New Les Paul. Possible fake pickups? Tampered? Debating returning.

PauloQS

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Odd - mine posted above seem to be the odd man out (with the stamped backs). Wonder if it because they’re 4 conductor in the Classic vs 2 conductor in the more vintage specific LP’s?
Could be, or it’s just Gibson not following a consistent pattern. For instance, I just sold my Standard ‘50s to help pay for my custom shop SG (hurts to write that more than I anticipated), so I also have pictures of BB1&2 on those as well. Mine has the stamp as well. They’re not always stamped like that.

 

TheWelder

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Someone probably bought the guitar, tried to do a setup and pickup height adjustment, had no idea what they were doing and put the pickup in backwards. Then they returned it for whatever reason.

I'd say keep it as long as it's confirmed the PUPs are original. Maybe GC will cut you a deal on something else for your troubles?
 

tzd

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Someone probably bought the guitar, tried to do a setup and pickup height adjustment, had no idea what they were doing and put the pickup in backwards. Then they returned it for whatever reason.

I'd say keep it as long as it's confirmed the PUPs are original. Maybe GC will cut you a deal on something else for your troubles?
You couldn’t simply flip the pickup and put it back backwards. You would have to remove the pickup from the pickup ring and reinstalled it backwards, since the pickup ring is sloped in one direction. Whoever did it isn’t trying to do a ‘Greenie’ either as it is flipped the wrong way round.
 

sonar1

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I’m thinking they wanted to hear the push/pull pot activate on the coil in that particular position, didn’t like it any better, then took the guitar back.
The satin Trad ProV saves you the trouble by having a push/ pull that selects the other coil, instead of physically flipping the pickup.
Classics are confusing. They’re coil taps instead of coil splits. They sound different.
I had a Standard once with push/pulls. It was confusing. Coil splitters sound definite. Coil taps seem strange sounding by comparison. I’m betting the first owner was thrown by what he was hearing.

If it sounds good I’d keep it. It’s beautiful!
 
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BadPenguin

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Take it back to GC, they know the situation, and demand a sizable chuck of cash back for selling you a "new" guitar that was previously bought and not disclosed that it was. If they bitch, hand them the guitar back and demand your money back.
 

TheWelder

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You couldn’t simply flip the pickup and put it back backwards. You would have to remove the pickup from the pickup ring and reinstalled it backwards, since the pickup ring is sloped in one direction. Whoever did it isn’t trying to do a ‘Greenie’ either as it is flipped the wrong way round.
I understand how pickups work on Les Pauls. I'm just saying it's probably an honest mistake and not something nefarious. Whoever bought it previously was maybe just inspecting their guitar fully, taking photos of the PUP cavity, trying, and failing, to do a setup...whatever. If the pickup is original and there's no sign of any tampering other than it being backwards I'd say carry on and enjoy the guitar.
 

ChuckHall03

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Certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask for the discount, worst they can do is say no.

I do try to avoid making any serious purchases from GC, mainly to support other local businesses. Lucky for me, I have one of the best Gibson dealers in the country (IMO) closer to me than the nearest GC. I did buy an amp from GC a few weeks back because it’s a limited run exclusive to them, and the salesperson was happy to tell me the history of the item, no returns, only on the floor for a few days.

I will say I like GC for the return policy. Sometimes you just don’t know until you have your hands on it for a bit. Going to sound different in store versus with all your other gear where you normally play. Had an AC30 for a couple weeks before returning it years back. Just have to hope others take good care of it, and always ask about the history of the item before purchase, their computer system has all of that info logged in there.
 

jskidder

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Did GC set the pickup back in the correct direction? It looks like whoever flipped it originally took it out of the pickup ring so make sure that it was put back properly.

I'd probably keep the guitar, but I'd expect an additional discount given that the guitar you bought can't really be considered "new" given the history.
 

PauloQS

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Sheesh. I have very different views than a lot of people here. I don’t mind buying a guitar as new after it’s been touched by other people (hyperbole warning). I mean, that’s what you get or got in those mom and pop shops, but for whatever reason, GC is held to a different standard. Either that or the music instrument industry is just in a very different place than it used to be.

Personally, I’d rather be able to return a guitar after I take it home and decide it wasn’t for me or just have buyers remorse. By forcing a discount just because someone returned the instrument would kill any return policy. Buying online would become a pain in the neck because of it. The consequences are just to costly in my opinion.
 

stp

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they used what ever was handy.
 

diogoguitar

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hey OP
I'm thinking someone at GC tried to setup the guitar , took the pickup cover off out of curiosity (a la trogly's), then put it reverse.

At least from the pics, the pickups look fine. I would also look at the soldering in the control cavity... post a picture here, it's very easy to tell if the electronics have been swapped.

I would NOT return the guitar for this reason... the guitar is gorgeous.
 

Nintari

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I almost regret mentioning that I noticed it was backwards at this point. The pickup isn't fake and if it was put back in the correct way, then it's perfectly fine. Why would you want to return a guitar you obviously really like? Take a look around...people are getting guitars with fretboard, nut and finish issues. This is nothing.

As I said before, someone probably bought it and turned it around and then returned it. Some people do this. They think it will affect the tone but it's very minor and most can't even hear a difference. My guess is they didn't like the 61t and when they didn't hear a difference after flipping it they decided to return it. The only issue now is whether GC sold it as new when it was a return. Did you pay the full $2499?
If Guitar Center knowingly sold a used item as new they should be sued... hard.
 

jskidder

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Yeah, that's a really extreme and ridiculous take. IMO, it's unlikely GC even noticed the pickup was flipped and had no idea that the guitar was potentially modified. If they did they would have almost certainly checked it out and flipped it back before reselling it. In general, there's nothing wrong with selling a guitar that was bought and returned as still new, as long as it's been inspected and not in any way damaged or altered. It happens all the time with all sorts of products. You have to expect that every guitar in a retail shop has been played by somebody anyway.

