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Oddball 1981 Sonex-like Guitar. Prototype?

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The serial number puts it in 1981. It looks like a Sonex body shape and has the "The Gibson Guitar Company USA" logo on the headstock, but it has only two control knobs. It also has no pickguard which I've not seen on a Sonex. And the truss rod cover has three screws (correct for Sonex) but instead of saying "SONEX-180 Deluxe" or whatever, it says "GIBSON". A Sonex has zebra humbuckers, this has covered humbuckers of some sort. It has a bolt on neck and the cover says "Epiphone" but as I said, the headstock says Gibson so one or the other is a replacement I guess (I'd assume it's easier to get an epiphone neck bolt cover plate than it is to get a Sonex neck though). According to the Gibson catalog I found from 1981, there was no model like this that year. A lot of that can be explained as someone experimenting (different truss rod cover, different neck bolt plate, wrong tuners, replaced pickups) but I can't explain the unique controls. I have never seen one exactly like it, what is this? It's a bit of a turd, look at the way those tuners are installed. And yet, I need to know what it is! I mean, if it was a Les Paul I'd just assume it was a bad fake. But who would fake a Sonex?






Edited by Slowhands
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