Counterfeit Chinese Cables


I thought that I would write this for those who are curious about one of the many counterfeit Chinese interconnect cables that are available these days. I know that there have been threads about the subject before, and I was always curious because they seem to be such a bargain. I don't really recall much about what any members actually said about the performance of these counterfeit cables, and I didn't look back and do any research, but a couple of months ago there was a thread that came around to discussing the quality of Chinese made components, and oldhvymec said something that made sense to me.

He said that people that say that what they are making is junk should consider that much of what is in our gear, and a lot of our American brands are actually manufactured there. I decided shortly after that that I would take the chance on a set of interconnects, because I suspected that the interconnects going from my pre to my amp were the weak link and needed upgrading. The interconnects going from my DAC to my pre were Kimber Select which are very good, but the other set were LAT International (now defunct) which had cost $500.00 when new, but I had reason to believe they were lacking because I have one of their digital cables that turned out to be very poor sounding in comparison to others I own.

I decided on a one meter pair of counterfeit Nordost Odin interconnects for a total of $104.00 from Aliexpress. I received them a couple of weeks later. They appeared to be well made, and the locking fake WBT rca's were very impressive and are very tight. 

First impressions after installing them were light, thin sound, lacking bass. Each couple of days brought improvements, but from the beginning I noticed that they were quieter. Now, weeks later, I can say that they are drastically better that the LAT's in every way. Detail and ambience are much better, but it's the focus and separation of instruments that is most noticeable. 

I have no way of knowing if they are really a copy of the Nordost design, but I am impressed enough that I am going to try a counterfeit Nordost digital cable.

Obviously, this isn't a comparison that is useful to most, because there probably isn't anyone here using the LAT's, and everything is system dependent. I just wanted to relay my positive experience. 

Nordost ODIN&2 RCA Fever Audio Signal Cable Double Lotus Sterling Silver Audio Cord Video CD Amplifier Tube Cable High Quality| | - AliExpress

D3017ce8 5648 4de7 9525 e7de44490aa9roxy54

I find this very disturbing. There is no mention that the cables are not genuine Nordost cables. A $20K cable for 100 bucks might be a clue but I find the whole practice disgusting. I would not buy any products from this company. 

I made it clear that the cables were counterfeit, they don't do that, but of course anyone who knows the brand would know from the low price and certain details.

I would like to add that I'm not proud of the fact that I bought counterfeit cables, but I'm not really ashamed either. Over the years I have spent plenty of money with American cable companies supporting their production. I still do occasionally when I buy audio products that are new instead of pre-owned. Given that, I don't feel too bad about buying these.

This is a personal decision I guess, but I’d never buy counterfeit products as it just serves to feed and reward the insidious beast thus encouraging even more of it in the future. Principle and integrity are more important than $$$, but that’s me.

Forgive me for being off topic, but here’s two interesting experiences I’ve observed with Chinese products. #1 About 20 years ago my son and his friends were selling designer jeans from major brands at their high school. # 2 About 5 years ago I obtained numerous pairs of Rudy cycling sunglasses from a friend. In both cases the items were real and not counterfeit. In both cases the items were obtained due to the contracted manufacturer selling items illegally out the back door. The only pintervention I observed was when US Customs confiscated a multi thousand dollar shipment of the jeans.  Although genuine, the shipment was deemed counterfeit because it deprived Guess and Lucky, amongst others of making huge profits on their outsourced proprietary goods. Also your experience has me interested in looking for Nordost cables for my Audeze headphones. Regards, Mike 

Im using all PURIST cables from Texas ill pass on Chinese cables.

If I was wealthy like you Edward, I would do the same. You have a great system.

I would like to add that I'm not proud of the fact that I bought counterfeit cables, but I'm not really ashamed either.

You were smart enough to know they were fake, not sure everybody would and somewhere down the line someone might be fooled. The company that sells the cables and the company that puts them on their website have low standards of morality, and fairness. I just choose not to do business with companies that operate that way. They should sell and market the cables as what they are and promote their own brand. 

russ69,

You make a very good point. Since these companies, whoever they really are, are obviously very adept at making high performance cables, they should market them under their own brand name and try to build a reputation through word of mouth if nothing else. The fake WBT locking RCA's on these are actually nicer than the locking RCA's on my Kimber Select.

This is disturbing at a minimum for fostering more Chinese crap sale criminal activity

Counterfeit consumer goods are goods of inferior quality, made or sold under another’s brand name without the brand owner’s authorization. ... Knockoff products are those that copy or imitate the physical appearance of other products but which do not copy the brand name or logo of a trademark.

