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Counterfeit Cables

We're proud that Cardas cables retain high resale value, even years after their production. But unfortunately, some unscrupulous opportunists prey upon unsuspecting consumers by selling counterfeits of our cables. 

Some of these fakes are remarkably well done, visually, and even come in authentic looking packaging. Others barely try, slapping "Cardas" on cables that don't look like anything we've ever made. 

This is a buyer-be-ware situation. Some buyers are able to return their counterfeit products for a refund. But most are left without recourse.

Frequently Asked Questions About Counterfeits:

How can I identify counterfeits from authentic cables on the second-hand market?

Work at Cardas Audio for at least 10 years 😁. Our long-term employees can usually spot a fake about as fast as a mother can recognize her own child. 

Assuming you don't work here (and statistically, you probably don't), avoid AliExpress. They pretend to have a mechanism for reporting counterfeits, but it is littered with dead links and buttons that can't be clicked. 


More trustworthy sources of second hand gear are Audiogon in the US and Canuck Audio Mart in Canada. Fakes rarely show up on these sites, and when they do, they're both quick to remove them.  There are probably trustworthy audio-focused sites in other countries. If you know of one, send us a link. If it looks good to us, we'll list it here.

And of course, consider buying from a Cardas dealer. Many of our dealers take trade-ins, and might have pre-owned cables.

Are some cables more counterfeited than others?

Yes. The two most commonly counterfeited Cardas cables are Hexlink and Clear Light.

Hexlink was a flagship cable from many years ago. There were many iterations, all using the word "Hexlink". It is, by far, the most faked cable. So much so that the majority of listings for Cardas Hexlink cables are fraudulent. The counterfeiters have produced more fake Hexlink than we ever made of the real thing.

Clear Light is a more recent cable, and for whatever reason, is now quite commonly counterfeited. And whereas Hexlink fakes stand out (to us) like a sore thumb and can almost always be identified from pictures, Clear Light fakes are really well done (on the outside. Inside is garbage wire), including authentic looking packaging and documentation. 

Be very cautious when considering the purchase of any cable labeled as Hexlink or Clear Light.

And be very cautious when the price seems too good to be true. A recent search of eBay for "Hexlink" revealed hundreds of fakes with "Buy It Now" prices of around $50 USD, and one authentic cable with an asking price of $700. You can guess which one is real.

What sort of wire is inside counterfeit cables?

Bad wire. We've taken apart many counterfeits, and what we find is just hardware-store wire, at best.​ It doesn't even appear to be up to OFHC or OCC standards, much less Cardas Ultra Pure Grade 1 standards.

Why don't you do something to stop the counterfeiters?

We have worked lawyers to fight the problem. We've scoured the internet to find & report counterfeits. We've happily checked links submitted by people considering second-hand cables, and told them whether the cables seem authentic or not. And we have this page on our site.

There isn't much more we can do.

Be cautious when buying second hand cables from private parties, or non-Cardas dealers. Be skeptical when cables are being sold far below market value. Even a long discontinued product such as Hexlink should command $300 to $600 or more for an interconnect or speaker cable. And it won't look shiny & new. It was made at least 20 years ago. It's going to show some wear. If you see a "Hexlink" cable for $30 to $60 and it looks fresh off the production line... it's fake.


Certificates / Warranty Cards

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New Cardas Cables come with a numbered certificate / warranty card. Re-terminated cables are issued a new card, which supersedes the cable's original card.

The primary function of this numbered card is to track quality control issues with new or recently serviced cables. If a customer receives a cable that has an issue (which is exceedingly rare), the number on the card helps us track down the production date and batch number.

Second hand cable buyers often inflate the significance of these warranty cards. While it is nice to buy a used product that comes with all of the original materials, please know that a numbered piece of paper does not 
guarantee that the accompanying product is authentic.

As with any Certificate Of Authenticity, its only value is to the person to whom it was issued. If you purchased an historic artifact or a baseball card that came with a COA, you still wouldn't have full confidence in the item until you submitted it to an authority and received your own COA. 

Our point is to remind second-hand buyers that while receiving a COA with your cable is better than not, it is not a promise of authenticity. We have seen cables offered for sale (and even received them for inspection) that were obvious counterfeits, yet were sold with a numbered certificate.

If you have a second-hand cable and you have concerns
, read below about how you can receive your own COA.



Authentication Service

If you have a second hand Cardas cable, you can send it to our facility for inspection. There is a $25 charge, and if your cable passes inspection, you will receive a new warranty certificate along with your returned cable. 

Please note that cables found to be counterfeit will be 
indelibly marked or branded as such before being returned. We suggest you only use our authentication service if you are 99% sure that what you have is a genuine Cardas cable, and you just want additional peace of mind. If you are even slightly suspicious that your cable is fake, your best bet is to return it to the seller for a refund. If you'd like to send your cable in for authentication, please obtain a Return Authorization Number by clicking the button below.

You are welcome to send us pictures via email of your cable before you send them in. We can't guarantee authenticity from pictures, but we can often identify fakes in this manner, and save you the hassle of sending them in.

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