8 Tips on How to Spot Fake or Counterfeit Electric Guitars | Other | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

8 Tips on How to Spot Fake or Counterfeit Electric Guitars

With the rising popularity of electric guitars, the market has seen a surge in sales and production over the past decade. While this influx has granted more people access to pick up the instrument, it has also paved the way for unscrupulous manufacturers to peddle fake or counterfeit guitars.

Whether you’re an aspiring musician looking to upgrade your gear or a collector searching for rare pieces, it’s important to know how to spot these imitations before making a purchase.

In this blog post, we will dive into the world of fake and counterfeit electric guitars and provide you with valuable insights on how to identify them. With this knowledge, you can confidently navigate through online marketplaces or local music shops without falling victim to these fraudulent practices.

Inspect the Build Quality

With a burgeoning market of fake and counterfeit electric guitars, it’s essential to be vigilant during the purchasing process. One of the tried and tested methods of spotting a fake electric guitar is by inspecting its build quality.

Poorly fitted parts, uneven finishes, and visible gaps between components are red flags that the guitar may not be authentic. While some counterfeit guitars can come close to resembling the real thing, they often fall short in terms of build quality.

Check the Logos and Branding

Spotting fake or counterfeit electric guitars can be challenging, as counterfeiters often go to great lengths to imitate the real thing. One way to identify a fake electric guitar is to pay close attention to the logos and branding.

Counterfeiters often overlook small details, such as font size or logo placement. A legitimate guitar brand will typically have a consistent and recognizable logo, so keep an eye out for any discrepancies.

Additionally, compare the logo and branding with authentic versions to spot any differences. By being vigilant and paying attention to details, you can avoid purchasing a fake or counterfeit electric guitar.

Consider the Price

While everyone loves a bargain, you should exercise caution when it comes to electric guitars, as the market is rife with counterfeit or fake instruments. Reputable brands rarely offer steep discounts on their guitars, so if you spot a price that’s significantly lower than what you’d expect, it’s important to question it.

While some rare exceptions to this rule may exist, it’s best to approach such deals with skepticism and do your research before making any purchase. Remember, a quality electric guitar is an investment that can serve you for years to come, so don’t let the allure of a cheap price tag lead you down a regretful path.

Test the Electronics

A genuine electric guitar will have quality pickups that produce a clean, clear tone without any unwanted noise or buzzing. On the other hand, fake guitars often have cheap pickups that lack in sound quality and may produce an unpleasant buzz when played.

To test this out, plug in the guitar into an amplifier and play around with different settings while strumming each string individually. Listen closely for any buzzing or static noises coming from the amp – this could be a red flag for a fake guitar.

Look at the Hardware

Electric guitars are an investment, and as with any investment, it is crucial to ensure that you are getting what you’re paying for. Authentic guitars use quality tuners, bridges, and other hardware parts that function to bring out the sound of the instrument.

Knockoffs, on the other hand, opt for cheap, shoddy replacement pieces that are likely to break down over time and can affect the guitar’s performance. Therefore, it is essential to scrutinize the hardware of any guitar you intend to buy to avoid wasting your hard-earned cash on a fake instrument.

Study the Neck

An important aspect to look at is the fretboard radius. This refers to the curvature of the fretboard, and it should match the specific model of the guitar you are examining. Counterfeiters often overlook this detail and use generic fretboards for multiple models, which results in mismatched dimensions.

Also, pay close attention to the shape of the neck itself. Many popular guitar brands have trademarked neck shapes that are unique to their models. If you notice any discrepancies between what is advertised and what you see on the guitar in question, it could be a red flag indicating that it may be fake.

Consider the Age

It goes without saying that if you come across a brand new “vintage” guitar, it should raise some red flags. Genuine vintage guitars have been around for decades and, as such, will show signs of wear and tear. However, these tell-tale signs can also be replicated by skilled counterfeiters, so it’s important to dig deeper.

One way to do this is by checking for date or year codes stamped inside genuine vintage axes. These codes denote when the guitar was manufactured and can provide valuable insights into its authenticity.

When in Doubt, Consult Experts

Take any guitar you suspect is fake to a trusted tech or dealer for their professional opinion. These individuals have extensive knowledge and experience with authentic guitars and can easily identify any red flags on a potential fake.

They may also be able to provide you with additional information about the instrument’s provenance, further verifying its authenticity. Always seek professional opinions before making a purchase or investing your hard-earned money in an expensive instrument that may turn out to be fraudulent.

This article was a guest contribution. A veteran in the world of electric guitars, Michelle’s expertise extends beyond playing to the authentication of these instruments. Her comprehensive understanding of guitar craftsmanship and her keen observational skills make her an authoritative figure in spotting fake and counterfeit guitars.

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