Orville Gibson created the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Company in 1902. He started the company in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to create instruments in the mandolin family.
By the 1930s, the company had expanded to include flat top acoustic guitars and one of the first commercially accessible hollow-body electric guitars, which Charlie Christian popularised.
However, fake renditions of these famous guitars have appeared in recent years. Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if the one you’re looking at is genuine.
Dodgy market and fake headstock
Chinese counterfeiters are improving their decoys to the degree where it’s nearly impossible for a beginner to tell whether a Gibson is built in the United States or in a Chinese factory.
First and foremost, if anyone, particularly a seller headquartered in China, is offering a Gibson SJ-200 for an absurdly low price, you should certainly skip it. If it’s a phony, a good deal just isn’t a good deal.
Another good way of differentiating between a fake and an original Gibson SJ-200 is by examining the guitar’s headstock and, more specifically, the quality of the imprinted Gibson logo. The fake one will have the logo painted on it, whereas the logo on an original will be an inlay of Mother of Pearl.
Check the serial number
Next, look on the rear of the headstock for the serial number. On the top, there should be a serial number. The numbers on modern Gibson guitars are nine digits, whereas the numerals on older or vintage Gibson guitars are substantially shorter.
Underneath the serial number, it should say “Made in USA”. With fakes, the serial number is often etched too deeply into the wood or scribbled with too much ink.
Only the newest models contain the year, so if that is missing, it is not necessarily a fake.
Another thing you can do is use the platform the “Guitar Dater Project”, which allows you to look up your serial number. It will tell you when your instrument was made and where it was made.
Truss rod cover and the bridge
Examine the truss rod cover next. A genuine Gibson has a relatively small space between the screw and the cover’s exterior on the top screw. The fake has a lot more and is trimmed badly.
Take a peek at the bridge after that. Where the bridge breaks off on the phony version, there is a screw slot. The genuine instrument, on the other hand, is solid.
The headstock and fret
Examine the binding of the headstock next. The real thing will be slender, whereas the false one takes up more than half of the thickness of the headstock.
Next, take a look at the frets. They should go up until the end of the binding. On a real Gibson, you will notice how the binding rides up on the fret a little. The phony does not even reach the cliff’s brink.
So there you have it – these are some things to look for when trying to identify a fake Gibson SJ- 200 from a real one. It is important to be aware of these things to avoid ending up on the bad end of a deal.