are many types of forgery guitars on the market. Some of them are done
deliberately and many of them are done innocently by their
For example take an
authentic original Les Paul and over the years a
number of changes are made to the guitar. Swap out one of the original
PAF pickups, change the nut to brass, replace several of the pots and
replace the bridge. As long as nothing is done to the tuning pegs,
involving holes being drilled, then the guitar can be put "back to
So you bring the guitar
in because you want to buy a new guitar. You
want to get top dollar but no one will pay what you want with all those
changes you made. So now you want to put the guitar back to original.
When the guitar is rebuilt no one will be able to tell the difference.
There are many more old
guitars available today than there were say 10
years ago. How can that be? How is it possible for dealers to have so
many vintage Strats in 2006, when in 1990's there were only a
few to be found?
These guitars brought so
much money back in the early 90's that it made
sense to start counterfeiting them and you can believe that many of
those vintage guitar dealers already know exactly what I am telling
you. I can also tell you they turn a deaf ear to it and try to pretend
that it's not really happening.
There is a large cottage
industry in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and even the
Philippines that re-manufacture Gibson parts, Fender parts and even
completely counterfeit 50's & 60's complete Fender Guitars.
Years ago a company in the Philippines was producing a guitar
that was almost exactly like a Stratocaster.
Over past years there
has been almost every counterfeit part you can
imagine. PAF pickups, complete with sticker and authentic cigarette
smoke mildew smell. Fender JazzMaster tailpieces complete with Fender
Logos and patent numbers, Strat and Tele necks complete with authentic
stamp and signatures, Pick guards with 60's dated authentic stickers.
The only way sure fire
guaranteed way to know if a vintage Instrument
is truly original and unchanged is if you purchase it from someone who
does not know the value of it. The minute the value of the instrument
enters into the pricing equation then the chance of originality is
tainted. This info may sound a little off the wall at first but when
you think about it for 30 seconds it doesn't take a mental giant to
understand that I have to be right.
If the value far exceeds
cost, like a 50's Stratocaster selling for
thousands of dollars compared to an old Strat from someone's attic for
a hundred dollars, I would say that in almost every case the one from
the attic is going to be more original than the one costing thousands
Watch out for misleading
adjectives and other poor grammar when
shopping for a vintage guitar. This type of vocabulary isn't just used
to describe an instrument's physical condition but also to imply a
level of comfort that leaves the listener to draw their own erroneous
"Museum Quality" - Museums
are not concerned with quality, not in the sense you or I may be when
making a purchase. In fact, some of the most screwed-up crap you will
ever see is in museums. A museum's real concern is with an
object and it's documented relationship to art, literature, science or
antiquities and oddities. If you grind-up Mel Bay's
D`Angelico into a shoebox it would still end up in a museum
while being completely restored.
the heck does that mean? It means someday it may be worth
more than what you paid for it or someday it may be worth less than
what you paid for it. Go figure. If it's going to be worth
more later on in my lifetime then why would I want to sell it to you
now? Implying that the money you are about to spend will be
an "investment" rather than a "purchase" is a worn-out psychological
selling tool that still works.
- Who cares
about the dirt. What about the sound and the intonations or how about
if the neck is more crooked than a dog's hind leg? When I see
a guitar advertised as super clean I'm thinking that it's a good
looking, expensive wall hanger.
"100% Original" - This is
not likely either unless the strings have never been
replaced. Most Fender guitars never left the dealer
with all their original hardware. No one wanted a bridge cover that got
in the way or a mute that didn't work. However the 100% verbiage does
instill the shopper with a great deal of confidence. After
all, if it's all there and all original then how could it be a bad
deal? Now you know.