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Can anyone verify this guitar please? Gibson E-Tune Electric Guitar - Chocolate Satin 120th Anniversary Edit

#1 User is offline   Koldov 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 02:28 AM

Hi,

I am looking to buy this guitar, but I'm having a lot of trouble trying to verify its authenticity.

I know it's very difficult to decide just from photographs, but I wondered if it is even worth me going to see it.

The guitar is being sold as "Gibson E-Tune Electric Guitar - Chocolate Satin 120th Anniversary Edition (2014 model)" but I have tried searching for this on the internet and the results look nothing like this (apart from the fact it's brown)...

From what I have actually seen, the pickups are wrong (should be zebra?), the volume and tone controls are wrong, in fact all the hardware (bridge and tuners etc.) should be chrome (also I have NEVER seen a guitar strung like that over the bridge)!

On the truss-rod cover it states it is an "e-tune" model, but there is clearly no e-tune mechanism on the rear of the headstock (I presume from what I can find, this is should be an electronic/automatic tuning system), but it's hard to tell if there was even one on there in the first place and I can't tell what tuners have replaced it.

I know very little about Gibson guitars, but as with all manufacturers I'm sure there are variences in production runs, special editions, even year of manufacture differences sometimes, but this....

N.B. The serial number I've been given does check out ok.

Attached Image: G2.jpg
Attached Image: G3.jpg
Attached Image: G4.jpg
Attached Image: G5.jpg
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#2 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 02:45 AM

Hi and welcome to the forum.

The guitar is certainly a genuine Gibson.

My best guess - and without knowing the exact specs of the original it is a guess - is that some previous owner has swapped-out ALL the original chrome hardware for aftermarket-manufactured black stuff. This would be very simple to do. The Min-E-Tune system which would have been on the rear of the peghead simply unbolts leaving not a trace it was once fitted. Similarly everything else is either bolt-on or screw-on.

The 12th fret "120th Anniversary" inlay was unique to the2014 instruments and it's almost a certainty that no counterfeiter would emulate that particular detail.

Pip.
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#3 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 03:08 AM

Is turd a color. That thing is ugly.
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#4 User is offline   Koldov 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 03:21 AM

Hi and thanks for the welcome! [biggrin]

So, if I'm looking at a genuine body/neck but with all the hardware stripped out and replaced should that affect the value quite a bit?

I'm not sure if I could consider many aftermarket replacements an upgrade to the Gibson spec... Although visually it does rather appeal to me more than the original...

It's on offer for 550/$725 which I think is a lot for something with most of the Gibson hardware replaced, but I can't seem to find a decent price guide, as it's an older model/not produced anymore I can't even seem to find it's original price.
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#5 User is offline   sparquelito 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 04:17 AM

View PostKoldov, on 05 October 2017 - 03:21 AM, said:

Hi and thanks for the welcome! [biggrin]

So, if I'm looking at a genuine body/neck but with all the hardware stripped out and replaced should that affect the value quite a bit?

I'm not sure if I could consider many aftermarket replacements an upgrade to the Gibson spec... Although visually it does rather appeal to me more than the original...

It's on offer for 550/$725 which I think is a lot for something with most of the Gibson hardware replaced, but I can't seem to find a decent price guide, as it's an older model/not produced anymore I can't even seem to find it's original price.



Koldov,
The price is a bit dear, considering that the chrome hardware has been swapped out, and the OEM pickups have been changed out.

As you have already determined, this is what the original guitar probably looked like:
https://reverb.com/i...uitar-lpj14stch

I would offer the seller 500/$650, and negotiate from there.

If it stays in tune, and the black on brown motif appeals to you, it's going to be a keeper.

:mellow:
Am I alone in this?

Am I alone?
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#6 User is offline   Koldov 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 04:43 AM

Hi,

Thanks for the info and yes that's the original I was looking at in your link.

Unfortunately, it may be that the swapped out hardware is in fact an upgrade (pickups/tuners/bridge), but I'm not sure I could tell [confused] (I know that there is quite a split on whether the e-tune removal is actually an upgrade)... [unsure]

Yes I quite like the brown/black!

So, I've looked at a few recent ebay completed listings and there aren't any recently so I think that it must have been a fairly limited run (?).

There are a couple of similar ones though (but I'm not too sure what the model differences would be).

Gibson Les Paul Melody Maker - Charcoal Satin 120th Anniversary Edition, Gig Bag = £343/$452

Gibson Les Paul junior ltd edition 120th anniversary Rubbed Vintage Burst Satin = £320/$422

In any case, I'm thinking maybe an offer in the region of £350/$460 would be more suitable...?

