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How to spot a fake Gibson acoustic?


Satanclaus

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Hi there.

 

I am considering buying a Gibson acoustic guitar, most likely a used since that's what i can afford.

But i have heard that there are many fakes out there.

So can anyone pleaswe tell me what to look for to tell if they are fake or real?

I tried to search the web but could not find very much about acoustic Gibsons.

So both links and pictures will be apreciated (good, nice)

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Go to a Gibson dealer and study some genuine Gibsons. Look over the headstock, neck assembly, and around inside the sound hole, as well as the bridge and saddle. When you see a fake, it won't look quite right. You know them when you see them.

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Danner touches on good points.

 

Info from Gibson - http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/CounterfeitGibsons/ - but that's mainly Les Paul.

 

If you have a concern about a certain instrument, get some pics - whole front, whole back, headstock front, headstock back - and post your concerns and pics here - before you buy.

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Do a search for "Fake" here. This subject gets discussed every other, if not every day. After a while you pick up bits and pieces of what is wrong with a fake. usually it's a headstock issue or label issue. Just knowing what the different variations of genuine labels and head stocks is a big help. Truss rod covers is probably the most wrongly faked part of the guitar. 2 screws = Gibson 3 screws = Epiphone or a knock-off. In older models, I don't know about current, but older models, say pre-1970, for sure phillips head screws anywhwere on the guitar say Japan.(not Gibson)

 

If they offer to sell you a new Les Paul for $299.95. Smell the soy sauce and run the other way.

 

If you see something on-line, give us a link and we'll be glad to give an opinion.

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  • 4 months later...

A couple of things kinda make it look like a Pete Townsend model - filled bridge and no bridge ribbons.

 

But then there's a brass nut . . . and - is that an adjustable bridge? Can't quite see what's going on in that photo.

 

Did the seller give the year of production?

 

What is written on the inside label?

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One thing I've noticed on some of the fakes is that the crown inlays on the fingerboard aren't as cleanly cut as Gibson's and the angles of the lines don't look quite right. The first fret inlay on that one looks good to me. But if you can see the others up close, compare them to a reliable picture of a real Gibson. If they look right, that's a good sign. And, while it's by no means definitive, you can call Gibson with the serial number and see if it was used on the model that you are looking at. If it is, that's no guarantee. But if it isn't, that's a tip-off to a fake.

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Go to a Gibson dealer and study some genuine Gibsons. Look over the headstock, neck assembly, and around inside the sound hole, as well as the bridge and saddle. When you see a fake, it won't look quite right. You know them when you see them.

ESPECIALLY around the sound hole....If it is a fake, it won't have the historical blistering bubbling finish patch between the bottom of the fret board and the soundhole.....

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  • 4 months later...

Im new to this forum so any responses would be greatly appreciated. I have a 1996 gibson SJ-200 without any serial number on the headstock. It has a serial number in the sound hole with a guaranteed gibson stamp/sticker. The guitar looks very real but when i took it to my friends house he told me if there is no serial number on the back of the headstock that its a fake. If anybody can tell me if thats true i will be very thankful. I will show pics and the serial number only if i get an email with J-200 as the subject. Dtzyto@aol.com

 

 

Thanks,

Dave

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No serial number on the HS? It ain't looking good.

 

If you could take some clean, clear snap shots of it,then post it, you will get about a dozen opinions on it's authenticity. Close ups of the headstock, front and back, and the sound hole label. Then full front, back and two sides.

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ESPECIALLY around the sound hole....If it is a fake, it won't have the historical blistering bubbling finish patch between the bottom of the fret board and the soundhole.....

Now thats FUNNY, I don,t care what anyone says!.... [lol][lol][lol]

Damn....just realized how old this post is....yikes!

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ESPECIALLY around the sound hole....If it is a fake, it won't have the historical blistering bubbling finish patch between the bottom of the fret board and the soundhole.....

 

The boys in Marketing call that a 'Soul Patch'.

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  • 7 months later...

Some guy wants to sell me a SJ 200 for about a quarter of the retail price. It looks okay, but I took pictures of it anyway so I can get a second opinion. Can anyone spot a mistake?

 

FIRST OFF I THINK THE PEGS ARRANGED IN A SLIGHT RADIUS RAISES QUESTIONS. THE NECK AT THE HEAD SHOWS A SLIGHTER THAN NORMAL ARCH ALTHOUGH IT IS DIFFICULT TO SEE IN THE PHOTO SUBMITTED. THE PICK GUARD JUST DOSEN'T SEEM QUITE RIGHT AS WELL. THOUGH SHOWING COLOR, IT'S OUTLINE LOOKS ODD. IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE THE LABE INSIDE AND WHAT SERIAL NUMBER IS ASSIGNED. CAN'T SEE IF BACK OF NECK HAS MADE IN USA STAMPED ON IT. A DEAD GIVE AWAY WOULD BE IF YOU REMOVED TRUSS ROD CAP AND INSPECT ALSO IF YOU REMOVE STRINGS AND LOOK AT NECK ATTACHMENT ON UNDER SIDE OF GUITAR TOP. IF THERES A ROUGH PIECE OF PLYWOOD GLUED THERE IT IS DEFINITE FAKE IF THE CASE CAME WITH IT, IT TOO WILL BE LIGHTER AND POORLY CONSTRUCTED WITH CHEAP HARDWARE. ONE MORE THING, DID IT COME WITH PICK UP? I DON'T THINK THE ONES COMING FROM CHINA REALLY MATCH THE FISHMANS OR WHAT GIBSON USES. SOMETIMES THEY WON'T HAVE SCREWS HOLDING THEM IN PLACE, EASY TO SPOT. HOPE THIS HELPS YOU OUT.

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Obviously not relevant to the OP, but not all Gibson's have a serial number on the headstock, am I right?

 

For the sake of clarity, not all Gibsons have serial numbers on the headstock. Generally, the current standard production models do, but some vintage reproduction and custom models do not. It varies by model and year.

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For the sake of clarity, not all Gibsons have serial numbers on the headstock. Generally, the current standard production models do, but some vintage reproduction and custom models do not. It varies by model and year.

 

my 1933 L-00, 1937 L-50, 2010 J-45 TV does NOT have s/n on back of head,, BUT,my 1992 country gentleman and 2011 J-200 does

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Another thing to keep in mind and I'm not sure if it's been mentioned yet is not to rely on the serial number of a guitar when trying to verify if it's the real deal. I've known actual dealers take a Chinese fake just because they called in the serial only to find out later that it was a fake, an expensive and hard lesson to learn. [thumbdn]

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  • 1 year later...

I have a chance to trade a guitar for this "Gibson J200". There is no pickguard, the owner, who got the guitar from a friend, says the pick guard is sitting in the case, he does not know why. If the guitar is real its a great deal for me. But how do I spot a fake. Can this one pic, all I have, tell anything? I appreciate your help everyone.post-48089-097452400 1366311164_thumb.jpg

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