Copy is a kind of compliment in the sense of admiration. If one
can't see the difference , as is the case, with many paintings why
should we care? However I was glad to obtain this FR B-60
replica for $500 instead to pay + $2000 for the original Ikeda.
Alas the replica producer was not able to make any profit on his
replica so those are not anymore available. By way of anticipation
I bought two samples (grin). My two FR-64 s have each their own.
My Ikeda 345 need to borrow ''his'' from one of the two mentioned.
Well the curious thing is that Japanese economy was based
on replica of European and American , say, inventions. Curious
in the sense that they (aka Ikeda) ask + $ 2000 for the original
B-60 while the most buyers want ''original'' parts by each item.
The obvious assumption being that ''original'' is somehow better
than replica. However the same Japanese have proven the other
way round. This may be different for paintings and antiques by
which ''original'' means (much) more money.
We are discussing the ''mechanics'' of the tonearms while the
function of this B-60 is to move the arm up and down + provide
extra mass for the 'energy transfer''. Some tonearms use huge
nuts for the same purpose. The thing is not supposed to ''sound''
so I can't answer this question. What I can say is that the thing
function as it should and because made from the same ''substance''
(aka steel) is, I assume, as heavy as the original.
The seller told me about his ''profit'' so I decided to buy two
samples. A German friend already offered 700 euro for one of
my samples. I wish I was as ''smart'' with my shares (grin).
@chakster you are always right with your pictures but, alas, not
always with your assumptions. This means that the B-60 on
your picture is the replica. I don' t use the expression ''fake''
because I am a lawyer (grin).
The B60 replica in the you tube video is garbage.
Compared to the original I have, the motion up and down of the pillar housing appears to be rattly, loose and wobbly. There is no way mine moves up and down that fast, clearly the tolerances in the replica are much looser than the original. You can see the pillar moving sideways in the last motion.
Dear chakster, Your judgment and qualification'' garbage'' is
based on your assertions which are based on ''you tube video''.
The legitimate comparison is only possible by A-B comparison
between two real components. If this is your usual way to ''compare''
components then all components which you bought must be perfect.
Never made any mistake based on your assumptions?
Have you ever try any of those B-60 adjuster?
I don't know whether there is more than source for those B60 replicas, but I have one of the replicas, probably the same one that Nandric purchased, and I have examined it side by side with a bona fide original B60. The replica is as well made as the original. The vertical shaft of my FR64s is not wobbly when mounted in the replica B60, and the motion up and down is well damped and smooth, rather than sloppy. With the adjusters tightened down, the replica B60 has a death grip on the tonearm, as one would want. I have no complaints at all, in fact. I have not watched the video, but if the replica shown in the video exhibits the faults described above, then I can only conclude it comes from a different source. Nandric is also correct in saying that the ones he and I bought are no longer available, for the last few years in fact.
Copy, Replica, Recreation.....they are all FAKE and COUNTERFEIT. No amount of sophistry will change that. I would go so far as to say one man's "copy...in the sense of admiration" is another man's theft of property.
Regarding something as critical as a tonearm, I would wonder about the quality of the materials used in construction. What is the quality of the bearing(s) ? Different base metals, or composites, machined to a standard that is not the same as the original, bearings of inferior grade...all would combine to represent an inferior product. Just because it "looks" the same, does not mean it will perform the same.....
Given that the seller(s) are in HK leads me to believe that the producer of the arm(s) is Chinese based. Another red flag. This is not a xenophobic judgment but a caveat based upon known trade practices. How many times have we seen Chinese based components at shockingly low prices that look a lot like a known brand ?
As for the SME Arm, individuals complaining to Ebay may not accomplish anything. I would complain to the local importer, and parent company, then let their lawyers contact Ebay regarding FAKE and COUNTERFEIT merchandise.
Ebay and/or PayPal protection is based on buyers money. The
money can be blocked on sellers account and in case of
''default'' returned to the buyer. The general complaint is ''not
as described'' ( in the listing). This obviously apply for items which
are described as ''original'' but are in fact copies. The difference
between SME and FR-B-60 is that the later is described as ''copy''.
I think that B-60 is much more easy to ''reproduce'' with modern
CNN lathe's than SME. Even so the B-60 replica could not be sold
for more than $500 . That is why those are not anymore produced.
The seller was not able to get any profit with this price.
BTW intellectual property is protected for certain time while the
precondition is payment of ''maintenance'' contribution . The added
problem is that patent law in one country is not the same as in
the other. I think that fashion has much problems with ''replicas''
than objects of our desire.
They're back! And someone is already bidding and will get ripped off. Or the clueless guy will use it and never know what a real SME should look like and sound like.
I reported. More people should do the same.
