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GIBSON GUITARS

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LES PAULS

1.     1981 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe - Cherry Sunburst, (front-1 front-2), (headstock), (back), (case).  Another sweet vintage Deluxe, much like the '78 I put up recently except this one's Cherry Sunburst, instead of Tobacco.  Overall lovely condition and at 33 years, is a true closet classic.  Only mod noted is a top quality pro refret with jumbo frets. The Cherry Sunburst finish retains strong color, rather than the faded red frequently found on old Pauls.  Only light wear exhibited - just check out the pics.  The worst flaws are two lacquer cracks in the top (shown here with flash) which are in the finish only.  Features of the Deluxe were basically identical to the Standard except for pickups, where the Deluxe used the mini-humbuckers and the Standard used the PAF style humbuckers.  A number of players prefer the mini-hums for their brighter tone; they fall between a PAF and a P90 to my ears.  With a perfect neck angle and straight neck, this guitar sets up with low action.  Look around the vintage sites and you'll see few Deluxe's going under $3K, and those that are seem to be in rough shape or not original.  This is an excellent player with low action, nice sustain, and sweet, creamy tone.  Like my buddy Ed says, "old wood sounds better" and judging by this guitar, a new one just doesn't have creamy tone.  Clean vintage Pauls don't come along often and I think this one is a sweet deal at $2100, Includes original Protector case in nice shape; all latches and hinges intact!

2.     2001 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Wine & Chrome, (front), (flame), (back), (headstock), (case). Rare flametop Studio, this is easily a AA top and although the beauty is somewhat lost on a dark wine stain, it looks great in good lighting. This is one of the older "heavy" Studio's, before chambering became a standard feature on all LP's around 2005. Many players are seeking these out, with the belief that a better tone is worth the extra pound or two. The Studio's remain the best value in the "real" Les Paul line, i.e. gloss finish, carved maple cap over mahogany body, trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T Alnico humbucker, Gibson deluxe tuners, etc. Basic construction is the same as the Standard with the exception of cosmetic appointments such as body and neck binding. Cosmetically this one has its share of scratches and dings, but there are no breaks, repairs, or other issues. I attribute the flaws to a careless owner rather than extensive playing time as the frets are near perfect. It's a great playing Paul and for a lacquer finish Studio a nice buy, especially for the many players who are looking for a non-chambered body, which are becoming harder to find. With a new Studio in Wine selling for $1319, for the player this guitar offers substantial savings, an a lovely maple top. Just $729 and includes Gibson brown case. Case is missing the combo latch but other latches work fine.

3.     1997 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Wine& Chrome, (front), (back), (headstock). Sort of the LP mate to the SG above, also finished in transparent red and from the same '97 production year, a quality era for Gibson. You might remember this guitar, which was originally listed as a great player but in rough condition (before-1, before-2 and before-3) with miscellaneous finish chips and wear around the edges, but no structural issues. Martin touched up the rough areas with some "Wine" stain, lacquer over the areas, and buffed out the body. While it's certainly not mint, it is a very presentable guitar. The Studio's remain the best value in the "real" Les Paul line, i.e. gloss finish, carved maple cap over mahogany body, trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T Alnico humbucker, Gibson deluxe tuners, etc. Basic construction is the same as the Standard with the exception of cosmetic appointments such as body and neck binding. The original Studio's, back in the early 80's, were a more distinct model, with an all mahogany body and dot inlays. Following that came the "Studio Standard" with binding, dots, and maple cap - and finally in the late 80's this model. It's a great playing Paul with very minor fret wear (pic) and no structural issues, no cracks, etc., and for a lacquer finish Studio a nice buy, especially for the many players who are looking for a non-chambered Studio, which are becoming harder to find. Just $799 with Gibson deluxe gigbag or $850 with a hardshell case.

