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#1
19th February 2007
Old 19th February 2007
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Chinese Les Paul Clones

I've searched and searched but cannot find a review or comment on the quality of the les paul clones scammers are selling on ebay and craigslist. Sorry if someone ripped you off but can you tell me how they play? I've noticed some people are just flat out selling them now...for the original $300 price tag.

I don't want to post the link because I haven't read the terms and don't want to lose my account on the first post.

******
#2
23rd February 2007
Old 23rd February 2007
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Xaviere - Zemaitis Clone

I bought one of these last year just to see if it was any good. I had planned on giving it to my nephew who was learning guitar. I ended up keeping it for myself.

Huge surprise! The build quality, fit and finish was actually quite good and the guitar plays and sounds great.

http://store.guitarfetish.com/instxvledrfl.html
#3
25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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not sure if you meant the japanese les pauls???

But... i bought an epiphone elitist last year. i'm pretty sure those are manufactured in japan.

took it to a well known guitar tech shop in nashville to get it set up.

the dude said he had owned, worked on, and played lots of gibson LPs... even LPs more than 5 times the price. he said mine was the best les paul he had ever played.
#4
25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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My Ibanez AF105NT has a neck made in Japan and everything else made in China.

The neck is perfect and the inlay work and the rosewood headstock overlay
would rival the work on almost any American made guitar.

The Body and electronics were made in China, but everything and I mean everything
on this guitar is amazing for the price.
I'm leaving mine " as shipped " but I guess you could upgrade the electronics
if the Chinese guts don't float your boat.

If you want one of the best Japanese built LP knockoff's, consider the Tokai's
Remember the lawsuit Gibsons?
http://www.tokai-guitars.co.uk/

You need to do your research on these guitars because the Japanese one's are the one's to buy,
the newer Korean models aren't so hot.
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#5
25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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Both the Japanese Tokai's and Ibanez's really are exceptionally good.

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25th February 2007
Old 25th February 2007
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26th February 2007
Old 26th February 2007
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I am referring to the gibsons and fenders that are not only unlicensed but actually branded with "Fender" and "Gibson" (and "Gretsch" etc). They are manufactured by a company that goes by the name of "Musoland." According to many threads on ebay forums unscrupulous merchants are selling these as the real thing. I found out about them from a local craigslist thread where an unsuspecting buyer acquired one and was alerting the public to the scam. Nevertheless, given the reputation of Tokai and others (with products bearing quality sometimes [often] exceeding that of their legitimate domestic counterparts) I was curious if these things actually played well. I've seen a few pop up on ebay where the sellers were kind enough to note the actual maker so I know they're out there. Just wondering how they stack up to the good Tokais. Re: the good epiphone, I believe it. I would never discredit the work of a fine luthier, but to ignore the advances in manufacturing technology over the past decade would be equally foolish. The technology that exists now at the cost that it does must force big american guitar mfgs to instruct their various asian mfgs to "make poor guitars." I'm assuming they must now program "cheap" into the process to avoid trumping grossly overpriced domestic models with their amateur outsourced brands. When Gibson starts finding threads on gearslutz about epiphones being better than Gibsons...you can bet it's going to come up at the next meeting. Needless to say, there is a worldwide guitar bubble and it needs to be popped.
#8
26th February 2007
Old 26th February 2007
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My neighbor just bought some totally off name semi-tele spin off for less than $200.00
and owns numerous fine guitars.

He swears this Chinese guitar is the best playing Tele he's ever had his hands on in
decades.

The Big Two Guitar Companies better get their act together before they end up like the
Big Three Car companies.

Over managed and under qualified to charge what they charge for an inferior product.

A Japanese built Epiphone Elite model most definitely give any overpriced Gibson a run
for it's money. And it's probably better on gas too.
#9
26th February 2007
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Agile guitars, inexpensive and really well made. Not Chinese, they're Korean
#10
26th February 2007
Old 26th February 2007
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A fellow brought a Chinese eBay Les Paul in to my local music shop...

There was no back panel to access the pots and pick-ups - they were sealed into the guitar. There didn't appear to be a truss rod. It was brought in because the top nut broke after a few hours of use.

In this case is was a piece of ruined wood.
#11
28th February 2007
Old 28th February 2007
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The guitar my friend purchased was a St. Blues

Damn sweet little guitar for less than $200.00

It had a great Tele twang and the action was really surprising.


He also told me about the late 70's Greco and Burny knock offs that
are well made.



A fine example of better Asian craftsmanship
Gots to have it!
Attached Thumbnails
Chinese Les Paul Clones-guitarelectric335knockoff.jpg   Chinese Les Paul Clones-guitarelectrices335front.jpg  
#12
3rd March 2007
Old 3rd March 2007
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Michael Kelly Guitars. I got an ES335 clone. Great for the $.
#13
3rd March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
If you want one of the best Japanese built LP knockoff's, consider the Tokai's
Remember the lawsuit Gibsons?
Yes

ruudman
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Chinese Les Paul Clones-tokai1.jpg  
#14
5th March 2007
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6th March 2007
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One of my clients bought me an Agile gold top as a present on finishing his last CD. It was 199.00 direct from them.

