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Real or fake? epiphone black beauty

#21 User is offline   captmidnight 

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:32 AM

Hey Jeff,
Maybe in this cold cruel just got a good deal. Remember what they say about looking a gift horse in the mouth? My studio tone controls roll off pretty good...but some don't, just the nature of the beast. You want to check them out get an OHM meter and plug a cord into the guitar...then as you roll the tone control from 1 to 10 watch the should very...but not alot. Bunch of the guys on here do upgrades and change out the control pots and the caps as well because of that problem. Along with the pick ups and tuners. If it's a nice guitar and feels good...plays well.....think maybe after dropping in new pots and pickups it would be in the price range you think it should be

Tell long did it take from the time you won the guitar till you got it? weeks or days? If it can from took a slow trip....hmmmm have heard that before somewhere about a slow boat to If it's can be sure he didn't fly it out to you...would eat up all the profit.;)

If you are worried that much then take it to a shop and let them look at it for you..shouldn't charge you anything to do that...and if it is legit...go ahead and let them set it up for money well spent.
That guy who emailed you may have been the next bidder down from you and he is wanting a second chance at it too....but since it was private...maybe think "how the heck did he get my email addy???".

#22 User is offline   jeffrey92 

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 11:47 AM

Yea well I still would rather have the real deal. I don't see what taking it to a shop will do though.

Yea it took about 2 weeks to get it. I ordered it on a monday and got it the next thursday. so a week and a half. I am also wondering how he got my email, but it wasn't a buy it now and there were 3 more of the same exact auctions listed after mine.

#23 User is offline   jeffrey92 

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 12:11 PM

The guy got back to me:

"Hi, I had to provide information to ebay when I started to sell the epiphone guitars, Ebay has employees from epiphone/gibson to check out the information. I have sold the last of the epiphones I am able to get. Epiphones are made in China and some were made in Korea, so yes there are epiphone guitars all over the world not just in the USA. I have never heard of fake epiphone until just recently. I have heard of copies of Gibson. I have had customers send pictures to epiphone of there guitars and epiphone said they were also authentic. If you dont like your guitar ship it back to me and I will refund your money. As far as having private auctions the reason I do that is so buyers dont have other people emailing them with offers for the same product.

God Bless"

sounds legit to me, but what do you all think?

edit: I asked him how he sold them so cheap and this is what he said:
"Hi, I barley broke even on this sale, I found though that if you put a guitar up at no reserve and start low you will normally come out ahead and have more sales, once you get people bidding you usually come out better. I sold more guitars than I had stock of and had some shipped from a drop shipper."

#24 User is offline   themac5150 

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 12:24 PM

Hey Jeff, 2 weeks doesn't sound bad to me, especially from a private seller. I've ordered from MF and it's taken that long, and they advertise same day shipping, yeah right. Same day take your money, put it on a truck when ever they feel like it. But, that's the nature of online buying. I've ordered ALL of my musical stuff online, sometimes it gets here quick, order Monday, get on Friday, sometimes not. I've got a multi-effects pedal that was in stock that I ordered at the beginning of the week, got sent a tracking number the next day, but when it finally did update, which was today, says it won't get here until Monday. Anyway, back to your guitar. I'm curious, how was it shipped to you? FedEx and UPS have online tracking, you can put in the number and it may tell you the shipping details. From your pictures, it appears to be a typical epiphone. I just got a new Zakk Wylde Bulleye Epi, and the guts look pretty much the same, if not worse under the covers. Pots can be bad straight from the factory, happened to a friend of mine with a Washburn Idol he got. He just took it to the shop and they hooked him up with some quality pots and he's a happy camper. At least your guitar is in one piece! Any other damage to it? Since it wasn't purchased through a dealer, you are probably out of luck on warranty work. Was it used, or appear used? I noticed the listing advertised it as new.

(Well your previous post came before I finished this one.....)

