isn't really a Pork Pie.

Is there evidence that other companies are not doing that? That's question two. Are drum companies truly licensing their brands? You make it sound like the APAC factory has simply licensed the right to market their own product under the various brand names. I haven't heard that, so I'm going to have to ask you to back up that claim with proof.

This could easily turn into a very interesting conversation about the global economy. :-)

* I don't really know that those three lines are made at the same time in the same APAC factory. I just threw them out there as three very similar lines.
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  #33  
Old 08-25-2015, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

I think drums are so large, and the market is too small, that its too expensive to ship copies around.

Microphones on the other hand - there are thousands of fake Shure 58's, 57's and Sennheiser 835's around. I own a fake 57. Sounded harsh, and then it stopped working. Opened it up - no transformer, different wires, etc.
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  #34  
Old 08-25-2015, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by STXBob View Post
But is that true? Is it true that Gretsch had nothing to do with its construction, that it's pure licensing? Do we know for a fact that Gretsch just cashed the licensing check and said, "Yeah, screw it, whatever"? I doubt that. That's an exceedingly unwise position for the brand owner to take.

Do we even know it's licensed, and not simply Gretsch outsourcing production of certain lines? I get that the differences between, say, a Gretsch Catalina Maple and a Sonor Select Force and a Tama Superstar Maple and a PDP Concept Maple are not profound because they're basically the same drum with cosmetic differences.* But are they licensed? In licensing a totally separate company pays the brand-owner for the right to make a thing, then produces the thing without the brand-owners interference. Or is it the brand-owner sourcing product rather than producing it in-house?
Gretsch didn't facilitate this on their own. The Catalina and Renown lines never existed until Gretsch signed a distribution deal with Kaman.

Kaman, being much larger company, had the Catalina and such lines made over seas and sold them as Gretch drums under their licensing and distribution deal.

Kaman music then sold it all to Fender, who continued under the name KMC, which has since been sold to DW.

It was a good move for Gretsch, because they were about bankrupt.

http://www.mikedolbear.com/story.asp...Search=Gretsch

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Gretsch has long been associated with drums, though the late ‘70’s and ‘80’s were tough for them and almost finished the company off. In the nineties they got their act together and realised that making expensive US build drums was not the only way forward, so started (just like all the US manufacturers) to build cheaper kits to sell to the mass market. The first kits (again, just like everyone else) were not good, but with long established links with Far Eastern builders through the Kaman group who bought them, things started to come together really nicely.
http://www.gretsch.com/files/documen...dia-kit-v4.pdf
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2000 Kaman Music becomes exclusive Gretsch drums worldwide distributor.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzinga...withdraws-ipo/
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have built a comprehensive portfolio of brands led by the iconic Fender brand and other renowned brands such as Squier, Jackson, Guild, Ovation and Latin Percussion, which we own, and Gretsch, EVH (Eddie Van Halen) and Takamine, for which we are the licensee
http://schniederslm.hubpages.com/hub/gretsch-drums
Quote:
In 2000, Gretsch signed a distribution deal with Kaman to distribute Gretsch drums and this partnership has resulted in a much higher visibility of Gretsch brand drums since that time.

In February 2007, Kaman purchased the right to manufacture Gretsch USA Custom and Signature drums. They also purchased the majority of the equipment used to make Gretsch drums. They now lease space from Fred Gretsch in his Ridgeland building. The drums are being made by the same people that have worked there for the last 10–15 years.

Fender purchased Kaman in 2008 so now they own the right to manufacture both Gretsch guitars and drums.

Today, Gretsch's top of the line drums (USA Custom & Signature Series) are manufactured in Ridgeland, South Carolina. While other less expensive lines are imported by Kaman from Asian-based drum plants.
Gretsch doesn't make nor import the Catalina's.

Kaman/KMC(Fender) and now DW, imports them and distributes them.
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Old 08-25-2015, 09:27 PM
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wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

I'm sure each company handles it differently.

"....In 1997, Yamaha opened a new facility in Xiaoshan in China...

...The time was right in 2013 for Yamaha to change and begin making its high-end drums in the Xiaoshan facility...

