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

workerunit

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I have bought returned guitars at GC in the past, always with the knowledge they were returns, and with a substantial discount from new. First, look at the control cavity and check the solder connections. I always do that with any guitar I buy, new or used.
If it were mine, I would take it back and ask for a discount, if they refuse, return it for a full refund and order a brand new one in the sealed box with the stipulation that only you may open the box or it will be returned as well.

Whoever was tampering with that guitar clearly knows nothing about them. Who knows what they did you have not noticed (yet).

GC is about out of business, who knows what BS they will pull.
 

rjwilson37

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If you like it and it feels/plays and sounds great now that it is fixed, then just keep it and get a nice discount.
 

redking

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Those pickups look original and stock Gibson pickups are not going to cause someone to go through the effort of creating "fakes" and sending the guitar back. Seems obvious now, with more information that this was some clown monkeying around with the guitar before deciding to send it back.
Reminds me of a similar situation a couple of years ago where I ran into a men's clothing store in a hurry to get a new dress shirt for my niece's wedding. I knew exactly what size I was in this brand of shirt so I never bothered to try it on. Fast forward a week, we are getting ready for the wedding, which was in another city where we were staying for the week and I'm getting dressed and the g#ddamn shirt sleeves were about 4 inches too short! :mad2: Thankfully I had another dress shirt with me but wasn't the best color for the suit I wore. Anyways - I get back home and go to return the shirt and tell the guy at the store what happened and he starts shaking his head - he says he remembered that shirt and some clown had returned it after having the sleeves shortened by a tailor and they didn't notice until after the guy left while they were re-folding the shirt. He says "I put that shirt aside to be discarded because it was altered but my Manager argued with me and said it was fine and put it back out on the floor." He goes to the back and gets the Manager who comes out a minute later looking sheepish and red-faced and apologized and gave me the replacement shirt for free plus a free tie. :laugh2:
 

InTheEvening

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Appreciate all the responses, help and pictures guys.

I’m gonna post some pics of the back and respond back to everyone as soon as I get back home tonight.
The pickup pictures were reassuring to see, I’m glad to hear that at least they match up.


As for Guitar Center, I don’t mind if my guitar was bought and returned or played in the store, I go in assuming that’s the case when I buy from a big retailer like them. Bring played by someone else is one thing, but I expect the Gutiar they sell me to still be in mostly “new” condition, e.g. no big scratches and no tampering or messing up of the original parts.

The younger manager who worked with me was really helpful and treated me well, took the time to fix the pickup for me and investigate the issue as best as he could. Seemed like an honest mistake.
But their guitar tech who didn’t do a damn thing to help, kept coming by and playing it off as completely normal, saying sometimes the pickups get flipped, and it’s super common to see on brand new guitars. I didn’t appreciate that, just seemed dishonest and not genuine.
 
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PauloQS

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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.
Dude, GC were giving out 10% discounts like candy. I don’t know if they are still doing that, because corporate has been really cracking down on revenue losses lately.

What you’re proposing is a business model that potentially takes advantage of consumers. Reminds me a bit of bookstores at universities. Say a guitar gets returned in perfect condition. GC charges a 10% restocking fee, then gives out a 10% discount.

Just an aside, if we’re talking about anything at the price of an R9 or a PRS wood library, or higher, we run into a problem. GC has a limit to $500 in discount on any single item.

Anyways, back to the example. Say that guitar gets sold again and returned once more in absolutely perfect condition. Again GC charges a restocking fee to that buyer. GC would not have to pass that additional 10% to the next buyer. In other words GC lists the guitar again with 10% off from MSRP.

Say we’re talking about a LP standard, and let’s round the price to $2,500. GC sells the guitar for the first person for $2,500, but charges that person 250 as restocking fee. Next buyer gets the guitar for $2,250 and returns it. He gets charged 225 as restocking fee and the guitar goes back for $2,250. GC just made $225 on that one guitar without a final sale happening.

This dissuades returns. On something like musical instruments, it is just terrible for consumers. Guitars are things where very little make a huge difference. I rather have more forgiving returns than a measure that penalizes consumers for changing their mind.
 
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Sinster

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Didn't read the other responses, but replying to the original post.

I agree with others who have said this. A guitar returned isn't new and shouldn't be sold as such.
 

zeplin

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I'm imagining some dingleberry watched too much Trogley's, pulled the pups out during a string change to "document" and put the bridge pup back in wrong.
The pickup would also have to be removed and reinstalled to the ring or it would be backwards as well.

Edit: I see someone beat me to it.

Z.
 

redking

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Appreciate all the responses, help and pictures guys.

I’m gonna post some pics of the back and respond back to everyone as soon as I get back home tonight.
The pickup pictures were reassuring to see, I’m glad to hear that at least they match up.


As for Guitar Center, I don’t mind if my guitar was bought and returned or played in the store, I go in assuming that’s the case when I buy from a big retailer like them. Bring played by someone else is one thing, but I expect the Gutiar they sell me to still be in mostly “new” condition, e.g. no big scratches and no tampering or messing up of the original parts.

The younger manager who worked with me was really helpful and treated me well, took the time to fix the pickup for me and investigate the issue as best as he could. Seemed like an honest mistake.
But their guitar tech who didn’t do a damn thing to help, kept coming by and playing it off as completely normal, saying sometimes the pickups get flipped, and it’s super common to see on brand new guitars. I didn’t appreciate that, just seemed dishonest and not genuine.
Yeah, that's a bunch of horsecrap - it is actually hard to put a pickup in backwards because of where the lead is attached on both a humbucker and single coil.
 

