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Is this fake? Black Beauty Content


Will_Spengler

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Hi guys,

 

Just bought an Epi Black Beauty off ebay. It is used, was made in 1997-1998 apparently.

 

Just arrived today, and I'm not too sure if it is legit.

 

The serial number is : I98020256

 

There are a few things, seeing the guitar in person, that make me feel it is a bit off.

 

The Epiphone logo looks wrong, but that could just be me.

 

The block inlays are a bit on the plain side, do not have a MOP look to them.

 

The rear of the pickups have epiphone engraved, but not the same way in which my newer SG has it (which is stamped).

 

The original owner changed the tuners (to locking tuners, Sperzel I think), but he included the originals. The original tuners are gold, but shaped like the green type gibson tuners, unlike the more rounded epiphones. There is also no name on the tuners. (was this maybe standard 10 years back ?)

 

The truss rod cover says "Gibson", and is printed, not engraved. All other ones I have seen have said "Les Paul Custom".

 

DSC00618.jpg

 

DSC00622.jpg

 

DSC00619.jpg

 

 

Have I been conned? Does this look like a fake? From looking inside, it looks like it is solid wood (not ply), and it looks like there is definatly a seperate cap (when looking at the pickups you could see where the two bits of wood joined).

 

 

What do you say guys? Real and just what they were like 10 years ago, or fake 8-[

 

 

(Im not too hopefuly :( )

 

Cheers!

 

- Will

 

 

(please excuse the mess in the background, in the middle of tearing everything out to move house)

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You sir, have NOT been duped. It was made (according to the serial number) at the Saein Factory in '98 ("I" denotes Saein Factory). And apart from the tuners, she looks legit to me. Nice guitar.

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I have heard that the serial numbers are sometimes copied from real guitars though?

 

A friend of mine has a black epi LP standard, and another friend of mine has one very similar to yours (blue, flamed maple top), both of which have MOP inlays with a bit of depth and colour to them, the ones on my BB seem very bland in comparison. But I dare say it is comparing LPs from about 2006 to one from 1998, so it could just be things have changed in the last years?

 

Wish I could hear how she sounds plugged in, shunted my guitar cab off to a mates house while having a band practice (and it gets it out the way while moving) 8-[

 

Cheers for the reply!

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Hey, no problem. I think RotcanX could better answer the inlay question, as I don't know, but I can tell you the inlays on my guitar (2004 Epiphone Les Paul Classic Quilt-top) actually look BETTER than the yellowy looking inlays that are on the Gibson of the same persuasion (sp?) I used to have. Actually the Gibson was a Goldtop, and not a Quilt-top. And I also have to say there were certain features that are better on the Epi than what's on the Gibson (strap buttons on the Epi are bigger, thus holding a strap better, stuff like that), they both had/have their strong points.

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Hi guys' date='

 

Just bought an Epi Black Beauty off ebay. It is used, was made in 1997-1998 apparently.

 

Just arrived today, and I'm not too sure if it is legit.

 

The serial number is : I98020256

 

There are a few things, seeing the guitar in person, that make me feel it is a bit off.

 

The Epiphone logo looks wrong, but that could just be me.

 

The block inlays are a bit on the plain side, do not have a MOP look to them.

 

The rear of the pickups have epiphone engraved, but not the same way in which my newer SG has it (which is stamped).

 

The original owner changed the tuners (to locking tuners, Sperzel I think), but he included the originals. The original tuners are gold, but shaped like the green type gibson tuners, unlike the more rounded epiphones. There is also no name on the tuners. (was this maybe standard 10 years back ?)

 

The truss rod cover says "Gibson", and is printed, not engraved. All other ones I have seen have said "Les Paul Custom".

 

 

Have I been conned? Does this look like a fake? From looking inside, it looks like it is solid wood (not ply), and it looks like there is definatly a seperate cap (when looking at the pickups you could see where the two bits of wood joined).

 

 

What do you say guys? Real and just what they were like 10 years ago, or fake :-

 

 

(Im not too hopefuly :( )

 

Cheers!

