#1
I went to a pawn shop yesterday and found a Gibson Les Paul Studio in the corner of the shop. The owner told me he thought it was a Les Paul from the 1980s. He informed me that the pickups had been changed but he had the originals if I wanted them. The guitar was only 300 dollars so that had me a little nervous, but it also made me think "What if this is a real Les Paul, this could be a good find!" I've never owned a Gibson or an Epiphone before, so I don't know what to look for when shopping for one. If I were to go back to the pawn shop and take pictures, do you think you could identify if it was real or not? Should I take pictures of specific parts of the guitar? Thanks for helping out!
Last edited by matt.stratton12 at Jan 1, 2015,
#2
Take pictures of all sides/profiles. get the pictures of the serial number on the back of the headstock and the control knobs placement.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#4
All of the above, and keep in mind you're dealing with a business (pawn shop). If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Businesses are not in the habit of giving stuff away or losing money on a deal. They don't stay in business long that way. My first thought is, $300? Maybe with a snapped neck. Be smart, do your research, don't buy on emotion.

Also, if you're in the US. It's a copyright infringement laws make it a federal offense to sell a fake, whether you tell people ahead of time that it's fake or not. As I understand it, you could import a chibson for your own use, but basically, you're legally stuck with it forever.

(Sorry, I'm skeptical by nature, but here's hoping you got a lucky score)
#5
Quote by Hydra26
All of the above, and keep in mind you're dealing with a business (pawn shop). If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Businesses are not in the habit of giving stuff away or losing money on a deal. They don't stay in business long that way. My first thought is, $300? Maybe with a snapped neck. Be smart, do your research, don't buy on emotion.

Also, if you're in the US. It's a copyright infringement laws make it a federal offense to sell a fake, whether you tell people ahead of time that it's fake or not. As I understand it, you could import a chibson for your own use, but basically, you're legally stuck with it forever.


Hydra26 has two good points -- make sure that even if the guitar is real, that there's not some other reason why it's a "smokin' deal." A guitar that needs a refret, for example, can end up costing you nearly as much as a new one. Snapped necks are sometimes well-hidden, sometimes not.

Chinese counterfeits are trademark infringements (not copyright or patent), and Federal agencies aren't going to move off their Kardashian-size butts to bother with $350 worth of guitar, nor is Gibson going to bother with more than a $400 Cease And Desist letter unless you can show that there are 100 more behind yours coming down the pike.

You can get the local police to deal with a fraud charge (maybe), but that would be it in terms of the criminal justice system. An intellectual property lawsuit would usually be between someone like Gibson and whoever is importing a lot of those guitars, and these things are usually settled off the books; an intellectual property lawsuit will run $100K at a minimum to get to the point where it's actually in court. Of the few that have actually gone to court only the PRS vs. Gibson is notable, and that's because Gibson's own lawyers stepped on their own genitalia during the appeal process and lost.
#6
Periodically these knockoffs are seized at the border but usually in large shipments so yes individual counterfeits sneak through too often. There a host of "tells"to see if the guitar is genuine and those of us who actually own or have owned Gibsons can spot most of the issues.
That being said we need pics or no one can tell for sure.
Moving on.....
#7
Nobody would bother faking a 1980s Les Paul studio—there’s not much demand for them, and it would be pretty obvious if a run of 1980s studios started popping up for sale. Chances are the owner is dumping it cheap because its a low-end instrument from an era held in low regard by musicians. If you like it, buy it.
#8
Quote by dspellman

Chinese counterfeits are trademark infringements (not copyright or patent), and Federal agencies aren't going to move off their Kardashian-size butts to bother with $350 worth of guitar, nor is Gibson going to bother with more than a $400 Cease And Desist letter unless you can show that there are 100 more behind yours coming down the pike.


Yeah, that sounds about right, but I'd rather be safe than sorry and not be the poor schmuck that they decide to make an example of because someone is having a bad day if I ever decided I didn't want the thing anymore.
#9
Yeah, take photos of the headstock back and front, the body front and back, close up of the bridge, neck joint, input jack, and a shot of the neck (sides and front). Then telling a fake would be possible.
#10
Easiest way to spot a fake is the neck, if there is a scarf joint then its a dud. Gibson doesn't do scarf joints.
#11
I agree with jpnyc. While there are Chinese Chibson LP Studios, it's not a big seller. The Chibson revolution has only occured in the past 8-10 years (as far as I know). If the guitar looks like it is 30 years old, it may the real thing and (based on it's condition) "might" be a good deal, providing it has no issues like mentioned above. Some obvious "tells" are the screw heads on the bridge pins (Gibson's don't have them) and if you want to be sure, ask the dealer to remove the screws on the truss rod cover. Gibson's have a nut for adjusting the truss rod, Chibsons have an allen wrench adjuster.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jan 6, 2015,