#25 User is offline   Lerxst1281733995 

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 12:51 PM

I was just on the Musoland site before reading this thread, and the photos that your eBay seller used in his listing are the exact same photos that are on Now, I wouldn't get too alarmed, though, because Musoland has 2 separate listings for Epiphones... One for obvious fakes and another for "Genuine Epiphones"... A lot of these Chinese dealers have already given up trying to pass their guitars off as the real deal... If you ask some of them, they'll tell you they're copies, (if you couldn't tell yourself) I figure the guitars in their "Genuine Epiphones" list are "back door" Epis... Musoland says they come from the Qingdao factory... They look all legit to me... If your LP was drop shipped directly from China, the eBay seller is probably getting his guitars from Musoland...

Oh, and they did have the "Inspected in USA" stickers on them too...

#26 User is offline   pohatu771 

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:55 PM


@alfsboy...Good point.

I just checked my bookmarks. How about this one:
Now I'm not sure of what to think.
That's one hell of a backdoor...
Those guitars look mighty nice...

If the eBay feedback was good, I'd consider buying one of those Les Pauls for $200... but when I click to go to the eBay store, or the eBay feedback, I get redirected to

[EDIT] Looking at that website, and then looking at the eBay listing... there are some "similar" pictures. "Similar" meaning "exactly the same."

Maybe someone else noticed that and I'm just blind today, but I found it odd.

#27 User is offline   Ricochet 

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:51 PM

I never bothered to look. I bookmarked it as a curiosity. Like someone said before, just for laughs. I'd love to have a cheap LP, looking, playing and sounding like the real thing. But as it is, it all just too flaky looking. No reliable references, no buzz in the forums or newsgroups. I'd stay away....far.

If you have $200 in pocketchange to spare, go ahead. Take a gamble. I can't.

#28 User is offline   7thSon 

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:54 PM

Hey guys, I just won the auction for an Epi Les Paul Black Beauty on Ebay, that looks to be identical to the one in the OP, so came here looking for info, before I actually hand any money over for it.

The seller has a high feedback score and I've gone through all his negative and neutral feedback, not one person was unhappy with the guitar, unless it was because it was damaged in transit, or more damaged than they had thought, but no accusations of fakery or anything.

I dunno, the pictures aren't too clear and I wouldn't really be able to tell anyways I guess, can anyone here share some of their experience about whether this guitar is a genuine epiphone factory second, or a fake?

Looking at the pictures of Les Paul Black Beauties from genuine retailers, they seem to have the truss rod cover (I think thats what it is, I dont know) saying Gibson on them? And the tuners are different shaped, not round along the edge. That's just old pictures right?
Here is an example of what i'm talking about, a nice large picture: http://www.dolphinmu...9552/a/r/e/base

The one on the site shows the rounded tuners, like the chinese 'real' epi's, like I've bought. I'm assuming these are grovers, that the ones in the pictures on ebay show? (but the 'old' black beauty's don't have?)

Also the picture on has volume knobs (are these pots?) which are a gold/bronze colour though, as they are on the picture from my local official gibson dealer: http://www.coda-musi...products_id=158

But on these chinese ebay/musoland epi's they are black, as they are on the 'old' black beauty pictures

It seems like a pretty stupid oversight for a chinese manufacturer of fakes who goes through all the trouble to make such an efficient copy, to not notice that they should be gold/bronze and not black..

It looks like these ebay/musoland chinese real fake epi's are a mix and match of both? Does anyone actually own an Epiphone black beauty bought from an authorised dealer that can provide reference pics?

Are the factories that manufacture the guitars exclusive to Gibson/Epi? Because it could be possible that they're not even back door 2nd's, but just 'genuine' copies, manufactured in the same factory by a chinese 3rd party (or even chinese epiphone themselves), the only difference being no/low quality control, and low profit margins, but otherwise identical.

#29 User is offline   Amino Moore 

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 03:21 PM

Jeff & 7th son,

Listen to Rotcanx. He's a good spud.

If this were a Gibby Black Beauty then it would be easier to validate.

