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Old 07-29-2014, 01:02 AM   #1
user943
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Fake Epiphone Les Paul?

Hey everyone, total noob here.

I picked up this guitar used probably around 5 years ago when I just really wanted to have a Les Paul shape. I haven't played the guitar regularly in quite some time as I've grown into different guitars, but recently I've been considering selling it.

After doing some research and realizing that the truss rod plate reading "Custom" didn't really match up with the whole 3 pickup thing, I began to do some research online, trying to figure out what the deal was. After googling the serial # on the back of the headstock, I found a thread about a guy complaining about the same guitar with my exact serial number, and the people on the thread guessing it was a fake. The thread was only a few months old, so it wasn't my guitar.

Would it be possible that guitars overlap when it comes to serial numbers? Or do I have a fake on my hands? I know there are some tell tale signs as to whether it is a fake or not, but I'm having some trouble determining it myself.

Here are some pictures of the guitar, if anyone can provide additional info, that would be much appreciated.

http://i.imgur.com/O6wgFPj.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/UT1MB5o.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/ckcMIbw.jpg
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:50 AM   #2
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:00 AM   #3
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Definitely fake.

The two knobs on the left should be in a straight line with the pick guard screw and they should be parallel to the two knobs on the right.

Also, the washers for the tuning machines are too big.
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:13 AM   #4
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As I suspected. This really sucks. Any suggested plan of action? Do I try and resell it as a fake? I would probably make the fact that its fake known to people, wouldn't want to sell it to anyone under false pretenses.

I doubt the place I bought it from would take it back 5 years later, nor would I expect them too.
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user943
As I suspected. This really sucks. Any suggested plan of action? Do I try and resell it as a fake? I would probably make the fact that its fake known to people, wouldn't want to sell it to anyone under false pretenses.

I doubt the place I bought it from would take it back 5 years later, nor would I expect them too.

I'm really sure that's illegal, so I wouldn't advise that you sell it, even if you were to make it conspicuous information that it's fake. I'm sure it's against forum rules to do that anyway, so the question is for nowt.

If you've ever wanted to smash a guitar on stage, you have the perfect candidate. I know I kind of want to do it.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:10 AM   #6
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Had no idea it was illegal. Thanks for the heads up. It's unfortunate that I purchased it without knowing, but I suppose in my years of being entirely oblivious, I enjoyed it.

Good suggestion though! I'll be sure to get it in tape haha
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:46 AM   #7
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If you really want to sell it, you can always tear it apart and sell it as parts for a project.

Just remove the Epiphone and the diamond logo from the headstock (if they're stickers, sand them off; if they're inlays, take them out and fill the holes, then sand the headstock and apply filler and primer to make it a blank headstock) and get rid of the truss rod cover before selling.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:02 AM   #8
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It's not illegal to sell a fake guitar if you say it's a fake. I mean, obviously it's a no no here, but on your local craigslist or something you're in the clear (in the US at least, not sure about UK and EU).

That's what a lot of people here don't know. It's manufacturing and/or selling counterfeit goods as real that's illegal. Selling counterfeits explicitly as fakes is OK.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:17 AM   #9
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I'd use it as a test piece. Say you want to refinish/refret/experiment with electronics etc., this would be a perfect candidate to practice on.

I have to disagree with Linkerman here. I doubt that you'd get much out of a fake guitar's parts. You could use it for parts on your own build though.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheStig1214
It's not illegal to sell a fake guitar if you say it's a fake. I mean, obviously it's a no no here, but on your local craigslist or something you're in the clear (in the US at least, not sure about UK and EU).

That's what a lot of people here don't know. It's manufacturing and/or selling counterfeit goods as real that's illegal. Selling counterfeits explicitly as fakes is OK.

According to a few lawyers on the Internet, it's still illegal to sell fake merchandise even if you disclose it as fake. There are a few more sources, but this is the most reliable one I can find since the answers are from attorneys that specialize in this area.

I can't imagine that Gibson/Epiphone would go after you for selling one fake guitar that infringes its trademark, but according to the Internet, it's still illegal.

Last edited by chrismendiola : 07-29-2014 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:49 AM   #11
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I agree with darrenram1. Keep it and use it to experiment with and learn more about your hobby. Practice setups and fret cleanup. Try different wiring options, learn to coil tap or split a humbucker.
You would probably get more out of it that way. If you do sell it, you're probably better to part it out and sell it that way as a second hand knock off will be worth practically nothing.