PauloQS

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Yeah, that's a bunch of horsecrap - it is actually hard to put a pickup in backwards because of where the lead is attached on both a humbucker and single coil.
Nope. That’s just not true at all. It’s super easy to flip the pickups without unsoldering them. Especially on Gibson USA where they leave more slack in the leads relative to Gibson Custom.
 

David Garner

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If the prior owner just flipped it in the ring, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If he swapped in new pickups and then swapped the originals back in before returning it, however you slice it, that isn't a new guitar and ought to be discounted or returned. I'd for sure open the control cavity and have a look at the soldering.

The same is probably true of him just taking it, playing it and returning it, and certainly of flipping the pickup around, but those things are less invasive than swapping the pickups out. I swap pickups in all my guitars, and I know that people who want one completely stock are going to pass on mine if I ever sell. But that's my choice. You never had a choice in this because you ordered a brand new guitar. For me, if I liked the guitar, I wouldn't let it bother me that some dink flipped the bridge pickup backwards in the ring. I would insist on a partial refund if the soldering is all goobered up.
 

redking

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Nope. That’s just not true at all. It’s super easy to flip the pickups without unsoldering them. Especially on Gibson USA where they leave more slack in the leads relative to Gibson Custom.
When the pickup is flipped the lead moves from bottom right to upper left, you then have to fold the lead in an un-natural way to have it go back towards the control cavity. My point is, this is not done by accident and I call BS on the store tech saying it happens all the time. No pickup installer in the factory is doing something that is "more difficult" by accident "all the time" when doing it the right way is easier for them - plus it's their job and they generally know what they are doing.
 

Christosterone

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That guitar is friggin awesome....
try to get them to throw in an Orange micro terror or u will return it....
but if they said no, theres no way I take that badass guitar back...

yep it was flipped...but that’s really not a big deal to me...I reckon an employee bought it and couldn’t afford it or lost his job....and they are covering...it’s what they do in my experience

i rarely trust a seller and often they don’t know what they are talking about or are genuinely unaware of a guitars history...not necessarily malicious, just dont know any better...
and yes, we’d like them to be as nerdy as us but they arent....we are in the les Paul cult and borderline insane(at least I am :h5:)

keep it imho and try to get a micro terror or $200 off a DSL...they will play ball in my experience if they think u may return it

-chris
 

MP4-22

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lets see the control cavity
 

PauloQS

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When the pickup is flipped the lead moves from bottom right to upper left, you then have to fold the lead in an un-natural way to have it go back towards the control cavity. My point is, this is not done by accident and I call BS on the store tech saying it happens all the time. No pickup installer in the factory is doing something that is "more difficult" by accident "all the time" when doing it the right way is easier for them - plus it's their job and they generally know what they are doing.
It is not any harder or easier to install the pickups one way or the other. It’s an easy mistake to make and one most of us has committed back when we started off working on guitars.
 

redking

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It is not any harder or easier to install the pickups one way or the other. It’s an easy mistake to make and one most of us has committed back when we started off working on guitars.
you would have to be completely clueless to make this mistake, especially if you work in a guitar factory as a pickup installer.
 

BDW60

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Dude, GC were giving out 10% discounts like candy. I don’t know if they are still doing that, because corporate has been really cracking down on revenue losses lately.

What you’re proposing is a business model that potentially takes advantage of consumers. Reminds me a bit of bookstores at universities. Say a guitar gets returned in perfect condition. GC charges a 10% restocking fee, then gives out a 10% discount.

Just an aside, we’re talking about anything at the price of an R9 or a PRS wood library, or higher, we run into a problem. GC has a limit to $500 in discount on any single item.

Anyways, back to the example. Say that guitar gets sold again and returned one CE more in absolutely perfect condition. Again GC charges a restocking fee to that buyer. GC would would have to pass that additional 10% to the next buyer.

Say we’re talking about a LP standard, and let’s round the price to $2,500. GC sells the guitar for the first person for $2,500, but charges that person 250 as restocking fee. Next buyer gets the guitar for $2,250 and returns it. He gets charged 225 as restocking fee and the guitar goes back for $2,250. GC just made $225 on that one guitar without a final sake happening.

This dissuades returns. On something like musical instruments, it is just terrible for consumers. Guitars are things where very little make a huge difference. I rather have more forgiving returns than a measure that penalizes consumers for changing their mind.
Yet you seem to think the prospect of guitars that have been returned even multiple times being sold as new is somehow good for the consumer? It’s not good if you’re the consumer who ends up with it.

If I buy a guitar sight unseen, and there’s nothing actually wrong it other than I don’t like the “little things,“ I have the ability to remedy that. I can list it as a used guitar and sell it myself. Meaning I am personally responsible for resolving my own musical instrument dilemma. What a concept.

I have returned two guitars in my life. One allegedly new guitar, as soon as I opened the gig bag, smelled like cig smoke. It was obvious. That’s a good reason if you’re not a smoker and can’t stand cig smoke. I recently had one that wouldn’t intonate, not even close, with one gauge lighter set of strings. That’s a good reason. Returns are there for good reasons. It’s not supposed to be a demo service.
 

shupe13

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The pickup would also have to be removed and reinstalled to the ring or it would be backwards as well.

Edit: I see someone beat me to it.

Z.
He obviously watches Phil McKnight too.
 


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