Almost bought a fake Les Paul from GC

Bourbon Burst

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They had a Les Paul advertised for $1996. I went to the store to look at it but they just took it off the wall. Apparently someone called and told them to take a closer look at it. The serial number on the back was stamped but then painted. There were dowels under the bridge posts. They let me check it out. Here is the guitar..

 

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57joonya

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Interesting, I wonder what they will do with it now. Probably try to track down the person that brought in for cash presumably
 

stormin1155

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Pictures are too small to really see much. Someone had a good eye. A few years ago I was in a small local shop. They had a Les Paul Supreme in on consignment. I'd never seen one in person, but even from a distance something didn't look quite right. When I looked closer there were all sorts of things wrong with it, and mind you, I knew very little about Supremes. I pointed out some of the obvious signs that it was a fake to the store owner who promptly called the guy and told him to come and get it. He didn't want it in his store.
 

Bourbon Burst

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Pictures are too small to really see much. Someone had a good eye. A few years ago I was in a small local shop. They had a Les Paul Supreme in on consignment. I'd never seen one in person, but even from a distance something didn't look quite right. When I looked closer there were all sorts of things wrong with it, and mind you, I knew very little about Supremes. I pointed out some of the obvious signs that it was a fake to the store owner who promptly called the guy and told him to come and get it. He didn't want it in his store.

It is still up..
 

Bourbon Burst

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Interesting, I wonder what they will do with it now. Probably try to track down the person that brought in for cash presumably
They know who the guy was and won't let him back in the store. Might be hard to prove that he knew it. The sales guy was new. Paid $1,600 for it and were selling it for $1996.

I wonder what they will do with it too. Right now it is in the managers office.
 

jfgesquire

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The headstock Les Paul is usually a good clue. That one the gold is all the same thickness, no finesse-like calligraphy like on a real one.
 

modavis99

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real ones have wings glued on the side of the headstock - that used to be a giveaway but maybe the fakes have gotten better
 

Wildeman

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Is it just me or does the body look odd? Seems like where the bass side upper bout meets the neck should be at more of a right angle. Maybe I'm tripping.
This area.
 

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TwoBear

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real ones have wings glued on the side of the headstock - that used to be a giveaway but maybe the fakes have gotten better

I should have tracked down my iPhone because the camera is much better but this is the back of my Tokai love Rock, I think around 2006, and in person it's clear to see sides are glued on. I've got a 1970s model also and I think it's the same on that one. Those older reborn models had a headstock face made of plastic, or similar material that was laminated on. These two examples are both Dynamite instruments, it probably wouldn't take much reworking to fool someone, but I don't see why anyone would even bother because especially the 70s one is holding its value pretty well. I don't know what the market is on real '70s Les Paul's though. I remember back before 2010 when we still had a used/vintage store, there were a lot of phony Gibson Les Paul's trying to be sold, and funny thing they would appear with a real Gibson case. We were a Gibson dealer and we were told of a theft of semi trucks filled with cases. I'm only imagining, but I wonder if the phoney guitars were sent over, in boxes like they usually are/were, and after experiencing problems trying to sell them without a case, a group actually went out and stole the cases to make it easier. I'm just imagining one scenario, it's easy to imagine another where the whole thing was planned from the beginning...

Unrelated to the theft, we used to have a gentleman come from Australia and buy as many guitars as he could, usually Fender Telecaster Stratocaster types, presumably for their ability to be boxed up and sent without getting torn up too much, a lot of MIM's, and occasionally a MiA or Japan, if it was very nice and he could showcase it. He would crate them all up and have them sent back, I think this was a little after 2000. He said there was not much of a selection at all out there at that time and he was just setting up a store to fill it. We would give him a deal because he bought in bulk but still I imagine people must have had to pay a pretty penny by the time they got all the way there. In this instance he didn't want cases as they weighed/added too much, and he was only interested in gig bags, except for a couple nice cases that belong with an instrument and he could ask a premium for that.
 

