I am posting this so some of you guys can have an idea of what to look for when buying these too good to be true LPs.

I got a call from a friend who was about to buy a Gibson LP Gold Top and wanted me to go along to give him my opinion of the guitar. He didn't give me any details about the guitar until we were on the way to check it out. When he told me the guy was selling it for only $350.00 I smelled a rat. Of course it was a fake but a very good one. If the kid would have given it to me for $200.00 I would have taken it home myself. LOL Needless to say the sale fell thru and when we got home I grabbed the pics from my friend to post here to show you guys how far they go wiht the fakes.

OH! I ran the serial number and it came out as this:

Your guitar was made at the
Nashville Plant, TN, USA
January 17th, 2000
Production Number: 131

I played it and it really did surprise me at how it felt and sounded. If I didn't know my Gibby's I would have fallen hook line and sinker for this guitar.

It would've got me if they did a better job with the frets and the back of the guitar wasn't finished in gold.

They're getting better at making those fakes. That's scary.
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Quote by JustRooster
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Wow, that almost looks legit.

They covered everything, even the two screws on the truss rod cover because majority of the fake Les Paul's have three screw's on the truss rod cover.
how do they even manage to counterfeit? I am not tyring to find out but thinkign about building a guitar myself and thats expense alone how could they pull this off? is the wood styrofoam?
Yeah, I wouldn't have known the differance to be honest if I wouldn't have taken a really close look at it, but the neck gave it away to me right away.
Don't gold tops have ebony boards too? Or am I mistaken?
I got this off of eBay but if you read it, it does tell you how you can spot a fake.

1. The guitar is located in China or some other Asian country. No Gibsons are manufactured in China, all Gibsons are US Made. Gibson has satellite companies like Epiphone that manufacture overseas and are much less expensive.
2. The sellers sometimes state that the country of origin is China, apparently in a half hearted attempt to dispell that the guitars are real, even though they stamp Made in USA right on the guitars.
3. There are some subtle differences between the fake Les Pauls and the real thing. Look closely at the headstock front. Most of the fakes have a Gibson logo that is of a thicker font than the real Gibson logo and is aligned almost horizontally at the top of the headstock. The real Gibson logo is a thinner font and is angled with the G started near the post of the D string tuner. The real key is to look at the truss rod cover. Real Gibsons have a bell shaped truss rod cover with TWO screws. Every fake I've seen has a cover with a similiar shape but with THREE screws. Also, the copies of Les Paul Standards often say "Gibson" right on the truss rod cover, NO Les Pauls say Gibson on the truss rod cover, some Epiphone Les Pauls do but those aren't made in the USA and say Epiphone at the top of the headstock not Gibson.
4. These guitars that are often stamped with legitimate looking serial numbers but they don't always match the true manufacture years of the real Gibson guitars.
5. All high end Les Pauls come with nice Gibson cases, these fakes rarely include a case.
6. ASK THE SELLER - many of them will admit that the guitars are made in China, and remember, no Gibsons, especially those that say Made in USA, are made in China.
These sellers are a real menace and frankly I'd like to see them shut down. Report this kind of abuse to eBay and alert Gibson of this, even though I'm sure they are aware of this piracy. These guitars can be manufactured in great numbers and flood the market place, making it hard for a lot of everyday guitar players to know a fake from the real thing so please don't support these sellers by buying these guitars.
Quote by Guitarfreak777
....i'm a nub apparently, how can you tell its a fake?

The guitar is finished in sparkly gold. The Gibsons have more of a solid gold kind of finish.

The back of the guitar is finished in gold. The Gibson gold tops are usually finished in natural on the back or a brown kind of finish.

Incorrect fret size (not something you'd really notice off the bat)
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.

Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
itd be a little different if he was rippin u off for a 1000 but for the 350, thats bout the cost of a copy...how did the guitar play? I mean say for 200 you can buy a gibson fake, people will actually think its a gibson haha even if it sounds like a low end epiphone
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The first thing that tipped me off aside frome the low price was the all gold finish. Like stated Gold Tops are just that Gold Tops the sides and back were usually stained mahogany with a clear finish. I was surprised they got the angle of the head stock about right and truss rod cover the correct two screw one but I don't think it should have said Les Paul Standard on it either. The guitar is a good fake probably one of the best ones I have seen and IMHO a beautiful guitar that was worth the $350.00 the kid was asking for it if it wasn't a counterfit. The really surprizing thing was how it played and felt it was heavy as hell too. The sound was dam good too. I think he might have had other guitars but I didn't want to hang around in case the cops knocked down the door!

