Goldtop popped up locally: is this authentic?

ballou48

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If it was vintage the chrome hardware would show a similar amount of ageing, This guitar doesn't show that. Also the checking is too uniform. Again the headstock checking is too uniform plus the Gibson inlay stands out more and looks much newer. Another place to check is the guy from Trogly's Guitar Show. He is very knowledgeable on Gibsons and also has experience with fakes. You say the seller doesn't know much about it. That's probably because he knows it's a fake and doesn't want to answer questions. No way I'd consider this guitar.
 
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vintageguitarz

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FIRST off, I'd be skeptical since the seller neither states the YEAR of manufacture, nor the SN even with the last few numbers blurred. WHERE is the picture of the back of the peghead?

You CANNOT go by the neck inlay shape because Gibson DID change their shapes over the years. The ones on the advertised LP GT have concave side trapazoids and Gibson did have that shape in at least early 2000's Gold Tops. While 90's LP's had much straighter Trap short sides.

Otherwise a real "pro" knows how to make a new made lacquer top and peghead "crackle" like that, it's a LOT of work for just $1000.

I had a famous player bring in a vintage very early 60's LP that was dropped by a roadie and snapped the peghead off. The finish was checker cracked like the sellers, though not as severe on the peghead. I had to not only repair the break but also refinish the face and back of the peghead and duplicate that lacquer cracking. This was a month worth of work. Lot's o' bucks $$$ too.

See pictures below, zoom in and compare with your photo;s

A 1990's Gold Top "60's reiisue"
1990s Gibson Les Paul Gold Top.jpg


A 2004 LP GT R7 VOS
2004 Gibson Les Paul R7 VOS Gold Top.jpg
 

Cjsinla

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It’s genuine. You don’t get reticulation on the headstock like that except with the vulcanised fibreboard that Gibson use. Inlays, checking on the top (characteristic of aged nitro cellulose). Binding over the fret ends. The copiers don’t do it that way. The nut has been replaced with a “Tusq” nut, so that bit is not genuine. If it’s a fake, someone’s done a really good job.

My best guess is early to mid nineties Gibson, but it’s just a wild guess based on having seen quite a few of these in a 45 year career repairing them.
I know that you’ve never seen a real Gibson LP with a serial number embossed on a headstock without wings just like this one.

1593056406865.jpeg
 

Cjsinla

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FIRST off, I'd be skeptical since the seller neither states the YEAR of manufacture, nor the SN even with the last few numbers blurred. WHERE is the picture of the back of the peghead?

You CANNOT go by the neck inlay shape because Gibson DID change their shapes over the years. The ones on the advertised LP GT have concave side trapazoids and Gibson did have that shape in at least early 2000's Gold Tops. While 90's LP's had much straighter Trap short sides.

Otherwise a real "pro" knows how to make a new made lacquer top and peghead "crackle" like that, it's a LOT of work for just $1000.

I had a famous player bring in a vintage very early 60's LP that was dropped by a roadie and snapped the peghead off. The finish was checker cracked like the sellers, though not as severe on the peghead. I had to not only repair the break but also refinish the face and back of the peghead and duplicate that lacquer cracking. This was a month worth of work. Lot's o' bucks $$$ too.

See pictures below, zoom in and compare with your photo;s

A 1990's Gold Top "60's reiisue"
View attachment 471580

A 2004 LP GT R7 VOS
View attachment 471581
Compare the spacing of the screws on these pickup rings to OP’s pics.
 

Damaged262

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I know that you’ve never seen a real Gibson LP with a serial number embossed on a headstock without wings just like this one.

View attachment 471610
The only thing that doesn't prove it was made in China at this point is the lack of the Made in USA stamps, everything else SCREAMS China. Jmho.
 

vagabond09

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This is fake as it gets. I’m a bit surprised that there are a few people stating that it might be genuine.

the headstock itself is off (the gibson decal), no wings on the headstock, serial number, and the body being a multi-piece back. Not saying Gibson doesn’t use multi-piece backs, but currently on non-budget lines or reissues, I’m sure they don’t.
 

Damaged262

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But, but, I can't be wrong, then I haz the feelz. Look, we all make mistakes at times. If you're going to look at it closely, just bring a Gib with you or a sketch of an actual Gib and compare the knob configuration, have a tape measure with you and watch the person selling it. Even if you don't know what you're doing, a criminal gets worried. See if they start to get dodgy. Look at them side eyed while looking at the guitar. If they're for real, they probably won't talk. If they're full of shit, they'll start talking, A LOT. If that doesn't answer your questions, offer to go to a music store, for the prices involved, it's not too much to ask. Buying a car is no different, you'd take one to a mechanic, right? I didn't at 17 and learned a lifelong lesson, because transmissions filled with sawdust aren't cheap to replace. An honest person won't be offended. If they are, do business elsewhere anyway. These are life lessons that mean something, do it or don't, but when you choose to sell it, please include the picks you've already posted with any new ones. It's only fair. Best of luck, I hope you find something great. Oh, and don't forget to look in the cavities, it'll have a thick cap of two different sizes between the switch and cap holes. Not to mention, the size of the caps, so bring a smaller Phillis with you. If they put up a fight, walk.
Edit: to be clear, when I say wood cap I mean the wood involved at the top of the guitar, it's usually easier to see if you pop off a pick up anyhow, but if a a Gibson, you'd still see it in most cases but I'm no expert, just a thing a luthier told me about 6 , maybe 7 years ago. It wouldn't have crossed my mind but he's saved my sad ass thousands with that tip over the years.
 
