November 7, 2010, at 11:30 pm

Ebay Tales: dubplate dupes?

Ska DiapAn almost regular look at the last seven days of reggae vinyl sales on ebay.

How to make money on ebay – lesson 1. Buy a copy of 7 Inch Auction, an LP released by Peckings in 2004. Take Ska Diap by Glen Brown from the LP, cut it onto a 7″ dubplate for around £20, then sell it on ebay and get £106 ($170) for it.


The seller soundof67 says that this tune is unreleased which isn’t true. However he never says that the dub is old, and it quite clearly isn’t, so why would some one pay £100 for it?? Read on.

There are basically two types of dubplate sales on ebay: Ones selling vintage plates usually from the 70’s and 80’s, the attraction here is two fold, owning an original piece of reggae history and having possibly unique recordings that may not have been released in the specific mix, if at all. Secondly there are recently cut dub plates that claim to have original and unique mixes from old plates.

This is all a bit of a minefield of course. In the case of original dubplates these are generally going to be in a pretty rough condition, sound system use is hardly the kindest way to treat original vinyl and acetate dubplates are alot more fragile than vinyl. Acetates tend to degrade over time aswell and it would be unusual to find a dubplate dating back 30+ years than wasn’t beginning to sound several grades below mint. Buyers also need to know that many original plates don’t contain unique mixes but are the same as a released tune, these would have been cut either before a commercial release was made or after if a sound couldn’t get hold of a vinyl copy. If your looking at a new plate you still can’t always be certain that the music your paying for really is unique, as in the Glen Brown above it might just be lifted from a comercially available source, plus any fool with a computer and a simple audio program can add a bit of reverb to a track and increase the bass levels to make it sound different from a release version.

Anyone buying dubplates off ebay without having some kind of idea about the background of the music or complete trust in the honesty of the seller is taking a bit of a risk.

Take a recent auction of a 70’s dub with Tony Tuff – Seperation/Dub//Dennis Bovell – The African/Dub, this sold for an almost sane £65 ($104). Given that the dubplate was cut at Transition studios that has only been open for a dozen or so years if the bidders on this item thought they were chasing an original plate then they were either very stupid or very lazy (as they could have checked up Transition studio on the web – but not doing that would make you stupid anyway, right?). The sound samples for this item are gone now so it’s not possible to check the sound files but the dubplate of Seperation is pretty much legendary – so much that this is at least the third one to appear on ebay this year!

Finally it should go without saying that Wailers dubplates command serious dollar on occasions. Infact one from last week combining Duppy Conqueror Dub Mix/Duppy Conqueror Vocal mix/Black Progress finished at a relatively low £122 ($197). The dubs sound legitimate to me (though I’m no Wailers expert).

But again the dub plate is almost certainly recently cut yet the seller doesn’t mention this??

2 comments to Ebay Tales: dubplate dupes?

  • Marni

    I’ve looked for the “7 inch auction” for a while. Does anyone know where to still find it?

  • moody green garbage monster

    There are only 4 or 5 genuine wailers/Marley dubplates. The rest of them are all frauds .There is a high chance this one is as well.

    Most of that stuff is either unreleased/unfinished studio material that was somehow leaked or ended up in the public domain. Or done by the offspring of mr Marley / by Albert Griffiths from the Gladiators who is said to be a very good Bob Marley impersonator.

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