Mystery Les Paul copy identification thread

PermissionToLand

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If i remember correctly Ibanez placed their title on the top of the headstock (i might be wrong, did saw a few such LP models), maybe they didn't put it on this model (which is strange), or maybe i just bought the whole MIJ story and i wanted to lie to my self in order to make the purchase
I wasn't saying it was an Ibanez, but rather a Fujigen (who built Ibanezes). Japanese guitars very often came without any brand name on the headstock because one factory built for many brand names.
 

earbone

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I wasn't saying it was an Ibanez, but rather a Fujigen (who built Ibanezes). Japanese guitars very often came without any brand name on the headstock because one factory built for many brand names.
I guess the best way might be to contact Fujigen directly. What you are saying makes sense
 

Grenville

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earbone, it's likely a 1974 or '75 bolt-on neck, hollow interior, made by either Fujigen or Matsumoku. Not a high-spec model, but they can play well.

If you are able to get a look at the neck plate and it says "steel reinforced neck" it's Matsumoku, if not, Fujigen.

Yes, it is a "goldtop", but more like a champagne color than gold.

Both Matsumoku and Fujigen made instruments for a number of retail brands such as Ibanez and Aria - more info on that on the front page of this thread.
 

earbone

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Grenville,

Thanks for your feedback. I have no further info the guy simply didn't share any more photos, so it became a dead end.
Usefull info on your post though, thanks
 

Ohjay

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Wrong, it's Japanese. What are you even basing that date on? It has no serial number visible. It looks like an LS-450:

http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/copies/ls/ls.html

Japanese guitars had three screw truss rod covers sometimes.

At least make an effort to know what you're talking about before exclaiming "WRONG!"
Sorry for the late reply regarding this.

First and foremost Matsumoku never produced an Aria Pro goldtop with a black back.
Second of all the lack of a serial number is a major indication that it was not made by Matsumoku.
Third, the inlay on the headstock looks wrong, it does not look like the normal pearloid that Matsumoku used.
Fourth, that extremely square plastic nut is not made by Matsumoku.

Finally, why are you referencing a page on matsumoku.org that doesn't even list goldtop as an option for the LS-450 and claim that it might be that guitar?
Let me quote you: "At least make an effort to know what you're talking about before exclaiming "WRONG!"".

When it comes to Aria Pro I do know what I'm talking about.
I've read, examined and translated almost every know catalog from the Matsumoku era. I've studied hundreds of guitars on the internet and probably over 100 in person.
But I'm just an internet person and you don't have to believe a word I'm saying.

I'm sorry if I'm coming across a bit rough, but there is so much BS going around regarding Aria Pro and the Matsumoku era of the brand that I get agitated when people make statements that are obviously incorrect and they'd know it if they actually did the research.
 

PermissionToLand

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Sorry for the late reply regarding this.

First and foremost Matsumoku never produced an Aria Pro goldtop with a black back.
Second of all the lack of a serial number is a major indication that it was not made by Matsumoku.
Third, the inlay on the headstock looks wrong, it does not look like the normal pearloid that Matsumoku used.
Fourth, that extremely square plastic nut is not made by Matsumoku.

Finally, why are you referencing a page on matsumoku.org that doesn't even list goldtop as an option for the LS-450 and claim that it might be that guitar?
Let me quote you: "At least make an effort to know what you're talking about before exclaiming "WRONG!"".

When it comes to Aria Pro I do know what I'm talking about.
I've read, examined and translated almost every know catalog from the Matsumoku era. I've studied hundreds of guitars on the internet and probably over 100 in person.
But I'm just an internet person and you don't have to believe a word I'm saying.

I'm sorry if I'm coming across a bit rough, but there is so much BS going around regarding Aria Pro and the Matsumoku era of the brand that I get agitated when people make statements that are obviously incorrect and they'd know it if they actually did the research.
Thanks for the reply. You're probably right. The lack of a serial slipped by me.

It does seem like Matsumoku.org is often incomplete though.

I understand your frustration, I am the same way with misinformation about Korean guitars.

It could be a Samick build, but I would need to see more of it to determine. They made most of the Diamond lineup from the mid-'80s to mid-90s and most of the cheaper APIIs in that time. I didn't know there were Korean JDM APIIs, but if so, it would most likely be Samick making them. They must not be common, I don't see any others on Yahoo Japan.

It does look pretty similar to the '88-93ish Diamond LPS/LPC-470, and those have the same squared nut:

 

Ohjay

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I've seen a few of these blackback goldtop AP II guitars for sale and if memory serves me right I saw a cavity shot of one and it hade the telltale small pots of a korean guitar.
My knowledge of Aria Pro quickly fades when we leave the Matsumoku era since that is what interested me, but I believe it's been determined that production was moved to Samick when Matsumoku closed.

The LP in question is probably from the early 90's but then it should probably have a serial number... so a lot of questions remain. Inspecting one in person could probably help, or having good high res photos.
But either way, definitely not Matsumoku and most likely not japanese either. To me it has more signs of korean manufacture.

As to the incompleteness of matsumoku.org, you are indeed correct. The website is extremely incomplete, some information there is plain wrong, etc.
I do know they are working on an update though.
 

PermissionToLand

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I've seen a few of these blackback goldtop AP II guitars for sale and if memory serves me right I saw a cavity shot of one and it hade the telltale small pots of a korean guitar.
My knowledge of Aria Pro quickly fades when we leave the Matsumoku era since that is what interested me, but I believe it's been determined that production was moved to Samick when Matsumoku closed.

The LP in question is probably from the early 90's but then it should probably have a serial number... so a lot of questions remain. Inspecting one in person could probably help, or having good high res photos.
But either way, definitely not Matsumoku and most likely not japanese either. To me it has more signs of korean manufacture.

As to the incompleteness of matsumoku.org, you are indeed correct. The website is extremely incomplete, some information there is plain wrong, etc.
I do know they are working on an update though.
I've noticed Samick did not use serial numbers at all on most of their own Japanese market models until 1994 or so. None of the Diamonds of that era have serials either, but I have seen the internals and they match Samicks. So it's a safe bet, but I won't be certain until I see some more.
 

SaintRik

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Ok, I've already posted this in a thread of its own but I thought I'd try it here. An Alpha brand Les Paul Custom Randy Rhoads Model. Who made it, where and when?

Cheers,
Rik

 

paruwi

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anybody seen this logo before ?

what brand could it be ?
 

BGD

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That Alpha has a Burny lightning bolt. Wondering if it's a custom job by the same factory, or if someone did an aftermarket mod. Looks pretty sick!

Paruwi, I have no idea what the H||H/W thing is, but damn it also looks pretty cool. I have a soft spot for those big Fender-style headstocks. (And open-books.)
 

pete_g

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Anyone know what this les Paul is?
It's a solid mahogany body as the grains wrap around the sides, and the guitar weighs as heavy as a Gibson LP it's got a wraparound wilkinson bridge and powered by lace pickups.
It's also a mahogany neck, with scarf joint.
It's a very good quality guitar.
Any clue?

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