Looks great, plays well, and ad a utility guitar in a busy studio it has earned its keep about 1000 times.

Absurd value.
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7th March 2007
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I know that the OP was asking about these specific rip-offs, which I can't comment on, but I wanted to give my +1 to the Agile guitars.

IMHO unless you are getting the really high end new Gibsons, or a vintage one (and even those are hit-and-miss), then the Agiles are the best bet. I've played (a lot) two 59' RI Gibson LP Historics, 63' Gibson 330TDC, 68' Gibson 335, '64 Gibson SG, '64 Firebird V, a few modern Gibson Firebirds, a mid 90's LP Studio, etc...

Most of them were great guitars (except the LP Studio which felt like crap, and the 68' 335 which was a POS too). I've also played probably 100 Gibsons and Epiphones at the store. I'm not a Gibson guy, but I certainly know a good one from a bad one.

I've got a Agile 335 ripoff (pre-lawsuit). I love it. I wouldn't trade it for a brand new Epiphone anyday. I'd have to have a 335 Historic RI to replace it with something significantly better. No, it's not perfect (still need to replace the electronics, tuners, and pickups), but it's a great guitar. Sounds great, plays great.
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#17
10th March 2007
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The heavily inlayed guitar above was just sold by Bruce Wei for less than $350.00US.

I wrote to him telling him that he should try to find a U.S. sponsor and get his butt over here to work on some finer custom shop guitars.

The man is a gifted artist getting less than 10% of what his work is worth.

Some of those guitars he is offering took 7 months to build and while his inlay work
is hard to beat, the finish quality of his Vietnamese made guitars could be much better.
#18
26th March 2007
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If anyone is looking for a great super affordable guitar that plays very well and sounds great, my neighbor has decided to sell his St. Blues and his Fernandes " The Function"
with the Sustainor, both in absolutely fantastic condition.

I think he wants $300.00 for the St. Blue and $600.00 for the Fernandes.

The St Blues has a great Tele sound with a fast clean neck and the Fernandes has one of the nicest "Law suite" Fender necks I've ever played and that sustainor PU does amazing things.
#19
7th June 2008
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i'm gettin one of those tokai les pauls copies. when i went into the shop to have a look at it, it looked great but i couldn't buy it til i tested it out 1st, it sounded so unbeliveably good.i have to wait 6 WEEKS TO GET IT!!!
i can't wait. i was wondering will it sound as good when it's played on my crappy amp though? when i was at the shop i was playing it on a marshall amp the size of my sofa, was so sweet.
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7th June 2008
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I have a Black Beauty LP copy with gold trimmings made by the Stellar Guitar company... It looks and sounds great. I got it used for well under $300. I think they said it's assembled in Florida.
#21
10th June 2008
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There is a seller on eBay who sells unfinished Les Paul Copies that come in from Korea. I actually bought one not knowing they had the Gibson logo on the headstock as a quick place to stick a couple of P90 pups that I had lying around.

I expected an ok guitar and I was happily surprised. I have built a few guitars and feel like I know what I'm talking about.

The fret work was well done, the routs were clean and the neck joint was solid and straight.

There was a lot of glue on the body from the binding but nothing that I couldn't sand off. The neck binding needed to be cleaned up a little. The thing that annoyed me the most was thay put a veneer on the back to hide that is was made with 3 smaller pieces of mahogany and not one piece. They took a long time to sand off but I eventually got it all off.

I used a wipe on oil finish and the guitar resonates a lot more than a typical mass produced instrument. It means more maintenance in the future but its worth it for the tone.

In the end my "easy project" turned into about a 4 hour project but it was a heck of a lot less time than making another archtop Paulie. Now this is one of my favorite guitars. Its plays exceptionally well. As well as my "real" les paul studio.

The seller's name is classic_axe and I was really happy with the final product. I recommend it to anyone who can handle the work involved. Plus its a great way to get a customized axe on the cheap. For less than $500 you can put in whatever pups you want and really make the guitar your own.
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#22
11th June 2008
Old 11th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zooloo View Post
A fellow brought a Chinese eBay Les Paul in to my local music shop...

There was no back panel to access the pots and pick-ups - they were sealed into the guitar. There didn't appear to be a truss rod. It was brought in because the top nut broke after a few hours of use.

In this case is was a piece of ruined wood.
Have you ever seen a Les Paul Supreme? They don't have control cavities either... and you run a shop?

And I'm sorry to double up on post but i just realized that I did buy a LP body not long ago from this seller on ebay. i haven't done anything with it yet but its a solid maple top with a real mahogany body... no complaints here!

here's the item:

LES PAUL STYLE PROJECT BODY WITH MAHOGANY - eBay (item 110248176242 end time May-06-08 06:24:59 PDT)
#23
13th June 2008
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They play pretty damn well for their price if you ask me...