...Xiaoshan factory workers have undergone extensive, rigorous training overseen by veteran managers from Yamaha Japan monitoring all aspects of production from shell construction and finishing to final assembly...."

http://www.australianmusician.com.au...drum-division/
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  #36  
Old 08-25-2015, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

You mean Mapex are a real drum company?
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Gretsch didn't facilitate this on their own. The Catalina and Renown lines never existed until Gretsch signed a distribution deal with Kaman.

Kaman, being much larger company, had the Catalina and such lines made over seas and sold them as Gretch drums under their licensing and distribution deal.

Kaman music then sold it all to Fender, who continued under the name KMC, which has since been sold to DW.

It was a good move for Gretsch, because they were about bankrupt.

Gretsch doesn't make nor import the Catalina's.

Kaman/KMC(Fender) and now DW, imports them and distributes them.
Despite all this, I don't look at the Catalinas as a knock off kit, however the Renowns (pre-RN1) are about as close as you can get to a knock-off USA Custom. Same hardware (lugs, die cast hoops, tom mounting), same shell construction (6 ply Maple), same silver sealer interiors, same bearing edges, etc. The only visual difference I can see are the bass drum hoop claws. But those are easy to swap out. Even despite all this, its still not a knock-off because it is 1) licensed to be produced with the Gretsch name on it, and 2) marketed as a different product.

The notion of it costing too much to produce a drum kit vs a guitar is hog-wash in my opinion. It takes far less time to make a drum set than it does to build a guitar. Watch any guitar luthier videos and you will see just what all goes in to building a guitar. From a raw material standpoint, you have far less variation in pieces and parts making your ordering far simpler and you can buy at larger quantities increasing your savings due to volume discounts. The cost of hardware works in the drum builder's favor as well. A simple 4 piece kit (bass/2 racks/1 floor) will have ~60 lugs on it. Add a snare drum and you are up another 10-20 lugs depending on the design. In either case, to produce 100 of those kits you will need 6000-8000 lugs manufactured. How long do you think 100 kits will last when you are distributing world wide? I would image not too long. With mass drum building you have volume discounts working in your favor in spades. This is why it's cost effective for companies to make a low end 5 piece kit and sell them for $499 new and make a profit, even after its been discounted to $359 on closeout.
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  #38  
Old 08-25-2015, 10:35 PM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Kaman/KMC(Fender) and now DW, imports them and distributes them.
Thank you! That's excellent information. Let me see if I can sum up: 30 years ago Gretsch began to have entry-level sets made, because their sales were drying up. They had links with Kaman, who distributed the early inexpensive kits in the Far East. Later, Kaman became the exclusive worldwide distributor for Gretsch instruments. At some undefined point between then and the sale of certain Kaman brands (KMC) to Fender, Kaman began creating and distributing Gretsch instruments under license, without input or interference from the owners of the trademark. Then in 2007 Fred Gretsch pretty much gave up any and all control over the mark.

Okay, that's Gretsch. What about the other brands under fire?

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Originally Posted by Boomka View Post
You mean Mapex are a real drum company?
Apparently. After all, they make all their own instruments in their own factory.

Ooo, that's going to stick in the throats of some people. :-D I wonder what kind of logical shenanigans they'll engage in to justify themselves!
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  #39  
Old 08-25-2015, 11:12 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

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Originally Posted by STXBob View Post


Apparently. After all, they make all their own instruments in their own factory.

Ooo, that's going to stick in the throats of some people. :-D I wonder what kind of logical shenanigans they'll engage in to justify themselves!
To be honest, I have no real dog in this fight, I just like winding up Mapex owners.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: Why don't we see knock-off drums?

I've seen fake Vistalites and knock off Gretsch and Ludwig badges. The b/o Ludwig badges even have 70's numbers stamped on them. When I recently pointed this out during an eBay auction (RCI shells with Ludwig badges), you know folks said? "It's still a good deal on acrylic drums"

Nevermind the fact they were listed as "vintage 70's Vistalite" and made no mention of aftermarket parts or the wrong shells entirely. Guy's a BS artist.
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