• pasapounakis

    How to spot a fake ESP

    Hi everyone, this is my first post here on the forum!!! 

    So here's the deal.
    I am about to buy a second hand ESP Eclipse II VB with it's OHSC  (Standard Series btw).

    Here's the thing. I want to make sure it's legit. I can only go so far on my own so I need a few tips on what to look for to make sure it is the real deal. Little things that no counterfeit manufacturer would think of. 

    So far I've checked the guitar out once, as the seller lives quite far away. Here are a few things that I noticed, that I considered noteworthy.

    • Ok so first off I do have a serial number and the guitar was produced in 2007.
    • The tuners said Gotoh on the back of them.
    • A large area of the gold paint from the tuneomatic bridge had faded to reveal a silver bridge underneath. (Does the gold paint come off that easily???)
    • The guitar felt great to play on and was very comfortable. (Comparing this to a 100% real Eclipse I tested not long ago)
    • Pretty sure the fretboard was ebony. It was the right color and everything. It felt great. (But are there any other types of dark colored/black wood that could be used on a fretboard?)
    • Also, was the ESP Eclipse VB of 2007 shipped in different types of cases? I can't remember for sure right now but I think the case didn't have a cutaway to fit the shape of the guitars' body. Also It had a small compartment on one side of the area that the neck sits on (Basically you could open this compartment without lifting the guitar out of the way). A friend of mine who has the same guitar, but a 2011 model, had it dilivered in a case that had a large compartment that covered all the section on which the guitar neck rests.


    Any help and tips on identyfying a fake would be trully appreciated guys.

    Thanks in advance,


    • Pushead

      Pictures or a link would help.

      The gold plating on the hardware will eventually chip or wear away to a nickel.  Fretboard would be ebony.  I've seen different types of ESP branded cases, but fwiw, here's one of mine.

    • pasapounakis

      Thanks for the reply Pushead.

      Here are 4 photos the seller sent me. The quality is bad though!!!

      Hope they help. But I'm currently 99% sure this guitar is authentic. I highly doubt that anybody would be able to replicate an ESP so closely (based on the feel, weight and quality of wood that is).


      P.S. So the case did have a cutaway... :p

      P.S. 2 I think there should be a sticky thread here on the forum giving tips on spotting real ESP guitars and distinguishing them from the cheap copies.


      Here are the pics


    • Pushead

      It looks good to me.

      Here is the back of my headstock, if you're interested in comparing.

    • Pushead

      Yeah, the guitar in those pics is a regular gloss finish.  The matte finish gets sort of glossy as it's used.  If the guitar was used enough to wear the gold plating off the bridge, it's fairly likely that the neck has gotten the wear.  Here's a pic of my only matte guitar.  You can see spots that have gotten glossy from a combination of sweat and wear/rubbing.


      Purple instead of black, but you get the idea.