(1) you wanna buy cheap knockoffs: read on. Ignoring the clear quality build step down, you wanna buy a cheap no- name product …okay fine … but then do so ONLY as just a cheap no-name AND DO NOT foster more illegal proliferation as a NORDOST brand name ODIN or VALHALLA infringement …full stop.

Counterfeits, Knockoffs, Replicas: Parsing the Legal Implications

 

(2) you wanna buy cheap counterfeits : Counterfeit products are illegal fakes or unauthorized crap build cheap replicas of the real product with an intent to deceive the buyer and especially rip-off the real deal producer trademark or patent protection, . Counterfeit products are produced with the CLEAR intent to take criminal advantage of the superior value of the imitated product.

 

 

If you head them as good, that's all that matters. You saved $20K too.

I've tried the real stuff. Pwr/speaker cables   I think, exceeded  2X MSRP of my ENTIRE setup!

It's up to the buyer to do their own homework. Just from the pic, obvious knock off.

I have actually heard the real thing, in Phoenix at Arizona Hi Fi. It was good, but not THAT good. I agree that in comparison, it's not hard to tell they are a knock off.

akg_ca also makes good points.

There are plenty of legitimate cable companies producing good quality. Buying obviously counterfeit stuff is not jusifiable under any argument

I see nothing wrong with what roxy54 did.  Glad he's enjoying his IC's.

The person who buys an Odin from a vendor selling on AliExpress for a hundred bucks was never going to be a customer buying a genuine Odin for 25K from an authorized Nordost dealer.  Not in a million years.  So business was never taken away from Nordost.

He's not trying to pass it along as a genuine product (that I would have an issue with).  And yes, I think folks trying to sell them at much higher prices attempting to pass them off as the real deal is wrong.

But bought with the intent of trying it out to use for oneself out of curiosity?  I say go for it!  I think you'll quickly realize how overpriced some things are.

I've purchased a few cables (both speakers and ICs) from AliExpress.  Nordost knockoffs and an AQ Redwood knockoff.  They all sound wonderful.

As good as the genuine article?  No clue.  Don't care.  I'll never spend, oh, let's see...over $120K if they were the genuine, bought from an authorized dealer product to make a comparison. 

I like them and they sound great in my system.  That's all I care about, really.

I wrote "Chinese" on the Odin wood blocks and will have to put tape or something on the Redwoods noting the same thing for whenever I croak and my kids try and sell the gear. 

  

 

 

  

If people want to pay 5, 10, 20, 30k for cables that’s your business. If you want to put people down for Knockoffs, go ahead. The cables I buy have no name on them. I’ve never paid more than 200.00 for the best cable made. I add the terminal ends (the most important part) and cold weld my own stuff.

Where on earth do you think 75% of the materials used come from. The silver is from Mexico, The copper is from... It goes right on down the line. They are made in CHINA. They are bought by US, EU, or Scandinavian companies for their cables.

It’s silly to suggest anyones cables have 5, 10, 20, 30k of labor and materials, 9000% profit is more like it..

Just like there are NO 20, 30, 40k amps.. IF you pay for it good. I’ll never pay anyone that type of money for an amp.

I paid 39K for a house.. 30 years ago.

Counterfeit cable. It’s actually funny that anyone patent a cable design in the first place. Like owning a patent on Air, or Water. As a person that worked in an industry where a patent wasn’t worth a hill of beans because of the cost to defend the patent rights. I find it really amusing people get mad because what they think a patent protects.. Not a single thing. If YOU are not willing to pay for and then enforce after the fact.. It’s not like someone is going to collect any type of judgement anyways.. It is a judgment at best and not enforceable. Microsoft can’t defend it’s copyright’s, BUT you think a cable company can.. 7.9 billion people on Earth.. Quite a few live on another planet..

I wish all the cable companies well, in China, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Italy, Korea, Russia, Poland, Hungary, Israel, India, Brazil, Texas (they are a country after all), California (they are country unto themselves, too), Cuba (still a ban LOL), England, France, The Arctic, The Antarctic (they are really cool products).

If you’re defending YOUR expensive cables because you spent a lot of money on them, that’s all right. It is your money after all. Just don’t get mad at me, if I didn’t. 500.00 is about right for a great loom of top of the line cables, beginning to end, including pure copper 125vac receptacles.

I’m just glad they didn’t swap out the 75 year old copper that my street runs on. The transformers and connections yes the old copper they left. I thanked them..

The new transformer took a while to settle in to.. The old one was off. 118, 121vac

Now L1 120, L2 120vac on the button.

1K DAC, 3K cable, Change DACs the power supply sucks.. That’s a tough one. :-)

Fuses, I’m working on that one. Breakers in over 50% of the stuff now. Down with the stick fuse, there is a lot better alternative.

