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Kicked off Craigslist twice for Les Paul Goldtop Chinese Copy.


epi56ebony
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Ok here's the backstory:

 

A few years ago a guy had a fake Chinese Les Paul on CL for $400. I have always been fascinated by these counterfeits so I bought it from him.

 

I didn't want to buy it directly from those under the radar auction sites where the price of the guitar is 200-300 with 100 dollars shipping because if you got a warped neck you were SOL.

 

So the CL was a chance to check one out and it was fine, Epiphone quality. Lots of errors if you looked close but not casually.

 

Today:

 

I decided to dump a bunch of guitars to make room in the home and I've had 2 waves (last year and now). On this second wave I decided the Fake LP should go, my curiosity was satisfied.

 

I put it on CL and there was a lot of interest but no takers (I started at $500 knowing people would try and bargain and then brought it down to $400 what I paid.). Got flakes and low ballers and a bunch of really nasty emails about what I was selling.

 

I made it very clear this was a fake and in no way tried to pass the LP off as real.

 

So the "Defenders of the good name of Gibson USA" police unit flagged me with CL and I was taken down twice this week.

 

I threw in the towel and decided since I had sold enough guitars/bass/amps that I could keep this one. I had made a lot of room too.

 

I then decided to do something I had been half-heartedly thinking of doing since I got the guitar, which was to upgrade it with high quality parts.

 

So today I talked to my guitar tech about the cost and if Gibson pickups would fit (he said no problem).

 

I got a set of Gibson Classic 57/Classic 57 plus on CL today for $150. Brought the guitar and pickups to my tech who upgraded the pots, new tune-o-matic bridge, switchcraft pickup selector switch and switchcraft jack and set it up.

 

This all came out to $370. So now I've got $770 invested in this fake.

 

Still cheaper than my 56 an 58 Les Paul Custom Shops though.

 

It was funny but the pickups in the guitar were Epiphone pickups, Epi imprinted on the back of the pups. Could this guitar have been made at the Gibson China plant late at night (greased palms!!).

 

I know there are a great many people upset by:

 

1. Chinese made guitars (due to our economy and loss of jobs)

2. Chinese Fakes (to add insult to injury mine even says "Made In The USA" the nerve!) Lots of people who walk only on the straight and narrow will be upset with the fakes

3. Gibson USA fans pissed off about the fakes

 

I understand their anger. I'm sure there will be some angry posts here too. For me, I have no moral qualms about owning or buying this fake. I've walked off the path of the straight and narrow occasionally and I enjoy living in the Gray.

 

I had a feeling I would get those nasty emails and get flagged. Was hoping to sell it before all this happened. But since I sold nearly 30 guitars/basses and amps I could splurge a little on my Fake "GIBSUN" Les Paul

 

I try very hard not to buy anything from the PRC. I buy lots of stuff from other east Asian countries. But it is not just a matter of quality with me. It's a matter of principle.

 

I don't diss anyone else. But it is an ethical consideration with any purchase I make.

 

Here is an interesting news item about the PRC's IP laws - involving a famous US guitar company..

 

http://www.musicincmag.com/News/2010...14_martin.html

Edited by Etienne Rambert
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The guitar looks good -- and hopefully plays/sounds good as well -- but it looks like the finish is almost a Gretschy sparkle gold, not an actual goldtop. The goldtops have a duller, warmer gold finish with few/no visible individual metal flakes (see below for a couple of examples, including Skydog's '57).

 

LPR6VOAGNH1-Finish-Shot.jpg

 

Goldtop_rt.jpg

 

BTW: I don't have a problem with the guitar existing and being sold, as long as the buyer clearly understands that it's a repro, not the real thing. Some of our trademark/copyright regulations are ridiculous, written by the people who stand to gain the most from them.

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I try very hard not to buy anything from the PRC. I buy lots of stuff from other east Asian countries. But it is not just a matter of quality with me. It's a matter of principle.

 

I don't diss anyone else. But it is an ethical consideration with any purchase I make.

 

Here is an interesting news item about the PRC's IP laws - involving a famous US guitar company..

 

http://www.musicincmag.com/News/2010...14_martin.html

 

Interesting article, thank you.

 

Unfortunately for the United States they can't impose their copyright/trademark laws on rogue nations. It's a world economy now and that is why we now have these issues.

 

If the USA was a closed nation, closed borders with no export or import there would be no counterfeits, no free music downloads etc. But the US is not a closed country we do business with rogue nations.

 

In many ways we can't enforce our laws in those countries. We can pressure them but given all that we know, we still do business with China, Saudi Arabia etc. Western Europe does business with Russia even with the Ukrane stiuation.

