Fake Les Pauls (China)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Ren5150, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. DrBob

    DrBob Member

    Sep 18, 2007
    Sutton, Surrey, England
    I think the thing to watch will be where they're at in 5 years time.

    I'm too young to remember but didn't the Japanese start out by copying American and European electronics and cameras in the 50's ?

    And I'm told that to begin with that the quality of those was pretty poor too.

    There are already some interesting original guitars coming out of China. I think I'm right in saying that Eastman are making some nice pieces in China.

    But you're right about the Gibbo clones. Last time I was working in Shanghai I spent an afternoon in the many music shops on the JinLing road trying them out. Some of them played alright. Didn't sound too bad either.
    But to be honest even to my comparatively untutored hands and ears I reckon I'd take the Pepsi challenge between one of these and a real deal Les Paul.

    Was tempted to buy one of the shady 'Kiss' Les Pauls for $100 just for the look of it mind you...
  2. DonW

    DonW Velocity Town Angel Silver Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Ottawa but not Canada
    The guitars lack the vibe and value of the real thing. I can understand wanting something cheaper but in the end, cheaper won't deliver the goods you're looking for. Be patient and save up for a little while longer. You will be much happier. To me, there's nothing like the feeling of a new guitar (if it's used it's still new to me) that has the credentials. There are many ways to cut corners as mentioned in previous posts. Epiphone, LP Studio etc. You'll feel better about playing and owning the real thing and you won't have a 30 minute story to tell about how "no, it's not a real Gibson, it's from China and yadda yadda blah". hang in there.:AOK
  3. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    I don't support these ripoffs, I say "buy something real".


    There was a local newspaper story about a kid who bought a "Gibson" on ebay which turned out, indeed, to be a Chinese knockoff. The seller was a guy on Long Island & he's been arrested. Henry J. was quoted in the article as saying, "You have to be careful....there's a lot of junk out there that says Gibson on the headstock".

    The sad irony of this statement was by no means lost on me! I rolled in laughter!
  4. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

    May 5, 2003
    Agreed. Interesting double standard, isn't it?:nono

    In any event, while I certainly would not encourage the purchase of an illegal copy (by illegal, I mean infringing on trademarks), I would have no problem suggesting that someone on a budget check out Chinese or Korean built guitars. The PRS SE's and many Agile guitars are surprisingly good guitars. Quality at the low end of the market has been steadily improving over the years.
  5. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Ghent, NY
    There are some great playing alternatives out there. Dean EVO is one the Czech made ones can be had around the $500 mark and the build quality IMO is as good as any LP type guitar costing twice as much, or more. Any of the good Japanese guitars are affordable - Burny, Edwards, Tokai, Greco. I've had several Burnys and all were excellent quality. If you really want a good Gibson product check out the Vintage Mahogany Studio - one of the best bangs for the buck for a USA made guitar.
  6. Dean_E

    Dean_E Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    The mountains of Arizona
    If you really want to support legitimate business - make a guitar yourself and decentralise the wealth of corporations and piracy![/quote]

    I'm with you there. Nothing would be better then to defund Henry, and his shenanigans. I hope to building my own guitars for me and friends in a year or two.

  7. dto

    dto Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Lake Orion, MI
    Um, because they don't lie and put a "Fender" logo on the headstock?

    I could care less if someone wants to build a guitar that looks like a Les Paul, but don't pawn it off as though it was made by Gibson. That's just all kinds of wrong.
  8. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

    May 5, 2003
    You need to get out more.....;)

    There are plenty of well respected luthiers that have made or are still making replicas that include the trademarked logos too. They fly low these days.

    Hence the double standard comment.
  9. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Do they sell them on ebay and list them as USA made Gibsons when they're really foreign junk? The problem is the Chinese are being deceptive about it. They don't list them as replicas, they list them as authentic, and so do a lot of people who buy them then try to pawn them off on unsuspecting buyers.
  10. jtees4

    jtees4 Member

    Aug 20, 2007
    Agile guitar. rondomusic.com.
  11. Pete Galati

    Pete Galati Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Yep. Or Agile or Dillion, depending on where you live.
  12. operanonverba

    operanonverba Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Does anyone have some pics of these evil clones? I'd like to see what one looks like so I could get one- I mean.. keep from getting one!;)
  13. paulscape

    paulscape Member

    Jun 22, 2007
    red dog saloon
    Most of the trouble arrives when people from OUTSIDE of china import these guitars or sell them as fakes via ebay. If you walk into a guitar store in shanghai they will openly tell you its a fake. For all we know the chinese are just making them for the local market (who mostly can't ever afford a real gibson anyway). How a fake Gibson gets from a factory in Guangzhuo to a store in Texas involves more than just chinese people.

    A real Gibson customer is going to buy a real Gibson guitar. Gibson could take it as a form of hommage that they're being copied. Where would the Beatles be if they had never copied Elvis??

    They're just making guitars...its not like they're making atom bombs or tanks :D

    Maybe the question to ask is not whether they're legal or whether they're good or bad...but WHY are they being made, WHY are people selling them overseas in such a way and WHY do people want to buy them? Everyone is responsible somewhere along the line when it comes to consumerism.

