Real or counterfeit 70’s Les Paul?

Gary

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What do you think about this one? I spotted it in a shop and grabbed it for $180. Before paying for it, they told me it wasn’t a real Gibson but a copy. Looking at the body, I’ve never see a copy done to that type of period correct construction. Three piece maple top and a “pancake” Norlin body?


I’m traveling and it will be a few days before I’m home to open it up to see the pots, neck joint and pickups.


The Gibson logo inlay, brown plastic, nut and knob pointers got me intrigued. Obviously it is a refinished guitar. But is there a diamond under that finish, or did I waste $180?









 

Gary

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Sorry. No photos of that or under the covers until I get home to a screwdriver in three days.
 

lunchbox

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$180? That's a score +++++.

I've never seen copies that are pancake construction, but it's missing a volute if it's a '70's. I don't doubt that it's real, but maybe a neck replacement?
 

Gary

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Thanks guys! The more I stare at it, the more it looks like a neck replacement. It heavy, like a 70’s LP. The neck pickup cover is pretty pitted and the screw slots look rusted. I’m hoping it’s a T Top. The tuneomatic looks legit to me.
 

chasenblues

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No wings,

rtrtrtr.JPG


Looks like numbers(?) stamped at the bottom?

numbers.jpg


Looking at the body, I’ve never see a copy done to that type of period correct construction. Three piece maple top and a “pancake” Norlin body?
Yep..

70.JPG

pancake.JPG


opolop.JPG
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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Those maybe numbers would be in the wrong place.

upload_2018-7-11_19-5-16.png


The body looks legit. Appears to be the correct bridge too. I have a pancake bodied '73 Custom.

The neck is the real question. A one piece neck? As stated, where are the ears? Did Gibson add any sort of numbers or marking to a replacement neck? That I do not know.
 

NorlinBlackBeauty

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A 1973 bridge. Yours is a bit different. The stud holes are off center on mine. They very well could have changed that during the run of the Norlins.

The date code on the pots will be very helpful.

upload_2018-7-11_19-14-32.png
 
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Pete M

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The easiest way to tell is to look in the cavities and check that the body is setup entirely like you would expect from a Gibson, with USA hardware sizes, not metric. It does look like someone did a fairly decent job on that neck/headstock rather than completely bodge it. I would just be cautious as there were some Asian copies of pancake bodies (as posted above). It's not unknown for people to turn a Tokai or Greco into a Gibson.
 

mdittman

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Maybe I'm seeing it wrong but the binding in the cutaway looks too thin and the placement of the jack looks too far back. In any case I would guess it is a copy but a very nice one. I wouldn't have hesitated to buy it. I think you did fine. Let us know how it plays and sounds.
 

DarrellV

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Agreed! For that price even if it is a copy its pretty darn good! The big question is does it play good for you?

No fret issues or wonkiness... Pickups can always be changed if your not happy.

The action and playability are the important things, followed by good intonation and sound.

Let us know if you find your bliss!
 

judson

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its a no brainer at $180

since you could not examine more closely, you take a gamble and worse case you part it out or just keep it as a beater....interesting the store told you it was a fake but kudos to them for not trying to hose someone for serious $$$$$

the shop probably opened the cavity and did a quick internet search and found it was a copy or somehting they knew wasnt legit....

but here is a crazy thought...play it and have fun with it...who cares if it feels and sounds good..

i have had higher bar bills and all i got out of that was a headache....and didnt get laid..
 
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chasenblues

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For $180 why not..

Just as long as you know what it isn't.

Give credit to the shop for being up front about it.

Course if this was a thread about the shop listing this(Reverb/eBay etc) guitar as some kind of oddball "real" Gibson refin-repair-mashup..



Some still might have a problem with the logo..
 

Gary

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On the way home today, I dropped off the guitar at my luthier's shop. It will need a refret. He also mentioned that it looks like the burst finish was applied with a brush. Yuck.

We opened the control cavity and the wiring is not original. The # on the volume pots looks like R137910X. The cavity routing look legit to me. I still think it was worth $180. My luthtier will take pictures of the botton of the stop bar and bridge when he gets to it.



 
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