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Abalone From Ebay


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Bought a bunch of fret markers on eBay recently and thought I'd share my experiences. I'll be brief:

Unless you crave disappointment, Don't buy from this seller: taisamlu on eBay - out of Taiwan.

Crappy Abalone dots

More crappy Abalone dots

The pics might look good, but the real things are total crap. Thin, flaky, full of holes, not round, edges are pitted and uneven. I really hate flaming people, but this stuff was totally lacking in quality. I'm curious to hear if anyone else has dealt with this eBayer. I should have given him negative feedback, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it (if for no other reason than it shipped fast). I should have at least settled for neutral.

On the opposite end of the spectrum...

I've bought several items from this seller: guitarmakingstuff on eBay. Good quality but you will pay. Nice Abalone dots

Also good stuff from: primegoods which sells mostly jewerly, stones & shell

Definitely Buy from this seller: candy033 on eBay. They even have a website: MOP Supplies

I bought 100 1/4 inch abalone dots ($14) and 9 abalone blanks ($21) plus about $8 combined shipping from Australia. I'm no Craig Lavin, but to me they were stellar! :D At least as good as stuff I bought from guitarmakingstuff and Stew-Mac - probably better. The inlay blanks practically gave me a seizure they are so flashy. Absolutely no comparison to the garbage I got from Taiwan.

Awesome Abalone dots

Superb Abalone blanks

Their website says they will do custom cutting from a drawing or computer file. I'm going to try out their services soon on a headstock logo. I'll report back on the results.

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In my (limited) experience, I've found that Andy DePaule - Luthier Supply - has excellent shell products and selection. I purchased a couple of ounces of paua blanks and some assorted MOP from him recently, and it was all top-grade, really nice stuff. You might find it a little cheaper elsewhere, but I doubt you'll find better quality. His advice and personal service is a plus, and he's a great guy to talk to.

Sometimes you get what you pay for... :D

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In my (limited) experience, I've found that Andy DePaule -  Luthier Supply  - has excellent shell products and selection.  I purchased a couple of ounces of paua blanks and some assorted MOP from him recently, and it was all top-grade, really nice stuff.  You might find it a little cheaper elsewhere, but I doubt you'll find better quality.  His advice and personal service is a plus, and he's a great guy to talk to.

Sometimes you get what you pay for...  :D

I found that guitar heads who sells on ebay has some good stuff. :D

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Andy DePaule has top-quality stuff and is a good sort of fellow. He was almost hesitant to sell me the larger blanks simply because he knew that the smaller (and much cheaper) ones would suit my needs. Honest dude, too, he freely admitted that it's good for him to be able to sell off the small stuff, too (hence the low price) because after so many projects, so much of it accumulates.

In any event, I ordered the small AND the large blanks, plus a set of block inlays, just so that I'd for sure have what I needed.

I suspect Andy is somewhat forgetful, though-- I also ordered a custom headstock inlay which he never got back to me about, so I'm going to try making it myself. He didn't charge up-front for it, though, so I wasn't out any money at all.

Greg

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I don't know if this guy is normally ok, but I bought a 'rosewood' headstock veneer with

flower inlay from 'inlaidartist'. It was totally warped and unusable. I'm also a nice guy and gave

him a positive feedback before I'd checked it out...other people seemed happy with his stuff...

but you'd think they'd trash something this warped...

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Not that i'm any great expert but inlay's and materials from Taiwan and the surrounding are in no way as thick and uniform as we in the west have come to expect. If you look at the history of inlay there seems to be two very different school's of practice between the west and the east and this includes not only the methods but also the materials and techniques employed. As far as Ebay goes i'd avoid anyone who is from Asia, not because they are trying to rip people off, which i don't think they're intentionally trying to do, but what they sell is not what we expect. Over the past couple of years since i started dabbling in inlay i've brought the vast majority of slab from MOP Supplies, Small Wonder and David Dykes and never really had any major headaches with any of them although each has thier pro's and con's.

Jem.

PS: I do have one problem and that's recon stone. Masecraft only sell bloody great blocks of it (well, they seem massive for an amatuer like me) and Rescue Pearl don't seem to want to sell to :D as they don't reply to my mails. Anyone else i can try...Craig, help !

Edited by Batfink
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