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Can anyone help me know if a recent epiphone purchase is genuine the epi doesn't have a serial number seems to me its a Korean epi anyone know any other way to identify of a real epiphone or not 

thanks craig

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How about posting some pics? Headstock, logo, inside the control cavity, rear of the pickups.

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I am no expert on genuine Epis.......but......I see some things that make me think it is a fake.

No serial number is a big one. All Epis should have one. So that right there makes me suspicious.

Next, the tuners are not on straight. Somebody did a very bad job on that. Don't think Epi would let something like that out the door.

The Les Paul decal on the headstock looks to be off center as well.

Could be real. But those things alone would make me think there is something up.

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Well the headstock looks to be cut kind of offset, but it could be camera angle. The tuners look new, maybe replaced? And the truss rod cover looks to be the old style, late 90"s, early 2000's. You have any pics of the front of the guitar? And I would definitely like to see the rear of the pickups, and the inside of the pickup cavities. Missing the serial number is strange. But I'm not totally convinced it's a fake. Is it a LP Standard or what?

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2 hours ago, gearhead said:

How about posting some pics? Headstock, logo, inside the control cavity, rear of the pickups.

I know some if the korean epis from the 90s had a sticker as a serial number which often pealed off this is why I’m not sure. Although you cant see in the pics the pots have the same writing on them my other epi from back then has on them,  yeah the tuners although are the exact same as my other one defo doesn’t look right I’m really not sure should the pups say anything particular on them underneath 

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The headstock looks a lot better in those pics. The logo looks right, Sits where it should, and yes, I think it's most likely a Korean made Epi.

The pickups may not give any clues. I have an older Korean Special, headstock looks the same, the pickups are SAMSHIN, but have no adjustable pole pieces.

Edited by gearhead
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3 hours ago, gearhead said:

The headstock looks a lot better in those pics. The logo looks right, Sits where it should, and yes, I think it's most likely a Korean made Epi.

The pickups may not give any clues. I have an older Korean Special, headstock looks the same, the pickups are SAMSHIN, but have no adjustable pole pieces.

Yeah man I’m taking it for a set up and so the guitar tech can have a look, to be honest it was pretty stupid of me buying it with no serial number but in my mind i was certain it was a korean made epi from the 90s with a sticker for a serial number, I’m no expert on the fakes but the guy seemed genuine and was in his house extra not that that goes for anything. Thanks for the input man i will lift the pups but not really sure what I’ll be looking for.  Ive had pups replaced and stuff but never lifted them myself.

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its a 1990s Epiphone LP Standard. Somewhere between 1990 -1993/4, I'd say. The serial was originally on a sticker on the back of the headstock and is long gone. Sometime in 1994, Samick began  stamping the serials into the headstock. Crooked tuners and out-of-alignment control knobs were a hallmark of Samick, korea. Totally normal and a bit of a running joke in Epiphone circles. Though, these tuners are not original, which may be why they are a bit more crooked than you normally see. The guitar is legit. Probably plays great, too. 

Edited by RobinTheHood
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5 hours ago, RobinTheHood said:

its a 1990s Epiphone LP Standard. Somewhere between 1990 -1993/4, I'd say. The serial was originally on a sticker on the back of the headstock and is long gone. Sometime in 1994, Samick began  stamping the serials into the headstock. Crooked tuners and out-of-alignment control knobs were a hallmark of Samick, korea. Totally normal and a bit of a running joke in Epiphone circles. Though, these tuners are not original, which may be why they are a bit more crooked than you normally see. The guitar is legit. Probably plays great, too. 

Hey man thanks for the input i knew about the sticker serial numbers just wasn't sure how far that went back, yeah the tuners look to new to be from back then, and yeah it plays lovely and thats the main thing . The guy a i bought it from did say it was made in the samick factory.

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1 hour ago, dofres said:

The Les Paul decal on the headstock looks to be off center as well.

It's an early Korean. Everything is off. Thats part of its charm.