YouTube - $100 Gibson Les Paul

Im about to load in some SD Seth lovers and Gibson electronics and see how it goes.
#24
13th June 2008
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is that you in the video?
#25
25th June 2008
Old 25th June 2008
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I have several of the guitars you are describing and they are excellent. The ones I have say "Made in USA" and have Gibson serial numbers and everything, but they are Chinese made. I don't know which factory in China made them because I found them in pawn shops. They are such good reproductions, they fooled experienced pawnbrokers. I play them out and people never know they aren't genuine. They look, play, and sound as good as any of the real ones I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ******bag View Post
I am referring to the gibsons and fenders that are not only unlicensed but actually branded with "Fender" and "Gibson" (and "Gretsch" etc). They are manufactured by a company that goes by the name of "Musoland." According to many threads on ebay forums unscrupulous merchants are selling these as the real thing. I found out about them from a local craigslist thread where an unsuspecting buyer acquired one and was alerting the public to the scam. Nevertheless, given the reputation of Tokai and others (with products bearing quality sometimes [often] exceeding that of their legitimate domestic counterparts) I was curious if these things actually played well. I've seen a few pop up on ebay where the sellers were kind enough to note the actual maker so I know they're out there. Just wondering how they stack up to the good Tokais. Re: the good epiphone, I believe it. I would never discredit the work of a fine luthier, but to ignore the advances in manufacturing technology over the past decade would be equally foolish. The technology that exists now at the cost that it does must force big american guitar mfgs to instruct their various asian mfgs to "make poor guitars." I'm assuming they must now program "cheap" into the process to avoid trumping grossly overpriced domestic models with their amateur outsourced brands. When Gibson starts finding threads on gearslutz about epiphones being better than Gibsons...you can bet it's going to come up at the next meeting. Needless to say, there is a worldwide guitar bubble and it needs to be popped.
#26
25th June 2008
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I think I'll get one just to see how good/bad they are.
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25th June 2008
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Some cheap guitars - including Epiphone Les Pauls sold in the US may have some serious design problems - such as the bridge installed in a wrong location so it can't be intonated - according to a guitar tech friend.

I did see a Les Paul custom in a local shop for $250, but it turned out to be a Chinese copy - and on closer inspectiion there were some obvious design flaws. Having been to China recently and seen numerous stores selling counterfeit ipods (I have photos!), I am very leery of buying anything from China. An American friend who lives in China told me not to trust anything to be authentic there - including yamaha guitars, nikon cameras, etc.

On the other hand, almost everything made in Japan is great and better than comparable things made in the US. In fact, not only are the Japanese Fenders better than the US ones in most cases, for a few years in the 80's ALL US fenders were made in Japan.

If you want a good deal on a quality Les Paul, you can get one of those Gibson Les Pauls which is not branded Gibson because of trademark issue in Japan. They are called Orvilles I think and you can get them for $800 or so - about half of their value of a US Gibson.
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#28
26th June 2008
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My sister lives in China and says its nearly impossible to buy a DVD or Xbox game that isn't pirated. Even in a "real" store a lot of managers will copy the DVDs/Games and pass them off as real in an effort to make more money.

But as far as the Chinese LPs go my brother-in-law is going to try and visit the factory in that makes some of the guitars and check out their QC. He plays so he knows what to look for. If they make a good instrument and i can toss in some good pups and better machine heads I'll probably get a couple. I wish they didn't say Gibson though. I don't play a guitar because it has a name on it. I play a guitar because its a good guitar. It could say Guitars 'R' Us for all I care. I guess its the principle of it.
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26th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theGeek View Post
My sister lives in China and says its nearly impossible to buy a DVD or Xbox game that isn't pirated. Even in a "real" store a lot of managers will copy the DVDs/Games and pass them off as real in an effort to make more money.

But as far as the Chinese LPs go my brother-in-law is going to try and visit the factory in that makes some of the guitars and check out their QC. He plays so he knows what to look for. If they make a good instrument and i can toss in some good pups and better machine heads I'll probably get a couple. I wish they didn't say Gibson though. I don't play a guitar because it has a name on it. I play a guitar because its a good guitar. It could say Guitars 'R' Us for all I care. I guess its the principle of it.
i wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole. even IF it looks fine, you would have to check the intonation at each fret. then what if the neck comes off a year later, or won't stay straight, etc. better to get a Mexican strat.

yeah, they sell DVD's on streets and in the subway stores. But here is a tip - offer them 20% of what they are asking. for example they told me 25 yuan per dvd, and I later got them for 5 yuan (75 cents) from the same place and others. Meanwhile 1/3 of them don't play, are the wrong dvd, or have sound drop outs. And if the US customs catches you with them, there is something like a $200 fine for each one. So just stay away from the chinese junk.

I have even bought things on amazon and gotten chinese dvds - and had to demand their return.
#30
26th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregohb View Post
And if the US customs catches you with them, there is something like a $200 fine for each one. So just stay away from the chinese junk.

I have even bought things on amazon and gotten chinese dvds - and had to demand their return.
That's why I wish that they'd put a different name on there
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