Mystery Les Paul copy identification thread

Grenville

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I think Legend was a brand used for inexpensive guitars imported and sold in Australia. I've seen quite a few Strat types, never seen an LP type before.
 

pdubs

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I think Legend was a brand used for inexpensive guitars imported and sold in Australia. I've seen quite a few Strat types, never seen an LP type before.
Thank you - this one is from the UK so it sounds like they were also imported here. Seems a nice guitar, I’m going to upgrade the pickups and replace the worn bits. Should keep me happy for a while!
 

Spezialiced

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Hello!
I am Daniel from Germany and about 7 Years ago I bought a Les Paul Copy from Ebay.
It's an old Copy and when I got it, the electrics were broken.
I repaired it and on the Humbucker someone wrote "Ibanez". So I guessed it was a Lawsuit Ibanez, since
the Head Stock doesn't contain any Brand. "Unbranded Pre-Lawsuit Ibanez"?
So i googled and found the pre-lawsuit Ibanez Guitars without brands on their head.
Is it possible I got one of these? It also has a hollow-body.

I attached some photos..

By the way, I had the chance to compare it with a original Gibson Les Paul and I prefer my old Les Paul-Copy.
Sounds really good with the old Humbuckers, feels really good and its more slim than the original Gibson.

It also has a extra fret on the top, what is the purpose? Production failure and too long neck?









Edit: Just saw that the Hondo's look a lot like these. But why the first additional fret? And maybe someone put Ibanez-Humbuckers inside? Because its handwritten "Ibanez" on the Humbuckers.

 
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Grenville

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The headstock is not one that Ibanez used - the infamous 'lawsuit' was because the headstock on their Gibson copy guitars was too close to the Gibson design, this one isn't that close.

Also, the point on the neck plate is not on the type of neck plate on Ibanez guitars, their neck plates were rectangular with rounded corners.

I also have not seen that type of tuner on Ibanez guitars either.

From the shape of the neck inlays and the rounded end of the fretboard I'd guess it was made in 1974 or possibly 1973.

I count 22 frets, which is the right number for this sort of guitar.
 

Spezialiced

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Thank you for your reply!
The unnormal fret I mean is the first after the saddle.
Normally guitars dont have that first one, the strings are laying on the saddle.
Or was it normal back in the days?
 

Roxy13

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You have what is called a Zero Fret Nut. The extra fret at the top is essentially the nut and the actual nut is only there to keep the strings where they belong and help guide them to the tuner posts. Some consider a zero nut to be an improvement so I wouldn't worry about it.
 

Greco

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The headstock is not one that Ibanez used - the infamous 'lawsuit' was because the headstock on their Gibson copy guitars was too close to the Gibson design, this one isn't that close.

Also, the point on the neck plate is not on the type of neck plate on Ibanez guitars, their neck plates were rectangular with rounded corners.

I also have not seen that type of tuner on Ibanez guitars either.

From the shape of the neck inlays and the rounded end of the fretboard I'd guess it was made in 1974 or possibly 1973.

I count 22 frets, which is the right number for this sort of guitar.
I concur with this assessment. The companies that got the closest to the original gibson headstock is Greco and Ibanez, so I dont believe its either of their guitars. Hondo's usually had their own diamond inlay on the headstock if this was a custom, but this certainly has some characteristics. I'll agree that the shape is very similar to Hondo's style, but something seems off imo. Id also like to point out about the humbuckers. Can you show us the inside of the pickup cavity and the back of the pickups? For all we know, they could be replacements that were taken out of an Ibanez. The hollow body most likely refers to a lower end model with the neck plate supporting it. Do you have any pictures of the old electronics? Its possible the pots had date codes on them.
 