If it played good and sounded good for the money, why didn't he buy it? I don't care if somethings fake, if it sounds good.
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If it sounded good, I would've taken it even if I knew it was a fake. That guitar is honestly a beaut, whichever company made it should invest its time in making original guitars and sticking its own name on the headstock, because this guitar obviously looks like its really high quality, and if they sell it for that kind of price, they'd certainly make a living.
I did tell the kid I would give him $200.00. My friend didn't want anything to do with a counterfit because he was scared he would go to jail if he got caught with it. You would have to know how straight this guy is to know why he didn't go for it. It was worth the 350 and I think the kid was willing to give it up for 300 even. I just bought several guitars in the last 6 weeks and I am picking up another this Monday. My gf told me if i buy another guitar before Christmas she was going to do something with it I wouldn't feel comfortable with!

Edit: Those pics of it really doesn't do it justice. THose were pics the kid sent to my friend. I wish i brought my camera with me to snap better pics. You never know we could get a call from the kid if he doesn't get any bites or better offers. My only concern is someone buying it to resell it to some unexpecting kid for a grand or worse.

Last edited by johnro6659 at Dec 4, 2008,
Whats sad about it is the chinese have some real craftsmen there. And they do it without all the CNC machines etc we use here. Having spent alot of time there Ive watched some of the wood crafters work. Up at the crack of dawn work until midnight using basic hand tools and poor quality wood make some decent stuff. They can put so much effort into a fake they sell for such a low price. When if they made their own brands with such quality they might actually be able to sell em for decent money.
It's a fake, but a pretty good one I have to say. I used to go on a site that sold counterfeit Gibson LPs and look at them, knowing they were fake of course. I'd compare and see how close it was to a real LP, and they were only around $300, I wanted to get one and see how it was, but didn't cause I'd wana try it out first.

There's a few things that are definitely fake about these kinds of counterfeits. The knobs, if you look at the alinement of them and compare them to a real Gibson, the fake's Volume knobs are farther away from the bridge's tailpiece and closer to the edge.

Then no Gibson's have plastic over the pickups, i'm pretty sure.

True, the fake's now have 2 screws and the correct shape truss rod cover, but there's more space on a real LP from the nut and the rod cover. There's barely any space on the fake.

Another obvious one is the sparkly finish, since it's a gold top that is.

Gibsons don't have the white/cream control covers on the back of the guitar. They only usually have black/brown ones.

Then yeah, as somebody stated above, the GIBSON logo on the real ones are usually kind of a thin font. This one is thicker just by a little bit.

That's pretty much all the obvious things I've observed! Of course, sound and quality is also important to. I haven't heard them or played one in real life so I wouldn't know.
Quote by Mockingbird452
Then no Gibson's have plastic over the pickups, i'm pretty sure.
Production line Gibsons have them, they're those kinds of stickers that don't have any kind of glue so they peel straight off. Custom Shop Gibsons don't have them.

But yeah, these fakes are getting harder to tell apart. This one's easy once you look at the finish on the back, but apart from that I bet if you just saw that sitting in a shop window, you wouldn't tell the difference. I've certainly seen much less convincing fakes.
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Damn they look almost real... in the future will we won't be able to by real guits used
So if they're making them more realistic i don't see any problem buying the conterfeit as they're pretty much identical
I would bet there are thousands of fakes of a lot of brands out there in peoples hands that still don't have a clue. I noticed in the last few years Chinese made guitars are getting better and better. I have bought a few off brand guitars that I absolutely love. Gibson actually opened their own plant in China to make the Epi line. It's managed by Gibson employee's from the states so Gibson can oversee the quality and production . I think they had to do this in order to try and keep their stuff from being counterfitted. That is a big problem over there most guitars are made by a few subcontractors and they easily can use the sepcs and designs from major brands to make the same guitar under off brand names for much less. These are the same companies making the fakes and because there is no copyright laws in China they can pump these out without fear of prosocution. The US has no real authority over there they can only grab this stuff after it hits the states but it seems to me like they really don't bother until the stuff hits the streets. I think when buying any high end guitar for little cash should be a well thought out purchase. It's one thing to buy a $300.00 fake LP but there are people getting screwed by the $1500.00 fake. If I owned one of these I would never try and pass it off as real anyway. I can't help thinking though, I wonder if these fakes will be worth something in the future?