Gibson Guitar Board: 1949 ES 175, Natural finish - Gibson Guitar Board

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1949 ES 175, Natural finish

#1 User is offline   guitarssteve_a 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:49 AM

Long story short, I bought a very nice 1949 Gibson ES-175 in original natural finish from Gruhn guitars a few years ago. I immediately replaced the original tuners with repro Kluson tuners (have 5 of the 6 originals), and talked about my guitar a bit with the Kluson rep. Told him the serial number was A3996, and he told me that there were 129 Sunburst and 12 Natural finsih ES 175's in the first year of production, 1949. I had the guitar refretted by Larry Fitzgerald (well known, excellent LI guitar tech and just for kicks I kept the old frets) and before I bought the guitar, Gruhn made a beautiful repro pickguard (still have the remanants of the original tortise shell pickguard in a plastic bag). The guitar itself is in wonderful condition.

I can take pics no problem, but just wanted to get a feel for now. Does the fact that the guitar is one of the first 12 natural finish ES-175's affect the value?

#2 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 10:04 AM

What affects the value of your guitar the most is the re-fret, repro pickguard and replacement tuners. The thing that matters most in the "collectors" market is originality. I'm sure the alterations were needed to make the guitar playable, so what you have now is a "player" not a "collector".

The devaluation from the work that has been done to the guitar far outweighs any additional value it MIGHT have had from being one of the earliest examples of the 175.

#3 User is offline   guitarssteve_a 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 10:27 AM

Thanks for the info Larry!! Just to be clear, I do still have 5 of the 6 original tuners, and the original pickguard. But no getting around the fact that I did have the guitar refretted so I couild play it.

#4 User is offline   guitarssteve_a 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:20 AM

Hope its ok that I posted some pictures of my guitar.

I read that a refret does not reduce the value (or maybe slightly) of a vintage guitar?

Thanks,

Steve

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#5 User is offline   JimR56 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

I think it's somewhat subjective, particularly with regard to refrets. In my experience, refretting doesn't affect value much if at all. Others may have had different experiences, interacting with people who see it differently. I think that over time, as refrets become more common and necessary, people begin to see that there's no real reason for a refret to be seen as a big deal- especially if the job is done well.

You might want to contact George again and get his opinions, which frankly mean a lot more than mine or anyone else's around here in terms of what goes on in the vintage guitar market.

Beautiful example of a 175N, by the way. [thumbup]

#6 User is offline   retrorod 

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:29 PM

Yes, Very Nice guitar! I love the wood used in the sides. Totally cool-looking package [thumbup]
"You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from."--Cormic McCarthy

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