|Ok people, time to set the record straight
about the incredibly egregious totally
ridiculous accusations against my
This should also serve to explain the silly frivolous
lawsuit that lasted less than a week.
This will also explain exactly what we did with
the OLP guitars.
At No Time
Did I Or Anyone Remotely Associated With Me
Ever Create A Counterfeit Ernie Ball Guitar
We Never Represented To Anyone That Any OLP
Guitar Was An Ed Roman Guitar Or An Ernie Ball.
We Sold them as upgraded OLP's Just like
we do with all other corporate brands like
PRS, Gibson & Fender.
Retopped Any OLP Guitar, There Was No Need,
Tops On Most OLP's Looked Better
Than Most Of The Much More Expensive Ernie Ball
had retopped them they would have been far more
expensive than an Ernie Ball Van Halen Model.
MAKING THEM NON
of refinishing the headstock and changing decals
would have been absurdly expensive. It would
have raised the price very close to the actual
EVH model. So not only is this story not
even close to being true, It would have been a
colossal stupid mistake to even attempt it.
THIS IS WHAT
WE DID DO !!!!!!!!!!!!
We took a good
little low cost guitar and turned it into
something really great !!!!!!!!
The OLP guitar was a
great little guitar. To this day 6 years later I
have never seen another guitar that came close
to it in value, We used to buy them 24 at
a time for somewhere between $120.00 and $140.00
depending on what kind of deal we could make at
the time. We sold a lot of them without the mods
and anybody who bought one was usually quite
happy with them. The evidence is they are
hard to find today even on ebay they sell used
for about $100.00 more than they were new.
1, We replaced the
low cost Fender style OLP tremolo with a real Floyd Rose German
made tremolo. Not even the original Ernie Ball
models came with that. They actually came &
still do come with an imitation
2, There was no need to
change the tuning pegs because the real Floyd
Rose came with excellent quality fine tuners and
a hardened lock nut. Some people asked us to
change the pegs anyway and they paid slightly
extra for that.
3, We hard mounted Seymour Duncan premium
pickups which are usually superior to the less
expensive Dimarzio's that came spring mounted in
the more expensive "real" Ernie Ball. We also
offered EMG's but there were only a few takers.
4, We worked a little
of our secret sauce into the tone circuit and
sometimes we would even add a tone control.
depending on what the customer was looking for.
It only costs us a couple of dollars to do this
5, Our apprentices in
training would file the frets a little, sand &
oil the neck and do a real nice setup. We would
also do a little work to the neck cavity to get
them to fit super tight. Each one was fully
inspected by our shop foreman at the time.
The Duncan's decimated the Dimarzio's in the
EVH & Axis. To this day I
feel that those OLP conversions were better
sounding, than the expensive model Ernie Ball )
A real Floyd is always better than a copy.
The Ernie Ball EVH & Axis came with a less than
adequate copy. When I delivered an LSR
Guitar to Eddie in 1998 I played one of his
Music Man Guitars & One of his New Peavey's.
Both guitars had been changed to real Floyd Rose
Trems. (what's up with that) They stayed in tune
better and they felt much better than the stock
Ernie Ball Model !!!!!
The real German Floyd
trem ran circles around
the licensed Ernie Ball trem !!!
The Maple top on
the OLP Guitar had more quilt and/or flame than
most Ernie Ball's
The Color on the
Ernie Ball models rarely matched the color on the
headstock, The lower cost OLP's not only had
more figuring & brighter colors they actually
color matched the headstock & body better.
We Set Them Up Better, With Tighter Neck Joints,
the fret ends were more precise, each one was
built specifically for the actual customer who
ordered it. Some of them right out of the
box came in so good we barely had to do much
work to them. As I mentioned above these
were great little low cost guitars.
We could then easily sell these guitars for
about $650.00 and still make a decent & fair
profit. Plus you could not go anywhere else to
buy one because most dealers don't have the
imagination or will to do anything other than
sell the same old crap that everyone else does.
We did this for three
years and Ernie Ball never said a word to us
about it. during that era the Asian
imports were still being sold for very high
money so $650.00 was a real bargain.
There was no other guitar that came with real
USA Seymour Duncan pickups under $1,000.00!!!
There was no other guitar that came with a real
German Floyd under $1,250.00 in fact I can't
think of one to this day that comes with one
The closest & Best Deal today
is the Charvel So Cal & San Dimas and they don't
come with a German Floyd, it doesn't come with
hard-mounted black/back Duncan's either.
So here we were, doing
a real solid service for the musician with not a
lot of money and then we get flamed for it !!!!
Some people just don't get
Just because you may be
looking for a reason to flame me & you can't
come up with anything really solid, don't print
lies and half truths and try to make me into a
I only copy
products when they are no longer available, what
would be the point of copying something that you
could still buy the original. My handmade copies
sell for more money than the originals, people
who own them can tell you why.
Let Me Address
The Supposed Lawsuit.
As soon as Ernie Ball's
contract ended with OLP they took them off the
market. Maybe we were cutting severely into their
sales of their expensive cash cow " The Axis"
Model. So if you have no life and you want
to flame someone then I suggest you take a hard
look at what really happened.
BTW, The OLP
Basses were really great also, their double-neck
Van Halen Model for $399.00 was & still is the
absolutely positively best deal there ever was
on a playable good quality 6 X 12 doubleneck.
Too bad they are gone forever, The Asian
manufacturer made them so good it was hurting
sales on the ones that sold for 6 or 8
times as much !!!! (Fender
discontinued their Japanese made models for the
They even had a left handed OLP but no
lefthanded Ernie Ball ever got released.
