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.

Clinton H.

Thanks for creating this thread! @rkz, is this one real?


Looks good to me. KH-202 model

Jeffro "Attilla D" Hunt

Pushead- I appreciate the time and attention that you have put into this very much.. I now (and others too, I bet) have a much better knowledge base to draw from for the next time I encounter a guitar of this type in a pawn shop. Now to battle with them over this. I know that it is unlawful to buy or sell counterfeit guitars, so I might have some leverage here on getting a refund. If I can't get a refund for it, I am not sure what to do with it. Guess I better start measuring to see if it is save-able as a guitar at all, or find a band shooting a video that wants to film rampant destruction of the guitarist smashing the hell out of this thing. LOL ! Live and learn, I suppose. 
Anyway, Thanks again for both the good news and the bad news, I really appreciate it. 


Good luck, man.

Nath S.

Got this esp iron cross does it all look good?


Is this real KH-602? 

My concerns:

1) Neck -  back is not painted. Every KH-602 I saw had black neck,

2) No ESP logo on the back,

3) No country of manufacture on the back of headstock (should be Korea),

4) Fretboard wood is too light, wood on my KH-602 is much darker (deep dark brown vs light brown on this guitar).

5) Where's battery compartment for active pickups?






Looks good to me. Congrats!

Flametoblack, I responded to your other thread. The simplified answer is I don't see anything that seems too far off about the guitar, but it doesn't match any spec for the guitar I've ever seen. I'd email [email protected] to see what they say.

Chad L.



yall still looking at ESPs?

I called ESP and sent them pics. The guy on the phone said it looked good. But I can not find any info about this guitar. 

It’s a 1993 (based on serial number on the headstock)

suposted to be a m ii skull and crossbones. The guitar before Kirks signature one. 

it looks all good. But it’s a neck thru model. But it has the ESP custom on the headstock. Has the skull and crossbones on the neck for dots. 

is there a way to see what this is. Guy at ESP said is was a custom order to make it a neck thru rather that a bolt on, which is the standard m ii skull and crossbones. 

It is a hard one to verify as it looks all good. But confused about it. 

Chad L.

Chad L.

Chad L.

Chad L.

Thanks for looking. I couldn’t figure out how to do all the pics on one post. Sorry for all the separate posts. 

thanks for all the help provided. Thanks for you time to each of reply’s. 


With that serial number, it's definitely a Custom Shop order. In 92-93 they had a model called the M-II Deluxe, which was a bolt-on with the skull and bone inlay. I suspect this was a special ordered version of that guitar. Definitely legit, definitely cool.

Chad L.

Thanks for the reply. I do think it’s a one off custom order. I had only talked to the customer service and it looked good from the pictures I sent ESP. But wanted another look at it from you as seems you know what your looking at. 

The ESP guys officially just got back to me as well and said the same thing. ESP customer service sent me a email of a picture of it in the catalog. And unless it was ordered, then it was a bolt on. So kinda cool it has the thru neck. 

The guy in the phone at ESP customer service was great. He took the time to see my pictures on email and gave me his opinion at the time of the sale. 

It plays super good. It’s my first ESP shredder with a Floyd Rose (type). Got a PRS custom 24 and a custom shop 50th anniversary fender Strat. And this ESP is definitely fun. Time to play some METAL!!! 

Thanks for all the info to inform people of these guitars. That’s an awesome thing your doing!!! Hate people getting ripped off. 


Thanks man, I'm glad I could help.

But mostly, I'm in it for the babes.

Adam C.

Wow what an awesome thread to find.  I just picked up this Stephen Carpenter 7 string.  I know there were a couple mods already (85-7 in the bridge, looks like the volume and tone knob have been swapped out, and no truss rod cover)

I'm feeling a little paranoid after skimming through this thread.  Do these pictures led to an answer?


It's legit. A 2014 model.

Adam C.

Thanks a ton!


Hi guys

wondering if you can help me if this ltd ec-256 are legit thanks for your help



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