There are many unscrupulous manufacturers all over the world that make fake musical instruments and audio gear. It’s one thing if they’re open about making a clone, but if they pass it off as the real deal then they’ve taken the rip off to another level. It’s bad enough when a classic American company is ripped off, but doubly worse when it’s the consumer as well. Sometimes it’s tough to tell though, as you’ll see in the video where a fake Gibson Les Paul gets exposed.
These fake Chinese Gibsons are so rampant that they’ve now been tagged as “Chibsons.” You can buy one for about $350 complete with the case, and you’ll probably fool a lot of people, but beware the flaws.
First of all, most of the hardware is made by Epiphone (except for the fake Grover tuners), there are many finishing problems, the frets are poor, the documentation and serial number are clearly fake, and the truss rod is different. The one thing that is right is that the guitar actually has a flamed maple top, which is quite surprising.
Now even though Gibson seems to getting infringed here, one thought is that the company actually allows this to continue in the hopes of selling original parts when buyers discover their limitations. I don’t know if I buy that, but it’s certainly an interesting theory.
Of course the big problem here is people buy these, fix them up, then sell them off as the real deal, so be careful if you’re going to buy a used Les Paul – it may not be the real thing.
Thanks to Ben Crowe at Crimson Guitars for the great video!
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