Well, oldhvymec makes some good points too. Genuine and fake are of course two different customers. By the way, I would never tell anyone that they were genuine, and the true reason that I bought them is because I was hoping that they had knowledge of how the real thing was built and had made a reasonable facsimile of that design.

I agree that these patents are not easily enforceable, (look at Gucci, Fendi etc.) but I also agree that it's not right of them to use the name, even though no one looking at it would think that it was real for the price.

Roxy thanks for sharing this with us.

There are house brand cables like Underwood sells for a few hundred dollars that actually perform quite well (at least the speaker cables I tried). I totally understand not wanting to spend much on cables, but buying something with dubious materials and build quality doesn’t make sense to me. I’d rather get good quality Belden speaker cable or Mogami Gold IC’s for that price  (which are actually tested for consistency) rather than a something designed to look nice cosmetically.

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The materials and build quality are far from dubious emailists. I have never had a set of interconnects with such good RCA's, and I'm not sure how you got the idea that they were made just to look good. After owning them for 5 weeks, I'd say they were built to sound good primarily.

@audiodwebe makes a good point. Folks shopping at AliExpress aren't Nordost's customer base.Of course passing them off as genuine is wrong. I remember seeing some ads that were honest and claimed they were of "similar design and sound just as good for less!"

The OP's first post went in a whole different way than I thought the discussion topic was heading towards; I'm glad it worked out for for him, and what he got was a nice sounding cable in the end.  One speaker cable that plenty of other board members have mentioned is fake Kimber Kable speaker wire.  A Seller on U.S Audio Mart was selling silver Kimber 4AG speaker cable for a too-good-to-true price.  I contacted Kimber, sent them a picture, and immediately they said the braid was all wrong.  That phone call saved me about a $1,000 dollars of being ripped off.  Beware out there fellas!  

He's not trying to pass it along as a genuine product...

The manufacturer is, it's marked with the name Nordost.

There are so many good quality alternatives to what are clearly counterfeit products that it makes little sense to me why someone would consider purchasing the unreal thing.  If the cable was labelled Noordostt, then it would just be a little tacky, but what they are doing is illegal.  Why support an illegal activity?

It’s a very, very sad day today that audiophiles on this established and alleged leading audio forum, now practice a willful blindness to fostering (wilful participation with intent …) clear Chinese lowlife criminal activity by buying AND / OR actually blessing fake counterfeit cables that were advertised and sold as counterfeit fakes in clear violation of trademark laws.

THESE ARE NOT still- legal no-name knockoffs … the OP has unambiguously presented these as admitted advertised counterfeit fakes that are illegally leveraging a high-end NORDOST brand name in violation of both US and international registered trademarks.

(1) Anybody who actually has a high-end audio system with the high-end resolution worthy of NORDOST cables starting at the HEIMDALL all the way up to ODINs; knows that the real deal cables just slay all the fakes. The counterfeit fakes (with a pure crap comparative build quality) comparatively perform at their cheap cheap price in those systems.

If fakes actually could cut it, then why don’t the OEM audio gear manufacturers use cheap fakes at audio expos to showcase their gear? It would a helluva great marketing tool to say “we sound our best with any preferred cheap s**t cables just like the real deal OEM legit brand name expensive ones”.

There is a reason why many of exhibitors at the audio expos purposely pair their audio expo show systems specifically with NORDOST high-end cables , usually VALHALLAs, and ODINs on the very top end systems.

Do you still think that fakes cut it vis a vis the real deal?
So here is the CANADA HI-FI reporter’s take from the NORDOST cables bake-off exhibit actually performed live at TAVES.They stopped at the improving model bakeoff summit at the Valhallas (one below the Odins) with the inference that a move up the model trendline in improvement keeps going further to the ODINs

http://canadahifi.com/taves-consumer-el ... rge-de-sa/

".....I had a chance to sit in on a couple demonstrations in the Nordost room, giving my feet a well deserved break. I’m very familiar with the benefits of high quality cables and use a full Nordost Heimdall 2 loom with my reference two-channel setup. That being said, I always find the Nordost demonstrations to be an “ear-opening” experience. Michael Taylor from Nordost demonstrated the significant sonic benefits of replacing an OEM cable with a Nordost model – in particular 1) a swap of a single USB cable, from OEM to Nordost Blue Heaven ($250/2m), to Heimdall 2 ($500/2m) and; 2) a swap of a single RCA interconnect, from OEM, to Blue Heaven, to Heimdall 2, to Tyr 2 and finally Valhalla 2. Along with convincing the audience in the room that cables DO matter, I’ve now got the bug to upgrade...."

