The Fake ESP Thread

The Fake ESP Thread

Pushead and I are here to help verify ESP and LTD guitars. If you have, or are looking to buy a guitar that you're unsure of, post pictures and questions in this thread. Please post clear pictures of the front and back of the headstock, the fretboard, and the front and back of the body. Preferably before you buy anything.

Anyone else is free to offer suggestions on authenticity. If you answer a post, please tell us why you think it's real or fake.

Dirk V.

The Tuners say ‘usa sperzel’

Dirk V.

And the serial number is



The Truckster is probably fine. I'd suspect he's not the original owner and the TRC was replaced.


Pushead - So question, I saw this LTD EC-1000T CMT with an odd looking serial number. I saw it at Sam Ash and was wondering if it's fake.

1. The top stamp is much higher than other EC-1000 that I have seen.

2. The serial number starts with a U. I couldn't find another example that had a U. 




Seems to be a 2011 model. The U serial numbers came from the Korean Usung factory, I have a bass that was made there. Hard to judge from just a single photo, but the tuners are correct and other than position, the logos all seem fine. There's nothing that raises a flag in my mind, but I'd like to see more photos before saying for sure.


Hi all!

and Hi Pushead!


Absolute killer thread!


Can you please tell me if this beauty is a real E-II ?

Thx for your help!





Hey man. Yeah, it's a legit 2013 model. 2013 was a transition year, so the branding from that year is a bit different from what they use in the years after.


So nice man, thank you for your reply!

Felipe G.

Hey, guys! 

Is this a fake? 

Thanks for the help. 


Sorry if the pictures are too crappy. It's the best I got. 


Yes, it's a fake. We've seen this one on the forum before.

Justin M.

Is this real ? I need some



This seemed a little suspicious. Neck pickup added?



Hard to tell without more pics, but I suspect the neck pickup route is stock. The bridge, on the other hand is probably not stock. It looks wonky because the bridge pins are sitting outside of the route. I wonder if they pulled out at one time and had to be re-drilled, or if they found a bridge that was "close enough" when they replaced it.

The guitar is from the early to mid 80s, based on the rounded Jackson shape, (possibly even from the Kramer co-production days.) The body and cutaway shapes seem fine.

I'd say "legit," but then ask why you would want it?

Andreas E.

What do we think about this Vulture? 

I really hope this is the real deal, because I get a good price and I really want this model. 

But I can't see it in person before I by it, since it is located in the other end of the country. 

The thing that throws me off is the CoA. Hetfield has never signed his name like that. And when I look at the CoA from the #8 guitar it looks totally different. 

But that might be because this (#24) guitar is from Japan and the no8 is from the states? I thought that there where no more signature series from the US since 2012, all was from the Custom shop in Japan? 

The no: oh cant publish URL. But Google ESP Vulture Certificate and the no8 is the one that shows up with pics with both the guitar, CoA and case.


The guitar looks legit to me. I suspect the difference in the COA would be because the guitars were sold in different countries. Todd Binder (from the 008 COA) is a VP at ESP in the USA. I've seen the other signature on the 024 COA, but I don't know who it is. I suspect he's from Japan.

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