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How to identify a counterfeit Gibson

#1 User is offline   gibsonfan 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:27 AM

Hi All i need some help from you guys,

I just ran into a nice offer on ebay for a Les Paul Gold Top, but the guitar is selling quite cheap... how can i check to see if its a copy or original?

Thanks

#2 User is offline   pippy. Pippy pippy. 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:42 AM

Ask for the serial number and run it by the Gibson folk, although that is still not a guarentee.

If it's real cheap chances are it's a fake, though.

There are some astoundingly good copies being produced at the moment. One company (based in China) is selling some of the limited run Gibsons for $180 plus post. They do a 'Boneyard' which has the 'aged nickel' hardware, correct colour case lining and even a reproduced BONE102 serial number. I cut-and-paste'd their JPEG next to that of a genuine Gibson and the copy looked the more 'authentic' of the two!......more worryingly for you; they also do a magnificent Gold-Top copy which comes in a white-lined case (according to their site).

Now, this company is Definitely Not trying to pass off it's guitars as anything but copies; otherwise they wouldn't be selling them at that price but if someone less honest was to buy a few and to try to pass them off as being Gibsons.....Caveat emptor again.

#3 User is offline   gibsonfan 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:09 AM

Hi Pippy,

thanks a lot for your response i really appreciate it, that's impressive that such copies may run freely around!!!
I rather spend my money in an Authorized Gibson dealer... its gonna cost me a bit more but at least i am sure of what i get!

#4 User is offline   GuitarJunkie 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:55 AM

Post some of the photos (or a link) here.

We'll let you know.

#5 User is offline   pippy. Pippy pippy. 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 04:05 AM

I agree with you. I also think that copies have their place in the world...

A friend of mine (honestly!) decided five weeks ago that he would like to learn to play the guitar. He bought a cheap electric (which was actually very nice to play) and a couple of weeks after he bought it I was round at his place with my Gibson.

The upshot was he rather fancied my guitar but didn't fancy shelling out 4.000 sterling (about $7,000 at the time) for a current VOS which is the going rate for a nice one in the UK. Obviously if he doesn't know whether he will keep up the playing or not he doesn't want to risk a lot of money.

So he found what he wanted on the web! He sent me the link to the supplier I mentioned and I was amazed at what is out there. Classics, Supremes, Standards, Customs, Twin-necks even.

The dealer is supplied by different 'factories' I suspect, as some of the models were not quite the right shape, but the others are (in close-up photo's at any rate) indistinguishable from the real thing. They are also equipped with Epiphone hardware, by the way.

For your peace of mind(!) here's the Golt-top fake link if you want to compare it with the one someone is selling on ebay :

http://www.ioffer.co...1798821?store=1

The following is the link to the 'Boneyard' :

http://www.ioffer.co...6883721?store=1

I haven't tried it yet but am hoping to this coming Friday.

I hope it's not TOO good..........:-k

#6 User is offline   GuitarJunkie 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 11:08 AM

Quote

I agree with you. I also think that copies have their place in the world...

Yes, in the trash can.

[quote name='pippy]They are also equipped with Epiphone hardware' date=' by the way.[/quote']
Ummm...
they're equipped with whatever the criminal that makes them feels like putting on them. And don't be surprised if the one that shows up on your doorstep looks nothing like the one in the photos. But don't worry, they have a 24/7 customer service line. It's 1-800-PISSOFF.

Keep in mind you're dealing with a dishonest person, halfway around the world, in a country where there is no rule of law and you have absolutely no recourse if they decide to screw you. Let's say they take your $200 and never even send you a guitar at all. Who do you complain to. What will the cops say when you tell them you were trying to buy counterfeit goods and the counterfeiter cheated you.

Good Luck. Posted Image

#7 User is offline   GuitarJunkie 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 12:29 PM

LMAO!!!!

I just looked at your links to the Gibson "copies"...

To give you an idea of the type of people you're doing business with, the reason those look so real is because they are real. All the guy has done is stolen some photos ebay and posts them as the actual guitar for sale. The one you get will look nothing like that one.

#8 User is offline   rocketman 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 12:34 PM

I'd rather spend my money on a used decent guitar than buy a counterfeit one any day. My Gibson Sonex may not be a Les Paul but it's a darn good guitar that has held up for 27 years. Think of it another way. Would you drive a cheap counterfeit BMW or a decent used car that's not a BMW that's from a reputable dealer?
'09 Gibson ES-339 Figured Top
'08 Gibson Les Paul Standard Premium Plus
'05 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'81 Gibson Sonex-180 Custom
'10 PRS 25th Anniversary Custom 24
'06 Fender American Deluxe Ash Stratocaster
'07 Taylor 310CE Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric
'11 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass

My Gibson Guitars

Other Guitars

#9 User is offline   GuitarJunkie 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 01:29 PM

Posted Image
Genuine replica Corvettes from China
"We make Super Good for You!!!"





