Stratmanshow

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Hello everyone. I have an odd one. I bought this at a garage sale about 1978 or 9. It looked then just as now, except it had big black chrome dish in the center knobs. Still got them somewhere. It had fretboard binding and thin brassy frets. It was totally unplayable because of the soft worn out frets and had a strong twist in the neck, It doesn't have a trussrod.
I was actually buying the case and it came with it, and in my naive youth, decided to try to refret it with some 70's jumbo frets not actually having much of a clue of what I was doing!. At the time it was just a junker to me. I pulled off the binding neatly and have since lost it after a move.
The twist has straightened out on it's own just from having strings on I guess. Had 2 when I got it.
-brass backplate
- 60's MIJ transistor radio looking cap
-very thin lacquer finish lots of shrinkage lines
- small moustache headstock
-the crazy bridge has some holes looks like for a cover
- has 3 presumeably original pickguard holes
- beautifully set hard v neck
there are 2 holes on the headstock and possibly some trace of tilted Trump Teisco type of badge but they have vertical pins. Those tuners are much more ruggedly built than the usual open ones.
The pickup is Alnico
Keep in mind, it looked in this same condition back in 79
What's your guess
1.JPG
body.JPG
100_4175.JPG
head66.JPG
100_4174.JPG
set69.JPG
tuner72.JPG
76.JPG
bg68.JPG
 

Jonas Grumby

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Here's my entry. I have never seen another one exactly like it. I got it in the late 80s and it was well used. I assume it was made in the 70s. Any ideas who made this? I always assumed it was made from a kit until I saw this thread.

No name brand anywhere. Headstock is not the "open book" shape (so it's not an Ibanez lawsuit guitar). Bolt-on neck. Inlay on the first fret. Fretboard inlays are rectangular. Headstock inlay is a solid shape. Has white binding all around the top and neck. Pickups are single coil disguised as PAF humbuckers. 3 of 4 pots are JP (I assume one was replaced at some point before I got it). It has the Japanese style toggle switch. The truss rod cover is not the Gibson shape and it has 3 holes.

I had the nut and tuners replaced in the 1990s. I also recently re-wired it 50s style. I have before (LP-Wiring-01.jpg) and after (LP-Wiring-01a.jpg) wiring pics.

Unfortunately someone must have tried to scrape a sticker off of the back and gouged it. Someone also scratched up the scratch plate and it's mounted incorrectly but I'm going to fix that.

Despite the fact that I haven't played it much in the past 30+ years the neck is still perfectly straight, and the action is great. This guitar plays super well and is fun to play! I'd like to finally know where it came from if anyone can identify it.

Thanks!
 

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Greco

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Here's my entry. I have never seen another one exactly like it. I got it in the late 80s and it was well used. I assume it was made in the 70s. Any ideas who made this? I always assumed it was made from a kit until I saw this thread.

No name brand anywhere. Headstock is not the "open book" shape (so it's not an Ibanez lawsuit guitar). Bolt-on neck. Inlay on the first fret. Fretboard inlays are rectangular. Headstock inlay is one solid piece. Has white binding all around the top and neck. Pickups are single coil disguised as PAF humbuckers. 3 of 4 pots are JP (I assume one was replaced at some point before I got it). It has the Japanese style toggle switch. The truss rod cover is not the Gibson shape and it has 3 holes.

I had the nut and tuners replaced in the 1990s. I also recently re-wired it 50s style. I have before (LP-Wiring-01.jpg) and after (LP-Wiring-01a.jpg) wiring pics.

Unfortunately someone must have tried to scrape a sticker off of the back and gouged it. Someone also scratched up the scratch plate and it's mounted incorrectly but I'm going to fix that.

Despite the fact that I haven't played it much in the past 30+ years the neck is still perfectly straight, and the action is great. This guitar plays super well and is fun to play! I'd like to finally know where it came from if anyone can identify it.

Thanks!
I’d also like to rule out Greco as a possibility. The body shape on this looks too wide and the horn looks way too rounded. However, that headstock shape and “inlay” look familiar to me. I’ll do more looking but I don’t know if this was made in Japan.
 

Jonas Grumby

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I’d also like to rule out Greco as a possibility. The body shape on this looks too wide and the horn looks way too rounded. However, that headstock shape and “inlay” look familiar to me. I’ll do more looking but I don’t know if this was made in Japan.
It seems like it might be a Cort GE20. The shape of the headstock inlay matches and the wiring harness colors also match. Cort made Les Pauls for Epiphone and also released some under their own brand name, although I have yet to find another Cort Les Paul that is unbranded like mine.

