Hello and welcome to Rough Guitars.


My name is Simon Roughan. My passion is pimping Chinese built guitars

to the point that they are barely distinguishable from real, sinfully expensive custom shop models.

I import the body and neck, kit it out with great hardware, give it a complete fret job, set it up and fine tune it.

It's a lot of work, but it's work that I love.

I've been playing and pulling apart guitars for years. After I built a couple of Frankenstrats with humbuckers, I got to thinking about an old Les Paul I used to own, and started dreaming about a new one.


In the online search for an affordable Les Paul, I stumbled upon the so-called "Chibsons". For those not in the know, Chibsons are chinese Gibson "knock-offs". They have a reputation for being outfitted with inferior hardware and terrible pickups. Needless to say, set up and end control are nonexistant.

There is, however, no question that the guitars have a sound fundamental build and the finishes look fantastic.

Chinese guitar making has improved exponentially in the last 10 years.

Me, playing at the Summer Festival in Dunedin,

New Zealand, 1987.

And that's my 1974 20th Anniversary

Les Paul Custom.

Buying, importing or owning counterfeit goods is illegal in Germany, as it should be. Still, I was curious about these great-looking guitars and did some research. I made contact with a factory in China and persuaded them to make guitars for me with my own headstock design and logo. These are not falsely branded copies, or forgeries of any kind. These are factory produced OME (Original Manufacturer Equipment) "Rough" brand guitars.


The guitars I received were excellent, both visually and in build. But I'll be honest. If you look really, really closely, you can see small flaws in some places. It's certainly not the quality you would expect from an american cutom shop. That being said, a beautiful instrument does not have to be a super luxury item. If you've got €1000's to spend on a guitar, you're probably on the wrong website.

These guitars just need a bit of love and attention to become really good instruments.

So I get to work.


This website is a presentation to you of the results...


...that, of course, I would like to sell ;-)

© 2019 Rough Guitars

Copyright Notice: All other instrument names mentioned on these pages (e.g. Strat, Stratocaster, Tele, Telecaster, Les Paul, PRS, etc.) are registered product names of other companies (e.g., Fender, Gibson, etc.). Rough Guitars has no affiliation with these products or with any of these companies


Copyright-Hinweis: Alle auf diesen Seiten erwähnten Namen anderer Instrumenten (z.B. Strat, Stratocaster, Tele, Telecaster, Les Paul, PRS usw.) sind eingetragene Produktnamen anderer Firmen (z.B. Fender, Gibson, usw). Rough Guitars ist weder mit diesen Produkten, noch mit diesen Firmen in irgendeiner Form verbunden.