(2) Hmmm, I now wonder what NORDOST may provide as their response - not just to this forum but to the AGON forum executives itself to be agnostic towards or condemn the activities and thread comments if and when they browse this thread. The cold facts are that it is identification by association to all parties that are wilfully blind to buying fakes, then bless buying illegal fakes, and participate in criminal illegal fakes activity sold from China where illegal fakes are not only permitted, but is a national sport …full stop.

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Well my only issue is that there are some quality cable manufacturers that this bootleg crap will effect.

Guys like Signal Cable and Wire World....folk who make a quality product at a fair price but the sale gets diverted to some counterfeit guy.

Based on what performance for price?

The esthetic?

The ego stroke.

Some facts a few years old but....

Chart: The Industries Most Affected by Counterfeit Products | Statista

Who know.  Maybe some of the bootleg cables will sound better than the genuine articles.  

Quote: "A cross section of counterfeit shows it’s basically zip cord with 2 filler tubes".

Most have no idea what they are actually buying with counterfeit cables. You get what you pay for. Most are poor copies that don’t even represent a real copy of the original. This is why most refer to them as "junk".

Various counterfeit investigations and inspections find most of its garbage inside:

  • Different jacket, material, insulation, on the outside.
  • Different dielectrics used with no real design. Nothing like original.
  • Different metallurgy, less pure wire conductors inside, most cases.
  • Zip cord sound is typical. Save the $ and go buy zip cord instead!  
  • Be sure to disclose its "counterfeit" when you resale later, or cut it up.

TIP: Better off saving your money and learning how to make your own cables vs. buying poor fake counterfeits. Don’t be fooled by "too good to be true", false deals.

Article by Element Acoustics on poor fake Cardas counterfeit copies:

http://www.element-acoustics.ca/audio_visits.php?aid=43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It all starts with the consumer that is gullible enough to think that a set of cables are worth $20,000. The guy in China is the smart one. He recognizes that there’s a huge amount of profit to be made. No cable is worth $20,000 the criminal sees $19,900 worth of profit 

Click image for larger version Name: FB_IMG_1605544418794.jpg Views: 302 Size: 75.0 KB ID: 145519Why stop at cables?????????????????????????????????

Pssstttt Buddy wanna buy an amplifier cheap?????????????????

Gotta deal for yous guys.

akg_ca,

Your post is so sanctimonious it's actually amusing. It's all such a crime isn't it? Well, there's all kinds of crime, and perhaps convincing well to do men with fancy technical blather that a one meter set of interconnects is worth 20k would be considered a crime by some.

As far as your other assertions, if your hands are so clean, then you would have no way of knowing what my interconnect, or any other Chinese interconnect sounds like, even though you pretend to. Therefore, you're talking out of your backside.

jerryg123,

The photo of the counterfeit Adamantes labeled as a Joseph Audio speaker really gave me a laugh! Thanks.

The only crime is charging 20K for cables, simple as that. The ones that say NorXXXX for 140.00 are STILL 100.00 to much. However the actual Nordost cable that sell for 2500.00 that are genuine are 2460.00 to much.. They are NUTS period.

Don't blame ME if my 40.00 cable sounds as good and (in my opinion better) because of a 300% markup and made a good profit including shipping from China at 40.00 usd, per Pair

The insurance to insure 2500.00 cables is more than the WHOLE cost of  TWO cable, shipping, and taxes from China.. Wake up mate..

I have 100s of things I've had to make through the years. A lot of modified engine parts, hydraulic pump modifications, MCV, remotes, all kinds of stuff. One of a kind. I never on God's green earth thought that the cable to run the silly electric over hydraulic Main Control Valve would cost more than the actual machined spools and valve assemblies.  

Guess what, the same applies to Stereo Gear. 50% of the sound is the room, that 5% for cables is .01 different than cables 9-10,000% marked up.. 

To steal a product like code and use it and not pay for the right to use it.. That's different. But the cable to get it to you. Don't be ridiculous. 

Next thing you know people will patent how they mow their lawn.. Patent lawyers and patent courts are getting rich. Patent holder.. Don't be silly.. Worthless.. Unless you're willing to spend your money in a US civil court. Worthless again.. because there is no enforcement. We have a lot of crooked civil laws not to mention all the money making criminal law on the books. A country full of people breaking into stores, and folks are worried about a 40-140.00 cable costing too little?

Never mind everything on the planet doubling in price and I got a 2% raise. 4.00 usd for 18 eggs? 8x8 piece of cornbread that cost 1.00 with 100% markup. 4.50 and it went up a dollar in a week. 2 years ago 1.99. 