4.     2016 Gibson Memphis ES Les Paul - Pelham Blue, (front), (back), (headstock), (cert.), (case). An ingenious marriage of the ES-335 and Les Paul, the ES Les Paul combines a semi-hollow construction with the classic Les Paul shape to provide a guitar thatís very lightweight and capable of a wide variety of applications. It is not simply a ďchambered Les PaulĒ, which has been done before. With its laminated maple top, back and sides in the semi-acoustic construction of the ES-335, and a solid mahogany center block for sustain and feedback reduction, the ES-Les Paul is truly a new guitar; an instant classic. Other features include: mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, 12" radius, pearloid trapezoid inlays, 1.670" nut, white body and neck binding, nickel Kluson single ring tuners, ABR bridge, and lightweight aluminum tailpiece. Pickups are a pair of MHS (Memphis Historic Spec) humbuckers wound to accurately replicate vintage PAFs. Presents as new and untouched with plastic still on the pickguard. This sells new at Wildwood for $3299 but get this ďas newĒ example for $1100 less, just $2199. Includes Gibson brown case and certificate.

5.     Gibson Les Paul "Bugs", (front), (back). Okay, here's a model you've never had a shot at - because it's the only one in existence. Available only through Gibson's "Custom Direct" service, where your $500 membership gives you access to the rarest of the rare. For this particular guitar, Gibson commissioned noted artist Carol Paulsen as part of their "Art of the Guitar II" to paint two "bug" guitars - this Les Paul and an ES-5 ( the ES-5 subsequently sustained a damaged neck, never retailed, and was blown out in a charity auction). As much a work of art as it is a playable instrument, the "Bugs" features a Les Paul Standard with hand-painted bugs on the top, as well as the highest quality Abalone fretboard inlays. It's hard to capture the the beauty and intricacy of her paining in great detail but here are some attempts: pic3, pic4, pic5, pic6, pic7, pic8. Includes original case and warranty card. This guitar was collector owned, unplayed, and mint condition other than very sight tarnish on the edges of the pickups - we can replace the pickup covers if desired. This guitar was obtained through an IRS auction where the original owner, with the finest collection imaginable, was forced to sell off dozens of highly-prized guitars, most of which remained unplayed. Cost to the original owner on this guitar was $10,000. There was not a list price, that was the actual selling price. Offered here, at my humble site, for just $7000. One of these days I hope to contact Ms. Paulsen and, hopefully, offer it on her site as well.

SG'S

1.     1973 Gibson SG Standard, (front), (back), (headstock), (pots/switch), (Gibson/Bigsby), (case).Killer SG in lovely vintage condition, a classic rock icon from the 70's. Pickups are the sought after "Super Humbuckers", designed by Bill Lawrence and easily identifiable by the black epoxy on the underside (pic). This guitar sounds incredible, plays fantastic, and is an excellent example of Gibson's early 70's guitars. Features include mahogany body and neck, ebony fretboard, block inlays, 22 frets, factory Gibson/Bigsby tailpiece, wide Schaller-made tune-o-matic bridge, Gibson/Schaller tuners, narrow 1-9/16" nut, and 24-3/4" scale. All original except for two pots replaced in 1983. You'll note the rounded end of the fretboard (shown here under blacklight), which is more associated with Gibson acoustics but you will see the occasional solid body. Google it and you'll find one recently sold by Elderly with the same feature. Cosmetically, very nice vintage condition with just the usual scratches in the clear coat but nothing through to the finish. No cracks, no repairs, a very solid piece, ready for another 40+ years of jamming. Includes the proper case for a Bigsby-equipped SG, the rectangular tolex case with plush purple lining, top of the line model. Very cool SG with a factory Bigsby for $1950.

2.     2001 Gibson SG Special - Gloss Black, (front), (headstock), (back), (gigbag).The SG Special provides the classic SG tone, but without the cosmetic features of a Standard, it's a better bargain. It features an un-bound neck, dot inlays, screened logo, and uncovered pickups, but is otherwise the same guitar. Its all mahogany construction with unmistakable beveled edges gives it that classic warm SG tone that has helped define the sound of rock, most notably with Angus Young. The light weight, thin body, and deep cutaways make it one of the most comfortable guitars to play. Pickups are 490R/490T Alnico humbuckers. The neck is well rounded and on the chunky side, but not as chunky as a 50's style.Don't confuse this with the faded series, which are good guitars in their own right, but this is the gloss finish model which sells new for a $1K. For more info click here for Gibson's site. A new Special in black or cherry is going to set you back $999 but this one's in excellent condition with a great set up for just $679 with the older & better Gibson wedge-shaped gigbag.

