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truetone6

Help: Weird serial number EE-********?

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Hi,I got this guitar a couple of days ago. I bought it used at my neighborhood music store for $275 with an SKB case. I buy a lot of gear at this store so I trust them. They told me that they had bought this guitar from a regular customer who had purchased it new from Guitar Center about 8 years ago. They told me they had replaced the pickups with DiMarzios for the owner but other than that the guitar was all original.

 

I showed pictures of this guitar on another forum and several members there said they were baffled by the serial number and questioned it's authenticity. They said they had never seen an Epiphone with an EE serial that had a dash between the letters and the number(see photo). Has anyone here seen a serial number like this or know anything about it? I sent an email to Gibson hoping they can authenticate this guitar from me. Thanks in advance for any info.

 

DSCF3329.jpg

 

DSCF3277.jpg

 

DSCF3288.jpg

 

DSCF3311.jpg

 

DSCF3339.jpg

 

epi.jpg

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I've never seen the dash either on the EEs. But that does not necessarily make it a fake.

Epiphone has never been known for consistency; especially when it comes to serial numbers.

That looks like a very early model. They may have just started out doing them that way, and then got rid of the dash.

That's a great price, with the case. How does it sound and play?

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I can say one thing, the pickup cavity pic looks exactly like what I took out of my Epi EE. Looks legit to me on that part. As the day unfolds, more people should chime in.

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Real.

Epi didn't start making guitars in their China plant until 2002-2003...Don't remember which....

I'm sure there were a few inconsistencies in the early days.

 

And yes, as Texasbluezman points out that is an authentic Epi electronics cavity....

 

spagetti.jpg

 

Willy

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Thanks guys,those are the original electronics that came in this guitar. I saw photos of other Epiphones that looked similar to my guitar(bottom 2 photos).Those photos came from the thread about how to tell if your Epiphone is real or fake on the "mylespaulforum". I'm still waiting to hear back from service@gibson.com.

 

 

DSCF3336.jpg

 

S7003353.jpg

 

FBEB676BDE4C65971C7CF943202D3CA4_50.jpg

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I got this email from Gibson today:

 

 

Hello ,

 

 

Thank you for sending the links. The serial number is consistent with the number used on a black/ebony finished Epiphone Les Paul Standard which shipped to Guitar Center in 2003. Thanks.

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Bob Burns

 

 

Gibson Customer Service

 

1-800-4GIBSON

 

service@gibson.com

 

 

 

Below is the email I had sent to Gibson:

 

Hi could you please tell me if this Epiphone Les Paul Standard Ebony I bought is real or fake? the serial number is EE-03100030

 

I bought it used at "My Music Store" in Golden Valley Minnesota.They told me the original owner said that he bought it new at Guitar Center(in Minnesota?) around 2004. They said It is all original except the pickups were changed some time ago.The work was done at "My Music Store". the electronics look like the originals I have seen in other Epiphone Les Paul Standards made in China. The is a ding on the side that looks like it was repair professionally had been.

 

The only reason I ask whether the guitar is real or fake is because of the serial number. some friends told me the serial number should be

 

EE03100030 not EE-03100030

 

Below are links to pictures. Please let me know if this is a genuine Epiphone or a fake. Thanks you.

 

 

 

Front

 

DSCF3295-1.jpg

 

 

Back

 

DSCF3308-1.jpg

 

 

Headstock front

 

DSCF3291.jpg

 

Headstock rear

 

DSCF3288.jpg

 

back plate sticker

 

DSCF3311.jpg

 

pots

 

DSCF3333.jpg

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Thanks! I thought this would be the end of the story but today a friend on another forum posted this:

 

"Gibson/Epiphone Customer Service in Europe replied to me today saying:

 

Hi Kim,

 

It’s not a legitimate Epiphone; I just got a confirmation from the division.

 

Kind regards,

 

Stijn Vergeest

Gibson Europe Customer Service

 

 

From experience (and there's others here who will agree with me), the European division has consistently proven its superior knowledge in these matters. I'll take Stijn's word any day."

 

 

 

 

 

I know Mr Vegeest sometimes posts on the Gibson forum so maybe he could chime in as it is confusing to get 2 different opinions from two different Gibson Customer Service reps

 

Here is another photo of my guitar.

 

DSCF3354.jpg

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Are we sure that's the original serial number, and not a decal put on by a previous owner? Everything else but the serial number seems to point to it being legitimate, and I can think of several reasons why somebody would replace that decal (it was worn & faded? scratched? half was scratched off because it was a factory second?).