Other than the rough finish (although hard to tell in the crummy photos, btw out of focus photography is almost always a give away) the big tell is the lack of serif on the “V”
Did you check out the photo of the arm that is being called a fake? It is not out of focus and there are multiple pictures. I've visually compared it to a "real" arm and o can't see any differences. Does anyone know someone who bought this arm from the vendor and can report directly on it being a fake?
This is the fake
This is a real SME-V
Look at the picture of the mounted fake arm -- look at the V -- see the lack of Serif’s? If you can’t even screen print the font correctly ...
Furthermore look at the "arrows" on the VTF adjuster -- they should actually be arrows/triangle shapes, instead they’re just rectangles ... you need to pay attention to detail! (time validating luxury handbags teaches you this stuff)
and to me the photos in the fake listing are pretty bad - eBay allows very large clear images, these look like they were taken with a phone in a hurry
Real SME is beautifully machined and fit and finish is perfection. Fake SME in the photos is made with every part being rough cast out of something. Fit and finish is garbage, misaligned parts, gaps, etc. Printing is garbage. Leads are wrong.
All the way down to the fake Canare tonearm cable (which SME never even used before) with wrong printing.
These people are 100% disgusting criminals. Report. And stay away.
As well as all these items:
And tons more. He has a pretty impressive forgery operation going.
@raymonda I don’t know if all of those are fake. But for example, the picture showing the Nagra’s internals has been stolen from one of the big online review sites. So that’s a red flag already. I don’t have time to go through everything to verify.
Some stuff might be real, some fake, others may have real stolen pictures but who knows what you’ll get.
SME I know by heart, so the V they have listed on eBay is without a doubt a fake item.
Another giveaway, I just looked at the history and they sell SME V several times a month for as long as eBay allows one to look back. For the other items they do not have previous sales, so they might be real.
Think logically, where are they getting so many V tonearms to sell used?
Some unknowing fool bought that fake tonearm for $2125 during the last auction a week ago.
Since January 1st of this year, those scumbags have sold 7 fake SME V tonearms, averaging $2000 per sale.
I reported most of them. eBay took absolutely no action against them. eBay gets a several hundred dollar cut from each sale and they couldn't care less if the product is real or not, or if the buyers are getting ripped off.
There is a huge ethical difference between making a replica of a tonearm that is still available from the manufacturer/inventor and then selling it under the pretense that it is a bona fide original and the making and marketing of a reproduction of the B60 accessory for Technics tonearms, whether that replica is of good quality or bad. The seller of the replica B60 acknowledged that he is/was selling a replica, and the price is/was a fraction of that which one would have to pay for a "real" B60. Moreover, the original B60 has been out of production for several decades; there is/was no attempt to defraud. In my opinion, the guy who made and sold me the B60 replica did me a great favor. It adds mass to the base of the pivot point and thereby helps to soak up resonant energy, not to mention the fact that VTA is much easier to adjust with the B60.
Nandric’s post reminded me; the B60s that he and I bought, for $500 each, went away after the initial run of production, because, as Nandric wrote, the seller claimed he was not making any money on the item at that price. So it would seem that the current reproduction is from a different source.
I do share the sentiments of others as regards the fake SME V’s.
By the way, under US law, selling the fake and then shipping it to the buyer under an SME label is "mail fraud", a felony. But you'd have to chase down the crooks in Hong Kong or wherever. Lots of luck with that. On the other hand, eBay should block them. Has anyone lodged a complaint via eBay?
@lewm I have filed multiple complaints with eBay and they did not even bother responding to a single one. I’ve been a member on eBay since the late 90’s with a huge 100% feedback. But I guess that doesn’t matter to them. So long as the buyer is clueless and doesn’t complain and eBay gets paid, it’s business as usual.
This is a huge problem. As those fake tonearms will eventually circle back into the marketplace. They probably also sound horrendous and give SME a bad rep.
Information for Lewm.
After Fidelity Research went out of business, Osamu Ikeda (together with his manufacturing partner IT Kogyo) made a VTA adjustment base that works with the Ikeda IT-345 and IT-407 arms as well as the FR-64 and FR-66 family.
The IT-VTA06 can be considered as Ikeda-san's own replacement for his earlier B60.
Thanks very much for that URL. I was totally unaware of that product. My first reaction is to note how exactly the Ikeda "B60" resembles my own reproduction of the FR B60. It's deja vu all over again.
I cannot decipher the Japanese and so have no idea of cost. I do plan to be in Tokyo within the next two months, to visit our son who lives there. I'll snoop around Akihabara looking for it.
As to the inaction exhibited by eBay with respect to bogus SME Vs, why am I not surprised? They are interested in nothing but their own cut of the action, which has grown increasingly excessive as their dominance of the marketplace has enhanced itself over the years. I've got stuff sitting around my house that I would like to sell, but I refuse to go the eBay route just as a matter of principle.
I Googled "Ikeda IT-VTA06", and lo and behold....
A mere $2300!!! On eBay of course. I'll be content with my $500 "copy".