Real or Fake, I can’t tell?

GoodLad

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I’m about to make a deal and buy this guitar tomorrow but a few alarm bells are ringing and I’m starting to feel like this could be fake. Can any of you help me figure this out please. I own modern Les Paul Customs but this is Norlin era and I’m stuck.
I’ve noticed in the pics that the serial number is inked but I think it should be stamped and there’s no valute. Also the bridge looks like an epiphone style one and so does the pickup surrounds. But the headstock looks real to me. I’m so confused!

I know the guitar looks shocking, it’s a really bad relic job but the deal is amazing so i thought I could just get it refinished.

I can’t get the front of body images to load. It says the files are to large?

Thanks for your help.
 

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Uncle Vinnie

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According to guitarinsite, that serial number is 1974-1975, but it should have "Made in USA" stamped in to the headstock.

First sense impression is fake, but more knowledgeable folks may prove me wrong.

ETA: That looks like a case for a Wolf Les Paul copy.
 

CB91710

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Metric bridge is generally a good sign of a fake, but if it's not a fake, it's been though nearly 50 years of "Hey, maybe this is a good idea" so it's not impossible.

But the condition of the nut and frets don't really match the condition of the body... and the way the nibs were handled on the refret really bothers me.
 

cmjohnson

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The finish has the checking and wear of lacquer, not poly.
A 200000 series serial number would be right for the time period of 1973 to 1975.

I'd have no reason to think it's a fake. Not yet.

The missing Made In USA stamp combined with the very dark, almost freshly printed serial number suggests a possible headstock refinish where the USA stamp was covered over. Maybe due to a headstock break?
 

cmjohnson

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There's no volute. There should be a volute. And the shaping of the transition area suggests that there was, but it was removed. Whether for a broken headstock repair, or for someone just not liking it, I can't say.
 

HearHear

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Maybe the relic job is hiding a headstock crack? That relic/crack/ding at the bottom of the rear headstock looks significant.
 

01GT Eibach

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Not an expert at all: But shouldn't a Les Paul Custom of that era have no dot over the "i" in Gibson logo on headstock?
 

ArchEtech

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Yes the headstock logos I think don’t have the “I” in Gibson in the 70’s but I don’t know the details year to year.

Nibs original or from a re-fret look terrible and have to feel terrible.

For sure looks to be refinished, not enough cream tone.

It’s almost like maybe someone went to a lot of trouble to make a fake look real, or the alternative making a newer one look like a 1970 era. It’s off for sure.

Don’t the Norlan customs have multiple prices necks and bodies you can see line from in the paint sometimes? Maybe that’s something to try and find.

Personally I would pass on that hot mess unless it was like $1000 bucks or something. I don’t think it’s that diamond in the rough deal you are hoping for.
 

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mudface

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Not an expert at all: But shouldn't a Les Paul Custom of that era have no dot over the "i" in Gibson logo on headstock?
Yes the headstock logos I think don’t have the “I” in Gibson in the 70’s but I don’t know the details year to year.

Nibs original or from a re-fret look terrible and have to feel terrible.

For sure looks to be refinished, not enough cream tone.

It’s almost like maybe someone went to a lot of trouble to make a fake look real, or the alternative making a newer one look like a 1970 era. It’s off for sure.

Don’t the Norlan customs have multiple prices necks and bodies you can see line from in the paint sometimes? Maybe that’s something to try and find.

Personally I would pass on that hot mess unless it was like $1000 bucks or something. I don’t think it’s that diamond in the rough deal you are hoping for.
The dot over the I was there and not there every year during the 1970s... some had them and some didn’t. There was never any year where there was no dot at all. This anomaly was across all models,... not just Les Pauls.
 

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@GoodLad sent me the pics, and asked that I upload them. He'll be back later.

These are resized. I can upload with better detail if needed.

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I would pass on that hot mess unless it was like $1000 bucks or something
$450 for me, unless the cavity shots show very persuasive proof this is a Gibson.

Still, for a not-Gibson, it has a lot of Gibson traits. I can't get past the router-headstock and the pickup rings.
 

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