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Question about counterfeit rosin and strings


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Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and this is my first post.

I have 2 Pirastro rosins, Schwarz and Oliv-Evah. I also have Tonica and Chromcor strings. I currently use Tonica and Oliv-Evah.

 

However, I am a bit suspicious about those two, because there are some differences that are visible:

  • My Oliv-Evah has a writing "Handcrafted Quality" instead of usual "Handmade in Germany" in the internet images. My Schwarz rosin has "Handmade in Germany" writing.
  • My Tonica strings is fine in the outside packaging, but the strings holder (one made of paper with hole in the middle) has a very faint print and some typos. The color winding near the ball is correct, red and white. My Chromcor strings has a stronger print and no typos in the strings holder.

Is there a chance that both of my rosin and strings are counterfeit? Or is it just an outdated genuine packaging? (especially for the rosin. There are no typos there)

 

I do have plan to change my rosin in the future to Bernardel or Cecilia. How do I spot a counterfeit in those two?

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52 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Buy from a reputable dealer, not Amazon or ebay, both are known to sell counterfeits. Shar should be reliable

Agreed.
Wherever the OP is located, they should purchase from a well known store in their country. Buying online and trying to get the cheapest price can easily mean fake goods.

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Thank you so much guys for the reply.

 

I don't buy it from Amazon or eBay because even both of them are hardly accessible to me. Shar does seems interesting but same as Amazon and eBay, I am afraid the shipping cost and customs tax will be too much for me.

 

I bought them from a luthier, quite reputable in my area actually. But it seems all luthiers and music store I know in my area sell rosin with that same kind of inconsistency as I described above. So the different writing on my rosin seems consistent in multiple stores in my area. Those are even the reputable ones in my area.

 

Despite of my concerns in my first post, I do think my strings and rosin are quite good and do their job. I am just afraid that I am missing out that the real thing (assuming mine are counterfeits) do their job even much better.

 

I am sorry if this reply seems like I don't want to follow your advice. I do agree with you but it seems in my condition, it is hardly possible. It would be great if anyone could give me the tips to spot the counterfeit myself or share their own story about their encounter with counterfeit products.

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You should be able to find pictures of authentic packaging on the internet to compare your products with. You could also post pictures here for people to compare with known authentic products.

In fact, posting pictures of putative counterfeit products could be a service to the community.

4 hours ago, Beginner Violinist said:

Or is it just an outdated genuine packaging? (especially for the rosin. There are no typos there)

Manufacturers do change their product packaging and text from time-to-time, so different packaging does not necessarily indicate counterfeit products.

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49 minutes ago, Beginner Violinist said:

Thank you so much guys for the reply.

 

I don't buy it from Amazon or eBay because even both of them are hardly accessible to me. Shar does seems interesting but same as Amazon and eBay, I am afraid the shipping cost and customs tax will be too much for me.

 

I bought them from a luthier, quite reputable in my area actually. But it seems all luthiers and music store I know in my area sell rosin with that same kind of inconsistency as I described above. So the different writing on my rosin seems consistent in multiple stores in my area. Those are even the reputable ones in my area.

 

Despite of my concerns in my first post, I do think my strings and rosin are quite good and do their job. I am just afraid that I am missing out that the real thing (assuming mine are counterfeits) do their job even much better.

 

I am sorry if this reply seems like I don't want to follow your advice. I do agree with you but it seems in my condition, it is hardly possible. It would be great if anyone could give me the tips to spot the counterfeit myself or share their own story about their encounter with counterfeit products.

There are a number of reliable online sources which have their own websites, and a few sell via eBay as well.  Shar has already been mentioned, and there are several other US based brick-and-mortar violin shops (not "music stores") one can buy from.  :)

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1 hour ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

He's not in the USA, try reading his post

When they don't specify where they are.  I default to US vendors, which I have the most experience with.  :P

Some European manufacturers, like Warchal, sell worldwide to individuals, and might be an alternative.

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It's very bad out there, anything that has any brand recognition is subject to it. VanDoren reeds for sax/clarinet had to develop a serial number system in order to thwart it, I would not be surprised if in time the extra pain in the butt process of having to serialize everything becomes the norm.

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Hello again, since I am a new member, I can only post 2 times a day.

21 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

He's not in the USA, try reading his post

 

19 hours ago, Violadamore said:

When they don't specify where they are.  I default to US vendors, which I have the most experience with.  :P

Some European manufacturers, like Warchal, sell worldwide to individuals, and might be an alternative.

Thank you so much for the suggestions. But as Strad said, I am not from US. I am from Southeast Asia.

 

17 hours ago, jezzupe said:

It's very bad out there, anything that has any brand recognition is subject to it. VanDoren reeds for sax/clarinet had to develop a serial number system in order to thwart it, I would not be surprised if in time the extra pain in the butt process of having to serialize everything becomes the norm.

I agree. There should be a code or something that could be used to verify the product genuinity. I once came across a string brand from China that has that verification code. The name is Alice, quite decent strings actually.

 

21 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

You should be able to find pictures of authentic packaging on the internet to compare your products with. You could also post pictures here for people to compare with known authentic products.

In fact, posting pictures of putative counterfeit products could be a service to the community.

