The Fake Gibson Thread

Altar Ego

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I think the mojo from a Les Paul is the result of the right ingredients mixed together by a craftsman who takes pride in and knows how to do his job. As far as I'm concerned that concept is the Standard that no longer exist with modern Gibson. If I use that standard as a baseline then new Gibson's are just as fake as their Chinese counterparts.
 

rockstar232007

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I think the mojo from a Les Paul is the result of the right ingredients mixed together by a craftsman who takes pride in and knows how to do his job. As far as I'm concerned that concept is the Standard that no longer exist with modern Gibson. If I use that standard as a baseline then new Gibson's are just as fake as their Chinese counterparts.
Totally agree - one of the main things that made Gibsons of the past so great, was that they were made in much smaller quantities, so the attention to detail was much better. Not that every single guitar was perfect, but I've seen a LOT of vintage Gibsons, and you'd be hard pressed to find more than a couple of minor flaws. While today, in most cases, you can spot at least 3-4 from even a couple of feet away.

Today, they are extremely over mass-produced, and the attention to detail is a lot more sporadic. Even on guitars from the CS.
 

ajay

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The Heritage guys are probably capable of making awesome Lesters. Of course by now it's their kids doing it, but they were taught to build quality I'm sure.
 

rockstar232007

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The Heritage guys are probably capable of making awesome Lesters. Of course by now it's their kids doing it, but they were taught to build quality I'm sure.
The craftsmanship of Heritage guitars is far-beyond anything that Gibson has put out over the past 40+years. Those guys really know their ****, and being tought by three former Gibson guys, wasn't too shabby.

Every time I pick up a Heritage, it reminds me of all the vintage Gibsons I grew up with. Hell, if it weren't for the ass-ugly headstocks, I'd be buried in them by now.
 

rlefty

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Hell, if it weren't for the ass-ugly headstocks, I'd be buried in them by now.

Right? It's like they do everything right except for the headstock. Maybe the headstock aesthetic guy moved to Nashville and they never replaced him.
 

Juan Wayne

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Beyond the obvious, chinese fakes just keep getting better and soon they will be (almost) perfect. You name it, imperial bridge, fret binding, 2 piece body with 1 piece neck, thick real maple cap, nitro finish.... you name it. Of course I am not going to tell here where I got this info but I can tell you it´s happening as we speak, there are pics to prove it.
But really, why do you think Gibson is trying to "modernize" their entire range of guitars, when they better than anyone know that in the guitar world what is old or "vintage" if you will is what sells and people want it. They are afraid that everybody notices they are selling 60 year old "tech" and they´re getting left behind. That´s what I would like to talk about. :hmm:

This reminds me of a certain "historic announcement", about the SOON to be released, ultimate guitar of all time!

Now we get another historic announcement, and what do we do? Ugh! We should all be thankful to be the first ones to know about this, something we'll tell our grandhchildren about someday.

You should all shut your pine holes, dammit!
 

martin H

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You have to distinguish between counterfeiting, trademark violations and trade dress violations.

[1] Manufacturer makes a good Telecaster copy, puts a Gibson logo onto the headstock, sells it. This is a trademark violation

[2] Manufacturer makes a good Les Paul copy, puts a Gibson logo onto the headstock. Sells it. This is counterfeiting and a trademark violation.

[3] Manufacturer makes a makes a good Les Paul copy, puts their own name on the headstock, slightly alters the "trade dress" feature of the Les Paul, which is the head stock shape. Sells it. This is nether a counterfeiting violation, nor a trademark violation. Gibson sued PRS over this and lost.

[4] Guy makes a nice Les Paul at his workbench, puts a Gibson logo on it, uses it as his guitar at gigs. Traditionally this is not illegal at all. All of the federal legal violations are triggered by negotiation of the product in commerce, or its importation in other than de miniumus quantities. Possession of counterfeit goods is generally not illegal unless they are held in non-personal use quantities that indicate an intent to traffik in them. He can't offer to sell it however. Then he is invoked in all of the above.

