So I move a ton of guitars in and out of my "collection" but usually maintain about 16 or 18. Variety is the spice of life! So I see an ad on craigslist for a guy who is doing more acoustic shows and wants to trade his Gibson SG Special for a decent acoustic. I have a 12-string Ibanez I rarely play so I hit him up. We do the deal and off he goes. I'm thinking she could be a knock-off. The pots say Gibson on them, everything feels of Gibson quality, even has the Gibson Kluson type tuners. but there are two things that seem off. The logo - the do on the i is not right as it is touching the upper right "down-seriff" on the G - and the bridge pickup looks a bit sketchy. I'm not a Gibsonphile - don't care for them really, but would like to know. I've done some pretty close up analysis ov pics on the Gibson site and can't find anything else, but the chinese are gietting better. Pics are in my file. Like I said, no lives hang in the balance as the acoustic I swapped had a few issues as well, but would be neat to see.
From what I can see, it's genuine. No fake Gibson will have Gibson pots and from your pic the truss rod cover looks right.
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My big concern was the dot on the "I" in Gibson as that is what Gibson and most sights point out as the key indicator. I'm not an SG guy so I'll probably flip it but wanted to be sure it's authentic before I do.
Hmm. That does look a bit off. On the other hand, the dot on this one is remarkably close to the 'G.' It could have been just a problem with the finish that slipped through the quality control, or even a factory second.

I don't know anything about gibson, personally, but if you post the serial number some of the other users may be able to tell you if it's genuine. I've seen a few people post serial numbers only to find that they're serial numbers connected to an acoustic guitar factory, and that's close to the only clue they have as to whether it was fake or not.
Last edited by Butt Rayge at Oct 3, 2011,
I see nothing wrong with the headstock except for the truss rod cover. That's the only thing that looks fishy. Usually they have a white border around them.

Furthermore, I've seen a few late 90s and early 2000s Gibby specials with the dot of the "i" touching the "G" so it's not a good indicator if the guitar is fake or not.

If you want to tell if a Gibby is fake, check for the angle of the headstock. It should be 17 degrees. You can also check the binding, look for the squared fret edge binding on the side of the frets (if it doesn't have binding, the frets from a Gibson aren't shipped sharp or jagged usually. ) Also make sure the neck is made with a single piece of wood.

The biggest tell is 3 truss rod screws instead of 2 for the cover.

You could also have Gibson verify the serial no.

Typical Gibson SG special headstock:

Fret edge binding on higher end Gibbies:

Now on the Special (Note how the frets look smooth and filed down)

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Now note the 3 hole truss rod cover on the fake Gibson as well as the angle of the cuts on the headstock. The fake has the 3 holes and a much more shallow dip.

I've seen better fakes though. I'm sure the counterfeiters do 2 truss rod holes now and probably get the angles on the headstock and the cuts right.
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