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I bought a new Yamaha Guitar and When you look inside the guitar hole it looks like the model number is written by hand. Can you please tell me if this one is a fake one or not? The number written on it cannot be found on Yamaha website.

I have attached a pic below. Thanks!

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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I once had a Hand-made Yamaha Classical Guitar with the number hand-written (next to a signature). If it were a fake, there would be other signs (inferior craftsmanship). [If anyone sees one with a Dia-de-los-Muertos necklace around the head, probably in a pawn shop, it's mine! I want it back! Damned burglar.] – luser droog Jul 7 '13 at 4:27
@luserdroog Thanks a lot for your reply. but the problem is the number written on it cannot be found on Yamaha website. – onefourone14 Jul 7 '13 at 4:38
Oh, then you should edit that into the question. That changes things a little. It could be from a "licensed" shop. But I know very little about how Japanese licencing works. – luser droog Jul 7 '13 at 4:41
It does seem that the label is particularly poorly printed. I would have thought Yamaha would be more careful with how heir trademark appeared. I think you're only going to know by comparing it with one from a recognised Yamaha dealer. – Andrew Leach Jul 7 '13 at 7:57
I have some friends who sell instruments and have been doing so for a while, so they might be able to help out when asked. I just wanted to clarify one point: since you say you can't find the model number written anywhere, maybe it would be helpful if we could try to reach a consensus on what it says. To me it looks like "GX-3000" but I could maybe see a "GV" or "2000" in there, so I'd be curious to know if other people are seeing something I'm not. The only GX guitar I know of from Yamaha is the GX-1 which is a headless electric model and therefore not what you have. I'm not aware of any othe – Evan Carlstrom Jul 7 '13 at 20:43
up vote 21 down vote accepted

Yup, probably.

A few reasons I say this:

  • In my experience, the biggest strength of Yamaha musical instruments is consistency -- to see something that looks handwritten is a pretty big red flag.
  • You haven't mentioned a serial number at all. I assume that if there was one, you would include it. One aspect of that consistency is that every single genuine Yamaha instrument will have a serial number, with which one could trace the instrument's origins. If it's missing by design, the instrument is not genuine.
  • I did a google image search to compare your image with ones of genuine instruments. The design of the sticker inside the sound hole varies with the time period, but I noticed the following qualities that are present in ALL of those versions, even back many decades:
    • The model number is always CLEARLY displayed in big block letters, often larger than the Yamaha logo itself.
    • The sticker inside the sound hole is almost always the same shape as the border. For example, if the border is oval or rounded rectangular, the whole sticker is the same shape. Your image showing a rounded border but a rectangular sticker seems to be pretty anomalous.

Here's the closest example I could find: a Yamaha FG-402. The sticker pattern has the same kind of border as the one you posted, but the sticker itself is shaped to the border instead of rectangular.

Sticker example

This image also clearly shows where you would find the serial number.

It also brings up something else. See the language used on the sticker in that picture:

Made by Kaohsiung Yamaha Co., Ltd.
in Taiwan in accordance with specifications of
Yamaha Corporation

Whereas your sticker appears to say:

Made in Japan
in accordance with specification of
Yanaha Corporation

Typos are a HUGE indicator for counterfeit merchandise.


After quickly looking over the other imagery you provided, I think the logo on the headstock in particular is quite suspect. I believe the "YAMAHA" wordmark is not in the correct typeface. If you compare it to the inside sticker (which in your case is probably a photocopy), the middle stems of the letter "M" are not supposed to meet the baseline in the proper wordmark, but on your headstock it does appear to. Also the other letters ("Y" in particular) look too wide to me. Every other genuine Yamaha guitar you ever see will have the same exact wordmark, in the exact same typeface.

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Thanks for this NReilingh. – onefourone14 Jul 8 '13 at 2:52
It would be interesting to know where/how you acquired the guitar--if it's shady, that's another indicator, but if it's reputable you might have some rights you can exercise. – NReilingh Jul 8 '13 at 3:02
some brands, especially those who do handmade instruments, often hand write serials (see PRS). the spelling mistake on the sticker is more worrying ;) a shot of the guitar itself + headstock will probably help more!. – Matt D Jul 9 '13 at 0:44
@NReilingh I bought this from a local musical instrument vendor. – onefourone14 Jul 10 '13 at 4:28

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