Category: SG

SG Sunburst – Made In China


“Don’t waste thousands on the so called Genuine Article,these things are awesome…”

Hmm, I doubt that. And as these can be bought direct from the factory websites for about $350 delivered your Buy It Now price of $695 is a little excessive. To be fair though at least the seller is being upfront about it being a Chinese knock off, though the claims that Fender make some of their best guitars in China is open for debate.


The speed knobs, (which the seller has added) are on pots that are in the wrong place, the pickup selector switch is also misaligned and the pickguard is completely the wrong shape. Also notice that the pickups have some sort of Gibson decal on them, the real ones don’t.




The frets go over the binding, (see circle), the truss rod cover is the wrong shape, has the wrong sized screws and is too close to the nut. The crown inlay is wrong, as it the Gibson logo and they both should be Mother Of Pearl, not white.

SG3 Guitar Of The Month From 2008

Gibson’s Guitar Of The Month program had come out with some great pieces, some have been so popular that they have gone on to be reissued, Reverse Flying V anyone? Most of these interesting and sometimes quite experimental versions of Gibson’s best will never be repeated and in most cases go on to be very collectable due to their limited numbers.

I was therefore very surprised to find a Gibson SG3 for sale on a Chinese site selling fake Gibson’s. This is going to be painfully bad, I thought to myself, until I saw the pictures. Absolutely spot on in every detail, I couldn’t see anything wrong at all. How could they get away with that? Well, a closer look revealed the eBay watermark in the right hand corner. Beware sites selling Gibson guitars at $363.20 plus postage, usually the fakes are obvious, but now they use pictures that they have lifted from legitimate listings to coax you into buying, then they send you the 山寨 (Mountain Village – Definition: Forgery).

Fake SG Custom

The Les Paul Custom, as it was called in 1961 until 1963 when it was renamed the SG Custom, is a classic Gibson solid body and you pay top dollar if you want to get your hands on an original. Fortunately for those with (only slightly) skinnier wallets the Gibson Custom Shop now sell the early 60’s Les Paul (SG) Custom as part of it’s Vintage Original Spec program, (aka VOS). Unfortunately the counterfeit makers have also jumped in on the game, fortunately they look a bit crap.

The beautiful SG Custom, (as it is now known, above) is a brilliantly crafted guitar, 3 pickups to play with and an optional maestro vibrato for those who like that sort of thing.

This crappy looking fake SG Custom, (above) is a pitiful copy – here’s why; The headstock is the wrong shape, the gibson inlay is wrong, the split diamond inlay is wrong, the pick guard is wrong, the pickups have Gibson USA Stickers/Decals on them – a real Gibson does not, the pickup surrounds are wrong, the pickup covers are wrong, the bridge is not set correctly, the stop bar tail piece is not set properly, The Les Paul logo on the plastic between the pickups and neck is wrong, the tuners are wrong, the block inlays are wrong, there is no selector switch surround and the placement of the pots appear to have been done by me, (breathe) after half a bottle of Jägermeister. Best avoid.

If you’re in the land down under and you stumble upon and you’re thinking of buying one of the many Gibson guitars advertised for sale – BE CAREFUL. I could keep this site with material for months with the amount of cheap knock-offs some of their sellers, (one in particular) have had advertised for sale.

Fake Gibson SG

Most of the guitars are Les Pauls though they also have this interesting “Double Cut”, it hides it’s face in shame so the buyer has to go with a picture of the back and a headstock image, three screw truss rod cover alert.

Angus Young SG ?

Don’t be fooled by this one , it has the Angus ‘Lil Devil on the headstock and at a distance it almost looks the part, however the creator of this forgery didn’t get the moustache shape of the headstock quite right. Other things to take note; the pick guard is not quite the correct shape, (but only just out), and it has something written on what should be a blank truss rod cover. I’m not too sure from the picture, but it may also have a bolt on neck, not very Gibson USA. The eagle eyed will also see that it has “Gibson” etched into the Lyre vibrato, (see picture below), a real one would have “Angus” on it. 

Look at the truss rod cover. Simple as that.

Classic example of a fake Les Paul with Gibson on the truss rod cover

If the truss rod cover has three screws in it, (apart from the ’67 Flying V, Firebirds and Sonex) your looking at a counterfeit, if it has Gibson written on it as well then it’s possibly an Epiphone, (if you’re lucky), but what it definitely isn’t, is a Gibson. Gibson Baldwin manufacture student model guitars where you may find truss rod covers with three screws, as well as bolt on necks, these are not to be confused with the high end Gibson USA guitars.(pictures from