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BigBobbyBoy

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I should have tracked down my iPhone because the camera is much better but this is the back of my Tokai love Rock, I think around 2006, and in person it's clear to see sides are glued on. I've got a 1970s model also and I think it's the same on that one. Those older reborn models had a headstock face made of plastic, or similar material that was laminated on. These two examples are both Dynamite instruments, it probably wouldn't take much reworking to fool someone, but I don't see why anyone would even bother because especially the 70s one is holding its value pretty well. I don't know what the market is on real '70s Les Paul's though. I remember back before 2010 when we still had a used/vintage store, there were a lot of phony Gibson Les Paul's trying to be sold, and funny thing they would appear with a real Gibson case. We were a Gibson dealer and we were told of a theft of semi trucks filled with cases. I'm only imagining, but I wonder if the phoney guitars were sent over, in boxes like they usually are/were, and after experiencing problems trying to sell them without a case, a group actually went out and stole the cases to make it easier. I'm just imagining one scenario, it's easy to imagine another where the whole thing was planned from the beginning...

Unrelated to the theft, we used to have a gentleman come from Australia and buy as many guitars as he could, usually Fender Telecaster Stratocaster types, presumably for their ability to be boxed up and sent without getting torn up too much, a lot of MIM's, and occasionally a MiA or Japan, if it was very nice and he could showcase it. He would crate them all up and have them sent back, I think this was a little after 2000. He said there was not much of a selection at all out there at that time and he was just setting up a store to fill it. We would give him a deal because he bought in bulk but still I imagine people must have had to pay a pretty penny by the time they got all the way there. In this instance he didn't want cases as they weighed/added too much, and he was only interested in gig bags, except for a couple nice cases that belong with an instrument and he could ask a premium for that.
Us Australians usually pay a premium on anything that comes from overseas. The Australian Dollar might been doing well at the time and it might’ve been cheaper to do it that way than to get it from the local fender distributor. I remember seriously looking at buying from overseas at around 2004/2005 as even with the shipping costs it was going to be around $150aud cheaper to get a mim Tele sent, than it was to go to the local shop and buy it.
 

Skyhook

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They had a Les Paul advertised for $1996. I went to the store to look at it but they just took it off the wall. Apparently someone called and told them to take a closer look at it. The serial number on the back was stamped but then painted. There were dowels under the bridge posts. They let me check it out. Here is the guitar..


That bridge placement is all wrong! Red flag right there!
See that tailpiece... it's supposed to be a tiny bit "ahead" of the volume pot like in the picture below.

L20540000003000-00-500x500.jpg


Now look at the GC pic you provided. The tailpiece is way back.
 

24 track

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things to look for,
1) truss rod cover is sloppy and will often cover the inlays on the head stock ( often the fake will have a 3 screw truss rod cover not 2)
2) bridge posts are Epiphone style not ABR 1
3) Neck binding is wrong for gibson
4) often plastic Jack plate gibson use metal
5) if you open the back cavity you will see conductive paint gibson doesnot use conductive paint
6) newer gibson use a PC board to mount pots and circuits and the pots will say gibson
7) fake cheap klusons for machine heads
8) 3-4 piece mahogany body ( visable from the side ) and may have a mohogany cap on the back to look look a 1 piece body
9) small cheap alpha pots not gibson branded CTS
10) cheap switches epiphone type not switchcraft
11) bad pickup alignment ,bad string alignment
12) take out the neck pickup you may see a thin veneer cap Gibson used a 2 " maple cap carved into shape ( my chibson had a 2" carved flame maple bookend cap )
13) wiring is not gibson pull back shielded but cheap thin coated wire
14) serial number MADE IN USA is stamped after finish not before finish of the heastock , serial number does not match that model for factory and date
15) pots are not in proper alignment

these are some of the tells , my chibson also had epiphone pickups as well

a real gibson has a chip installed under the fret board so it can be scanned for authenticity

but bear in mind some of gibsons quality standards have slipped recently and a real gibson may not be to the highest standards that they used to be

the pics here are not clear enough to determine any of these points.