Cables that were 10K are a magic 20K. 

Eat crap and enjoy it I say.. 20K cables. Total BS.. :-) 20K cables:-) :-) :-), there is no such thing only if you pay for it.. NOT ME.. Tourette's is really kickin' in now..

Makes my head hurt..

Counterfeiting goods is illegal, period. Companies spend years and much money establishing their brands, and to knowingly partake in piracy of intellectual property will cause the appalling practice to continue.

The Chinese do make genuinely good cables at a fraction of the price you would pay here for the equivalent quality you get, and under their own brand names. Much better to buy genuine Chinese innovation. This website shows some of the top Chinese Hi-Fi brands and their cables. I have heard a couple of these (Bada  and Choseal speaker cables) and to my ears they are very very good and very well made.  

https://www.china-hifi-audio.com/en/hifi-hiend-audio-cables-c-34?zenid=ab124fcdb6dbb4bdeb38e66be5b2f593

Iv never understood how nordost can charge so much for a peice of cable.

Not that long ago I bought Nordost Blue Heaven speaker cables from Arizona Hi-Fi.  I enjoyed them very much..  Then very recently a seller on Audiogon was selling  a 4 meter pair (my length) of Nordost TYR speaker cables. They are over 10K new and he was selling them for $4,400 - he said they were demos.  I was skeptical but I read some reviews from others about this seller and they were positive.  When I spoke to the seller, English was not his native language and he was not a dealer. But I decided to take a chance for what looked like a real bargain.  At worst it would be a $4,400 lesson learned.  They arrived promptly, beautifully packed in  Nordost boxes and warranty cards and they sounded just great to my aging ears - a noticeable improvement of the very good Blue Heavens.   I assume they were broken in.  The seller even gave me good marks on Audiogon feedback.  I still don't know how he was able to price them so well but they sounded great.  Real or fake, I don't know but I'm very pleased with them.

@akg_ca Um it is called free speech in the United States.

I am totally against counterfeit goods but you post crossed a line.

Oh and Canadian bacon is ham period!

Hmmm, I now wonder what NORDOST may provide as their response - not just to this forum but to the AGON forum executives itself to be agnostic towards or condemn the activities and thread comments if and when they browse this thread. The cold facts are that it is identification by association to all parties that are willfully blind to buying fakes, then bless buying illegal fakes, and participate in criminal illegal fakes activity sold from China where illegal fakes are not only permitted, but is a national sport …full stop.

Oh I'm building a pinwheel power cord, sue me.. Really SUE ME!!! Patent that..

A good buddy told me about the same tech used in projects like the SR71 for atomic proximity detonation. Some tech is actually classified, it doesn't mean you can't make it, be careful who you sell it to though. Cable patents, Horse pooy, in your dreams.. Kind of like speaker patents. You have got to be kidding.. Sue me.., I'll copy whatever I like and make it better, so what.. Speaker patents.. Funniest thing I ever heard.. The expensive thing is the cabinet work and finish. Selling someone else's idea and not paying them, I got a problem with that.

I got a patent on the Bible. :-) My OWN version. 

Patent MDF and paint.. ohh and binding post. My Virtual page must be a gold mine, a few one of a kind things there, as I hit 30 tons on a terminal cold weld. That's 40-50 year old tech too. I guess because I wind my own transformers I'm breaking some crazy patent, poo poo. sue me.. SUE ME. It would be easier to slip a gnats bottom over a telephone pole. 

Regards

Don't blame ME if my 40.00 cable sounds as good and (in my opinion better)

Tell me about your evaluation of the $2500 Nordost cables. How long was your evaluation period before you returned them?

What you are doing is buying stolen goods.  In this case, if the cables were made to the exact specifications of Nordost cables (not likely), then you stole the research, technical expertise and name.  No different than if you bought the real thing off the back of a truck that someone else stole and resold to you.  No different than someone breaking into your home stealing your gear and selling it to someone just like you who buys it knowing it was stolen goods.  This is not a good line to cross.     Is this who you want to be?

Why would anyone counterfeit Chinese cables? 😉

Some of the high end cable manufacturers have their cables assembled in China. As all manufacturing processes, there are leftover bare wires or B stock which are then on sold to online retailers. Quite like some brand new iPhone components you find on black market…so they may not be “counterfeit” counterfeit…but a heavily discounted and underdressed version of the original ones…

@ted_denney Cheap shot....

Why would anyone counterfeit Chinese cables?

Cheap shot....

I don’t think so, why would anyone? I don’t know, maybe both..

Is that to say that Nordost is made in China Ted? Is that the joke?