The unique situation here is that the previous buyer tinkered with the guitar. The ideal scenario would have been that GC caught that when it was returned and either didn't accept the return or charged a restocking fee or some sort and listed the guitar as a demo at a discounted price. They didn't, and I think in this case they should probably give a small partial refund on it and all parties should just move on.
 

01GT Eibach

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What makes everyone so sure it did not leave Gibson like that? I mean, this is Gibson we are talking about. The Rhythm/Treble switch on my 2010 Les Paul purchased new from a GC store was reversed (so 'up' was bridge pup, and 'down' was neck pup). Even though it was purchased from a GC store, the thought that it was anything but Gibson never even crossed my mind. I know that is different than what is being discussed here, but there are parallels ...
 

jskidder

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What makes everyone so sure it did not leave Gibson like that? I mean, this is Gibson we are talking about. The Rhythm/Treble switch on my 2010 Les Paul purchased new from a GC store was reversed (so 'up' was bridge pup, and 'down' was neck pup). Even though it was purchased from a GC store, the thought that it was anything but Gibson never even crossed my mind. I know that is different than what is being discussed here, but there are parallels ...
The workbench pic that came in the case verified that it didn't leave the factory like that.
 

BDW60

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Yeah, that's a really extreme and ridiculous take. IMO, it's unlikely GC even noticed the pickup was flipped and had no idea that the guitar was potentially modified. If they did they would have almost certainly checked it out and flipped it back before reselling it. In general, there's nothing wrong with selling a guitar that was bought and returned as still new, as long as it's been inspected and not in any way damaged or altered. It happens all the time with all sorts of products. You have to expect that every guitar in a retail shop has been played by somebody anyway.

The unique situation here is that the previous buyer tinkered with the guitar. The ideal scenario would have been that GC caught that when it was returned and either didn't accept the return or charged a restocking fee or some sort and listed the guitar as a demo at a discounted price. They didn't, and I think in this case they should probably give a small partial refund on it and all parties should just move on.
Every returned guitar should be listed as such and resold with a small discount. Then the buyer is getting what they paid for and what they are expecting. To sell me a guitar listed as “brand new” that could have been sitting in somebody’s house for a month or more getting played every day is a fraudulent business practice. That’s not a new guitar. Not saying I still wouldn’t buy it, but not for the same price as one that is actually new.

If I buy a new 60s Standard, play it for a two hours a day for 30 days, could I come to the classifieds here and with any integrity at all list it as brand new and expect to get a brand new price? Nah. It’s a lightly used guitar, most likely in excellent plus condition, and I‘m gonna lose 300-400 bucks. I don’t think we the consumer should end up paying for the vendor’s return policy. It’s a cost of doing business for them, not me.
 
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jskidder

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Every returned guitar should be listed as such and resold with a small discount. Then the buyer is getting what they paid for and what they are expecting. To sell me a guitar listed as “brand new” that could have been sitting in somebody’s house for a month or more getting played every day is a fraudulent business practice. That’s not a new guitar. Not saying I still wouldn’t buy it, but not for the same price as one that is actually new.
If that was the standard practice, one of two things would happen. Either there would be no more returns on guitar purchases without paying some sort of restocking fee, or a lot of shops would either go out of business or stop selling online completely.

Also, I think your example is a little extreme. Most places I'm aware of only allow 48 hours for returns. And most reputable shops will make sure that the guitar is in new condition before accepting a return and selling it to another customer.

Besides, what about guitars being tried out in-store? Almost every "new" guitar has been played by somebody unless you're buying it completely sight unseen. I'd be more worried about the abuse a guitar takes hanging in a shop being handled by people every day who have no intention of buying it than I would by someone trying it in their home for a day before sending it back.

At the end of the day, for me it comes down to shops like GC and Sweetwater that are basically selling widgets and aren't particularly invested in their inventory the way a smaller boutique shop would be. That's what typically leads to situations like this where guitars are sold with damage, flaws, and issues like the one in question here.
 

BDW60

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If that was the standard practice, one of two things would happen. Either there would be no more returns on guitar purchases without paying some sort of restocking fee, or a lot of shops would either go out of business or stop selling online completely.

Also, I think your example is a little extreme. Most places I'm aware of only allow 48 hours for returns. And most reputable shops will make sure that the guitar is in new condition before accepting a return and selling it to another customer.

Besides, what about guitars being tried out in-store? Almost every "new" guitar has been played by somebody unless you're buying it completely sight unseen. I'd be more worried about the abuse a guitar takes hanging in a shop being handled by people every day who have no intention of buying it than I would by someone trying it in their home for a day before sending it back.

At the end of the day, for me it comes down to shops like GC and Sweetwater that are basically selling widgets and aren't particularly invested in their inventory the way a smaller boutique shop would be. That's what typically leads to situations like this where guitars are sold with damage, flaws, and issues like the one in question here.
I would be totally fine with a 10 percent restocking fee IF the stores passed that on to consumers in the form of honesty in pricing. It would likely discourage the renters and demo people from buying stuff with little intention of keeping it. Obviously, if there is something actually wrong with the guitar or it got damaged in shipping, that fee should be waived.
 

Mockbel

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Not a thing that I would a guitar (I like) for but that’s me... especially if I will get a partial refund if I purchased a returned guitar at same price of a new guitar
 


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