As for the morality of "making your own," many posters start from the assumption that all the basic design of Les Paul or Strat is copyrighted. It isn't. Traditionally industrial production designs for goods were not copyrightable at all. You can't copyright the positions of knobs, single or double cutaways, binding etc. If a feature is new, useful and different enough, you can attempt to patent it, but copyright is traditionally reserved for artistic expression that has no other functional purpose. Even the trade mark/trade dress features of popular instruments are pretty limited. I believe Gibson did manage to establish the "open book" head-stock as a trade mark, as did Fender with their headstock shape. Rickenbacker got their 'R' tailpiece and the "cresting wave" upper bout of the bass design accepted as trade marks.

There is generally no copyright involved in producing a replica guitar, and trade make violations only occur if you use the mark/feature in commerce. The only moral problem that I see is that you must take steps to ensure the instrument never goes to market. This can be tricky. You will should say " the sunburst Gibson is a fake, and I order my executor to take it to Luthier and have the logo removed and headstock re-shaped before it is liquidated'!
 

ShoalsRanger

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As for the morality of "making your own," many posters start from the assumption that all the basic design of Les Paul or Strat is copyrighted. It isn't. Traditionally industrial production designs for goods were not copyrightable at all. You can't copyright the positions of knobs, single or double cutaways, binding etc.

Great post. But I'm confused. If this is true, why did Agile change the horn on thier AL-XXXX line a few years ago? (I think they did it close to the same time that they changed the headstock. )
 

jporch316

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Ive read all the posts but am still confused - are we talking about fakes , counterfeits, replicas , chinse guitars, home builds, diy flat packs, mexican guifars, triggers brush, gibsons, epiphones, fenders, agiles ............

Nevermind im off to bed. The OP was right after all...............
 

ajay

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We can't buy real Gibsons anymore? Since there is no alternative for me except Chapman Guitars out of Great Britain, I will now commence collecting Rob's fine guitars. In my opinion they are the best bargains in factory made guitars, and the owner of the company is not only one of the best rock guitarists I've ever heard, he's a Gibson fanatic, which means he likes to put humbuckers and cool shapes on his guitars. He makes a great looking Explorer type guitar that I've been wanting. I will now begin searching for the first one in my collection. Go Rob. I'm sure that the Chinese are already starting to copy his guitars. I think they're made in South Korea.
 

ShoalsRanger

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Am I correct in assuming that most Chinese made Chibson's are manufactured primarily to sell to the Chinese people?

I've heard there is a HUGE demand for USA Gibson there.

This would explain how the manufacturers are making enough money to continue their efforts. I'm sure they sell tons of Chibson's in China with just a very small percentage being marketed and sold to buyers in the U.S.

And as another member said in this thread in response to the OPs comments regarding Chibson quality, if they were that damn good they would just start thier own line of guitars... I.e. Tokai, etc.
 

martin H

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Great post. But I'm confused. If this is true, why did Agile change the horn on thier AL-XXXX line a few years ago? (I think they did it close to the same time that they changed the headstock. )

I can't find any mention that the issue was litigated, so I don't exactly know.

Normally there would be a claim that the shape of the horn was an item of trade dress and its use was likely to cause confusion in the marketplace. Rickenbacker won on a similar claim. They probably decided that changing the shape at the same time they made other changes was cheaper and a lot quicker than litigating the issue, and possibly establishing an unfavorable precedent.
 

rlefty

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I can't find any mention that the issue was litigated, so I don't exactly know.

Normally there would be a claim that the shape of the horn was an item of trade dress. They probably decided that changing the shape at the same time they made other changes was cheaper and a lot quicker than litigating the issue and possibly establishing an unfavorable precedent.

AFAIK, Gibson has a trademark on their headstock and les paul body shape. They famously sued PRS over the body shape.
 

horseman

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A couple of upgrades would solve the sound issue, and it would still be a lot cheaper than the real deal. Actually we all would benefit from Gibson going under. This way every manufacturer in the world would be able to use Gibson trademarks and make "real" Les Pauls. :slash:


WTF???
If they are that good they should run their own brand and if they are as good as you are saying, they will sell.
 

larryguitar

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You have to distinguish between counterfeiting, trademark violations and trade dress violations.