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MooCheng

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its Chinese, I've seen hundreds of 'em

could be a nice player, some are, but its still a fake 250 tops
 

GermHerm

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Its a fake - the bridge is wrong, the saddle is definitely not Gibson. You can read TUSQ on it. Gibson uses TUSQ saddles on the studio version but they are sanded. The weather checking and relicing is wrong and looks weird.
Probably a Chibson or the like.....
 

shickma0

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It’s genuine. You don’t get reticulation on the headstock like that except with the vulcanised fibreboard that Gibson use. Inlays, checking on the top (characteristic of aged nitro cellulose). Binding over the fret ends. The copiers don’t do it that way. The nut has been replaced with a “Tusq” nut, so that bit is not genuine. If it’s a fake, someone’s done a really good job.

My best guess is early to mid nineties Gibson, but it’s just a wild guess based on having seen quite a few of these in a 45 year career repairing them.
I disagree with this for the most part, however I would also like to explain why I believe this so that you and others can learn from this rather than me just arguing over the internet

1) the reticulation you’re referring to does occur on vulcan fiberboard however, this is widely used by counterfeiters and replica makers in both the Far East, and I’ve seen them from Germany as well. Search on eBay and you’ll likely be able to find one.

2) The inlays are both the incorrect color, and slightly off center. They are far too white for true cellulose nitrate (Vintage or reissue material) and the level of transparency (you can see the dark color of the fretboard through the edges of the inlays) indicate that they are cheap pearloid and sanded too thin at the edges

3) Checking does occur in nitrocellulose finished guitars, however, although these lines are visible they shouldn’t appear raised. Although they may seem to be raised, they should be relatively smooth. This is a bit hard to describe but can be seen fairly easily if you know what authentic checking looks like.(This one is harder to know for certain due to the variability in conditions that cause checking so this one is more opinion based than the other points I’ve made)

4) Fret nibs can absolutely be found on fakes, in fact almost every Chinese manufacturer will produce them for you for a small up charge.
If you don’t believe me, go on AliExpress or similar and ask a seller of one of these fakes.

other issues I see with this are that the Tailpiece bushings have a lip where they should be flush with the body on a genuine Gibson, the slot in the tailpiece studs is too sharply squared (usually there is a slight round over or bevel too them on any high end tailpiece such as one that would be put on a mid/high price point Gibson), the binding scraping is god awful (although even on a Gibson this is a hand performed process which produces great variability, it should never be THIS uneven. Take a look at the end of the fretboard where the binding meets the neck pickup ring, it isn’t parallel as just one example). Also the body shape is incorrect. The cutaway and horn section should be far more slender, and less pointy, with the exception to this being 70s and 80s Gibson’s however in that case, the body construction would be different as well (you would see a pancake body on a guitar made from between 1969-77, meaning a several layer laminate of wood on a plane parallel to the back of the guitar) or a particularly pointy horn on an mid 70s-80s guitar. Also the overall body shape should taper slightly thinner at its thinnest point when looking at it parallel to the back plane, resembling an hourglass figure rather than whatever this one is). In addition there are no headstock wings (extra wood glued on to form the widest parts of the headstock that are present on all Les Pauls), the serial number is the wrong font, wrong size and stamped incorrectly. It should either be printed with ink and cleared over OR stamped pre finish and as such would have far less pronounced edges. Also, the les Paul model script appears to be a waterlside decal (notice how the reticulation you referred to early clearly changes in a distinct radius around it) and if this were authentic, it should be silk screened on which is a process that would produce no visible border. Also the tuner holes are drilled crooked, and the MOP inlay appears to be off center. Finally, the screws that hold the pickup rings to the body, if stock, should be flat topped if I’m not mistaken, and sit flush with the pickup ring, not proud as they do in the photos.
Although that’s not everything wrong with this guitar, and I may have made a mistake with some of these tells, I believe that this covers everything that is blatantly wrong with this instrument indicating its inauthenticity. Hopefully this explains some of the issues and how you can learn to compare it to an authentic les paul
 

LP Fan

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I say it's a fake. Even if weren't, there are so many issues with this seller and the LP, why even bother? What happens if it's not as represented on delivery? Go chase her, wherever she really is. China would be a good guess. Mark my words ... no good can come of this. Save your dough for the real McCoy ... you can thank me later.
 

A69halfLPcustom

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I have to go with Fake as well - The binding always starts to yellow - no matter what. That one is WAY white, even whiter than brand new. I also don't like the headstock finish checking but... The binding is the first thing I see
 

Sillyam

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What bothers me is how much better this fake is than ones from even just 5 years ago.

They got a lot of stuff wrong - Inlays, headstock shape, body shape, serial number is foolishly bad, no wings ect.

But look at the stuff they got right that they used to get so very wrong.

Truss rod cover is in the right spot, nibs look good, Les Paul silkscreen looks good and doesn't have the thick spots in the font like they used to, placement of Gibson logo and silkscreen look decent, using more convincing hardware, finish looks better ect.

They are getting better, more and more people are going to get taken for a ride. The people bringing these in are scum, you're supporting scammers whether you think you are or not.

Lots of "informed" people out there think you can tell a fake by checking for nibs and making sure it doesn't have an Epi style bridge.
 


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