3.     2016 Gibson SG Special Faded Traditional, (front), (back), (headstock), (gigbag). In contrast to the fancier Robby Krieger SG below, this model is a stripped down version but basically all the important elements are there. All mahogany body/neck construction with cherry finish, rosewood fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets, dual humbuckers with corresponding volume/tone controls and 3-way switch, tuneomatic bridge and vintage Kluson style tuners. For pickups Gibson chose the 490R (neck) and 490T (bridge) which are probably a little more suited for rock than the '57s, which are equally adept at most styles of music. The 490T is overwound for a hotter sound and I believe both pickups have more presence than the 57s. The neck is still referred to as a slim taper, although slightly deeper at .818" 1st fret and .963" 12th fret. This guitar is also in perfect condition with no flaws noted and plays with ease. The tone seems to have more life with this faded nitro finish than other Specials Iíve had with a hard gloss finish. Really nice guitar in perfect condition for $575. Includes clean, original wedge gigbag.

 

GIBSON OR USA EPI SEMI-HOLLOW & ARCHTOPS:

2013 Gibson ES-339 Traditional Pro Figured Top, (front), (headstock/neck), (back), (case).Designed as an alternative to the ES-335, with a smaller body, no f-holes, and more tonal options, the 339 is a real joy to play.If you've found the size of a 335 a bit ungainly, this guitar will be more comfortable, not much larger than a Les Paul or SG.Its rounded symmetrical cutaways offer easy access to the upper frets and the Classic 57 neck and Super 57 bridge pickups are wired to push/push volume pots that enable coil-splits, plus there's a 10dB user-adjustable boost on a push-push tone pot.Being an active circuit, the 9V battery is accessed easily via a door on the back of the guitar.The ES-339 features a mahogany body and arched, mildly figured, maple top with a solid maple center block to help reduce feedback and enhance sustain. The top is in a gloss finish, the back is satin, although this one is buffed out to a near full gloss on back as well.This guitar has one finish touch-up (shown here) of a finish gouge which has been clear coated and buffed out.The set up is spectacular and with the remarkable selection of tones, it's one of the best players you'll find. If you don't mind a small blem, this is an excellent semi-hollow, with the back nicely buffed out, for just $1339.Includes form fit custom shop case.††

 

GIBSON ACOUSTICS/Chet Atkins:

1970 Gibson LG-12 Acoustic 12-String, (front), (headstock), (back), (sides), (case). Cool little 12-string for back porch strumming in incredibly clean condition. Gibson's LG-series were their budget acoustics with no fancy ornamentation, screened logo, dot inlays, etc. I remember back in the 90's we used to pick up LG's for well $400 but in recent years players have recognized that, at 40+ years old, they're become excellent sounding guitars and prices have doubled or tripled. The LG-12 was the 12-string in the LG line, with the same small body (14.25" lower bout), but with a full scale length. The LG-12 features a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, 18-fret neck with 12 clear of the body, belly bridge with adjustable saddle, teardrop pickguard in '70, bound top, natural top finish, light mahogany finish back and sides, Kluson deluxe strip tuners, screened logo, and pearl dot inlays. Although not the lowest action (shown here), it's very comfortable for playing cowboy chords and you can get by okay on barre chords - but if you want it to play like a Taylor, it really would want a neck reset. The light satin type finish, along with the aged mahogany body wood, give this guitar a nice warm sound with a mid-range that will stand out in the mix. They say old wood is good wood, and at over 40 years this one has developed a very pleasing voice. As you can see in the pics, this guitar is in beautiful condition with no flaws to speak of. Original case for this model with a heavy semi-hard with plush red lining and this one's in nice shape. If you're looking for lovely vintage 12-string to strum on, this one's hard to beat at $599(We canít find this so it may be sold).