As far as reference pics of Epiphones for checking things like truss rod covers and tuner knob types, it's not going to validate anything. Epiphone is not concerned about keeping that kind of detail consistent from batch to batch or plant to plant or year to year.
They have never been consistent with truss rod covers. Over the years Epi's legitemate production truss rod covers have been engraved with different versions of "Epiphone" or "Gibson" or the model type or just plain blank.
It's the same with tuners. Epi's have been made in lots of different factories in many different countries. Their supply chain for parts that they don't make in house has varied widely through the years.
There is a thread on this forum about the different Epiphone headstocks which is another example of the same thing.

If you are concerned that the guitar is not legit, take it to an authorized Epiphone dealer and let them check it over.
It's true that stickers can be faked but there would be some other evidence of forgery somewhere.
Buying a guitar on the internet is always a little risky but the other option is to pay retail for your peace of mind.
"Tell everybody you know, you got some rock and roll soul" Mark, Don & Mel

#30 User is offline   jeffrey92 

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 05:57 PM

2 days ago I sent all the pics I posted here and they replied and said that it 'appears to be authentic'. I asked what signifies my copy as authentic and not a musoland copy and they haven't gotten back to me back but I'm guessing they will soon.

Ya, I agree that the Epiphone does not keep the same kind of standards that are kept on the Gibsons. As far as truss rod covers and tone knobs, I think the ones on those sites are from previous years and that it may vary from factory to factory, or even inside the factory.

The body of mine feels nice and solid, and so it would seem that the only way to tell would be to check out the wiring and such, all of which I sent pictures of to Gibson and they said it was authentic. The only thing that worries me is that one of the reps said to give me a pic of the back of the headstock and of the s/n which imo is probably pretty easy to fake. However, on the musoland website, they don't use the EExxxxxxxxx like what I have they use Ixxxxxxx (dunno exact # of x's lol)

Hey, if its good enough to fool Epiphone, and good enough to fool anyone else, I'd say so what. With the money I save by buying this (I'm thinking these are backdoors... the real deal, but not "authorized", and they gotta be sold for less to be sold at all) I can get new pickups take it in for a modification or two. And if I ever find out it is fake, I can get reembursed and get the seller in trouble.

I'm thinking someone would have caught on eventually. Even so, it is a nice looking guitar so there's no harm I guess.

and if ebay sellers were selling musoland copies, I would think they wouldn't be selling them for such high profit margins... but maybe. I've heard that musoland copies aren't too bad anyways

Here's another reason why I don't think these are musoland fakes:

the first link is the copies and the 2nd is the genuine. And the genuine sells for more. I mean, musoland could just be trying to lead people on but its pretty unlikely, and Gibson really pursues impersonations like these. The only thing I'm wondering now is why not buy the genuine from musoland as opposed to the genuine on ebay?

#31 User is offline   Zuffy 

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 01:21 PM

Jeffrey92, I bought one like you on ebay and everything like you said I totally agree with. It's solid, except for a slightly dissapointing pickups and a loose strap button. Mine looks just like yours in the pictures, and it has a EE serial number which I checked on: says it's a Chinese Epi from 2007 (old stock?) which could explain the price.

Fill us in on what Gibson says, and do you have a close up of your headstock? The inlay details are what I'm interested in.

#32 User is offline   Biff 

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 09:06 PM


I guess it all comes down to what really makes a guitar a guitar? I guess the thing I'm worried about is the electronics. The body seems pretty sturdy and it doesn't seem cheap.

The electronics and hardware are the only easy part, being things you can change or fix very easily and cheap. IMO the woods, body and neck are the most important part of what makes the difference between crap and a good guitar.
Even if you had an Epiphone body with cheap fake pickups, that would be okay since the standard pickups are pretty boring and $10-$20 each on eBay anyway.


The only thing that worries me is that one of the reps said to give me a pic of the back of the headstock and of the s/n which imo is probably pretty easy to fake. However, on the musoland website, they don't use the EExxxxxxxxx like what I have they use Ixxxxxxx (dunno exact # of x's lol)
Hey, if its good enough to fool Epiphone, and good enough to fool anyone else, I'd say so what.

The images of the guitars on most fake guitar dealer's pages are not images of the actual items they are selling. Don't count on anything you see on their pages.

Even if a good fake fools most of the people, it's still crap and overpriced if it's made of banana boxes. Your BB looks like a real deal though.
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