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How To Spot A Fake Gibson

17 November 2009 Leave a comment

fakegibsonGibson tell us of a recent upsurge in fake and counterfeit Gibson guitars for sale – many of which are sold from Chinese wholesale sites like TradeTang.com, DHGate.com and MadeInChina.com (although this is, by no means, an exclusive list).

You can see such ‘bargains’ as a Les Paul Supreme for $297 or an Dot Reissue 335 for $346.

If only…

Remember, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.  However, some information to (maybe) help in spotting a fake Gibson follows:

There seem to be a few things that the fakers get wrong frequently (although don’t bank on it).

  • The truss rod cover should be bell-shaped and have two screws – NOT three.
  • The Les Paul script should always be in cursive.
  • A vertical ‘Gibson’ on the truss-rod cover is a bad sign.
  • Check that the pickup cavity is not painted black inside – if it is it could be a fake.
  • Check the routing of the pickup and control cavities – it should be neat and tidy.
  • Ditto the wiring – make sure it’s tidy and well executed.
  • If the wiring is insulated with plastic, it’s possibly dodgy – Gibson use cloth covered wiring and braided shielding.
  • Ensure it comes with a Gibson Owner’s Manual and Gibson Warranty Card.
  • Pay close attention the the headstock and logo.
  • Ensure it comes with a Gibson hard-case – fakes often don’t come with cases or with generic ones.
  • If it’s noted as made in China or the far east, it’s not a Gibson.
  • Try contacting Gibson customer service at service@gibson.com or by calling 1-800-4GIBSON (in the US)

There are some images below to help you spot a fake Gibson.  These came originally from Gibson themselves and they should be of use in determining authenticity.









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Written by: Gerry Hayes
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