EDIT: I think I can make out 'GOTOH' on the tuners, so I'm hopeful the other hardware isn't dirt-cheap either, also the bridge looks like a decent Gibson clone (without screwheads on top of the stands like say, an Epiphone or something) wish I could tell what the pick-ups were somehow.
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#7 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 06:47 AM

View PostKoldov, on 05 October 2017 - 04:43 AM, said:

...It may be that the swapped out hardware is in fact an upgrade (pickups/tuners/bridge), but I'm not sure I could tell......In any case, I'm thinking maybe an offer in the region of £350/$460 would be more suitable...

The asking price you quoted suggests the seller is in cloud-cuckoo-land.
As you can see from the link in Sparky's post the original price when it was brand spanking new was only £75 more than the seller is proposing.
£550 for a second-hand 5-year-old guitar which only cost £625 new is Crazy Money.

As far as the hardware is concerned; regardless of what aftermarket stuff is fitted replacing OEM parts ALWAYS de-values an instrument unless the originals are also included in the sale. Short of someone putting a pair of genuine vintage PAFs in there the price will always be lower than an all-original instrument. Sellers invariably swear blind that the newer stuff is better made blah blah blah but it doesn't change the fact that modified gear is far less attractive to prospective buyers.

£350 would be an OK price, I suppose, but if anyone wanted to return it to original spec it would cost quite a few hundreds of pounds. You might bear this in mind if you do buy it and decide to sell it on at some future date.

Pip.
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#8 User is offline   Koldov 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 07:12 AM

Yes, these are precisely my thoughts! [thumbup]

Although I thought the link showed a second-hand guitar, as it does say Mint(Used). The guitar would possibly have been a year old (used/played, not hanging on the wall in a shop) at that point.

Looking further into the description though, it sates: "Gibson USA brings you a new Les Paul model that's available at an entry-level price to suit any budget", I take it to mean that it was possibly a £700/800 guitar new and definitely under £1000.

I completely take on board the fact that any change in the standard OEM spec (even if the pickups were worth £200) means that somebody has taken a soldering iron to it and that poses a lot of questions. I mean, I could open the back to find it's all held together with chewing gum! [scared]

Also the fact that as you so rightly state (and I was going to ask), putting it all back to original spec would cost hundreds so I guess one can/should equate that with a reduction in the price as opposed to an on-spec second-hand version.

Totally agree on the potential resale value being sub-optimal... However, it's making a little sense now as it appears to be coming from a pawn shop/second hand store and the previous owner probably wouldn't have pulled the wool over a private buyer's eyes. I am sure the second hand shop didn't pay anywhere near £550 for it (although I wonder how much their mark-up is)!

EDIT: On the price issue, I'm guessing it is basically this (when it was new)?

http://www.gibson.co...s/2014/LPJ.aspx
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#9 User is offline   rct 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 07:36 AM

Gibson doesn't do cheap well. The digital ink in this thread is worth more than that guitar. Pass.

rct
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#10 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 08:03 AM

View PostKoldov, on 05 October 2017 - 02:28 AM, said:

Hi,

I am looking to buy this guitar, but I'm having a lot of trouble trying to verify its authenticity.

I know it's very difficult to decide just from photographs, but I wondered if it is even worth me going to see it.

The guitar is being sold as "Gibson E-Tune Electric Guitar - Chocolate Satin 120th Anniversary Edition (2014 model)" but I have tried searching for this on the internet and the results look nothing like this (apart from the fact it's brown)...

From what I have actually seen, the pickups are wrong (should be zebra?), the volume and tone controls are wrong, in fact all the hardware (bridge and tuners etc.) should be chrome (also I have NEVER seen a guitar strung like that over the bridge)!

On the truss-rod cover it states it is an "e-tune" model, but there is clearly no e-tune mechanism on the rear of the headstock (I presume from what I can find, this is should be an electronic/automatic tuning system), but it's hard to tell if there was even one on there in the first place and I can't tell what tuners have replaced it.

I know very little about Gibson guitars, but as with all manufacturers I'm sure there are variences in production runs, special editions, even year of manufacture differences sometimes, but this....

N.B. The serial number I've been given does check out ok.

Attachment G2.jpg
Attachment G3.jpg
Attachment G4.jpg
Attachment G5.jpg


Looks like the guitar was refinished possibly... Chibson's aren't the only thing to look out for in the guitar purchasing market. Buying internet guitars from private sellers is risky business especially when there are no returns. Best to save up for a guitar you know is 100% genuine IMHO, because this obviously is important to you - as with many Gibson purchasers.