I can spot a fake with in seconds , but I did buy a chibson so I could tell right off

I was lucky enough to have a real gibson brand new Ultima to compare this to
this was taken before I completed my mods and now it is a fine instrument to play but will never be passed off as real and I make qualms about its origin
P1011366.JPG
 
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somebodyelseuk

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things to look for,
1) truss rod cover is sloppy and will often cover the inlays on the head stock ( often the fake will have a 3 screw truss rod cover not 2)
2) bridge posts are Epiphone style not ABR 1
3) Neck binding is wrong for gibson
4) often plastic Jack plate gibson use metal
5) if you open the back cavity you will see conductive paint gibson doesnot use conductive paint
6) newer gibson use a PC board to mount pots and circuits and the pots will say gibson
7) fake cheap klusons for machine heads
8) 3-4 piece mahogany body ( visable from the side ) and may have a mohogany cap on the back to look look a 1 piece body
9) small cheap alpha pots not gibson branded CTS
10) cheap switches epiphone type not switchcraft
11) bad pickup alignment ,bad string alignment
12) take out the neck pickup you may see a thin veneer cap Gibson used a 2 " maple cap carved into shape ( my chibson had a 2" carved flame maple bookend cap )
13) wiring is not gibson pull back shielded but cheap thin coated wire
14) serial number MADE IN USA is stamped after finish not before finish of the heastock , serial number does not match that model for factory and date
15) pots are not in proper alignment

these are some of the tells , my chibson also had epiphone pickups as well

a real gibson has a chip installed under the fret board so it can be scanned for authenticity

but bear in mind some of gibsons quality standards have slipped recently and a real gibson may not be to the highest standards that they used to be

the pics here are not clear enough to determine any of these points.

I can spot a fake with in seconds , but I did buy a chibson so I could tell right off

I was lucky enough to have a real gibson brand new Ultima to compare this to
this was taken before I completed my mods and now it is a fine instrument to play but will never be passed of as real and I make qualms about its origin

Hmm?
Gibson DO use plastic jackplates.
'Made In USA' isn't even stamped on some models.
Pots are not always stamped 'Gibson'.
 

GBfun

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And...Gibson serial number info is a bit confusing and inaccurate.

My 1997 Custom shop Custom is imprinted with a "7 xxxx" serial number and this serial number isn't shown on Gibson's serial number info for LPs in this decade.

Is my guitar a fake ? Well, if it is, it's the highest quality fake ever !

Great woods and binding, bought from MF, Custom shop case, 9lbs., one piece body and neck, ebony, AAA top, and flat frets. Pretty snarly and brash though. I just contacted Gibson to try and figure out what form of PAF pickups I had and Gibson had no idea a Custom would have such a serial number so couldn't give me an answer. Now they want me to photograph the heck out of it for identification.

It was pretty common knowledge that Gibson was a little extra disorganized around 1997 or so, and guitars were being made in different locations that were in the process of moving.

The point being, Gibson doesn't seem to have a completely accurate serial number list.

And I'll probably never really know what pickups it has. I was told they were 57s by the salesman. But we had just watched some guy grab a brand new Standard and run out the door to a waiting car, and he got distracted and couldn't find the paperwork. I had to get back to work so I left.

So if 57 pickups are brash and trebly, then that's what they are.

Unfortunately, that's not my sound. So I'm looking for a more rounded, deeper, pickup set.

And if my guitar is a fake Gibson, Gibson, I'll be the most surprised guy on the planet !

I think it's a 57 reissue with 57 pickups...and the poor thing probably needs a good 57 era tube amp.

Gibson has been a company in flux for a long time, and is known for having chaotic record keeping.

And if fakes use such quality woods and build guitars that sustain as long as this one, heck, I'll buy another one or two !

And yes, I've seen a couple of REAL fake LPs.

They were nowhere near the quality of my guitar.

I suspect Gibson just didn't know what the left OR right hand was really doing back then.

