Problem identifying Epiphone les paul japan / gibson veneer

Jerem

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Hi everyone!
I'm new here, and I already learned a lot just by watching different topic about the problem i have... And some other cool stuffs!


Here's the deal : I recently exchanged my gibson firebird usa (V2010 made in 2012 sunburst) with a friend's Les Paul made in Japan, on a base of 1000€. At the time i knew nothing about les pauls made in japan, or just a few things because I mostly played Fenders... He bought it to a guy, apparently some kind of selfmade luthier like a lot of people do now. I had some concerns with the made in japan white logo behind the headstock. Ut started to make some research. I checked with a serial number website specialised in epi/japanese les pauls that you guys were talkin about (apparently some of you made it and are still working on it) and it said that it's unknown serial number.
The SN is 812108 (i'll add pictures of everything)


It plays amazing with a smaller neck than the les paul i've played in stores, for instance I can't enjoy a R8, way to big for my small hands.
It has BB pro pickups which sounds great, grover tuners, nice dark rosewood fingerboard and seems to be 2 pieces mahogany body and neck so despite all the rest, nashville Gotoh japan branded bridge with vintage abr-1 style small holes drilled in the body, good guitar with a nice patina.
I first contacted Gibson by email with pictures, they told me the serial number is registered for a 1958 custom shop VOS tobacco brown les paul which is kind of what this japanese looks like, except for some details like tuners, knob pointers etc. The funny part is that even with pictures you understand it's not a custom shop, i still have the conversation with the guy from gibson he was sure it was the real deal...
Then i knew i was on my own on this


The headstock is open book style (with no gold les paul model logo at the middle) but i've seen this "made in japan" only on japanese epiphone, and now i know that it's a photo flame thanks to some topic around here.
My theory : my friend doesn't know much about guitars, he bought it thinking some real gibson with gibson logo were made in japan for a short period of time, had great value and were awesome. The guy before probably put away the epiphone veneer, and put a Gibson one instead. For the rest he did a good job while removing the glossy effect with a little of sanding (nice used/satin effect) and yellowed the bindings quite properly. He may also have done this on another japanese fujigen collaboration brand, i have no idea..


Nothing's terrible : we live in the same town, i told him i would do some research before I accept the deal.


I would just like to read you guys about it, some things i still ignore, a price range if it's measurable, and everything else you want to share about this guitar :)


Thanks for your time,


Jeremie
 

SLA1

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
292
Reaction score
292
I would think its originaly an 1998 Orville made by FujiGen with photoflame-top, thats was they're name before they changed to Epiphone.
 

El Greco

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2011
Messages
872
Reaction score
704
It's a '98, that's for sure! Made by Fujigen in Japan! But I can't be sure what name you 'll find under that Gibson headstock veneer, cause 1998 was the year they changed from Orville to Epiphone, iirc! Eitherway, it was made by the same people in the same factory and I'm sure it's a good playing guitar!
 

Jerem

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
It's a '98, that's for sure! Made by Fujigen in Japan! But I can't be sure what name you 'll find under that Gibson headstock veneer, cause 1998 was the year they changed from Orville to Epiphone, iirc! Eitherway, it was made by the same people in the same factory and I'm sure it's a good playing guitar!
Thank you for your answer! I checked Orville's back headstocks but don't really find that kind of serial number (engraved) while stamped on my les paul.. I continue to look for a serial number verification with each brands (epiphone orville etc) and see what's going on!
 

Jerem

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
I would think its originaly an 1998 Orville made by FujiGen with photoflame-top, thats was they're name before they changed to Epiphone.
Thanks for your answer, i keep checking details because Orville's serial number seems a little different... Hoping that the serial number was not removed and replaced by a random one...
 

Jerem

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Do you want to sell it?
I dont' know but why not, if finally it has the same value as a usa firebird i keep it that's an option, if it's not i get my firebird back and sell it or exchange it...
 

Jerem

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
It's a '98, that's for sure! Made by Fujigen in Japan! But I can't be sure what name you 'll find under that Gibson headstock veneer, cause 1998 was the year they changed from Orville to Epiphone, iirc! Eitherway, it was made by the same people in the same factory and I'm sure it's a good playing guitar!
Do you think it's the same value as a Sunburst firebird V2010 from 2012? I paid mine 1350€ on thomann in 2013... Now brand new it's 1750€ on thomann, but there were some scratchs and dings at the back and a little on the top, so i'm kinda stucked with that dilemma too :s
 

GammyBird

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
21,744
Reaction score
15,319
It's Fujigen but definitely not Orville or ObG because they didn't use the MIJ script under the serial number. I was thinking it might be an Epi but the MIJ script under the serial number is a different font on the models I looked at.
 

Jerem

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
It's Fujigen but definitely not Orville or ObG because they didn't use the MIJ script under the serial number. I was thinking it might be an Epi but the MIJ script under the serial number is a different font on the models I looked at.
Found this... And that's the only one i found

IMG_20190930_165825.jpg
IMG_20190930_165848.jpg
 

Troy McClure

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2016
Messages
594
Reaction score
346
It would have originally been branded Epiphone as they used that italic script for the " Made in Japan" in 1998 only.
 

Jerem

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
It would have originally been branded Epiphone as they used that italic script for the " Made in Japan" in 1998 only.
I guess it was, and the stupid guy before took off the whole original veneer to put a Gibson instead... You can find some gibson headstock veneer with kinda pearloid inlays for 30$ on ebay)
On the photo you can see it's not really daek black as it should be, but looks like it's been sanded to get the "relic" effect he wanted (same as yellowing bindings and he out an extra coat of satin finish to make it look older/vintage/relic)
Problem is i can't sell it that way
 

m5570

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
183
Reaction score
61
Do you think it's the same value as a Sunburst firebird V2010 from 2012? I paid mine 1350€ on thomann in 2013... Now brand new it's 1750€ on thomann, but there were some scratchs and dings at the back and a little on the top, so i'm kinda stucked with that dilemma too :s
No. You can pick one up for $300-$500 from Japan. You would have shipping of $135 on top of that, but most of the JEpis that are over $400 are not moving right now.
 

Roxy13

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
11,677
Reaction score
29,581
Yeah, I skip any MIJs I find that someone put that Gibson veneer on. It does become a counterfeit then and people might even think they are Chinese then on top of it.
 

Jerem

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
If it were me I'd get my Firebird back.
I sure will :)
Thank you guys, your guitar knowleges are amazing, i should have asked you at the beginning of this long story!
I'll come back to you if I do a good deal with that firebird, I get it back next week. I saw some Epiphone custom, open book black beauty that are stunning, it's ae/round 1000€ so kind of what my firebird worth, or maybe an Orville custom... We'll see!

Cheers from France Everyone!
 


Latest Threads



Top