    Who's more foolish? The person who sells a fake or the person who buys one unknowingly?
  14. rooster

    rooster Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    The Beatles never put Elvis' name on their album. That's one small difference.

    You need to talk to a couple people in M.I. about that one....

  15. JES1680

    JES1680 Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2004
    My friend has tried a couple and says they are not bad except for crappy setup, tuners and electronics:)

    I think it will be "interesting" to see products from China as they get better just like Japanese products did and eventually eclipsed most American products (electronics mainly), but China does not recognize copyright and trademark laws. I wonder how long it will be before you can by an R9 from China that is higher quality than an actual R9 from the US???
    It's the name on the headstock thats the problem.
  16. hot_rats

    hot_rats Member

    Dec 14, 2007
    Campinas, S
    NOT, NOT and NOT TRUE.

    Many of these fake Gibson listings on eBay- many, if not most- come from chinese people. This doesn't mean the chinese are bad people, or anything like that. Anyway, coming from a previous communist and collectivist background (even their government copies everything without license, from bullets to rockets), it does not surprise me that they have so shallow understandments on what intellectual property is.

    Check chinese websites- we see a lot of stuff, from Rolex to Ferragamo belts, passing by Mont Blanc pens to Cavalli sunglasses being sold. All of them, FAKED. Some sites admit that they are selling "replica" artifacts. However, a whole lot sells stuff as genuine.

    Even if the Les Paul that "honest" Shanghai seller is selling you admitting it is fake is no right bussiness. It is violating international laws, deceiving the naive customers (most of guitar owners are not informed like us guys here. That is so true that dozens or hundreds of faked Gibsons are sold every day as genuine), and depreciating the value of a product, thus affecting all of us, specially Gibson owners, who will see their products devalue. My friends, if it comes with GIBSON written on the headstock, its purpose is to deceive the customer, to make it pass as the genuine product. Faked products, no matter if we know that they are faked or not, were created with the dishonest purpose of deceiving people for their money, otherwise, they would bear any other label that is not GIBSON on their headstock. Buying them is supporting thieves, people trying to scam customers who are uninformed.

    Will China one day reach the same high-standards as Japan for everyhting they produce? I am skeptical about that. Different times. Japan won the world for the quality and innovation of its product; China is winning through price achieved by sometimes dubious practices.

    Anyway, they have sophisticated the art of faking to a level that scares me, really. Fake watches with swiss workings, holograms and sapphire crystal glass, straps of crocodile leather, sunglasses with engravement and inlays...EVERYTHING! Even MP3 players carrying a Sony logo... for whatsoever kind of gadget you imagine, there is a chinese "generic" version for a fraction of the price. (I live in Brazil. I just need to walk a few blocks to the chinese commercial neighborhood to see it).

    Of course Gibson and Fender will feel flattered for having their product copied by luthiers worldwide. To copy is to honour, says Thomas Hobbes. But there is a great difference between recognizing a design as great, copy part of it and sell it with your trademark, within the boundaries of legality, than to make an inferior product to try to pass in the market as the real thing. That is no flattering; that actually tarnishes a brand name, when it unwillingly becomes related to quality problems reported by uninformed customers.
  17. ghoti

    ghoti Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    Mill Valley, CA
    I have a Samick Greg Bennett Avion AV-3 that smokes any Epiphone I ever played and most Gibsons as well (including demo models at GC in the thousands of dollars). It's obviously not a LP, but it has a very similar body and construction.

    Agiles are really good guitars as well; I had an explorer-type from them that I sent back because they advertised it as different construction than it actually was...I read the site now and they change it to what it should have read before so I wouldn't have bought that model...and of course it's more expensive now as well...on the whole you can get a really good deal and nice instruments from them but buyer beware...my bass from them had huge cracks in the back but was so inexpensive for good sound and feel that I kept it anyway...

    Long and short; you can get a deal but you can also get screwed, most times you're good if you come out even. I don't think I'll ever buy a Gibson unless I play it first because the price for quality isn't what it once was...there are quite a few OUTSTANDING Gibsons but most are in the "nice" or "no big deal" category and thus not worth their pricetag to me. If you've got to have the name on the headstock, you won't get good quality unless you are either extremely lucky or try the instrument first especially if it's counterfeit.
  18. crosse79

    crosse79 Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    One place at a time
    Very well said :AOK
  19. einstein

    einstein Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    whats this about fake bmw m5?
  20. NatDeroxL7

    NatDeroxL7 Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    Yeah! I'm in the market for a new car!

    Anyhow, I too will say support the legitimate business, avoid anything questionable. With a post-expenses income of about $60 a month I will still gladly sacrifice food/clothing/shelter to support businesses that I respect for they way they do things. After I am done with my military career I hope to open a guitar shop, and I hope that the world still appreciates old fashioned business values when I do, because I cannot stand when people revert to unethical methods just to make money, and I would never do it myself.

    How your guitar sounds and plays is one thing, being able to say that your instrument is the result of honest hard work and sales is equally important.....although sadly it seems like even what were once revered guitar builders are starting to move more and more towards the border of unethical business.

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