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Identifying a 2011 Classic Goldtop Les Paul

#1 User is offline   spearlymatt 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:34 PM

Hello everyone, I recently stumbled upon a Les Paul for sale for $500 (and hopefully best offer). The guy has no pictures or anything, and is a ways away, so while I definitely will go see it first I'm trying to gather as much information beforehand. I've gotten many details from him, and there are some things that seem kind of strange that I would like to ask about.

First off, this is a gold top guitar, black case with Gibson logo, white lining. It is a 2011 model. The man bought it off of eBay and the first strange thing is it has zebra pickups. I assume this is just a modification as never have I seen a new Les Paul with a gold top and zebras. Anyway, I understand this guitar to be a classic model: humbuckers and the 1960 on the pickguard. The next odd thing is engraved along with the serial number and "Made in USA" is the year; 2011. Again, something I've never seen before. Along with that, everything I see online says about the serial no. being stamped on in the classic models up to a certain date, no engraving, but nothing around 2011. Which brings me to the next strange thing (to me, at least)...

The serial number is 119610300. I understand this to mean manufactured on the 196th day of 2011. I understand the 0 to mean it was the very first guitar made that day, and the 300 pretty much the same thing. From what I read, I've seen statements along the lines of "Acoustics are 1-xxxx and electrics can be as low as the 300s," which seems like another red flag, but maybe it was just the first guitar made that day or something.

Overall, the guy seems honest to me and if there is something fishy going on it's not by him. I am by no means a Gibson expert, I would just like to trust and verify with the help of you all. Thank you.

#2 User is offline   boozeball 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:26 PM

Without pictures it is really hard to say one way or the other. I will however offer this: any deal that seems to be to good to be true usually is. If the man is offering a year old Gibson Les Paul Classic with a hard case for $500 he is extremely generous in the fact that he would be taking about a $1000 loss on the sale of the guitar.

#3 User is offline   spearlymatt 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:45 PM

 boozeball, on 02 May 2012 - 05:26 PM, said:

Without pictures it is really hard to say one way or the other. I will however offer this: any deal that seems to be to good to be true usually is. If the man is offering a year old Gibson Les Paul Classic with a hard case for $500 he is extremely generous in the fact that he would be taking about a $1000 loss on the sale of the guitar.


Very true, the thing that makes me trust this deal though is he is also selling multiple other instruments and amps for pretty cheap including a USA Tele (a field I am much more well-versed in). He's pretty old and I guess is looking to de-clutter. You're right though, at a year old it gets kind of suspicious...

Anyway, I'm mostly interested in the year being engraved on the back of the headstock. If that can be confirmed as a regular occurence I'll just go look at it and check out the visual clues.

#4 User is offline   stein 

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:20 PM

 spearlymatt, on 02 May 2012 - 09:45 PM, said:

Very true, the thing that makes me trust this deal though is he is also selling multiple other instruments and amps for pretty cheap including a USA Tele (a field I am much more well-versed in). He's pretty old and I guess is looking to de-clutter. You're right though, at a year old it gets kind of suspicious...

Anyway, I'm mostly interested in the year being engraved on the back of the headstock. If that can be confirmed as a regular occurence I'll just go look at it and check out the visual clues.

Well, remember that those who are in the business of ripping people off are just as friendly and nice as those who are legit. EVERYONE seems to be "trustworthy" when they are about to take you for a ride.

I am wondering about the "1960" engraved on the PG. Didn't they end that years ago?

The hard part comes when you aren't actually paying a fair price. What do you say? "I want to have this guitar authenticated before I pay you half of what it is worth"?? Hard to do.

I guess you could just be honest with him, and hope that if he is willing to let you find out what it is and what it is worth, he will still want to sell it for less than what it is worth when he finds out. But, if you want to take someone for a ride and get something for less than is fair because the guy doesn't know the value, you have to accept when it happens to you as well.

#5 User is offline   fingers galore 

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:44 AM

Quote

Anyway, I'm mostly interested in the year being engraved on the back of the headstock. If that can be confirmed as a regular occurence I'll just go look at it and check out the visual clues.


2008 Les Paul
Posted Image

2011 Les Paul
Posted Image

I believe Gibson USA have been engraving the year on the back of the headstock since 2007 or 2008. Not sure if that includes the Classic. Hope that helps.
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#6 User is offline   spearlymatt 

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:23 AM

 stein, on 02 May 2012 - 11:20 PM, said:

Well, remember that those who are in the business of ripping people off are just as friendly and nice as those who are legit. EVERYONE seems to be "trustworthy" when they are about to take you for a ride.

I am wondering about the "1960" engraved on the PG. Didn't they end that years ago?

The hard part comes when you aren't actually paying a fair price. What do you say? "I want to have this guitar authenticated before I pay you half of what it is worth"?? Hard to do.

I guess you could just be honest with him, and hope that if he is willing to let you find out what it is and what it is worth, he will still want to sell it for less than what it is worth when he finds out. But, if you want to take someone for a ride and get something for less than is fair because the guy doesn't know the value, you have to accept when it happens to you as well.


I don't think it's quite that bad. I'm pretty sure I can tell if it's a fake when I see it, I just don't want to make the 2 hour drive if I can tell it's a fake from the get go. Thanks for the 1960 bit, though, I'll check into that.


 fingers galore, on 03 May 2012 - 03:44 AM, said:

I believe Gibson USA have been engraving the year on the back of the headstock since 2007 or 2008. Not sure if that includes the Classic. Hope that helps.


Great! That's just what I was looking for, thank you.

Now I would just like to confirm that a 0 300 combination in the serial is likely, if possible. Thanks again!

EDIT: After Googling the 500t/496R stock pickups, I saw a picture of zebra pickups. If they're essentially the same pickup they could come stock, correct?

EDIT2: Well, here it is it appears. I might give Gibson a call with the serial number to verify hopefully, but everything so far checks out. I'll probably go see it.

#7 User is offline   swleary 

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:58 AM

I'm 99.9% sure that 2011 classics don't have 1960 on the pg. Those were done on the earlier models. The price makes me hesitant and no pics make me Leary of it all. Anyone can generate a swrial number these days. One other thing, for that price,could be a headstock repair.
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