Line Magnetic 518ia - Singapore Edition - Counterfeit?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Guy Gadbois, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

  2. IGD Positive

    IGD Positive Forum Resident

    Location:
    Inner groove
    I think The Music Room is legit. What would lead you to believe it's a counterfeit?
     
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  3. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Is there a dealer or distributor list from Line Magnetic - you can then see if The Music Room is an authorized dealer.

    The Music Room lists virtually every single brand in the entire world as brands they carry - which is a bit suspicious - there are about 50 brands just in the A's alone.

    Note that Asia is a bit different than the west when they sell stuff here. When I bought my Line Magnetic 219IA Hit Audio have their own technicians - so they "upgraded" some of the amplifiers putting in superior Silver Caps from Germany - they would Sell it has the 219IA SE or something at an additional cost. Hit Audio also gave you a 3 year warranty over the standard 1 year. It sounded better than the regular version so why not.

    Still they are an authorized dealer so it's a bit tough when just using the internet to find information. Personally, if you are in the USA contact the dealers about second hand items if you're concerned about the prices. Most audiophiles upgrade and want to get rid of their old piece. Indeed, there are a lot of people like myself who do not want the hassle of selling things on Audiogon etc and would rather just have someone pick the thing up so I can move on and we're fine taking a bit less money on the item. Dealers tend to know which of their customers are looking to upgrade.
     
  4. inperson

    inperson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Email Line Magnetic and ask them. There should be a sticker with a number on the back. I bought my LM amp in Beijing and asked them a few years later after I moved back home to the US. They answered me and said yes, it's a real one. The way they responded they must have thought my question was funny.
     
  5. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Location:
    Adelaide Australia

    Your HOME link is for the EU. Your Line Magnetic LM-518IA link is for a used LM-518IA.If you are in the USA please note!! This is a Line Magnetic SG (Singapore) Edition with a 240V power supply. It cannot be used with 120V power.

    As for being counterfeit it looks like a used SG edition which is now sold. .The SG edition is done by the Singapore dealer who modified with upgraded parts . I deal with him often and can be found on the link below...

    Live Acoustics

    Line Magnetic 518IA

    Features

    • Remote control
    • Integrated amp that can be use as stand alone power amp.
    Features In the Singapore Version (SG Edition)

    • European Components for the power supply (It’s not the same that you can buy directly from China)
    • Vishay Resistor
    • Vishay Capacitors
    • Kiwame Resistors
    • Mundorf Oil Coupling Capacitors etc
    • Mundorf Power Capacitors
    • Free pair of KT66 upgrade tubes for the 845 drivers
    The sonic improvement is more that 30% compare to the stock ones. Background is even darker.
     
  6. dianos

    dianos Forum Resident

    Location:
    The North
    I would say they all are original ones. Problem they have is grey market and no control on pricing. Compare price in China to the one in say the us and you can easily tell the margins are huge. If people would purchase directly from China it would be like half the price including vat and shipping.. distributors and retail would stop selling them if LM don’t handle that and they handle it by scaring people it’s a copy.
     
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  7. tman53

    tman53 Vinyl is an Addiction

    Location:
    Pa
    Call The Music Room and ask. They are legit. I doubt they'd knowingly sell a counterfeit. I've dealt with them in the past and they were nothing but upfront and honest.
     
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  8. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    Back story -

    The link from TMR is the exact item I purchased. I got it in May I think.

    Within the last week I've noticed that the sound occasionally breaks up in the right channel. I've done ever test imaginable and I am mostly sure that there is a problem within the amp on the right channel. I contacted TMR about the issue and they said that the item is out of warranty and there's nothing they can do.

    I contacted the LM US distributor and he said that the item is "grey market" and he can't help me either.

    I don't know if grey market = counterfeit . If it is counterfeit then I am going to return it to TMR. But I need to be absolutely certain before I go in that direction.

    @Stump So the guy in Singapore is an authorized LM dealer who modifies the product?
     
  9. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Location:
    Adelaide Australia
    What is your local power supply??
     
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  10. IGD Positive

    IGD Positive Forum Resident

    Location:
    Inner groove
    Grey market doesn't mean counterfeit. It just means an item that was sold outside of the authorized distribution channels. In this case, you have a Singapore edition model that wasn't sold by Line Magnetic's US distributor and therefore, it's considered grey market.
     
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  11. Baaronj

    Baaronj Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    TMR itself is legit in that they buy and sell used hi-fi gear. I have worked with them as both a buyer and a seller, and they've been good to work with in my experience.