IDK why my original response to this thread is still in moderation... :(
 

Greco

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Apparently the unbranded ones were sold by Sears.
If this is true, then it would actually make sense. I came across a "Sears" Les Paul in my local antique store, and it did have the diamond inlay and no name on the headstock. When I picked it up, I immediately felt a difference in quality and feel when I compared it to epiphones, my Greco etc. Glad to hear you enjoy the guitar and hope it brings you more fun as the years go on!
 

Jonas Grumby

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@Greco Thanks. I got this one for free but never played it much because I have other better guitars. I was doing some spring cleaning and decided that I should play it and then figure out whether or not to keep it. I don’t play professionally and for a guy tooling around in his living room it plays fine. I might take this and a couple of my other less-played guitars and see what I can get toward a trade in on a real Les Paul.
 

Top-Gear-24

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I hope you Gentlemen can tell me a bit more about this Les Paul copy. It was my uncle's guitar which I borrowed from him for a week when I was 14 years old, back in the early 90's.

It's the guitar that started my love for the Les Paul model, and a month ago, my uncle gave it to me (he had not used it in over 30 years, and he knew it was special to me ever since I borrowed it from him in the early 90's).

I suspect it to be a mid 70's model according to my uncle's story, but he got it from a friend of a friend, so not much info there.

It does appear to have a repaired headstock. And it has a bad crack on both sides of the neck, near the repaired headstock break (do you guys think it's worth repairing, or do I clean it up, put new strings on it and keep it for sentimental/decorative reasons).

Hope you guys can tell me more about it.

Thank you and greetings from Belgium,

Eric

























 

Jonas Grumby

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Looks like a Cort GE-20 to me. The unbranded ones were sold by Sears. I have one. Mine has a diamond inlay on the headstock though, and the truss rod cover is not the same.

The rounded headstock w/o logo, nothing on back plate, inlay on first fret, the toggle switch, the back cavity all look like mine.

I can't vouch for the tuners because I had mine replaced in the 1990s and I don't remember what the originals looked like.

It looks like someone re-wired it to 50s style wiring and changed the capacitors.

Check it out but if the pickups are original they're probably single coil disguised as humbuckers.

I would ask a good luthier for an estimate of how much it would cost to repair but keep in mind that it's probably only worth a few hundred dollars (USD) or less after repair.

I would play it and if it feels good and plays fine just use it the way it is. They are decent guitars. I really like playing mine.
 
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Top-Gear-24

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Looks like a Cort GE-20 to me. The unbranded ones were sold by Sears. I have one. Mine has a diamond inlay on the headstock though, and the truss rod cover is not the same.

The rounded headstock w/o logo, nothing on back plate, inlay on first fret, the toggle switch, the back cavity all look like mine.

I can't vouch for the tuners because I had mine replaced in the 1990s and I don't remember what the originals looked like.

It looks like someone re-wired it to 50s style wiring and changed the capacitors.

Check it out but if the pickups are original they're probably single coil disguised as humbuckers.

I would ask a good luthier for an estimate of how much it would cost to repair but keep in mind that it's probably only worth a few hundred dollars after repair.

I would play it and if it feels good and plays fine just use it the way it is. They are decent guitars. I really like playing mine.
Thank you so much for the quick reply and the great info, any idea of what year it was made?

I'm going to take it to a music store next week and see what they say about fixing it, but if it's too expensive I'm going to clean it up, put new strings on it and like you said, use it as it is.

I'm already so happy I own the guitar that started it all for me, being able to play it would be nice, but not a necessity.

Thanks for the help. :cheers2:
 

Jonas Grumby

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Thank you so much for the quick reply and the great info, any idea of what year it was made?

I'm going to take it to a music store next week and see what they say about fixing it, but if it's too expensive I'm going to clean it up, put new strings on it and like you said, use it as it is.

I'm already so happy I own the guitar that started it all for me, being able to play it would be nice, but not a necessity.

Thanks for the help. :cheers2:
Unfortunately I don't know the years that they were made. I got mine second-hand as well.

You can put an inexpensive set of strings like Ernie Ball just to see how it sounds. You might want to go with 9s because of the cracked neck. I have 10s on all of my electrics but lots of people use 9s. It's a matter of preference but the lighter strings would put less tension on the neck.
 


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