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Chinese fake?


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My latest e-bay buy. When I bought it I knew it might well be fake, but I wasn't too bothered if it turned out to be a reasonable guitar. This was the listing:




It was sold by a e-bayer in the UK who is selling several other Epis. I got it for £215, "normal" price in the UK would be around £390. It was shipped immediately from within the UK. It came in an authetic looking Epi printed box, with tag and manual. I've carried out a few mods; installed a Burstbucker at the neck, and a 15k "Kossoff Special" at the bridge. Also sprague 22 caps, new switch, and a few cosmetics :








I thought it might be a "B" stock guitar passed off as "A" because there are a couple of poor areas in the paint finish, but they're very minor. While working on it though I found 2 things which I've never seen on real Epis :


1. The pickups came with the printed Epi protective film. However, there are no stickers or markings on the base plate except for "F" stamped into the plate, in a circle, on both of them. The leads are also identical length. I have no way of testing the output, but these seem to be a pair of identical pups.


2. The stopbar has no recess for the string ends to nestle in. It's just flat.


Has anyone seen the same on recent EEs?

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"I have no way of testing the output"......


SURE you do! Have a cheap digital multi-meter?


1. Plug a short guitar cord into the input jack of the guitar.

2. Turn both volume knobs all the way up, both tone knobs down.

3. Set multi-meter to read higher than 14K (probably has 20K setting?).

4. Click toggle switch to "Rhythm", place one meter lead on round "barrel"

of OTHER end of guitar cord, place second lead on pointy "tip" of cord. (There will

be a plastic insulating spacer seperating the two).

5. Read meter - this is the Kilo-Ohm " winding of your neck pickup (maybe around 8K?).

6. Click toggle switch to "treble", repeat above process.

7. This reading is the Kilo-Ohm winding of your Bridge pickup (maybe around 13K?).


If they're the same, you'll see it. If different, you'll see that, too.



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The E's in the serial number look to be slightly larger than the numerals which is usually taken to be a sure sign of a fake, mind you having just looked at mine (which I know for sure is genuine) they appear to be a fraction larger as well so definately not conclusive. Maybe it's the degree of size difference which is indicative.


Looks nice though regardless of it's pedigree

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Uhhh....no, actually I don't have a multimeter, cheap or otherwise. Apart from that, your suggestion is faultless.


"couldn't you have got a good other branded copy and put on a decal?" = why would I, for £215? What I wanted was a nice cheap LP copy in metallic blue, with a 60s neck. That's what I got.


I don't mind that it's probably fake, I was posting to try to help others identify fakes. In particular I was curious about the pups, they seem to be the real give-away in this case. I've never seen this "F" marking before.

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i had a nice solid african mahogany lp deluxe (goldtop but with mini hums) for £90. http://www.karacha.com/Vintage-V100-Electric-Guitar-Gold-Top-Chrome-Hardware/?source=webgains&siteid=47683

a vintage av1 with all wilko hardware for £150 with gibson case. http://www.donmack.com/VintageAdvanceGuitars/AV1.asp

i gotta say they are both better than a fake epi! no flaming please but it has to be said! you will have a serious problem selling a fake too. if it is fake then get some pics to gibbo and get your money back. you won't have to return a fake.

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Just out of curiosity, have you run the serial number through guitar dater project - what does it come up as?


More I look at it the more I'm not sure it's not genuine. Volume and Tone knob position seems correct unlike most fakes, epi logo looks ok (admittedly flare from the flash makes it hard to be sure) , tuners look ok, headstock looks fine, body shape looks bang on.


Question - did you top string it or did it come that way cos afaik no epis ever come top strung from the factory.


Could it be a genuine Epi but possibly has arrived in the UK damaged and has been refinished/new hardware and is then being sold as new (hence the paintwork flaws and different stoptail)

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I did the top-wrapping. I don't think it's been re-worked.

Prolife, I don't understand how you can judge just from the pics how good or bad a fake is compared to other guitars, so I assume it's just an emotional reaction on your part. This one plays just as well as any Epi LP I've owned before. The resale value doesn't bother me too much, I bought it intending to keep it and I was happy with the price I paid. If I do have to sell it in future I would make it clear to any buyer that its' provenance is doubtful. Unless anyone here tells me differently, I think it's the pup marking that really gives it away. The Grovers are fine, the body and neck profile are right, and the controls positioning, all match other Epis. If it is fake, I'm not complaining, I knew it might be. As long as it's a good guitar for a fair price I don't mind. USA viewers may not know that we have to pay over $600 for an LP Std over here.


I thought folks here might be interested because either (a) it's "real", and Epi are now fitting different pups, or (B) the fakers are raising their game, and this is how to spot one.

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a vintage av1 with all wilko hardware


I played one of those the other day. It was a deep cherry color' date=' and had a little cutaway in the upper bout that made it almost half-way to being a double-cut!




It was quite a nice guitar! Pretty good tone, nice feel. Neck was a little chunky for my taste. My only concern was the weight...it seemed very light indeed for a Les Paul copy. Also, I thought it was a little expensive at over $600. Anyway, I did consider it, but my then I'd fallen in love with the St Blues Mississippi Bluesmaster (pic below), which ended up going home with me.





Ant: Sorry for hijacking your thread to talk about other guitars. To answer you question: that looks like a nice Les Paul, and I like what you've done with it. I really don't think that it is a cheap copy - I think you are right with your "B stock" theory. Perhaps someone is getting hold of them, finishing them off with whatever hardware they can (hence your concern about the original pick-ups), and shipping them as the real deal?

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To be a "B" Stock it would have a "B" on the neck. I the a sign of one being sanded out? Does the neck seem thinner or refinished in any way. Run your serial number through Gibby and confirm. They'll tell what model and color the guitar should be.


If it is a fake, you are right, they are uping their game.


Thanks for sharing this info. She looks wonderful, enjoy her!

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"My only concern was the weight...it seemed very light indeed for a Les Paul copy."

my one is so heavy i hardly play it but i know other les paul fans may be ok with the weight. apart from that it has a good tone and feel for me. the vintage av3p is my new pet and light, i'm happy there with 3 p90's and bigger body!



has the time passed by so you can't claim the money back. i only say this as you really could get a proper secondhand epi for the money or a better gibson fake!? is it from china? my seller said he was in the uk but the box came from china. he has a few for sale and it makes me too wonder on his reason for this! i had a fake and it was badly done...

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