- Not saying guitar is not genuine... Just saying that you don't always know how truthful private sellers are with what they disclose to you, the purchaser. BTW, that guitar looks genuine based on headstock design with the "wings".
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#11 User is offline   Koldov 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 08:52 AM

Thanks for your input! I appreciate it. [biggrin]

Not quite in the market to drop 1000's on a guitar and I know there are LP Juniors and Studio models second hand in the same price bracket as what is being asked for this....

Unfortunately, I also know there are a lot of fakes around and even if not faked, then 'upgraded' poorly and it seems this guitar is harder to judge than most given the extensive hardware swap out. Also from what I've read things like the Les Paul 'signature' logo width, screw pillars on the bridge and fret binding are things to look out for and this guitar has none of those.

There's just something about it I like... Yes brown is a colour, like wood... Admittedly this finish doesn't show of the natural beauty of the wood under a glossy layer of nitro. But I'm quite a fan of the slightly Mad Max industrial/stripped back/rough 'n' ready look. Suits my musical style too! [woot] I may even see if I can get a darker finish put on, in any case the matte/satin finish would certainly save me polishing every time I play one of my glossy guitars (as they are all black)...

It may well be that 'Gibson don't do cheap well', but I think some of that is obvious brand snobbery (as I've heard the same from Fender enthusiasts) however I'm sure even on these forums one could find more than a few threads that start with 'My 2000 Gibson won't stay in tune!' and on the other hand I've seen loads of comments that say my cheap *insert brand* guitar plays like a dream...
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#12 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 09:31 AM

No one has to spend "Gibson money" to get a good - if not excellent - player guitar. I have had Epiphones for years before getting my hands on my first used Gibson. Gibsons are appealing as they are old company and their guitars are iconic, in demand, and collectible. Just look at how much some vintage Gibson's go for these days... As for what warrants the price of new guitars, I will not say for certain as I do not run Gibson's operations, but I have been playing for nearly 23 years and I have accepted the fact that these guitars are just going to be more expensive for whatever reason.

Gibson guitars are things made by man, and to be human is to err. No guarantees that these will be 100% perfect out of the factory. I just know too that there will ALWAYS be a critic out there paying attention to every little detail, some of which is exaggerated IMHO. As people say hundreds of times here, play before you pay essentially if going used - and do your research on what you are looking at. This can slacken up a bit if you have return policy with reputable individual/entity active of course.

I also believe that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so one guitar to me may be hideous to you, or we agree on good/bad. This applies to the tone of the guitar as well too...
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#13 User is offline   Revolution Six 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 09:56 AM

Legit Gibson Les Paul my friend.
Posted Image
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#14 User is offline   Megafrog 

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:48 AM

The guitar that you are looking at is a 2014 Gibson LPM, not a LPJ. The guitar came new with 61 Zebras and the awful Min-E Tune system. The 2014 models were fairly low quality. Sam Ash, a musical instrument retailer here in the states, just unloaded a few hundred of these things for $549 new. You can probably find some new sitting in some guitar store supply chain warehouses. I personally would go around $500 or less as an offer on that. They highly modified it and it will never be a collectors item so don't anticipate that it will raise in value. This model was a big black sheep in the 2014 model year.
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#15 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 02:30 AM

Why don't you look at something like this:

http://www.rainbowmu...017-worn-brown/

It's brand new, from a genuine Gibson agent, a better guitar and not really that much more than the dubious one you've been looking at.

Also from my experience with Rainbow Music there also prepared to give a discount if you talk to them, there a couple of decent blokes.

Good luck in your quest,

Ian

ps welcome to the forum.
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#16 User is offline   Koldov 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:17 AM

Anyway...

Just a quick update if anyone is interested.

Went to give it a play and it was horrible!

Possibly, certain issues could be sorted out with a bit of TLC, set-up, stringing it correctly, etc...

But I couldn't get over how clunky the fretboard felt and I hated the fat 50's neck.

Anyway, the guy wasn't interested when I told him how none of the hardware on it was original and it was missing its e-tune (granted this may be a good thing for some), but he certainly wasn't going to budge on the price (guess he is waiting for a sucker).

Thanks again for all your help guys!
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#17 User is offline   pippy 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 09:16 AM

View PostKoldov, on 09 October 2017 - 06:17 AM, said:

Anyway...Went to give it a play and it was horrible!....

Ah, well; shame it didn't work out.

View PostKoldov, on 09 October 2017 - 06:17 AM, said:

...he certainly wasn't going to budge on the price (guess he is waiting for a sucker)....

In which case, and for his sake, I hope he has a long life ahead of him...

Pip.
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#18 User is offline   Megafrog 

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 12:32 PM

Some sellers buy a guitar, change out a bunch of stuff and think that they just improved the price of the guitar. It doesn't work that way with the majority of guitar buyers. I will pay more for a stock guitar that has some wear on it than a modified guitar.
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