Especially in the Custom shop at that time !
 

24 track

Doctor of Teleocity
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Hmm?
Gibson DO use plastic jackplates.
'Made In USA' isn't even stamped on some models.
Pots are not always stamped 'Gibson'.
no but gibson do not use mini alphas
serials & made in usa is stamped on models after 73, my point was Made in USA and the serial should not be stamped into the final finish but done under the finish
all my gibsons dont have plastic jack plates and if they do have them that gets back to the quality stanards have slipped catagory

And...Gibson serial number info is a bit confusing and inaccurate.

My 1997 Custom shop Custom is imprinted with a "7 xxxx" serial number and this serial number isn't shown on Gibson's serial number info for LPs in this decade.

Is my guitar a fake ? Well, if it is, it's the highest quality fake ever !

Great woods and binding, bought from MF, Custom shop case, 9lbs., one piece body and neck, ebony, AAA top, and flat frets. Pretty snarly and brash though. I just contacted Gibson to try and figure out what form of PAF pickups I had and Gibson had no idea a Custom would have such a serial number so couldn't give me an answer. Now they want me to photograph the heck out of it for identification.

It was pretty common knowledge that Gibson was a little extra disorganized around 1997 or so, and guitars were being made in different locations that were in the process of moving.

The point being, Gibson doesn't seem to have a completely accurate serial number list.

And I'll probably never really know what pickups it has. I was told they were 57s by the salesman. But we had just watched some guy grab a brand new Standard and run out the door to a waiting car, and he got distracted and couldn't find the paperwork. I had to get back to work so I left.

So if 57 pickups are brash and trebly, then that's what they are.

Unfortunately, that's not my sound. So I'm looking for a more rounded, deeper, pickup set.

And if my guitar is a fake Gibson, Gibson, I'll be the most surprised guy on the planet !

I think it's a 57 reissue with 57 pickups...and the poor thing probably needs a good 57 era tube amp.

Gibson has been a company in flux for a long time, and is known for having chaotic record keeping.

And if fakes use such quality woods and build guitars that sustain as long as this one, heck, I'll buy another one or two !

And yes, I've seen a couple of REAL fake LPs.

They were nowhere near the quality of my guitar.

I suspect Gibson just didn't know what the left OR right hand was really doing back then.

Especially in the Custom shop at that time !
what i was refering to is , my chibson has a correct serial for an estd 335 not a les paul
thats why i mentioned the serials were not to the specific or correct model , but the rip guitar has that as a tell to being a fake

my 73' Norland era SG has a serial number that matches a 63' but because it has the Made in USA in the headstock makes it a 73' at one point gibson recycled serials appearently

the chibson has a 5 layer binding white abalone, white, black white on the body and neck and is well done by all standards, the neck inlays are almost too perfect , but where the binding meets the headstock ,although really well done , does not match the way gibson aligns the binding

one other tell is ( I forgot to mention) is if the guitar has a scarf jointed neck its a fake


these are just some of the tells that can be verified and or be obvious right off , if any of the above boxes get ticked then further investigation would be needed

these are my observations from having a fake to measure against he real thing

and although the pots I replaced with a PC board unit did have gibson screened on the PC and stamped into pot covers

it took long & Mcquade 25 minutes of intense observation to determine mine was a fake and the main tell was the epiphone bridge , because it was not the Gibson ABR1 it should have had. I had not done the mods when they inspected it.

and an FYI for an aditional 140.00 CDN I replaced all the electronics, pickups, pots caps, switches, Jacks, wiring , bridge, and machine heads with real Gibson parts , this guitar plays nicer than my real les paul but will never be one
 
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FuncleManson

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I've never seen a Chibson with the correct serial number font. Not necessarily the format, but the font. It seems like it would be such a simple thing for them to get right, but they haven't seemed to figure it out yet.

Usually, GC's used listings don't give detailed or enough photos to make a proper assessment. This listing is not great, but better than many I've seen.
 




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