Flame the people who
really deserve to be flamed. No that
wouldn't be any fun !!!!! You can continue
to flame me if you like, I love the publicity.
It drives people directly to my site where the
smart ones (The ones with money to spend) will
pick up on the real deal and the not so smart
will be sour grapes.
OLP guitars are not worth counterfeiting anyway, That
would be like counterfeiting $10.00 bills.
Copying a guitar is a tribute and flattery to
the guitar that is being copied. People copy my
designs all the time look at ESP guitars, they
copied my J Frog Skull N Bones. They did a lousy
job and they charged more money but I didn't
care. Johnny Frog, my associate and
creator of the original guitar insisted that we
sue them so I did and ESP had to pay us a very large
sum of money.
Yes I will copy guitars, I will continue
to do so. However be aware that most of the
guitars I copy are ones that have been
discontinued or simply are not available.
What would be the point of copying a guitar that
can be bought at any Guitar Center in small town
USA ??? I strive to make my copies better
than the originals, It's a matter of pride.
SO WHY THEN DID STERLING BALL INITIATE A
LAWSUIT WITH US.
These are my guesses !!
Probably because they were upset with the
fact that we were making their guitars into real
playable instruments and causing them to lose
sales on their much more expensive models.
Legally once someone owns something they can do
whatever they want to it.
People modify cars, motorcycles etc etc.
Recently I replaced the front grill, headlights
& taillights on my Dodge Magnum. I put custom
seats inside and chrome plated all the steel
parts, I put a bitchin stereo in it and
completely redesigned the dashboard & interior.
By Ernie Ball's logic Dodge should have sued
me. BTW I also removed all the Dodge
emblems on the car.
Maybe because we outbid them on purchasing
the Baker Guitar Company after the rumor had
throughout the industry that Ernie Ball had
already purchased Baker.
Maybe because for 10 years I would not buy
their strings and stock them in my
WHAT WAS THE ACTUAL LAWSUIT ABOUT
2, In 2002 & 2003
I converted a couple of original Ernie Ball
guitars for lefthanded people so that they could
have a guitar that resembled their hero's
guitar. So Sue Me !!!!
years later Ernie Ball did sue me!!!
I thought & I still think that was a foolish thing to do. All they had to
do was call me & voice their displeasure.
Instead they hired a lawyer and had me served.
Unfortunately this happened at a time when I was in the
process of selling my company to some investors
so I called Ernie Ball's Lawyer and settled the
whole thing in a 4 to 5 minute conversation with
their attorney. The case never got past
that, I agreed to write an apology for modifying
their guitars and they dropped the case. I had
all but forgotten about it when one of my good
customers forwarded a thread from some stupid
forum to me where it looked as if there was a
federal case involved around the situation.
Normally I fight any
lawsuit to the death, I can be a real Ass about it.
The publicity of a lawsuit is great and it
drives many more people to my site. Seeing
as how I rarely if ever spend dime one
advertising, which is the reason the magazines
don't review my guitars.
(That's another Rant)
I could have easily fought the
case at no cost to me because I am insured to
the hilt for this type of thing. Frankly I
have better things to do than help my attorneys
prepare motions for discovery and depose every
single one of Ernie Ball's employees and anyone
who was remotely associated to their complaint.
I think the case had
something to do with the fact that I had
very recently outbid Ernie Ball for the Baker Guitar
Company and they were upset about it.
It's a shame that I never got along well
with the Ernie Ball Company after Ernie Ball
himself retired. I was never a dealer for
them at any time when they became Ernie Ball
Music Man. I did have many good dealings with
Ernie Ball himself over the 40 plus years I have
been in the guitar business. It's really
too bad our two companies are at odds, in fact
it's just plain silly.
They contacted me
numerous times trying to get me to carry their
instruments back in the 80's and I never
did get on board with them. I thought their
product was OK and I still do but I simply did not need another
guitar line at that time. When they signed
Eddie Van Halen as an endorser we all knew they
were now a credible line. Naturally I contacted
them to become a dealer.
They basically told me
that they did not want me as a dealer, It seemed
to me like they were exacting a level of revenge
on me for not buying the product when it was not
a hot commodity.
Fortunately for me I
owned another store in Wisconsin & I became a
dealer through that store. I also assisted
several small dealers to become dealers and
therefore I was actually getting more product
than most authorized dealers. This
information has been previously unbeknownst to
anyone at Ernie Ball because I had the business
in a family members name and my name never
appeared on the dealership agreement.
I visited them several times at NAMM shows and their snotball
little sales manager pretended I was invisible. Occasionally they
would still call me and ask me to buy their
strings and accessories. But they were holding
the guitars for ransom.
One time one of
their lesser experienced sales people actually
told me that if I bought lots of Ernie Ball
Strings they would get me the EVH guitar
dealership. This is exactly the wrong
thing to say to me, I don't like being
pressured, especially from some little snot-nosed
maggot weasel salesman. I am sure the brass at
Ernie Ball would never have condoned that
I have printed this because, some of the stories
that my customers have mailed to me excerpted
from some forums. are pure
conjecture, lies and real evidence that people will
simply guess at what they will commit to words.
These public bathroom wall forums are for people who have
nothing better to do than whine.
Some of the stories are made up completely and
some of them are half truths mixed with
These people have far too much time on their
hands. I actually feel sorry for most of
them, because they will never make anything of
themselves and they will always be jealous of
anyone who has worked hard and enjoyed success.
If you want the straight
story, read this again
I actually called
Sterling Ball before I posted this, I wanted to
try and discuss it with him man to man. I assume
he did not get my messages due to either gross
incompetence in his office or maybe he just
decided to ignore me !!!!!
Either way this
story is 100% truthful and I stand by ever word.