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Is this Riviera Real?


Allan749
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Hello all, first time posting here. I've been looking every now and then for a Nick Valensi Riviera, huge Strokes fan, and I found this one on Reverb but there's a few things about it that are throwing me off. The chrome parts look quite rough, especially the tailpiece, and to me the tuners don't look to be in the right place on the headstock, 10th pic if you zoom in you can see they're not exactly straight. I'm just wondering if anyone has any idea of the actual build quality of these or maybe it's just my eyes seeing these dodgy bits. I asked for another picture of the serial number and it is 0909210365 which indicates it was made in the Unsung factory in Korea but it's not hard to fake that. Everyone knows about faking Les Pauls, American strats and other more popular guitars but I don't know if it's been known for this model to be faked? Any input would be appreciated. 

The link to it is here https://reverb.com/item/35826855-epiphone-nick-valensi-signature-riviera-natural?bk=eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJqdGkiOiJiNmNlMDdhNy1iMjA2LTQ5NjAtYTYwMy05Njg4MTE2YmRkMzAiLCJpYXQiOjE2MDE5MDUyMjUsInVzZXJfaWQiOiIiLCJzZXNzaW9uX2lkIjoiIiwiY29va2llX2lkIjoiZjI5N2ZiZTEtZDNiMS00Y2ExLTg2Y2ItMjVmMzRkZTE2YTA3IiwicHJvZHVjdF9pZCI6IjM1ODI2ODU1Iiwic291cmNlIjoiTk9ORSJ9.hHJETtceo2XBbuo-ftQ8mMMxg1b9a1pE4ixgNZ5OPB4

EDIT: Have noticed on closer inspection that the truss rod cover is also suspicious.

Edited by Allan749
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21 hours ago, Allan749 said:

Hi, thanks for replying. If you copy and paste the link it’s still there on Reverb. 

 

Sorry Allan, I still couldn’t locate it.  But based on your info, the serial number looks legit for a 2009 model, with #21 indicating the Unsung factory.  I had a 2010, purchased new.  At the time, I had seen many examples with off-kilter tuners (usually just one or two).  The TRC was white with Valensi in script (I polished the name off of mine & now have it on an Elitist Casino).  Hardware was chrome plated & well done.  Overall build quality was high, but not quite up to Elitist or Gibson standards.  For example, there was no kerfed interior lining, which kind of bugged me.  On the other hand, it had a true one-piece mahogany neck.  The neck profile was quite slim all the way up, and the nut was 1-5/8”.  Now I like narrow neck profiles, but this was actually too narrow even for me & was the main reason I sold the guitar.  The best part of the guitar was of course the Gibson P-94 pickups - just wonderful.  Unfortunately in the past few years, I’ve seen a number of Korean Valensi Rivieras with the original P-94 pickups pulled & replaced.  That would be a non-starter for me, because this model was all about the pickups, imho.

A major step up from this model would be an Elitist Valensi made by Terada in Japan, but they are even rarer than the Korean version.

Hope you find a good one!

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