I can't imagine what the purpose of faking an Epiphone would be. Go the distance and fake a Gibson! Maybe they thought a fake Epi would warrant less of an inspection?
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Old 07-29-2014, 10:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStig1214
It's not illegal to sell a fake guitar if you say it's a fake. I mean, obviously it's a no no here, but on your local craigslist or something you're in the clear (in the US at least, not sure about UK and EU).

That's what a lot of people here don't know. It's manufacturing and/or selling counterfeit goods as real that's illegal. Selling counterfeits explicitly as fakes is OK.



Posted elsewhere, but just in case anyone is knowingly considering buying a fake, keep in mind that it's illegal to sell it later:

Quote:
The Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984 made it illegal for anyone to intentionally traffic or attempt to traffic goods or services knowingly using a counterfeit mark, which is defined as "a spurious mark and spurious designations (1) used in connection with trafficking in goods or services (2) identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a mark registered for those goods and services on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Principal Register (whether or not the defendant knew the mark was registered) and in use and (3) the use of which is likely to deceive, confuse, or cause mistake on the part of the consuming public".

These counterfeit goods include numerous things such as labels, stickers, wrappers, charms, cases, tags, and patches.

Originally under the act, the penalty for being convicted for trademark counterfeiting was a fine up to $100,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years plus paying attorney fees to the trademark owners. These penalties were later amended and called for a fine of up to $2 million and/or imprisonment for up to 10 years, with large companies being fined up to $5 million.

If charged more than once for trademark infringement, individuals can be fined up to $5 million and/or be imprisoned for up to 20 years while corporations may be fined up to $15 million.

Counterfeiters of safety-sensitive products, such as pharmaceuticals, would get the maximum penalty set forward in the act.




Trademark Counterfeiting Act of 1984 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:49 AM   #13
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Seems this is about like counterfeiting dollar bills, doesn't seem worth the risk. Why would someone counterfeit a frickin' Epi lp?
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:07 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lucky1978
Seems this is about like counterfeiting dollar bills, doesn't seem worth the risk. Why would someone counterfeit a frickin' Epi lp?



Because the uniformed people and dealhunters buy them day for day...

Whats easier to sell ?

a faked Epi for 300 $
or
a faked Gibson for 300 $
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:28 PM   #15
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Just to air on the side of caution before doing anything drastic with this guitar, although I'm fairly convinced its a fake, I posted some photo's of the back of the headstock / the electronics of the guitar.

If anyone with some knowledge could take a look, that would be much appreciated.

http://i.imgur.com/JShXbfX.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/pMsmSAX.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/a8TxnzL.jpg

Last edited by user943 : 07-29-2014 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user943
Just to air on the side of caution before doing anything drastic with this guitar, although I'm fairly convinced its a fake, I posted some photo's of the back of the headstock / the electronics of the guitar.

If anyone with some knowledge could take a look, that would be much appreciated.

http://i.imgur.com/JShXbfX.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/pMsmSAX.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/a8TxnzL.jpg



Every single pic tells it is a FAKE

Big FAT EE in the serial#
Routing and wiring of the Controlcavity
Tuner-washers wrong
Knob alignment wrong
just to name a few signs

and I bet the binding looks like this..
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:12 PM   #17
user943
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Originally Posted by paruwi
Every single pic tells it is a FAKE

Big FAT EE in the serial#
Routing and wiring of the Controlcavity
Tuner-washers wrong
Knob alignment wrong
just to name a few signs

and I bet the binding looks like this..


Yes sir your binding prediction is spot on. Just wanted make 100% certain, I have to move through denial haha.

It's unfortunate I have a fake on my hands, but I really appreciate the feedback everyone!
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:15 PM   #18
paruwi
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Originally Posted by user943
Yes sir your binding prediction is spot on. Just wanted make 100% certain, I have to move through denial haha.

It's unfortunate I have a fake on my hands, but I really appreciate the feedback everyone!



it should look like this....
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:18 PM   #19
user943
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Originally Posted by paruwi
it should look like this....



Yeah I noticed that online, as well as the EE thing. It also was a major hint that I found another Epi online with the exact same serial # as mine....
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:26 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by chrismendiola
According to a few lawyers on the Internet, it's still illegal to sell fake merchandise even if you disclose it as fake. There are a few more sources, but this is the most reliable one I can find since the answers are from attorneys that specialize in this area.

I can't imagine that Gibson/Epiphone would go after you for selling one fake guitar that infringes its trademark, but according to the Internet, it's still illegal.


That is if you are selling the product retail and are making a business out of it. If you are a private seller dealing one instrument in your possession and are selling it second hand, and you explicitly say it's a counterfeit, you're in the clear. Because you are not infringing on the copyright, as you did not build the item or commission it's creation.
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