1963 Gibson B25-12 Acoustic 12-String, (front), (back), (headstock). Made during the early part of the folk boom in the 60's, the B-25-12 is appointed like a student model with dot inlays and no ornamentation on the headstock, and unbound neck, although it does have a double-bound body. Not surprisingly, my tech commented that was a great sounding folk instrument. The B25-12 is a 00-size small bodied (14 1/2" lower bout) Gibson flattop, with a solid Spruce top, solid mahogany back, and laminated sides. Other features include multi-ply binding on top, bound back, ebony bridge, long tortoise pickguard, 2" nut width, 24 3/4" scale, and Kluson strip tuners. This one has seen an average amount of playing time I would guess, but was taken care of by previous owners. The only glaring flaw is a small chip out of the front corner of the headstock (shown here). It does indeed look like a 55+ year-old guitar with plenty of finish checking and a slightly dull finish which we can buff out at no cost - but no cracks or repairs. The tone is just what you'd expect from a small Mahogany body - very warm tone with plenty of mid-range - but surprisingly crisp and bright. Itís a fun guitar to play, especially comfortable when sitting around the living room and like an old parlor guitar, doesn't look out of place with the decor. Later in the 60's Gibson went to a small bridge with a trapeze tailpiece but this is the more desirable model with standard bridge with acoustic string pins. The only non-original aspect of this guitar is a replacement bridge, but it's the proper belly bridge - plus a compensated saddle replaces the wooden one. Most of the bridges from this era look identical, but have adjustment screws for the saddle height, plus 2 pearloid plugs that cover the hold-down screws that Gibson used on their bridges (I've never figured out why Gibson couldn't glue down their bridges properly without the use of these screws.) Since most players accuse the stock adjustable bridge in this era as being a "tone robber", it wasn't uncommon for players to do away with this feature. Bottom line though, is this guitar is plenty loud with good sustain, and that may be in part due to the removal of the adjustable saddle. This guitar has a good neck angle and a straight neck so the set up is very comfortable for a 12-string, even with barre chords. A great example of affordable vintage, priced way under what a reissue would sell for, should they ever make one. It's guaranteed to go up as the years pass but unlike a stock or CD, it's something you can enjoy. Gbase prices for 60's B-25-12's, even the trapeze models, are running $1600-$2000 with bad neck angles. This one plays nicely and at $1099, it's a steal for an early 60's Gibson acoustic thatís ready to go. Includes aftermarket hardshell case.

OTHER USA GIBSONS: MELODY MAKERS, NIGHTHAWKS, FIRBIRDS, EXPLORERS, V'S, ETC.:

2007 Gibson Melody Maker with Upgrades, (front), (headstock), (back), (other mods). Very cool upgrades which make this guitar, essentially, a single cut LP Special with all-mahogany construction and a pair of P90 pickups. Originally equipped with small single coils, Martin routed the pickup cavities and installed a pair of Seymour Duncan Phat Cats (specs), which are P90 single coils. The tone is big and fat, using two Alnico 2 magnets for more sustain and softer attack, which the metal covers provide more shielding and noise reduction than standard soapbar covers. The neck pickup is RW/RP for noise-canceling operation in the middle selector position. Additionally, the tuners were upgraded from the vintage Kluson style to a set of nickel-plated Schaller/Grovers which stay in tune much better than the stock tuners. Lastly, a pair of gold chrome dome knobs with pointers were installed for that early 60's look. For the pickup selector we used a mini-toggle switch between the knobs. Lastly, we used oversize strap pins; for your locking strap guys, we can swap out to Dunlop or Schaller locking type at no cost. The stock bridge on this model is the good old wraparound tailpiece, the ultimate in simplicity and, I feel, the most comfortable and effective for palm damping techniques - or we can change to a Quan-style bridge with saddles that intonate (shown here). Other specs include '59 rounded neck profile that's not at all chunky, standard 24 3/4" scale, 1.695" nut width, 22 frets, and '59 authentic single-ply black pickguard. This is a very lightweight guitar, less than 6 lbs., due to the body size, which is slightly thinner than a Junior/Special. The tone is anything but "light - it's big and fat, with excellent sustain and very lively overall, thanks in part to the very thin satin finish which lets the guitar vibrate better than a thicker, hard finish. This one has around $300 in upgrades, and for the pro player, a totally gigworthy workhorse guitar for just $550. Includes well-padded gigbag (pic).

