#1
Hi Guys

I've just passed on the opportunity to buy at auction, what looked like, a Les Paul Standard, lemon color guitar. I passed on the offer, because in my small, yet not completely worthless opinion - it looked like a fake.

It had a stamp on the back of the headstock "5 3815", and the gold leafed Gibson name on the front of the headstock - which... okay so far so good.

BUT a few things smelled a bit fishy.

For starters, I took the back off it, none of the electrics had any Gibson marks on them, the pots were just blank

second, the machine heads were equally blank. They looked the same as my SG ones, the vertical ribbing, but not marked Gibson (checking on my BFG, the machine heads are marked "Grover" - so presumably Gibson do use other brands within their range, but to have no manufactures name at all?)

third, it came with no case, there was a cheap *** nasty strap with it, and an amp lead which looked 18 inches long and came of a 1980's stereo - why own a LP Standard and not even get decent accessories?

...was this a fake?

I know no one can say without seeing it, but I'm a bit split. I was willing to go up to $80 for a fake just to have around, but it ended up going for $390.

so... go on... have I just made the worst mistake of my guitar life?
#2
Should've asked to hear it played.

If I thought that a squier strat sounded better than a Fender Custom Shop then I'd go squier.
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#3
Quote by Chikao42
Should've asked to hear it played.

If I thought that a squier strat sounded better than a Fender Custom Shop then I'd go squier.


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#4
a gibson les paul standard for $380? no i dont think it was real. you are good and should be able to sleep tonight no problem!
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#5
If you play it and it feels it's worth $380, then it was a good buy. If you bought it because you just wanted the name on a fake you made a mistake. Unless it feels it's worth it.

But you can always turn it around and customise the hell out of it for fun. No point wasting it!
#6
$380 for a Gibby LP Std? Fake.

Trust your gut (its usually right) and don't look back.
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#7
well it was only $380 because that's what it sold for if you know what I mean? the end price at an auction isn't really a guide to knowing if it was worth it, just that's how much those people were willing to pay on the day.

this was a proper "arts/crafts/furniture" type auction, we're talking art dealers here, apart from me lurking about looking like some hairy ass roadie, I doubt anyone there would know an Explorer from a Flying V... so the ending price doesn't matter.

my question was more about whether anyone can offer me "5 Ways To Spot A Fake" type wisdom - FEED ME YOUR BRAINS. Like I said, I know a bit, but I was sat there at the auction house really not knowing if I was TRULEY passing up the opportunity of bagging a gem from beneath the noses of the ignorant.

So - do all genuine Gibson pots have the Gibson name?
are machiene heads always Gibson or Grover or can they be blank?

Anything else?

I know about personal worth vs commercial worth yadda yadda, you pay what you want to pay, but occasionally you get house clearances, death duties, junk shops, flea markets, just these places where people don't know what they've got and you've got a chance to bag a bargain, if the situation pops up again it'd be nice to be able to run some checks.

Cheers fellas
#8
Do you remember what the TR cover looked like? Did it have 3 screws?
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#9
You didn't miss out, it was fake and everyone else knew it. Put 2 people who know jack about guitars in an auction on a real Les Paul and neither of them is going to give up at $380.
#10
if you opened the control cavity, then you should know...

fakes look like this


legit ones look like this



note that on fakes the inside of the cavity is often painted. The cavity on legit gibsons is not painted.
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#11
If the truss rod cover doesn't touch the nut then it might be real. If it does touch the nut, it's definately fake (This may just be for Les paul customs so disregard possibly, get somone else's opinion.) If the diamond inlay on the headstock looks whack its also usually a fake, this applies not just to customs, but any paul with a diamond inlay on the headstock.
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#12
well without pics...

some LP's have a metal plate in the cavity too. at least older ones.

$350-400 sounds right for a fake, they sell for that all the time.
#13
Quote by OldRocker
Do you remember what the TR cover looked like? Did it have 3 screws?


i do and i don't, i remember looking at it, it was blank (plain black) and the other thing which i thought odd was it still had it's plastic "skin" over it - as did all the other plastic areas apart from the scratch plate.

But as for the number of screws I don't remember - is that a sign then?

cheers
#14
@kolonelkadat

Interesting pictures - so are you saying that fakes tend to use multi-colored, cheaper wire and be a bit messy, where as legit models use the braded shielded wire and generally look neater?

What of this issue I keep mentioning about the branding on the pots



This is one of few pics I found which actually demononstrate what I'm talking about, it seems a lot of legit older guitars (pre 80's) don't, but would it be true to say that the modern Gibson's do?

I'm basing this premise on the fact both my SG and BFG have branded pots.
#15
Quote by the_bfg
@kolonelkadat

Interesting pictures - so are you saying that fakes tend to use multi-colored, cheaper wire and be a bit messy, where as legit models use the braded shielded wire and generally look neater?

ding ding ding we have a wiener.

Quote by the_bfg

What of this issue I keep mentioning about the branding on the pots

This is one of few pics I found which actually demononstrate what I'm talking about, it seems a lot of legit older guitars (pre 80's) don't, but would it be true to say that the modern Gibson's do?

I wouldnt think so, at least not insofar as using it as a basis to determine if the guitar is true or fake. Obviously the guitar is not new, yes? pots are one of the first things I change on a guitar so theres that... but I mean in general i THINK they changed pots in like 2000/2001 and then started using the circuit board in 2008 not sure on any of that though...
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