The Fake ESP Thread

Updated
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.

Valentin P.

Hi, my first ESP and it seems I've been scammed. I bought this guitar for ''ESP M1'' and it seems its a fake. It says ''Rhythm in jump dancing close to you'' om the bridge. I'm just shattered.

Pushead

Well, I'm not feeling good about this one. What does the serial number say? It looks like it starts IR, which at best would put it as a Chinese or Indonesian LTD. The bridge is obviously not stock (though that engraving brings back hilarious memories.)

I'd try to get your money back.

Valentin P.

Yeah, I did return it yesterday. I don't have much experience with ESP guitars, less though with supposedly "vintage ones" but this guitar was unnaturally light - my Jackson Soloist Stars feels double the weight (and ten times the quality) of it. This had some Dimarzio pickups but was the guitar with less sustain I have ever played, maybe partly due to the crappy bridge - the posts on this thing were moving freely...

No doubt a fake, a Franken partcaster ESP built or who knows, but no chance of it being a genuine 1986 M1 as it was advertised. Even the entry level LTD 60 series feel much better quality wise. Thanks for taking the time to answer and best regards! 

Valentin P.

Serial number was: E256768 I think...

And both the ESP logo on the headstock and the serial number on the back were just some stickers quite easy to peel off... I don't believe genuine ESPs come that way. 

Rafly R.

Hi, could you check out this ec-256, I came across some good deals on the marketplace and was interested in purchasing one of these guitars

 

And this too

Thank you

Pushead

Both legit. The green is a 2017 model, the black a 2016.

Rafly R.

Thank you for your answers!!

Harlow


I have had a few ESP / LTD guitars, but never had a bass, recently came across this below, just wonder where and when it was made and what value it may have?

 

 

Pushead

It's legit. Hard to get an exact year without pulling the neck, but it's early to mid 90s.

 

Parsa

Is this real or fake ltd kh602 ? 

Apaman

Hi!

I just wanted to make sure that this is legit MX250. What you guys think? I find it little bit weird that there is a fake one with that same serial number so thats why i'm asking here

 

This is the fake:

 

This is the MX i'm about to buy:










Pushead

The KH-602 is legit. It's a 2018 model.

Neither of the MX guitars above are legit.

Raf

Hi Pushead,

How do you see that the black one is not legit? 
I am the owner, I bought it 2 years ago, I also had a recent MX-2 and didn’t see or feel any quality difference.

So if you think it’s not legit, I have to know why, because if I don’t wanna fool anybody

Pushead

Hey Raf,

Here's where I see issues with the black MX:

1) The serial number format shows it would be from before 2003, but a guitar from that era wouldn't have the Nashville style bridge (large screw head.) From that era, it would have an ABR-1 style bridge.

2) The serial number font and printing is wrong for that era.

3) The bridge and stop bar both look low quality. The screws for the saddles remind me of hardware from Epiphone guitars. The same with the stop bar. The large section behind the screws makes it feel like it doesn't fit well together.

4) The switch. Again, it just looks low quality. I can't remember if the switch on mine was all black when I bought it, or if I replaced it.

5) The nut shouldn't have the groves filed so deep into the nut. Or rather, the nut should be filed down so the string grooves don't fit so far down.

6) The logo feels wrong. Perhaps it's just a combination of being slightly more toward the tip that I'm used to and the poor image quality. I'm used to seeing the separation between segments of the speaker in the logo. It also makes me feel like the headstock shape is slightly off, too.

Now, I could be wrong. The hardware and the nut could have all been swapped over the years. The body shape seems pretty good. The photo quality and angles might be throwing me off. The photo next to a legit Iron Cross does a lot to give credibility to someone who would have the resources to have a real one. But, based on what I see here, I'm leaning more toward it being a refinished Edwards guitar or a straight up copy.



Raf

Hi Pushead,

Thanks a lot for your complete answer, I'll send you a PM with more pictures.  There are still some unclear points for me 

Pushead

Hey Raf,

As I said in the PM, there are a lot of things that seem right about this guitar; the body shape, the fingerboard material, and the frets. But then there are things that make me question it. I'm going to share these pics with a few friends of mine who have more experience with the guitars from this era (especially the MX guitars) to see if they have a different opinion.

Raf

Great, waiting for your feedback!

thanks a lot!

Pushead

Ok, so I talked with some of my friends who have legitimate experience with 90s era MX guitars. They all pegged the same things as I did, including the truss rod access and the routing in the pickup cavities. 3 out of 3 all came back with it being a fake.

I'm sorry man, I hate that you were taken for the price of a legit MX.

Raf

Thanks a lot for your help, now I know what I have in my hands.

I’ll try to sell it as a replica.  I don’t want to keep a fake ESP

Cheers man, disappointing but clear

Richard F.

Here’s an eclipse I found at guitar center yesterday. I have little to no doubt about it’s authenticity, I’m more interested in possibly finding out what you think it’s worth, given the obvious damage to the body. Also, there are a few spots on the back that look suspect. Very uniform looking ‘holes’? They’re asking $275 & I’m fully prepared to pay that, provided y’all think it’s worth it. As far as the hideous attempt that someone made to fix the front, I can easily have it professionally done, for little to nothing. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks in advance. 

Richard F.

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