 

- Will

 

 

(please excuse the mess in the background, in the middle of tearing everything out to move house)

 

[/quote']

 

Will, There are several things you bring up here...First the Serial Number. As was already mentioned the "I"

designates that it was made at the Saien, Korea factory "9802" means it was made in February 1998, and

"0256" is the Batch number. That so far looks legit, but hey, run it through the guitar dater to be sure.

Second, the logo looks fine as well as the binding around the Headstock. The "Gibson" TRC as opposed to the

more recent TRC with "Les Paul Custom" may also be a period thing. Years ago they were in some cases,

the higher quality guitars, still using the Gibson name. BTW How many pickups do you have on your

guitar. I only ask because one of the differences between the regular Les Paul Custom model and the Black

Beauty Les Paul Custom model is that the former has only 2 pickups as the latter has 3. Third...with regards

to the block MOP inlays, they vary. Some are kind of smooth, like yours, and others have more of a swirl and

reflect the color of the shell more. I've seen both. Although the latter is more appealing to the eyes, so to

speak, it has no affect on the play-ability of the guitar. It's purely cosmetic.

 

I think you got yourself a legit guitar. Although As I mentioned there is the difference in number of pickups

between the regular Les Paul Custom model and the Black Beauty Les Paul Custom model. The three pickup

model lets you know you have the "Black Beauty" as opposed to the 2 pickup model which they list as "Ebony".

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Actually, running the SN through the guitar dater doesn't prove a thing... The Guitar Dater Project is not a database... It's just a program that recognizes various serial number formats... You could make up a serial number and as long it's in the right format, the GDP will spit out the corresponding info...

 

First letter = Factory

First 2 digits = year

Second 2 digits = month

Remaining digits (4 or 5) = Production number

 

So if you enter U02110496 Guitar dater will tell you the guitar was made at the Unsung factory in Korea, made in November of 2002 and it was the 496th guitar made in that production run..

 

I just made that number up... Nothing stopping me from putting it on every fake I make..

 

Go ahead and try it..

 

That git looks legit, though... The Epi TRCs had "Gibson" on them until the early 2000s and the inlays are not MOP, they're pearloid (i.e. plastic).. There's sure to be variations in appearance from year to year, or batch to batch.. I don't know for sure, but I think the headstock "inlays" are are some kind of laminate material that looks like MOP or abalone..

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Hey guys, thanks for the responses :(

 

It is a 3 pickup model :)

 

And aye, I know it isnt MOP, I just meant it didnt have the MOP look which the Pearloid looks like.

 

Good to hear it is probably just a batch thing, and good thing about the truss rod cover :)

 

 

Any ideas on the non-grover tuners?

 

 

Cheers guys :)

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This is what a Epiphone LP Custom looked like on Epiphone's pages in 1998.

 

lpcustom.jpg

 

Haven't found the Black Beauty page from archive.org yet..

 

Edit. Found a limited edition with a Bigsby..

 

ENBB.jpg

 

Pickups 3 Humbuckers

Hardware Gold

Scale 24.75"

Nut Width 1.68"

Neck Joint Set

Neck Material Mahogany

Fingerboard Rosewood/Block

Binding Body/Neck/Headstock

Body Material Mahogany/Alder

Top Mahogany/Alder

Also Available VibroTone Tailpiece

Finishes Ebony

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its legit.

i remember buying a epi G-400 back in '95 and they had the same bland looking inlays, that was the yr when the G-400 moved from dot inlays to trapezoid.

back then also they didnt use grovers, was some korean name in very small letters branded behind where it cant be seen.

i also had a MIK 2002 LP Custom Plus, also with the same non-grover / korean branded tuners, tho the inlays by then looked much better.

the TRC like mentioned is a batch thingie, epi only started putting the model names on them from 2004 onwards.

so before that all it said was 'gibson'.

 

your tuners i guess look like these...

EpiTuners.jpg

 

yea, i took them out and replaced them with gotohs.

actually i changed every single piece of hardware on my epi LP, save for the toggle selector.

 

EpiLP.jpg

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