    But they are not an authorized U.S. Line Magnetic dealer in the Tone Imports network.

    Your amp is almost certainly *not* counterfeit. I personally believe that language on the LM website is intended to steer people away from grey-market models that LM manufactured.

    @IGD Positive is exactly right - yours is a grey market model.

    That said, LM amps are still just amps and can be worked on/repaired by any *good* tech who knows what they're doing.

    I've been inside a 518ia, and the point to point wiring and a good amount of space makes them fairly easy to work on.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  12. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

  13. tman53

    tman53 Vinyl is an Addiction

    Location:
    Pa
    I think when you buy used from TMR they provide a 45 day warranty. Unfortunately, you are beyond that. Unless you can prove it's counterfeit you may be out.
     
    Guy Gadbois likes this.
  14. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I think because they usually sell pre-owned gear, they are just listing all the brands they've ever sold.

    Here is their list of brands that they are authorized sellers for: Brand Partners

    Doesn't seem suspicious to me - though I'd agree there isn't much logic in listing all the brands in the world if at any given time you won't have stock for 90% of them and you wouldn't know when or if you'll ever get a product in stock (and even then, you'll likely only have just one).
     
  15. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    I want to be clear that I'm not accusing anyone of anything. I'm just trying to find out what's true
     
  16. IGD Positive

    IGD Positive Forum Resident

    Location:
    Inner groove
    I think we've given you the truth. You bought a grey market (but not counterfeit) Line Magnetic integrated amp and it sounds like you need to find someone to service it.
     
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  17. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    First of all, there is no such thing as a fake LM amp. That's just nonsense LM wrote on their page to scare people into buying the North-American version at an inflated price.

    Get an electrician to combine two 120V circuits to make a 240V one and have the appropriate plug installed and you're done. Or use a step-down transformer which also works though some are far better than others.

    If a dealer decided to arbitrarily upgrade components, that doesn't make the amp any less of a real/fake unit. Just one that's been tampered with whether it's for the better or worse. In such a case, the dealer would be responsible for any of those components' failures. The US dealer responded to you accurately. Because it's not a North-American version, it's not one that they're responsible for.

    The upgrades mentioned on the page are certainly worthwhile but there are many potential risks such as not knowing whether the upgraded caps were obtained from a reputable source (yes, there are fake caps out there!) or if the work done was of good caliber. For all you know, it could be as simple as a cold solder joint that's causing the issue. The dealer should deal with the problem but due to the weight of the amp, you might want to suggest having it repaired by the tech and having them foot the bill before you spend a ton of money shipping this beast back to them.
     
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  18. Guy Gadbois

    Guy Gadbois Chief Inspector Thread Starter

    I was wondering if it is possible to switch this from 220v to 120v to eliminate the power converter I'm using. I'll have to ask around about it
     
  19. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    You'd have to replace the power transformer altogether as it doesn't have a 120V tap.

    That is an expensive and relatively time-consuming process, although the circuitry is pretty simple in this unit so it could take less time than with other amps. You could theoretically buy a PO from High End Repair in Phoenix, AZ. You can talk to James Koch at 480-398-7362.

    Page Title

    You'd have to request having it airmailed over as it would normally take months for it to arrive otherwise. It'd also cost you a few hundred dollars to buy the part and then a tech needing to install it. There'd also be no warranty from the dealer whatsoever following that modification.

    No idea how much you bought it for but it might neglect the deal you got in the first place. You already spent $ on the step-down transformer anyway.
     
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  20. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    The biggest reason I ultimately sold the LM 219IA was that eventually I would move back to Canada and their amps do not have a 120v tap. And given the weight and size I opted to part ways and bought the KingKo KA 101. The designer previously worked repairing and upgrading LM amps for a decade or more.

    And it has a votalge changing switch on the side. All my AN gear can be changed to 120v. It's one of the main consideration when looking to buy.

    I know the argument that a single tap sounds better but that has not been the case IME.
     
  21. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Location:
    Adelaide Australia
    Do you now understand what is true? You bought a used Amp from TMR knowing it was a 240V import from Singapore.The Line Magnetic Dealer in Singapore modified the Amp to a higher standard which made its way to USA.There is NO Counterfeit. TMR have done nothing wrong. You now have a fault which you are best get repaired.You will not have much chance reselling this 240V Amp in the USA.Your power converter may be the reason your Amp now has a fault. If you want me to explain why there is a price difference of a Chinese 220V to a EU 230V or a USA 120V let me know and I will go into more detail.
    Cheers
     
    Guy Gadbois likes this.
  22. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Location:
    Adelaide Australia
     
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