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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Slash Les Paul Standard Antique Vintage Sunburst "counterfeit" from China (MIC)

In three previous articles I have discussed Chinese counterfeits. First a general discussion, a review of a 160 dollars "Fender Telecaster" and then a 270 dollars "Fender Stratocaster Relic YJM". The last one, # 3, is a Gibson Slash Les Paul Antique Vintage Sunburst "Slash Tribute" for $280. The price tag should easily tell anyone on the planet that the whole thing is a "fake". The original, as you may know, was just manufactured in 1600 ex worldwide and goes for over $3000...Worth every penny. 

I once again must point out that I do not intend to promote Chinese "fakes", I just want to inform you about the phenomenon of "Chinese copies". It´s not illegal to purchase counterfeits, but it is to manufacture and sell them, and especially as "originals".

Even if you don't have moral doubts about buying them, you should know that you support illegal activity and infect the business of high quality instruments.

"Enough" about that ...

# 3 arrived one day after the #2. The walk from the Post Office was much more exciting as #2 turned out to be better than #1, I felt at least not fooled. I was excited all the way home.

The package, also a yellow cellophane package, was heavier than the last two. Once home, I opened the package and found a guitar, the same guitar strap as before, one-piece plastic cable and two shitty picks.

After unpacking the box I met a guitar with an excellent finish. I remember thinking:"how on earth can they make this awesome finish for just $280?". I found virtually no errors at all, maybe a bit more colourful in the burst compared to the original.

I comparison to my original "Slash Signature" I noticed that the "Slash logo" is placed slightly crooked, but it's not something you notice if you do not have an original side to side. The Gibson logo is placed where it should be though.

The neck is straight and under the truss rod plate you actually find a "trussrod". It is the third guitar with a truss rod and it´s not made of silicone, which is important to notice. The counterfeits has become better. The truss rod works fine but it doesn't look like the original at all.

The fretboard appears to be made of Rosewood and it feels great. The inlays looks quite authentic to. The frets are also fine, maybe a bit jagged so they get a little trimming.

The guitar is surprisingly perfect intonated right out of the box, a signal that the factory not just throw stuff together, but the strings are horrible. Not quite as bad as the # 1 (Telecaster), but definitely not classy at all. The three way switch works flawless.

The tuners are "vintage style" and works smoothly. The guitar definitely keeps i tune, even at quite rough playing. They are definitely not Kluson Deluxe, it says Gibson Deluxe on them, but they look almost the same. Another detail to remember if you wanna spot a counterfeit.

Electronics inside are no masterwork, the whole thing looks actually rather "cheap" with sloppy soldering, but it works without "humming".

The pickups are not at all Alnico 2 Pro as it should be in the original. They do not sound bad but they are a bit flat sounding. If you change the pupps to Alnico 2 Pro, you will probably get a much better sounding instrument.

The acoustic sound is surprisingly strong as the guitar is made of less wood.

The bridge is stable with a "Tune-o-matic bridge" and lightweight Stopbar tail piece. It looks ok and works like any other "low cost hardtail" on the market.

This Chinese counterfeit may well cause problems for the ignorant, it is a well-functioning instruments with great looks. Compared to an original Gibson Standard you will notice a difference, of course. But as an instrument it works really well as delivered. If you change hardware it will become a great guitar, there is no doubt about that.

Again, I am pleasantly surprised by the quality versus price. My Chinese # 1, # 2 and # 3 will remain in my possession and will remind me of the globalized world and how it affects us and how it will continue to fool us.

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