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Are we sure that's the original serial number, and not a decal put on by a previous owner? Everything else but the serial number seems to point to it being legitimate, and I can think of several reasons why somebody would replace that decal (it was worn & faded? scratched? half was scratched off because it was a factory second?).

 

Thanks! It is the original number stamped on the back,not a decal.

 

DSCF3288.jpg

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Hey there M! Good to see you here! :) Wiggle it in the light (the serial area) and look for a dimple or two in the finish. Sometimes people put tons of lacquer on to fill in a "USED" stamp. I just recently learned this. -J Dog

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Hey there M! Good to see you here! :) Wiggle it in the light (the serial area) and look for a dimple or two in the finish. Sometimes people put tons of lacquer on to fill in a "USED" stamp. I just recently learned this. -J Dog

 

Thanks for the suggestion J-Dog,no there is nothing like that,no used stamp.EE-03100030 is the original serial number on this guitar.

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I think that in general, there are obvious differences in fakes of actual Epiphone models. Replies from several others seem to indicate that they believe it's very likely a genuine Epiphone, but there's no way to be certain from a distance, based upon some pictures, even though your pics are very good.

 

If the dimensions are the same as a 8-9 year old genuine model, then I believe it should be conclusive that yours is authentic. On numerous fakes that have been presented here, the positions of the pots, switch and jack have been different, and sometimes the overall shape/size of the headstock, also, more often the internal outline of the controls cavity is visibly different.

If one could analyze the wood used in the body and neck, it still might not be conclusive.

 

The dealer's comment about the original purchase made about 8 years old would put the purchase about 2004, and the serial number would indicate that it was made in Oct 2003, so that's reasonable. It's possible that the original owner made the story match the serial date, but it may just be true.

I vaguely remember something about a serial number prefix of 030 or something similar being used at some point on factory second or reconditioned Epiphone models, but I don't recall the details.. I'm fairly sure RTH and other more knowledgeable members are aware of the circumstances and the actual numbers since the scenario has been discussed here before.

 

The customer support folks are likely trying to be helpful, but I doubt that they have any real historical documentation of any actual features used at any location half way around the planet. This is another aspect of the manufacturing-by-remote-control process.. no one other than the workers on the factory floor actually know what was done at any particular location or date.

Substitutions and improvisations often take place in manufacturing, so in the event that the serial numbering machine was broken that day, I doubt that production would just stop. A *plan B* could've taken place as a temporary measure.

Almost every product produced for (at least) the last few decades has included a disclaimer of "specifications subject to change without notice" or a similar phrase.

 

If you enjoy the guitar, that's what's important.

 

Regards,

Bill

 

 

Hi,I got this guitar a couple of days ago. I bought it used at my neighborhood music store for $275 with an SKB case. I buy a lot of gear at this store so I trust them. They told me that they had bought this guitar from a regular customer who had purchased it new from Guitar Center about 8 years ago. They told me they had replaced the pickups with DiMarzios for the owner but other than that the guitar was all original.

I showed pictures of this guitar on another forum and several members there said they were baffled by the serial number and questioned it's authenticity. They said they had never seen an Epiphone with an EE serial that had a dash between the letters and the number(see photo). Has anyone here seen a serial number like this or know anything about it? I sent an email to Gibson hoping they can authenticate this guitar from me. Thanks in advance for any info.

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I don't think Epi used the white 'Quick-Connector' in 2003........

 

IIRC the Quick-Connector has been advertised in the Epi-News around 2005/06

 

:-k

 

Wait...so the copycats were using the Quick-Connectors before Epiphone did? Maybe Epiphone copied the copies :lol:

 

DSCF3339.jpg

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I'm just messing with you Pete,don't be mad. :)

 

Anyway after further communication with Mr Vergeest he told me that he has spoken to Bob Burns in Gibson USA.Both he and Bob have double-checked with the Epiphone division and the official conclusion is "Gibson says the guitar is fake after double-checking". I asked Mr Vergeest if he could tell me the reasons why The Epiphone Division believes the guitar is not real and told me that he cannot go into details of why the guitar appears to be fake because they don't want the fraudulent sellers to use this information to improve their fake copies.

 

Even though it it was hard for me to believe at first,I now accept Mr Vergeest and Mr Burns findings as fact.It's a nice guitar but if it is a fake I don't want it so I have returned the guitar to the store where I bought it.Thanks for the help that I received here and on other forums.I never would have know that it was not real if it were not for you guys.

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Very nice job on the side-by-side comparison pics, Truetone.. it'd be great if there were more comparison images posted.

 

The overall appearance looks very close between them.

Best of all, it's good that you like it!

 

Bill

 

Fake-a-phone(left) Epiphone(right)

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