Manufacturers do change their product packaging and text from time-to-time, so different packaging does not necessarily indicate counterfeit products.

This seems to be a great idea. Below are the images. Please note the Oliv-Evah and Tonica are the suspect, the Schwarz and Chromcor serve as a comparison.

20220619_085321.thumb.jpg.348c65d3f48abe09b73753f6c6113657.jpg20220619_085933.thumb.jpg.ff225723e9fc813c0e9bb2a09566c3b8.jpg

These are the rosin. The difference in writing is shown. The rosin color and shape is fine though. The Schwarz rosin looks the same with the examples on the internet.

 

20220619_085440.thumb.jpg.d708cc61d56dd72fd2063807899be3f4.jpg20220619_085457.thumb.jpg.4a0bb82a669ee825b2a3f37a7a40135f.jpg

Those two are the packaging of the strings. Looks fine to me. But:

20220619_085534.thumb.jpg.2b99db6571950f47ff72c3519ef6ae5c.jpg

This is the difference. I misremembered in the first post that Tonica strings has the weaker print but I got it backwards! Still, the spelling error is obvious. (Left: Chromcor; Right: Tonica)

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On 6/19/2022 at 6:12 PM, Beginner Violinist said:

This seems to be a great idea. Below are the images. Please note the Oliv-Evah and Tonica are the suspect, the Schwarz and Chromcor serve as a comparison.

20220619_085321.thumb.jpg.348c65d3f48abe09b73753f6c6113657.jpg20220619_085933.thumb.jpg.ff225723e9fc813c0e9bb2a09566c3b8.jpg

These are the rosin. The difference in writing is shown. The rosin color and shape is fine though. The Schwarz rosin looks the same with the examples on the internet.

 

2 hours ago, reg said:

My Oliv-Evah (the suspect) has "Handcrafted Quality" writing while my Schwarz (as comparison) and images from the internet has "Handmade in Germany". The color itself seems a bit off. Mine has dark green color while the image you share has green-brownish color. The rosin itself has the same color as the image you share.

 

10 hours ago, Brad Dorsey said:

Obvious?  What is the error?

 

On 6/19/2022 at 6:12 PM, Beginner Violinist said:

... But:

20220619_085534.thumb.jpg.2b99db6571950f47ff72c3519ef6ae5c.jpg

This is the difference. I misremembered in the first post that Tonica strings has the weaker print but I got it backwards! Still, the spelling error is obvious. (Left: Chromcor; Right: Tonica)

The right one (my Tonica, the suspect) has various spelling errors such as: "sush", "favorit", "jucy", and "Ecah". There are also various capitalization and spacing error, unlike the left one (my Chromcor, as comparison).

 

20 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

You would surely be best advised to direct your question to the Pirastro firm directly

Pirastro - Saitenmanufaktur seit 1798

I have emailed them but they have not replied yet. I will try contacting them via social media.

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2 hours ago, Beginner Violinist said:

The right one (my Tonica, the suspect) has various spelling errors such as: "sush", "favorit", "jucy", and "Ecah". There are also various capitalization and spacing error, unlike the left one (my Chromcor, as comparison).

Those certainly are suspicious!

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Sadly, almost all branded products are at risk of counterfeiters.
You can only be sure to get the genuine article from from a good shop. In the UK, the national distributors only supply registered businesses. 

There are branded strings & accessories advertised online, which are being sold retail, for much less than it would actually cost to buy them in wholesale. Obviously, this can only work if the goods aren’t genuine.

Trying to save a few £’s doesn’t always lead to a true saving, and the nagging doubt of if the items are genuine probably isn’t worth the trouble.

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21 hours ago, Dave Slight said:

Sadly, almost all branded products are at risk of counterfeiters.
You can only be sure to get the genuine article from from a good shop. In the UK, the national distributors only supply registered businesses. 

There are branded strings & accessories advertised online, which are being sold retail, for much less than it would actually cost to buy them in wholesale. Obviously, this can only work if the goods aren’t genuine.

Trying to save a few £’s doesn’t always lead to a true saving, and the nagging doubt of if the items are genuine probably isn’t worth the trouble.

20 hours ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

The OP is in Asia, where most of the fakes are coming from, so he can't really rely on his dealer to only purchase genuine strings like hopefully you could do in USA

Yeah it is really sad. In my condition, it is difficult to trust any sellers. The price are not even crazy cheap, it is quite standard. The only way for me to get genuine product for sure is to buy from US or Europe but again, the shipping cost and customs tax make it not worth it. I guess right now it's not about me avoiding those counterfeit products, I just want to answer my curiosity about the genuinity my strings and rosin.

22 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Those certainly are suspicious!

It is! I think one of the easiest way to identify a counterfeit is through spell check. My strings are indeed suspicious. But for my rosin, it is a bit complicated. Today I found another image for the rosin I never seen before:

OLIV/EVAH PIRAZZI rosin by Pirastro - Evah Pirazzi - available at  paganino.com

(source: paganino.com)

This is different from my rosin and the image in Pirastro website. So this makes me even wonder more, is my rosin actually genuine just in different packaging? If anyone know something Pirastro rosins' packaging (their changes), please share it here. I would really appreciate that.

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