So I got duped! Or did I? I ordered a Les Paul Custom from one of these Chinese manufacturers. First thing I did was take it down to the local music store, who stocks many different gibson guitars.
Now first off I fooled these guys right out of the gate with it's appearance. Then I told them where i got it and we started "pickin' apart" the difference.
Before I go further I want to note that I personally don't agree with "stealing" another companies namesake. Gibson spent many years to obtain a reputation and a name and IT BELONGS TO THEM, NOT A MANUFACTURER IN ANY COUNTRY.
So now from a consumer point of few. At least the guitar I received absolutely smoked the real deal. Finish was better. Inlay was better. Action and intonation was a little out, easily fixed. Electronics and hardware are garbage.
So for about 300.00 more down at the music store (new pots, pickups, hardware, etc.), added to the cost of the chinese model, I'm into a fake les paul about $600.00. And yes, I am happy with it.
If I would have bought the real thing for $2200, I think I'd be upset. Why you ask? In the last 15 years or so, "collectors" of things have picked on the guitars. (no pun intended). What use to be affordable to musicians is now only for the high roller. For instance I bought a 1974 strat in 1994; paid $250.00 which was reasonable because honestly the guitar wasn't very nice. A sunburst plank with a neck bolted on, and some pickups. I sold this guitar in 2004 for $3000.00. This guitar was worth about $250.00. That's it. Someone needed it for the "collection" on the wall. Never to be played again I assume.
Back on topic.... Maybe Gibson, PRS, and Fender need to look at there pricing structure and stop with their "price-fixing" on the instrument market. It is America, free to charge what you want. That works when you are the only player in the game. Here comes China, The have similar technologies and an eager work force. As far as I'm concerned they do it better.
I think that anyone selling one of these items on ebay as the real deal should be banned from ebay. I searched gibson les paul custom and quite honestly these were the only guitars in there. All by private owners trying to make a quick buck.
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN SPOT THE FAKES....
1st. The dead giveaway is the serial number and the "made in usa" stamping. The fake model is REALLY GOOD. Gibson's is very sloppy.
2nd These fakes are cica 1992-1994. Even if they duplicate the new custom finishes, The logo's etc. are old.
3rd the binding and the inlay work is much better than the stuff Gibson is doing. ( this was my first test). Get you hands on a real paul and you can feel the binding is inset a fraction of an inch inside the body. I'm a wood-woorker by trade and still haven't figured out why gibson hasn't remedied this. To me it's sloppy.
To summarize..... Should you buy one of these for personal use? I say yes. Should you buy ten and dupe people on the internet? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Now before everyone on the forum "burns me over the coals" for my comments keep in mind one thing. The computer (and the screen) your reading this on.... The television your going to watch later after you heat something up in the microwave. Don't forget to get a drink from the refrigorater. Take a guess where these things come from.
FINAL NOTE: Where do you suppose gibson, prs, fender, etc get the internal electronic parts for their guitars??? hmmmmmmmmm.......??