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N(Chibson)D


esphil
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Its been a while since I've been on here but wanted to share this. A while back I discovered that among other things from overseas you can buy, you can get some chinese guitars. I was intrigued and thought the price was cheap enough to try out so I placed a order for a guitar. The seller allowed it to be customized, so I had a few requirements, remove all logos, and fake serials they put on guitar. Gibson is left off but they kept the triangles under it because I thought they looked cool. I had a custom logo made for this which I put on, but when I was waxing the guitar I got in contact with the logo and it got messed up so I removed it. My logo looked really cool, so I'll order another one. Overall the finish is really good on this, I have always loved these blue colors on a guitar and thought it looked good with the gold. I had expecations of it not being the best quality when I ordered.

 

The seller overall had high feedback so I took the chance, since ordering the store has been shut down. Out of the box it had some issues. The tuners and bridge were crap. I also discovered that bending on the upper 3 strings has resistance, I found there are some flat frets that are not crowned properly. I've installed a new roller bridge, tusq nut, and hipshot tuners on the guitar, and I have much better sustain. The action needs major adjustment, I'm having a very good tech setup everything and do fret leveling next week. I also have air norton and tone zone humbuckers on the way in gold because the humbuckers on it are mostly crap. All in all, was it worth it? I don't know yet, I'll need to judge it after a good setup and the new humbuckers. My gut tells me it will be a really good guitar after that is done. Enough talking here are some pics.

Just took the pics so its a bit dark, will try to post some better lighted pics tommorow.

 

Flat frets:

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Next to its neighbors among others.

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Edited by esphil
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I don't know.... IF you order it without the logo and fake serial number, is it a counterfeit? It's not unlike the myriad copies made by Arbor, Stellar, and the kits you buy from feebay. And the quality varies greatly, from barely playable sticks of wood like substance, to ones that, with a pickup change, are quite playable.

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I don't know.... IF you order it without the logo and fake serial number' date=' is it a counterfeit? It's not unlike the myriad copies made by Arbor, Stellar, and the kits you buy from feebay. And the quality varies greatly, from barely playable sticks of wood like substance, to ones that, with a pickup change, are quite playable.[/quote']

 

I think the argument would be that you’d still be “supporting” such operations.

 

And the “open-book” headstock and maybe the diamond logo are still protected.

 

But I do concede that this probably isn’t taking any money from Gibson, nobody would who buys one of these was gonna spend ten-times as much for the Gibson anyways. :D

 

Personally I’d get another cheaper name-brand LP-type guitar, Jay Turser or whatever, they’re probably better than a chibson anyways. :)

 

Edited by Marko
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I don't know.... IF you order it without the logo and fake serial number' date=' is it a counterfeit? It's not unlike the myriad copies made by Arbor, Stellar, and the kits you buy from feebay. And the quality varies greatly, from barely playable sticks of wood like substance, to ones that, with a pickup change, are quite playable.[/quote']

 

I'd say if you know the company sells counterfeits and you buy one without the logo you're still supporting an unethical business. Each person has their own view of good/bad on this. Many people I know wouldn't have any moral angst and only care about the price and the logo. I'm not like that.

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I'm surprised at some of the responses here, especially seeing as how many manufactures make guitars in China. You guys are also probably replying to my topic on machines or phones that are made in China as well. I intentially did not have any logos or serials put on this guitar and would never try to sell it as anything authentic, its just a chinese les paul. Granted I didn't realize that the diamond is considered as "Gibson" either, I left it on because of the way it looked. I mainly bought this guitar because I liked the way it looked especially with this color binding and couldn't really find something else that looked like it. The "you could have gotten something better for less" argument has been beaten to death. I have many custom guitars and have owned plenty of real gibsons and other high end stuff. I don't mind investing money into this guitar despite if you think its worth it or not. Just because a guitar is not made in "Murica" doesn't mean it will also be inferior. Overseas people can have access to the same tools and wood as some in whatever country creates whatever ideal guitar you think of. Yes it needs a setup and fret leveling but after this is done will will play just as good as a Gibson, even with my upgrades and cost way less. I don't care about brand or where something is made as long as it plays well. I couldn't even build this guitar with the body and paint for what I paid. Its a good base and I can customize it with all the hardware I bought. I would have bought the guitar body and neck with paint alone if I could have. This doesn't prevent me from buying a Gibson either, if I find a deal on any guitar I'll buy it. I've bought 6 Gibsons in a single year before, so don't give me that "he doesn't support them!" Is every strat guitar a ripoff of Fender?

