This hollowbody Les Paul showed up at a local repair station not long ago, and while the customer knew what he had (it had been collateral on a small personal loan, and the guy disappeared), I figured we should take some pictures.
Looks pretty good doesn’t it?
The binding is actually pretty good, a 7 layer black and aged white. The pickups, however, had a gold cover that was well coated in poly, and were obviously brass, not gold, and certainly not matching the other hardware. The screws around the pickup also don’t match. Neither really matches a real Gibson.
The Headstock, also looks really good. To me, it looks a little elongated, and the logo, looks a bit small. The binding here is 5 ply, which also matches, but the outer, thicker layer is a bit slimmer than on a real Gibson, but it’s much closer a reproduction than on other counterfeits I’ve seen. The inlays on the neck though, are a bit narrow, fitting within the space between strings with just a bit of a gap on either side of about a millimeter. The Tuners should be the green pearl machine heads, not these.
And, well, this is the real giveaway, isn’t it? The person who brought it in said he’d contacted Gibson about the serial, and they said they get asked about that one a lot. As in, the counterfeiters don’t even bother to change the serial while manufacturing it.