real LP or best fake ever?

Matt51

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Greetings,
This is my first post here. I hope someone can help me figure out whether this 2010 Les Paul Traditional I bought on eBay 4 years ago is real or not. It's an absolutely authentic-looking guitar with just one glaring exception: there is a weird sanding & finish pattern on the back of the headstock and one of the digits in the serial number is a tad lower than the rest. Also the 1 in the year 2010 is a little longer or perhaps punched twice. (Please see first picture--mine is on the left, a new LP is on the right.)

IMG_0712.JPG


Here's the problem--I've watched a dozen you-tube videos on the subject and this guitar passes every single quality/authenticity check with flying colors! Including the following:

one piece body and neck (no border lines in the wood)
correct bridge posts (no screwdriver slots)
tailpiece in correct position just slightly forward of the knob below it.
internal wiring looks dead-on correct including Gibson logos on pots (though you can't see them in the pic)
correct stickers on pickups (BB3 and 57 classic, and "patent applied for")
Neck binding correctly reaches up to meet the frets
Gibson logo looks perfect
correct truss rod nut with sawed-off washer thing
fretboard inlays look perfect
Headstock wood curves are sharp and symmetric
You can even see where the wings were glued onto the sides of the headstock

(I've attached a bunch of pics to try to show a lot of these things)

IMG_0598.JPG
IMG_0596.JPG
IMG_0593.JPG
IMG_0591.JPG
IMG_0588.JPG
IMG_0582.JPG
SerialNumber_and_year.JPG


It doesn't make sense that someone would go through the trouble to make such a great fake but leave that one glaring defect????

So this is either a real Les Paul that someone modified by sanding the headstock and screwing with the serial numbers, or it's one of the best fakes ever produced.

I hope someone here can help me figure out which.

Thanks!!

UPDATE (two weeks later): I've been in contact with Gibson and they tell me that they are fairly certain the guitar is real, BUT--they have no record of this serial number. At this point (with the help and input of my forum mates below) I think the most likely scenario is that I have a stolen guitar. There's just no reason why any sane person would sand out the serial number of a perfectly good factory LP and stamp in a fake one--and do such a sh**ty job of it! So now the question is what to do about it and is it even possible to find the rightful owner.
 
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2manyGuitars

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Welcome to MLP.

Everything looks legit, but there is definitely something up with that serial number. The font is much smaller than anything I’ve seen. Factory repair?

Call Gibson customer service with the serial number and see what info they have on it.
 

Christosterone

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Push pulls with 57/57+(Maybe plus) would sound good....
Top looks like a perfect match which is not easy on plaintops...

Narrow headstock is close but not perfect and lettering looks crappy...

Could be a very talented luthier made it who didn’t want people to think it was real and scrawled the serial so there would be no question...

Can u take a picture of the heel and also the binding on the pickguard/neck/horn transitions?

-Chris
 

StudioFan

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Guitar Info

Your guitar was made at the
Bozeman Plant, MT, USA
on July 16th, 2010
Production Number: 238


Maybe that’s just how it was done that day at Bozeman ?

Edit: Looks like guitar dater is not reliable for factories . Others have come up with Bozeman plant as well then called Gibson and they said definitely Nashville ....

But the other numbers might be good !
 
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ARandall

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Only the ser# looks an issue....which I think is 1 digit too long for that era of guitar.

Maybe there was a special run which had some different serial numbers......but even then the digits look all different sizes and the alignment is all over the place. That last bit seems to me that it was stamped as individual digits rather than in an aligned machine.
 

mudface

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Definitely a Traditional Pro, and those have satin backs (including the back of the headstock) so it could just be an overly "satiny" back of the headstock.
Yup,... or they polished up back of the neck right up to the headstock. Leaving a kind of stinger look. The satin on those polished up quite easily.
 

moreles

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Looks like they sanded off the back of the headstock in order to remove and replace the serial number. Would need to have it in hand to know with better certainty. Since there are no good reasons to change a serial number, this is a matter of concern.
 

Breezin

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I used to own a 2012 Traditional pro (I am sure that's what you have).
So I dug up a photo of the serial of it for comparison.

Does the stamping also look Uneven?
I think it does, look at that crooked seven!

I'm thinking normal production used a machine to stamp serials,
but for some reason at that time the Guitar Center special runs where being hand stamped.

I would bet that's a legit guitar,

2012 traditional pro.
07.jpg
 
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Maestro Fuzz

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I used to own a 2012 Traditional pro (I am sure that's what you have).
So I dug up a photo of the serial of it for comparison.

Does the stamping also look Uneven?
I think it does, look at that crooked seven!

I'm thinking normal production used a machine to stamp serials,
but for some reason at that time the Guitar Center special runs where being hand stamped.

I would bet that's a legit guitar,

2012 traditional pro.
View attachment 350857
I absolutely agree with you. The guitar is legit imo.
 

bad565ss

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Guitar Info

Your guitar was made at the
Bozeman Plant, MT, USA
on July 16th, 2010
Production Number: 238


Maybe that’s just how it was done that day at Bozeman ?

Edit: Looks like guitar dater is not reliable for factories . Others have come up with Bozeman plant as well then called Gibson and they said definitely Nashville ....

But the other numbers might be good !
I don't believe they've ever built a Les Paul
In Montana.
 

9066LP

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The guitar in question doesn't look right.
Contact Gibson.
1 (800) 444-2766
 

2manyGuitars

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Like I said earlier...
The guitar is a Gibson, but something happened to that serial number.
 


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