EPIPHONES

NOS Epiphone SG Standard G-400 with Upgrades, (front), (headstock), (back), (EMG SPC), (pickups), (case). 2006 model but it's new and unplayed, and upgraded with a pair of Gibson SG Standard pickup as well as an EMG SPC/Mid-Boost active circuit AND a new case. Finished in classic Alpine White, this G-400 has the look of the early 60's SG and with these upgrades you have a guitar that sounds as good as it looks. This guitar was originally a Ltd Ed model with EMG's, thus it already had a battery compartment, so when we added the EMG mid boost, which requires a 9V battery, no modification to the body was necessary. The SPC is a killer unit that adds a lot of versatility. It fattens up the mids which can make your tone less muddy. It can also be used as a clean boost - just turn up the knob when you want some extra output, for leads etc. It provides sufficient gain to drive a tube amp into clipping while adding more harmonic content. The SPC is wired for both pickups; likewise the Tone control. Features include solid mahogany body with set-in mahogany neck, Grover tuners, slim-taper neck has a rosewood fretboard with pearloid trapezoid inlays, with a deep double-cutaway allowing easy access to the upper frets. Don't judge Epi SG's by guitars you may have played in a store. With a proper set up, they play with ease and the fret ends are perfectly dressed. This model listed for $999 without case or gigbag and with these upgrades itís a super nice deal at $499, flawless and unplayed - and includes a new hardshell case. Also includes, manual, cable, poster, etc. (Note: I also have this model with EMG81/85 on my Gibson page).

2007 Epiphone Les Paul Custom, (front), (back), (headstock), Epi's version of the LP Custom, truly the Cadillac of the Les Paul line, beautifully adorned with multi-ply body binding, neck binding, inlaid logo and split diamond headstock inlay, multi-ply bound headstock, and gold hardware. In addition, from my observations, the neck angle seems to be better on Customs which allows for a very low set up at the nut, all the way up the neck. This one's finished in Alpine White, always a popular finish in a Custom. Pickguard was removed for aesthetic reasons but otherwise, it's all original and in excellent condition, other than two finish cracks (shown here). Finish cracks in this area, or below the fingerboard, are extremely common on white Customs, both Epi and Gibson. Prior to shipping we will lacquer over the area at no charge to prevent any flaking and color match the area, if desired. This guitar plays great, with a quality tone, and a with new ones selling for $699, get a nice savings on this great playing used one. Just $379 - or add $22 for a new TKL gigbag (shown here), or $55 for a used Epi case (shown here).

2006 Epiphone SG Standard G-400 With EMG's and Gigbag, (front/back), (headstock), (gigbag). New and first quality in Classic Alpine White Finish! New upscale Ltd. Ed. model from Epi, using the increasingly poplar Zakk Wylde setup of active EMG's with an 81/85 combination. Features include solid mahogany body with set-in mahogany neck, Grover tuners, slim-taper neck has a rosewood fretboard with pearloid trapezoid inlays, with a deep double-cutaway allowing easy access to the upper frets. Don't judge this guitar by one you may have played in a store. With a proper set up, they play with ease and the fret ends are perfectly dressed. With a list of $999, these are a very good value in a set-neck guitar with the EMG 81/85 setup at just $499. Includes, manual, cable, poster, etc., plus a very well padded Levy's EM7P gigbag with ¬ĺ" foam padding and headliner lining, accessory pocket and twin shoulder straps.