[1] Manufacturer makes a good Telecaster copy, puts a Gibson logo onto the headstock, sells it. This is a trademark violation

[2] Manufacturer makes a good Les Paul copy, puts a Gibson logo onto the headstock. Sells it. This is counterfeiting and a trademark violation.

[3] Manufacturer makes a makes a good Les Paul copy, puts their own name on the headstock, slightly alters the "trade dress" feature of the Les Paul, which is the head stock shape. Sells it. This is nether a counterfeiting violation, nor a trademark violation. Gibson sued PRS over this and lost.

[4] Guy makes a nice Les Paul at his workbench, puts a Gibson logo on it, uses it as his guitar at gigs. Traditionally this is not illegal at all. All of the federal legal violations are triggered by negotiation of the product in commerce, or its importation in other than de miniumus quantities. Possession of counterfeit goods is generally not illegal unless they are held in non-personal use quantities that indicate an intent to traffik in them. He can't offer to sell it however. Then he is invoked in all of the above.

As for the morality of "making your own," many posters start from the assumption that all the basic design of Les Paul or Strat is copyrighted. It isn't. Traditionally industrial production designs for goods were not copyrightable at all. You can't copyright the positions of knobs, single or double cutaways, binding etc. If a feature is new, useful and different enough, you can attempt to patent it, but copyright is traditionally reserved for artistic expression that has no other functional purpose. Even the trade mark/trade dress features of popular instruments are pretty limited. I believe Gibson did manage to establish the "open book" head-stock as a trade mark, as did Fender with their headstock shape. Rickenbacker got their 'R' tailpiece and the "cresting wave" upper bout of the bass design accepted as trade marks.

There is generally no copyright involved in producing a replica guitar, and trade make violations only occur if you use the mark/feature in commerce. The only moral problem that I see is that you must take steps to ensure the instrument never goes to market. This can be tricky. You will should say " the sunburst Gibson is a fake, and I order my executor to take it to Luthier and have the logo removed and headstock re-shaped before it is liquidated'!

And if federal law was all we lived under, this might be correct; most of us, however, live in states with independent criminal codes. I know my state makes the possession of ONE counterfeit item a crime:


(765 ILCS 1040/8)
Sec. 8. Sentence.
(a) A person who knowingly sells, offers for sale, holds for sale, or uses fewer than 100 counterfeit items or counterfeit items having a retail value in the aggregate of $300 or less is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and shall be fined at least 25% of the retail value of all counterfeit items but no more than $1,000, except as follows:
(1) A person who has a prior conviction for a

violation of this Act within the preceding 5 years is guilty of a Class 4 felony and shall be fined at least 50% but no more than 100% of the retail value of all counterfeit items.
(2) A person who, as a result of the offense,

causes bodily harm to another is guilty of a Class 3 felony and shall be fined at least 50% but no more than 100% of the retail value of all counterfeit items.
(3) A person who, as a result of the offense, causes

serious bodily harm to, or the death of, another is guilty of a Class 2 felony.
 

Chris B.

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A couple of upgrades would solve the sound issue, and it would still be a lot cheaper than the real deal. Actually we all would benefit from Gibson going under. This way every manufacturer in the world would be able to use Gibson trademarks and make "real" Les Pauls. :slash:
img-1467144-1-Godzilla-Facepalm-godzilla-30354011-640-387.jpg

http://www.mylespaul.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

joey1234

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Do we at least agree that vintage Gibsons are real? But I still have doubts about my cat, I fear he is not real... :laugh2:
 

TheX

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The difference is, one is mass-produced for profits, the other isn't.

It's not illegal/immoral to build "fake"/replica things for personal use. And, those that do produce replicas for sale, do so on a very limited bases. Not that, that makes them any less illegal, but in most cases, it boils down to intent. And, the intent of counterfeits is to fool people. Replicas are...well, replicas, and are usually presented as such.

I love reading this kind of *justification*. If it says Gibson, and it isn't a Gibos...it's a FAKE. Intent? BS. It's still a fake, nothing else.
 

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