Monday, October 25, 2010

Counterfeit Gibson Les Paul Custom

Here,for your amusement, is a "Les Paul" that a man had recently purchased. Despite being "new" and suspiciously inexpensive,it was only after he bought it that the customer started to realize thing weren't quite right. Thankfully,he wasn't asking me to work on it,he just wanted me to confirm his suspicions. Like many fakes,this one looks decent enough from a distance. There are some grooves cut into the body underneath the 3-way switch and the tailpiece. If these grooves appear on a genuine Gibson product,it's one I haven't seen. (Anybody see this before? If so,please leave a comment.) If that's a design they decided to add,it seems a strange choice. Who gets into pirating guitars to express their artistic mojo? A closer look starts to reveal some faults. The headstock logo isn't quite right,and is poorly applied as well. EMG pickups aren't impossible on a new Gibson,I suppose,but gold pickup screws on a guitar with black hardware? Hey,the truss rod cover has gold screws too! The binding and inlay work is actually pretty well done but that is definitely a cheapo plastic nut. Let's flip this thing over and see what we find. Hmm...Grover tuners and a reasonable attempt at a serial number and a "MADE IN USA" stamp. A peek inside the control cavity reveals inexpensive potentiometers that are certainly not the good quality 25K pots you would find on an EMG equipped guitar. I didn't bother to remove the strings and take a closer look at the pickups. Who knows how they were attached to the wiring. Perhaps they weren't even real EMG's.
The biggest chuckle was supplied by the sticker on the control plate cover. You may be familiar with the "Bench Tested Builder Approved" slogan found on genuine Gibson replacement parts. This sticker not only displayed a shaky attempt at the Gibson logo but also showed off some creative spelling.
  Thank you to the guitar buyer for allowing me to snap a few photos of this fine piece of work. The bottom line? If you know a guitar is a fake,please do yourself a favor and DON'T BUY IT!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indeed grooves did appear on a real Gibson ...

The grooves in the body are copied from the discontinued Gibson Menace which is a totally different line to the rest of the features which are based off a GOTW