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Old 12-08-2009, 03:23 AM   #1
LAPlayer
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Differences between Korean and Chinese Epiphones?

I have 2 Epiphone Les Pauls - 1 made in Korea in 2003 and the other made in China 2006. But, the Chinese Epi was bought on eBay and I think it is a fake. I have attached photos and would like to hear what others think. Both guitars look good and sound good.

I have noticed a lot of variation in the 2 guitars a few of the more striking are:

Logo-
Epi Logo on the Chinese is really weird looking. They are completely different from the Korean Epi. Pictures for each are attached. Every single letter is different angle, shape or size from the logo on the Korean LP bought at the Guitar Center in 2004.

Les Paul signature is also different on both. The Korea LP has signature begining just before the A string tuner; the Chinese has it moved up level to the A string tuner. Also, the 'es' in Les has beginning and ending strokes in the Korean Epi, while the Chinese doesn't.

Headstock-
The Chinese Epi is 1/2 longer than the Korean Epi and the top volute is at a different angle. Because of the larger headstock the placement of tuners and everything else are different on the two guitars.

Neck-
the shape of the neck where they attach to the body are quite different. The Fake? is long and square, while the Real is cresent shaped. The wood on neck joint on the fake is very think and curved; the real is thiner and sharp angles.

I have more photos I can put up. Would Epiphone change so many features when using a new manufacturer for the guitars? The fake has a serial number and it is a legitimate number.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RealEpiLogo.jpg (26.2 KB, 160 views)
File Type: jpg FakeEpiLogo.jpg (23.6 KB, 162 views)
File Type: jpg NeckContourFake.jpg (39.9 KB, 126 views)
File Type: jpg NeckContourReal.jpg (35.6 KB, 124 views)
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:33 AM   #2
LAPlayer
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Here are a few more photos of the two guitars in question.

Both look good.

The Les Paul Signatures

Headstock for both guitars.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BothEpiBodies2.jpg (47.3 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg RealEpiLesPaulModel.jpg (44.6 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg FakeEpiLesPaulModel.jpg (43.5 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg FakeEpiHeadstock2.jpg (42.2 KB, 88 views)
File Type: jpg RealEpiHeadstock.jpg (38.2 KB, 83 views)
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAPlayer
I have 2 Epiphone Les Pauls - 1 made in Korea in 2003 and the other made in China 2006. But, the Chinese Epi was bought on eBay and I think it is a fake. I have attached photos and would like to hear what others think. Both guitars look good and sound good.

I have noticed a lot of variation in the 2 guitars a few of the more striking are:

Logo-
Epi Logo on the Chinese is really weird looking. They are completely different from the Korean Epi. Pictures for each are attached. Every single letter is different angle, shape or size from the logo on the Korean LP bought at the Guitar Center in 2004.

Les Paul signature is also different on both. The Korea LP has signature begining just before the A string tuner; the Chinese has it moved up level to the A string tuner. Also, the 'es' in Les has beginning and ending strokes in the Korean Epi, while the Chinese doesn't.

Headstock-
The Chinese Epi is 1/2 longer than the Korean Epi and the top volute is at a different angle. Because of the larger headstock the placement of tuners and everything else are different on the two guitars.

Neck-
the shape of the neck where they attach to the body are quite different. The Fake? is long and square, while the Real is cresent shaped. The wood on neck joint on the fake is very think and curved; the real is thiner and sharp angles.

I have more photos I can put up. Would Epiphone change so many features when using a new manufacturer for the guitars? The fake has a serial number and it is a legitimate number.


Na its legit don't worry, Brands change things to improve and I know epiphone does this because if you go to

http://www.epiphone.com/prophecy/ProphecyComparison.pdf

(A comparison of a certain epiphone range)

down the bottom it says may make suttle changes to the product and doesn't have to tell anyone, Anyway the serial is legit and you still getting a guitar with the specs you asked for so don't worry
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Last edited by Drapte : 12-08-2009 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:08 AM   #4
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I've sent Epiphone/Gibson information and photos of the guitar and am waiting to see if they will respond to my questions about the guitar I purchased online.

Thanks for the link to the website with the pdf document.

I just reran the serial number and got this:

Deawon Plant, China
November 2005
Production Number: 4527

from: http://www.guitardaterproject.org/epiphone.aspx

I have to say, the Epiphone logo sure looks horrible on this guitar. Maybe mine was a second. It doesn't have any of the stickers that my Korean Epi has: "setup in the US" and inspector number, nor the "made in Korea." Also, the Chinese LP weighs a back breaking 11 pounds! the Korea is about 7 1/4 pounds

I paid $250 for the guitar w/o electronics. I added Seymour Duncan pick ups and the guitar sounds great, but I usually sit to play this one.
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:25 AM   #5
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just throwing this out there, but my Agile 3000 weighs 10 lbs...and a REAL les paul SHOULD be on the heavy side, that's part of what makes it what it is! sustain is bliss with that kinda weight! though, as far as the other things go, minus the contour of the neck joint, i think i could understand your concern. but if the serial number matches up then you're prolly just freaking over coincidences...
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:06 AM   #6
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I compared the neck joint to my Chinese SG, the neck has the crescent shape, not the rounded square. The headstock shape also more closely matches the Korean one.

Mine was made at Qingdao, this could be why.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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Epi changes things all the time. So differences between years is common. If its a fake but plays and sounds good then not really an issue. There are plenty of real epis that dont play very good.

And yea LPs are just heavy guitars. Who knows the reasons between the difference in korean and chinese epis.
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:01 PM   #8
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this is quite odd but since epiphones are made in loads of different factories certain things vary depending on the factory they were made in such as the logo - for some reason epiphones that come from Dae Won have a different logo with the gap in the "o" on the bottom of it, i see it on a lot of epiphones with the "DW" prefix on the serial.
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:57 PM   #9
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Looks legit to me. The earlier Chinese made Epis always were a bit odd and generally inferior to the Korean ones; they've tightened up on it since all the production was moved to China though. For a 2005 model, I'm not seeing anything unusual.
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback. I guess both of my guitars are real epiphones.

When I saw the "o" in the logo opening down, not the usual top opening, I thought for sure someone had made a copy. I guess when Epiphone wants to make thousands of guitars each month at various plants, there will be more variation among the guitars than I realized. Especially, if production was new to China in 2005.

Does the 4527, mean that my guitar was the 4,527th guitar made November 2005 at Deawon?

If anyone was wondering why I would buy a guitar off eBay? - I was looking for a guitar to play around with...adding new electronics, maybe changing frets, etc. All the thrift store guitars were pretty sorry and way too expensive. I checked eBay and saw this one and figured if I made changes and all went well, then I would have a decent guitar to keep. So far the new electronics are working, now I'll have to see if I want to try changing frets to see how different the wires can feel.
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