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Is my new Gibson es335 a fake (Chibson)?


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I bought this off of Reverb last night and haven't received it yet. This is my first Gibson and I paid just over 2k for it so I just want to double check that it is a real Gibson. I have been reading everywhere about how to identify a fake, and it seems to check off 7 out of 9 of those boxes and the other 2 might just be that I need to see it in person. 

I need someone with a trained eye to check these pics and let me know. I won't be able to sleep until I get some closure on this topic so I greatly appreciate any help. There is a 7 day return policy so I will be able to return it if something is off.  Supposedly a 2011 iced tea Gibson es 335.


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Boy oh boy. 

The zebra humbuckers speak to a pair of replacement items at best. 

The truss rod cover lettering seems to me to be atypical. 

The non-matching backside is troubling. 
(Based on examining other 2011 Gibson ES335's online.)

I'm no expert.
I'll stand by for the real pro's to weigh in. 


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7 minutes ago, sparquelito said:

I believe that mihcmac is onto something. 

And my faith in human-kind is slowly restored. 


Me too! I did some research and found these, which look identical. 






Am I safe to assume this is an authentic version of that guitar?

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2 minutes ago, Optimuspreim said:

In my opinion, after seeing those examples of an admittedly rare Gibson, I would say yes. 

I think you have a really nice example of that model. 

Congrats, good sir. 


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30 minutes ago, Optimuspreim said:

Gibson Custom Shop Limited ES-335 Traditional Pro with Tapped Zebras (Iced Tea)


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From the pics you’ve provided, the guitar looks okay.

But, two things seem off to me. 1) That COA looks different than ones I’ve seen which have two blank white fields filled in by hand with the model number and the serial number.  2) No Custom Shop decal on the base of the back side of the headstock.

Now the way Gibson does COAs might have changed since I last saw a new one, and maybe the CS decal wore off.

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Maybe this was caught up in the transition of the Memphis Custom Shop to regular ES production. I had a 2008 Larry Carlton ES-335 and it had a CSXXXXX  serial#, Custom Shop logo on back of headstock  and Custom Shop COA just like in the OP's pic (which has white tape over the actual white model and S/N fields). Then around 2011 the LarryCarlton ES-335's were transitioned to "Gibson Memphis" and the serial numbers started with ME.... (same with Warren Haynes model) and no Custom Shop logo on back. Maybe the Traditional Pro went through the same transition. The OP's serial number is a regular production # along with the Made in USA stamped on the back, which Custom Shop guitars do not have. The OP's case is exactly the same as my Larry Carlton. 

Optimus, once you get it a better pic of the Orange label along with what it says should put this to rest. I think you are okay. BTW - I got $3500 for my Larry Carlton when I sold it 2 years ago so I think you got a good deal price wise. I had 2 335's, the Larry Carlton and a real 1969. I only needed one so I put both up for sale with the idea of keeping the one that didn't sell first. So I still have my '69. Good luck with yours,


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