Honey!!!
The delivery guys are here with your new 'vette!!!

Posted Image

#10 User is offline   rd_artist 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 02:09 PM

I don't want to sound paranoid,but I would be suspicious of a guy from singapore who just joined and is asking about how to spot fakes, call me crazy..................

#11 User is offline   gibsonfan 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:41 PM

[quote name='rd_artist]I don't want to sound paranoid' date='but I would be suspicious of a guy from singapore who just joined and is asking about how to spot fakes, call me crazy..................[/quote']

My Dear rd_artist,

FYI, Singapore is the country in Asia that fights Counterfeit goods with server actions, its where you are at this moment that the great American Customs are letting national counterfeit historical goods like (GIBSON) enter the country like everything is just fine, and why?? because you gave to China complete control of you national goods production.

This is a forum so I ask my questions, you must be smoking too much dope lately, GO quick...... seek for help..... man; you are living in a world of Suspicion!!!

I Own one Original Gibson SG Standard that I purchased when I was 13 ok, so donít come long suspecting me of being a kind of smuggler or what so ever, I am American and I live in Singapore, so get to your books and start educating yourself you retard.

#12 User is offline   rocketman 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 03:58 PM

GuitarJunkie, you are cracking me up!! I can't stop laughing...
'09 Gibson ES-339 Figured Top
'08 Gibson Les Paul Standard Premium Plus
'05 Gibson Les Paul Standard
'81 Gibson Sonex-180 Custom
'10 PRS 25th Anniversary Custom 24
'06 Fender American Deluxe Ash Stratocaster
'07 Taylor 310CE Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric
'11 Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass

My Gibson Guitars

Other Guitars

#13 User is offline   GuitarJunkie 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 04:17 PM

Thanks, I do what I can... Posted Image

#14 User is offline   bryvincent 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 04:39 PM

[quote name='rd_artist]I don't want to sound paranoid' date='but I would be suspicious of a guy from singapore who just joined and is asking about how to spot fakes, call me crazy..................[/quote']
ever been to singapore?

#15 User is offline   Flight959 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:07 PM

Pippy,

You wrote...
For your peace of mind(!) here's the Golt-top fake link if you want to compare it with the one someone is selling on ebay :

http://www.ioffer.co...1798821?store=1

It may be $180 but the Goldtop PICTURED is legit. The seller is attempting to make the buyer think he's getting a great looking copy by posting pictures of a real one...... I bet the $180 copy doesnt look like that....Period

The boneyard one looks fine to.

Regards
Flight959

#16 User is offline   RichCI 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:44 PM

Quote


My Dear rd_artist,

FYI, Singapore is the country in Asia that fights Counterfeit goods with server actions, its where you are at this moment that the great American Customs are letting national counterfeit historical goods like (GIBSON) enter the country like everything is just fine, and why?? because you gave to China complete control of you national goods production.

This is a forum so I ask my questions, you must be smoking too much dope lately, GO quick...... seek for help..... man; you are living in a world of Suspicion!!!

I Own one Original Gibson SG Standard that I purchased when I was 13 ok, so donít come long suspecting me of being a kind of smuggler or what so ever, I am American and I live in Singapore, so get to your books and start educating yourself you retard.


I had the same suspicions as rd_artist as soon as I read your first post and location and I think it's pretty reasonable to suspect someone from Singapore who just signed up for the board whose first post is about counterfeits. Whether we're right or wrong about that, I don't care at this point - you have a real attitude problem so I'm not going to help you.

If you really want to find out, why don't you take your attitude and go do your own research? Do you really think you're even the first person to ask this question? Ever heard of Google? Figure it out yourself!

#17 User is offline   pippy. Pippy pippy. 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 10:47 PM

My, guitarjunkie, aren't you rude?

1) I'm not buying anything from this site.

2) I'll let you know if the guitar arrives.

3) Try to be civil.

4) Good luck on the 'Anger management' course.

#18 User is offline   GuitarJunkie 

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 11:58 PM

I didn't think there was anything rude about my posts at all. I was just trying to illustrate a point that, although these counterfeits are portrayed to be "affordable alternatives" to the more expensive originals, there is a considerable amount of risk involved when dealing with someone involved in illegal activity.