Edited by esphil
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My comments have nothing to do specifically with China. There are more honourable manufacturers in China than most countries total manufacturing output. This isn't one of those. Once a company (China, USA, anywhere) crosses the line and produces fakes they're unethical by my standards and fueled by those that don't care about this sort of thing or are willing to accept the double standard for their own gain.

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I think you make a valid point esphil about the tolerance towards budget copy guitars in general but the gross intolerance (on these boards) towards a Chibson. It is knee jerk and definitely a bit justified by the counterfeit threat that all of us have seen on Ebay and Craigs. There are predators out there that will take advantage, and a company that has a history of copying the look of a guitar all the way down to the name is really despicable in all our minds. Still, you are obviously innocent of any deceit and obviously just wanted to see if you could make this guitar sound and play like the real deal (as it already looked it). I wish you all the luck in the world but have to say I wouldn't want to endorse a counterfeiter either. It's a slippery slope.

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I think you make a valid point esphil about the tolerance towards budget copy guitars in general but the gross intolerance (on these boards) towards a Chibson. It is knee jerk and definitely a bit justified by the counterfeit threat that all of us have seen on Ebay and Craigs. There are predators out there that will take advantage' date=' and a company that has a history of copying the look of a guitar all the way down to the name is really despicable in all our minds. Still, you are obviously innocent of any deceit and obviously just wanted to see if you could make this guitar sound and play like the real deal (as it already looked it). I wish you all the luck in the world but have to say I wouldn't want to endorse a counterfeiter either. It's a slippery slope.[/quote']

 

I agree, I'm sure theres alot of issues with people trying to sell them legit. To be honest I never even considered that some may be fakes out there when I first ran across some of the copies a few months ago you could purchase. Its quite staggering the amount of sellers from china producing every sort of guitars, even stuff like blackmachine. I wanted to make sure it had no markings, if I had realized the diamonds were considered Gibson I would have left it off, the headstock to me doesn't make a different of what it has on it, it could be blank for all I care. The build quality is actually pretty high, one piece body/neck. This is more of a beater guitar I don't have to worry about and I don't plan on selling. If I did part with it, I'd give it away to a friend or someone I know starting out with guitar. I can say the majority of people probably buying these don't want the logos removed however sadly.

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I don't support forgeries, but I'm indifferent to the concept compared to most of the posters here.

 

But the way the freemarket works is that if more people buy these label-less replicas to save money, then there will be more produced rather than the Chibsons. Don't forget that companies like Ibanez got their start making similar guitars to Gibson. Some companies, like Hondo, made almost exact replicas save for their name on the headstock.

 

Don't forget that some famous players, including Jimmy Page and Slash, own fake Gibsons made by ghost builders. Do you support their decision to commission someone to make them a fake Gibson just because they're famous?

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Like I suggested, I don't see it as a counterfeit if the logo's and bogus serial numbers are gone. I see it as a cheap copy. Problem is, some are cheaper then others. For the 300 you paid, and will put in another 200-400 with pickups, electronics, fret work, and time, something better could be had that would be considered, "legit". I am looking at a 295 copy, and am considering it, but not sure if I want to put the time and the money in a guitar that will be just ok despite my abilities.

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This presents an interesting paradox for me. As some of you know, I build guitars and have made what I will call "clones" of several Gibson models - Les Pauls and 335's. I've also built clones of many Martin and other models. However I carefully modify them so, at least in my opinion, they can not be confused with the real thing - my headstocks are different shape, I always put my initials in the head stock, I might use different woods or trim or whatever. Point is, from a distance most people would tell you these are not Gibson/Martin/whatever.

 

​I'm comfortable doing that, I have sold a couple of them but I'm not trying to generate any business. Its actually quite a tradition in guitar building - people are always building replicas of Hausers or Martin dreads or Strats - they just don't try to advertise or sell them as the original.

 

​This company, on the other hand, has made every effort to make their product as close to the original as they can. Their advertising uses all the key works that will give you a hit in a web search. The backs of their headstocks say "Made in USA". These are counterfeits pure and simple and I support Gibson in trying to protect their name, brand and appearance.

