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Which guitar is this?

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I recently inherited my brother's old guitar (more like rescued it from storage) and have been working on getting it back into playing shape after about 12 years of disuse. Being new to guitars in general, I've been searching online to try and figure out the model.

On first glance, it looks like it's an Epiphone. The case is branded Epiphone and it also has it on the truss guard. Also, the metal plate connecting the neck to the body says Epiphone with different numbers and designations (don't remember off the top of my head what they are as I don't have it with me at the moment).

Here's where it gets confusing (at least for me :) ). The body style looks exactly like a Fender Strat. As a matter of fact, almost exactly like this picture:


By my best guess, it was purchased sometime around 1996, but I don't know anything more about it. Does anyone have any ideas what it could be?

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A Fender Stratocaster SSS (not an HSS fat-strat) or clone. Maybe a Squier but it should say Fender or Squier on the headstock.

With Epiphone branding?

Is it a counterfeit? XD

EDIT: For the curious, no I didn't really read the post the first time through. I'd like to see more pictures of the guitar, from multiple angles.

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Quick Google searching shows that Epiphone did indeed make Strat copies (Made in Korea or China), and there's even reviews for an "Epiphone Strat Style" guitar on Harmony Central. Seems that they were discontinued a while ago.

Here's some examples on eBay - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220218871529 & http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260224184813

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Uploaded some pics:



I think Majin's right, it's just a Gibson/Epiphone copy of the strat. I couldn't get a good picture of the back plate, but it basically just says made in Korea with the Ep logo and a serial number. Thanks for your help guys.

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Bluefox, shut up :(

Anyway, yeah it is indeed a legit guitar made by Epiphone, I found one on the street in a pile of garbage a couple years ago, no amount of cleaning would get rid of the filth....

Anyway, the sparkly silver finish more typical, I've also seen a very nice looking natural finish version (norg had one which he sold to housethegrate).

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EDIT: Hahah, wikipedia explained it better: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headstock#Signature_headstock_outlines


The guitar head should tell--each company has a slightly different shape to their heads.

Let me explain:

Check out the heads of the following guitars





They look the same. As I said, the guitar head is like the manufacturer's signature--a kind of branding--and as you know, Squier is a sub-branding of the Fender brand. Hence the similarities.

Now some different ones that you'll find consistent as a branding mechanism for the following brands.

A Parker:


An Ibanez:


A Gretsch:


A Gibson:


An Epiphone:


Now what's interesting is that Epiphone is a sub-branding under Gibson. As you can see, both heads have that trademark cupid's-bow dip in the middle top but they gave the Epiphone an extra bevelling to create a distinction. The heads are similar to the Gretsch, but as you can see, there are specific characteristics that distinguish them.

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