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The guitar above is a perfect example of what can happen if you don't check the guitar out before purchasing it. The guitar above is real, although the neck has been change from a pointy head stock to a strat head stock and the ultra rare hard to find original bridge has been removed and replaced with a newer style bridge. Be careful!  The right-most guitar is in its original form.  The left-most is after the seller modified the guitar to try and get more out of the sale.

 

 Above we have, what I like to call the "fab four".  They look killer don't they?  If you're a new collector, these four would sure get you checking your credit card balance!!!!  That's just what the builder of these is trying to do, make them very irresistible.  Look at them very carefully, because they are ALL FAKES. There might be a real neck on one and a real body on another, but they are all 100% FAKE! Scroll down do know why........

 

 

 Well, let's start with the black strat.  Look at the 12th fret inlays, and notice how far apart they are.  That's a dead giveaway that the neck is NOT a Charvel neck.  Also look at the picture on the right showing the back of the neck: NO SKUNK STRIPE!!  All Charvels have a skunk stripe that will start right between the 1st and 2nd fret (on the back of the neck) and continue all the way down.  Check out those tuners..... GROVER tuners on a Charvel?  Notice also the logo, it's not a pre-production logo. Its a large Charvel logo. Note: It's ok to have a large Charvel logo, but you better have a Charvel neck plate to go with it!!!  There is a blank black unmarked plate on this guitar.  Lets check out the next one.......

 

 

Here we go again: Grover tuners, large logo and no neck plate. But this one has a skunk stripe and the 12th position markers are correct. It is a Charvel neck for sure, but the body is most likely a FAKE.  Three of the four Charvels are hard tails. Hard tail Charvels are almost always fake. This is because original vintage tremolo bridges are very hard to obtain and without one, your stuck.  There are a few hard tail Charvels I've heard of that were real but I've yet to see one, especially three in the same picture!  The strap buttons are also wrong, as were the buttons on the black guitar.  One thing you might notice is that if you find one fake, there most likely will be others.  The people that acquire these types of Charvels, or parts to make one usually get them from the same source.

 

 

 

 

 Look at the two logos on the left.  They are both pre-production logos (small). Now look at the logos on the right; they are both large logos.  Charvels with the small pre-production logos don't have serial number plates in most cases.  And the Charvels with the large logos always have serial number plates, unless the were employee built or were removed.  There are a few VERY rare employee made guitars out there without serial numbers.  If you have a Charvel without the serial number plate and it has the large logo, it's probably NOT real.  Also, compare the 12th fret position markers on the neck at the right with the other three, see how far apart they are?  The neck at the right is the fake; the other three are real.

 

 

 

 

 Here are some pictures of the other two Strats.  Check them out and see if you can see whats wrong.  No plate's, wrong tuners, wrong strap buttons, and large logo's.

 

 

Somebody just mailed me pictures of this fake.  This one is the same as the others it's just a little better, at least they used a Charvel neck plate! I think this guitar was at one time original and someone changed the neck, this neck is genuine Fender all the way.  Kluson tuners and no skunk stripe are also a dead give away.


 Keep in mind that just because most of these are not real Charvels or Jacksons doesn't make them bad guitars.  Just be careful of what your buying.  Don't pay out the nose for some guitar you have questions about unless you don't mind if its real or not! And remember, people NEVER FAKE the pointy head stocks and they don't fake neck-thru Jacksons. 

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