 

​The OP does muddy this a bit by taking the name and "made in USA" off his guitar but the manufacturer is still in the business of making counterfeits. I hope he is happy with it, I think his comments about the quality says a lot. I guess I don't care enough to really worry about it.

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Same here. I'm a consumer, so sure I have Chinese-made products, and they probably came from factories that have questionable environmental and HR "policies". However, I wouldn't buy anything from a company that I knew made counterfeits. That's only hurting honest companies, whether

they're Chinese or American.

 

As far as my own business dealings, I make it a point to keep things above board. Not everybody was raised that way, I guess.

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That's a term to toy with..."..honest companies".

 

And good to see people putting so called ethical behaviour and not buying counterfeits over the welfare of human beings, in particular children in sweat shops in SE Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Africa, because if you have any leather goods, footballs, phone covers maybe a hundred more items, you just exploited a child who works 18 hours a day, and is allowed to take a nap on the floor and gets fed enough to keep them working....but hey, as long as they ain't counterfeiting.

Edited by Ratae Corieltauvorum
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As this thread is mainly about ethics, lets take a look at Gibson for a second....which is the real Gibson? Heritage? Gibson USA? Epiphone?

 

A lot of these so called counterfeits come out of the back door of plants that Gibson commissioned, as do many things that US and European owned companies sub contract to China. Also, remember that every time a company creates a prestige item that is possibly affordable to what we could possibly term the "blue collar" guy, there will be somebody there to copy it and make it more accessible.

 

Not sure if any of you have come across a YouTube channel, but a guy who's branded himself "China Guitar Sceptic"

 

Here's one and he's done loads of stuff:

 

 

The question that this thread has turned into is principally about the ethical nature of infringing another's trademark...it seems to me.

 

On this occasion, the OP has had Gibson's trademark removed, ie the Gibson logo, the design, ie single-cut body with mahogany back and maple top was superbly copied, albeit not down to a tee by another US company, PRS, who succesfully had Gibson's C&D thrown out of court, the open book headstock is copied from a chair back, and then the Heritage throws another spanner in the works, and in terms of calling a guitar a Les Paul, Gibson allowed the name to head to China when they contracted Chinese factories to make Epiphones.

 

I've pulled apart a few Korean and Chinese Epiphones and what's under the finish on some of them leaves a lot to be desired, however they are still deemed to be Les Pauls, whereas the boutique manufacturers in say Japan can't and don't call their replicas Les Pauls anymore as they are now able to hold their product up as being the equal of a US made Gibson and in some cases exceeding Gibson's quality, eg ESP Custom Shop, and they will get you as close to the experience as it's possible to get.....ever play a 1980 Greco EGF-1200?

 

Are Gibson being anymore ethical by for instance copying the wear patterns of dead guitarists Les Pauls, making a Limited run, and then charging x10 the price of a Les Paul Std, which btw all LPs in the 50s started out being. How many times have Gibson declared the latest run of Les Pauls to be their closest ever yet replica of a guitar they never actually made....because the current Gibson Brands Inc is most certainly not the company that built Les Pauls, SGs and 335 from 52 to 69, so in reality they're trading off the backs of that early iteration as owned by Chicago Musical Instruments.

 

OK so Gibson Brands Inc. owns that Gibson logo and a trademarked name is as close to sacrosanct as one can get in the world of business, but being so precious about a company that especially in recent years has been so questionably ethical in its dealings with timber traders all over the world? Give me a break.

 

IMO, everytime we buy something online we are opening ourselves to being ripped off, and this is in part because a lot of people down through the years didn't want to pay full retail price at reputable dealers, and so we became a society of consumers who could turn a blind eye to the odd slightly unethical business practice, to the stage we are at now where even UK guitars shops sell fake Epiphones.

 

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=fa...JMPfgAbN-I3oDw

 

If there was no market for counterfeits, factories wouldn't make them.

 

The reasons people buy them are radically different, but ultimately the Gibsons, Dysons, Apples, Mercs, Beemers, Breitlings, Rolexs', etc., are all there because they appeal to a part of us that doesn't feel as good as those that have the real thing, and even if you go to your local Gibson dealer today and shell out $25k for a a special run genuine Gibson branded Les Paul, it ain't gonna be a real 57, 58, 59 or even a 60.

Edited by Ratae Corieltauvorum
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