Basically, in 100 words or less (and trying to use a bit of humour) I'm trying to give the 13 and 14 year olds that read these forums something to think about before sending $350 to a stranger halfway around the world.

As far as any rudeness and anger, what part of my posts came off as either? Check my 1000+ posts on this forum. That's not my style. http://forum.gibson....tyle_emoticons/default/eusa_think.gif

#19 User is offline   pippy. Pippy pippy. 

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 12:52 AM

Guitarjunkie:

Your general tone seemed to be one of considerable irritation, not good humour, but if that was not the case then I withdraw my references to rudeness, and apologise, of course.

I was not endorsing the principle of counterfeiting; merely saying that I could appreciate the viewpoint of someone who could not afford a genuine Gibson being strongly attracted to buying something that was visually identical.

When I was in my early teens (quite a long time ago now) it was impossible for someone my age from a working-class background, such as myself, to afford a real Gibson or Fender; the types of instruments used by our icons. In the UK we didn't have much of a home-grown guitar manufacturing industry and there was, almost literally, no alternative to buying a copy of one of the instruments made by the 'Big Two'. Even the copies were, compared to the likes of the Epiphones and Squiers of today, fairly expensive.

Soon after I bought my first electric some Japanese companies such as Ibanez, Aria and Yamaha started to produce instruments that were both to their own design and, at last, more affordable, relative to G & F, to teenagers.

I was fortunate in such that my parents encouraged me in my attempts on the guitar and didn't mind me spending almost all my first-year bursary for university on a pre-CBS Strat, even though they knew that they'd be funding my academic year.

Since that time I've only owned genuine instruments but, as I say, I've been fortunate. We see the price difference between the States and the UK and it brings us close to tears. When the Dollar was at two to the pound a really nice '59 flame-top 'burst could cost the equivalent of over $8,000.

I have noticed your posts in the past and was surprised by what I (mistakenly) took to be your tone. I suspect my being always referred to as the person buying the guitar in question didn't help.

I will, however, still wait to see if anything arrives before I start to shout "Thief". It may turn up and it may not. If it does turn up it may be exactly like the pictures in the link or it may be a piece of dog-poo. Again, I don't know.

Yes, granted being a counterfeiter at all makes the manufacturer a criminal, but not yet a thief.

Regards.

#20 User is offline   Craig10119 

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 01:24 AM

Quote

Guitarjunkie:

When I was in my early teens (quite a long time ago now) it was impossible for someone my age from a working-class background, such as myself, to afford a real Gibson or Fender; the types of instruments used by our icons. In the UK we didn't have much of a home-grown guitar manufacturing industry and there was, almost literally, no alternative to buying a copy of one of the instruments made by the 'Big Two'. Even the copies were, compared to the likes of the Epiphones and Squiers of today, fairly expensive.

Soon after I bought my first electric some Japanese companies such as Ibanez, Aria and Yamaha started to produce instruments that were both to their own design and, at last, more affordable, relative to G & F, to teenagers.

I was fortunate in such that my parents encouraged me in my attempts on the guitar and didn't mind me spending almost all my first-year bursary for university on a pre-CBS Strat, even though they knew that they'd be funding my academic year.

Since that time I've only owned genuine instruments but, as I say, I've been fortunate. We see the price difference between the States and the UK and it brings us close to tears. When the Dollar was at two to the pound a really nice '59 flame-top 'burst could cost the equivalent of over $8,000.




Well said.

I'm only 21, so i didn't have it as hard as you. Fortunately, i had a supportive mother who bought me my first gibson les paul standard for my 18th, as a reward for sticking with the guitar, but the prices we pay over here are ridiculous. One of my (older) friends had the same problems as you. Apparently, at one point an epiphone was only £100 or £200 cheaper than a Gibson over here.

It's not as bad for fender fans, as they can have the neck and body shipped seperately from America and avoid paying taxes on it.
My Gear:

2004 Les Paul Standard Heritage Cherry Sunburst (The Best)

2006 Les Paul Standard Goldtop with P90's

Peavey Valveking 100w Half Stack. (The best reasonably price Valve halfstack. Pure Tone. John Sykes, ac/dc, thin lizzy, you name it, it can do it)

Peavey Valveking 50w 1X12 (so good, I bought a halfstack as my main amp)

Dunlop Crybaby Wah (what else are feet for?)

Sennheiser wireless guitar kit... not the best, saves me tripping over cables on stage

Various Boss Stompboxes... Delay, chorus, flanger etc.

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