Edited by RobinTheHood

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What everybody else said. All the oddities/quirks/imperfections you see are standard for the era (part of the reason why I laugh whenever people talk about MIK Epis being the "golden age").

One thing I always look for is the headstock shape. I've noticed that the earlier MIKs have rounder, less defined contours on the headstock compared to today's Epis. Case in point, compare this (MIK):

IMG_1382.jpg.jpg

...with this (MIC):
24090-epiphone-les-paul-custom-ebony-headstock.jpg

Sure enough, your guitar has that distinctively rounded-off MIK headstock.

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7 hours ago, iankinzel said:

What everybody else said. All the oddities/quirks/imperfections you see are standard for the era (part of the reason why I laugh whenever people talk about MIK Epis being the "golden age").

One thing I always look for is the headstock shape. I've noticed that the earlier MIKs have rounder, less defined contours on the headstock compared to today's Epis. Case in point, compare this (MIK):

IMG_1382.jpg.jpg

...with this (MIC):
24090-epiphone-les-paul-custom-ebony-headstock.jpg

Sure enough, your guitar has that distinctively rounded-off MIK headstock.

Yeah i see I’ve heard this from a few folk about the korean made epis I’ve had 4 or 5 in my time and the necks have always been a lot better than the Chinese epis and i suppose thats the main thing for me. Have a nice 60s tibute epi and my old korean neck blows it out the water. 

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2 hours ago, Craigshug said:

Yeah i see I’ve heard this from a few folk about the korean made epis I’ve had 4 or 5 in my time and the necks have always been a lot better than the Chinese epis and i suppose thats the main thing for me. Have a nice 60s tibute epi and my old korean neck blows it out the water. 

Yes! The necks are far superior, imo. I have to give it up for the Indonesian necks too. They also are very good. There is just something about the feel of the older necks that the Chinese manufacturers can't replicate.  I don't know what it is. It's almost as if the older necks feel more organic or something. 

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54 minutes ago, RobinTheHood said:

Yes! The necks are far superior, imo. I have to give it up for the Indonesian necks too. They also are very good. There is just something about the feel of the older necks that the Chinese manufacturers can't replicate.  I don't know what it is. It's almost as if the older necks feel more organic or something. 

Yeah totally get you man. Ive had 3 Chinese les Paul's in the last few years and played a few others but now I’ve limited it down to the 1 the 60s tribute and that sits in its case most the time cause like you said the korean necks just feel Alot more organic, they feel effortless to play compare to the Chinese ones. 

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1 hour ago, Craigshug said:

Yeah totally get you man. Ive had 3 Chinese les Paul's in the last few years and played a few others but now I’ve limited it down to the 1 the 60s tribute and that sits in its case most the time cause like you said the korean necks just feel Alot more organic, they feel effortless to play compare to the Chinese ones. 

I really hate to perpetuate the whole Korea vs. China debate because the Qingdao guitars are better in every other way.  But the Korean guitars seem to excel when it comes to the feel of the neck and the fret work. And to me, the neck IS the guitar. It's the only place where your fingers make constant contact with the instrument and is the most important aspect when it comes to bonding with it imo. 

 

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4 hours ago, RobinTheHood said:

I really hate to perpetuate the whole Korea vs. China debate because the Qingdao guitars are better in every other way.  But the Korean guitars seem to excel when it comes to the feel of the neck and the fret work. And to me, the neck IS the guitar. It's the only place where your fingers make constant contact with the instrument and is the most important aspect when it comes to bonding with it imo. 

 

Yeah man totally its really due to personal preference and i totally agree it is all To do with the neck for me also, I’ve still got a korean lp from when i was 16 and its my go to guitar wouldn't even trade it for a gibson just have that bond with it n its really only due too the neck. My preferences i like the imperfections with guitars my Koreans have different imperfections to one another gives them a-bit character although my tribute is a cracking looking epiphone and you can feel how well put together it is if that makes sense. 

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