 

The corporations also see dollars. That is why we make instruments in China and other Asian countries and a multitude of other products. And they make lots of money participating in the world economy.

 

So upside - more money. Downside - sweatshops in Asia, counterfeits, free downloaded music.

 

When you open Pandora's Box you have to take the good with the bad.

 

Martin and Taylor have already moved some production into Mexico and with the quality of Eastman and Blueridge I bet they are both thinking of increasing their profit margin by making Martin and Taylor branded guitars in China and then importing them back to the US. It has to be on their agenda.

Edited by epi56ebony
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The guitar looks good -- and hopefully plays/sounds good as well -- but it looks like the finish is almost a Gretschy sparkle gold, not an actual goldtop. The goldtops have a duller, warmer gold finish with few/no visible individual metal flakes (see below for a couple of examples, including Skydog's '57).

 

LPR6VOAGNH1-Finish-Shot.jpg

 

Goldtop_rt.jpg

 

BTW: I don't have a problem with the guitar existing and being sold, as long as the buyer clearly understands that it's a repro, not the real thing. Some of our trademark/copyright regulations are ridiculous, written by the people who stand to gain the most from them.

 

You are right it is a sparkle gold. I have seen it on some Les Pauls though.

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Counterfeiters are bottom feeders and their customers are cheapskate poseurs. Justify it however you like.

 

and that's why I bumped this thread! we needed a little excitement!

 

bring it on haters!

 

see it you can do better than posts on the past 18 pages angry05

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I don't really care as long as buyers don't resale as the real thing. In fact, if you buy a counterfeit on purpose, then just keep it.

 

However, there's no real reason to have a fake Gibson other than the name on the headstock. It's just a name. I think I would rather have a real deal guitar like an Epiphone than a fake Gibson to make me feel better about myself. Of course, I stopped caring what other people think about my gear long ago. I play what feels and sounds good to me.

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So, theoretically if I take a pen and right Gibson on my Strat I can't sell it? :thu:

 

 

If your intent is to defraud someone then yes that represents counterfeiting. However, common sense prevails as a counterfeit item must meet the test that a reasonable person would confuse the counterfeit for the real item.

 

Counterfeiting - The process of fraudulently manufacturing, altering, or distributing a product that is of lesser value than the genuine product.

 

Counterfeiting is a criminal offense when it involves an intent to defraud in passing off the counterfeit item. The law contains exemptions for collector's items and items that are so obviously dissimilar from the original that a reasonable person would not consider them real. However, making a poor copy is no defense if the intent to defraud exists.

 

 

 

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My Gibson is definitely a counterfeit. You'd have to know something about guitars to see the flaws and differences.

 

Like i said in my OP, the original buyer was ripped off and thought it was a real Gibson When he advertised it on CL he specifically stated it was a copy. Before I even bought it he pointed out all the flaws to me that a friend had showed him when he confirmed it was a counterfeit. He wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting and I assured him I understood what this guitar was.

 

He paid $1200. It's good to remember on any deal, if it's too good to be true then...

 

It was a good lesson for him and he paid a high price for that lesson.

 

I felt bad for the him, he was a nice guy.

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Let me be the first to commend you for your public service in pointing out the discrepancies between the fake and the real deal. I don't like the fact that these are out there on the market, just like fake rolex's, but see no inherent problem in owning either one. Unfortunately though, there will always be the temptation to deceive others when it's time to sell. Good on you that you haven't succumbed to that temptation.

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Way back before these were a "Thing" I bought a Les Paul Supreme copy out of curiosity and for grins. After a set up and a pair of GFS pickups, it played OK. The novelty wore off quickly and when the manufacturer was convicted and sent to prison for making these counterfeits, it was time to dump it. I sold it on eBay and photo-shopped the pics to show a plain headstock. I listed the guitar as an LP style guitar and in the description noted "Yes, it's one of those, special headstock logo included with your purchase.at no additional charge". Buyer was giddy with delight when he received it.

Edited by 6down1togo
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I've got two of these now. A black beauty Les Paul. No mods at all. My friend felt uncomfortable owning the guitar with the Gibson headstock so he unloaded it to me for $150. He paid $300 with shipping included from Chiiiiina.

 

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In response to the guy who was joking about making his Strat say "Gibson", I took a Gibson Les Paul Trad Pro (with the satin back/sides), and polished the satin part of the finish to a gloss like a full Traditional. Then I bought double cream DiMarzio pickups (X2N / Super 2), a "Standard" truss rod cover, and replacement knobs for the locking Grover tuners, to make it look and feel more like an older guitar.

What I did was not wrong, because I only intend to fool myself with these mods. I also started with a real Gibson. Chibson is a no from me, except to smash on stage if I ever get to that point musically.

Edited by DesolationBlvd
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