2006 Epiphone SG Standard G-400 With EMG's, (pic2), (pic3). New and first quality in Classic Alpine White Finish! New upscale Ltd. Ed. model from Epi, using the increasingly poplar Zakk Wylde setup of active EMG's with an 81/85 combination. Features include solid mahogany body with set-in mahogany neck, Grover tuners, slim-taper neck has a rosewood fretboard with pearloid trapezoid inlays, with a deep double-cutaway allowing easy access to the upper frets. I have two of these, both new, old stock and perfect, inevitably set up better than factory. With a list of $999, these are a very good value in a set-neck guitar with the EMG 81/85 setup at just $499. Includes, manual, cable, poster, etc.

Epiphone Les Paul Pee Wee Package, Unlike the Ibanez kit above this is a smaller guitar aimed at younger players and includes everything your little rocker needs to get started on guitar including a Les Paul Pee Wee electric guitar (picture 2), amplifier, strap, cable, pics, and instructions. The Les Paul Pee Wee is 1/2 the size of a regular guitar but with a full width neck, suitable for both kids but also adults looking to take the party anywhere. This pack includes the Epiphone Studio Mini amp that's also portable and features a shoulder strap and runs on either a 9V battery or via 9V adapter (not included). The amp features volume and tone controls, with a switch to choose clean or overdrive channel plus a headphone jack for private practice. Due to the short scale we recommend tuning them up around a fifth which also allows them to occupy the frequency range of a mandolin, which really stands out in a jam session. Don't think you're going to get a crappy playing guitar because of the cost. All of these short scale V's and LP's we've had actually set up with excellent action and even an accomplished player should be happy with the playability. With a list price of $252, this is a fairly inexpensive way to get Junior started on a real guitar setup at just $149, set up and ready to jam as soon as you open the box.

Epiphone Demons, new-old stock, choice of metalic black or metalic red, solid wood body, rosewood fretboard, string thru body, "ultra-hot" humbuckers, very cool vibe for small change, full specs at Epiphone's Site, List $499, Sale $225

2008 Epiphone Sheraton II - Ebony, (front), (back), (headstock). Probably our best seller among hollow/semi-hollowbody guitars is the Epi Sheraton II. It's solidly built, generally sets up very well, and sounds much better than it's price tag would lead you to believe. Sheraton's proud history goes back to '59, when, owned by Gibson, Epi started producing the Sheraton, which was a model unique to that company, rather than an Epi version of a Gibson, which was the fashion in the early Gibson daysToday, models that are unique to the Epiphone line, including the Sheraton, Zephyr, Riviera and Emperor, seem to be built to higher standards than their Gibson copy line (Les Paul, SG, Dot, Hummingbird, etc.).The Sheraton does share design features with the Gibson ES-335, but the cosmetic appointments are much higher on the Sheraton.The original Sheraton was outfitted with a Frequensator tailpiece but didn't gain much popularity until Epi changed to a stop bar and Tuneomatic bridge, i.e. the Sheraton II.Like the Gibson ES-335, the Sheraton has a laminated maple body, top, back and sides, which, with its bright tone, works well with the darker tone of PAF humbuckers.Unlike the Dot's mahogany neck, the Sheraton features a maple neck, for increased stability, capped with a rosewood fretboard.High-end cosmetics include gold hardware, multi-layer binding on all edges including body, fretboard, neck, and headstock; abalone block & triangle fretboard inlays, headstock overlay with inlaid logo and vine inlay, and multi-ply tortoise pickguard with raised "e" logo.Players as diverse as Oasis guitarist, Noel Gallagher and blues legend John Lee Hooker both have signature model Sheratons, which is testimony to the versatility of these guitars.It's capable of high gain without feedback, which makes it attractive to rock players, but sounds equally good on more mellow jazz or blues.Cosmetically, itís in great condition having been buffed out beautifully by Martin, and he also gave it an excellent setup with very comfortable action throughout the neck. For killer looks it's hard to beat black and gold. This is a lot of guitar for the money in my opinion. $399(SOLD-Javier S 8/12). Add a clean MBT gigbag for $19 (pic).