Category: Custom

Wayne Bauman from Australia has once again been doing one of his usual searches on ebay for second hand Gibson Les Pauls, he “stumbled across this ripper”.

As Wayne puts it, “The price is firstly way too low and the head stock doesn’t look right. Also the good old sticker on the back of the guitar is a dead giveaway. It has the custom book on the headstock but the guitar is clearly not a custom and the serial number doesn’t match up. It’s been advertised as a Gibson but it is clearly an Asian sweat shop knock off. Have a look and see what you think”.

Wayne, I think you are spot on, also the truss rod cover is too close to the nut.

Peter Frampton’s original ‘Comes Alive’ Les Paul Custom was lost in a 1980 plane crash, Gibson’s Custom Shop has recreated it, sort of. This one, spotted by Wayne Bauman in Australia, was recreated by someone else…

“Hey guys, thought you might want to chuck this
on your web site. I’m pretty sure this is a fake les paul custom
listed on ebay item number 1605296000**. It’s got all the tell tale
signs from the stickers on the pick up to the pot cover on the
back. The neck looks like rosewood as well. I chucked the serial
number into guitar date coder and it came up as built in 2005. This
guitar is listed as brand new and if it is a custom should have CS
printed on the serial number as well. I would like to thank you
guys a lot for your web site. I brought a fake zakk wild custom off
ebay and saw that exact guitar on your web site (Zakk attack). I was able to get my
money back thank god but not without your help. Anyways check this
out and let me know what you think. Regards Wayne Bauman”

Wayne’s right on all his points, check out the dodgy serial number on the back of the headstock, as well as the decal/sticker on the back of the guitar, these are often found on the fakes. Thanks for the email and the pictures Wayne.

Ranjit’s Other Les Paul

Ranjit‘s sent in another one, this time a nice looking Les Paul Custom. Could you spot the differences?

“Here’s another one for ya. Of course if you sell it as a fake it’s okay right …. yeah right.”

Fake LP Custom Red

A tricky one. Look at the pots placement. Do you see? Ok, look at the headstock…

Fake LP Custom Red 2

Yes the headstock looks ok, yes the Gibson logo isn’t the worst you’ve seen, but look at that split diamond inlay, that is way off the genuine article, as is the truss rod cover. If you want another discrepancy look at the frets going over the binding, you see? Oh you do, good.

Many thanks again to Ranjit for the email and the pictures. If you’re in need of a new Gibson and you’re in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, be sure to seek him out at Long & McQuade.

Ranjit sent in this little gem, (actually Gibson did make a Gem Les Paul, so scrub that), this is one of those brilliant fakes that appears to suffer from some kind of dissociative identity disorder.

Fake Les Paul Custom

I’ll leave it to Ranjit to explain as he is something of an expert on Gibson guitars;

“Les Paul Custom … or is it a Supreme? But wait…. it has 3 pickups…okay…. but with a terrible Flame Neck inlay? And of course the classic Pickup Stickers. Horrible case too.”

It’s dodgy as hell and Ranjit would know because he works for Long & McQuade, the sister company to Yorkville, the distributors for Gibson in Canada. I told Ranjit that I’d put a link up to his store but as there are so many stores I put up the main site link. To make up for it here’s a map of where you can find Ranjit’s store if you’re ever in Calgary looking for a deal on a Gibson;


Thanks for the email and picture Ranjit, hope you’re not overwhelmed by the amount of customers you’ll undoubtably get from the readers of this website…

Ewout’s Custom Shop

I have never seen a Custom Shop guitar flaunt it’s credentials so blatantly by displaying it’s origin on the headstock…


This one comes from Ewout in The Netherlands.

“I came accross your website when I googled ‘fake gibson’. The reason I did this was because I spotted a to-good-to-be-true-cheap-ass Gibson (€350) on a dutch classified ads site yesterday. I contacted the seller and asked if I could come around to see and play the guitar. The guy was kind enough to ensure me (over the phone) this guitar is not a real Gibson, but that it sounds and plays really well.”


Judging by the headstock alone, with it’s audacious proclamation of Custom Shopery but dodgy looking Gibson logo, incorrect tuners and truss rod cover, I don’t think we need to be ensured it’s a fake, but still, a bit of honesty from the seller, (when pushed) is a good thing.


Add to that the bad pot placement and Rosewood fingerboard on a Les Paul “Custom” this guitars Gibson authenticity is pretty much on the rocks. Thanks to Ewout for the email and pictures.

A very nice flame top and gold speed knobs but alas, it is a fake. Unfortunately the fretboard is made of what appears to be rosewood, it should be ebony and the stopbar tailpiece and bridge appear to be slightly misaligned

At a quick glance this could easily pass as genuine. It is not a bad looking guitar, thought to be a Custom Plus and according to the serial number was built in 1996. The serial number is however fake and if you compare the picture of the serial number above to that of a real Gibson you can see that the font, if you like, is different.

The headstock, to those who have been over this site before, is clearly a fake, to the newer visitor it could be hard to distinguish from a genuine Gibson, (see others shown on this site for more examples, or here for the Gibson webpage on fakes). Note the angle that the Gibson logo is at as well as the shape of the headstock. The truss rod cover is also a copy and is only single ply. Both the logo and split diamond inlay should be mother of pearl, a far brighter result than the flat off white shown here.

For those handy with a screwdriver who wish to compare the insides of their Gibson to a fake, Stuart took a picture of the potentiometers, as he said so himself, “Would Gibson ever use such weedy potentiometers…and look at the wiring…doesn’t look like Gibson wiring to me.” It really doesn’t look like Gibson wiring to me either.

“Even the case is non standard…is this a genuine Gibson case with this raised embossed Gibson lettering.”  No, no it’s not

The case, as is often, er, the case with these copies is nothing like a genuine Gibson case, (usually during this period made in Canada). Late 80’s and 90’s cases tended to be the brown with pink muppet skin variety based on the 50’s Cal Girl style.

Stuart, thank you for your email and for sharing your pictures with us, I think it’s the first picture of potentiometers we’ve had on