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'73 Goldtop


73goldtop

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I'm the one and only owner of a '73 Goldtop. I bought the guitar new from Sam Ash in NY in '73. From '73-'75 Sam Ash worked a deal with Gibson to sell Goldtops with the large Humbuckers. You could only get one from Sam Ash. Mine is one of those. I'm thinking of selling it now and was wondering what it may be worth. It has the usual wear and tear for a 40 year old guitar. Finish has bubbled in a couple of places and there is some buckle rash on the back. Machines have been replaced twice. Gibson vintage tuners are on it now. They look exactly like the originals. The pickups are WCR American Steele set (no covers) and the pots have been changed to 500k CTS. The original bumblebee caps went bad and were replaced with .22 metal film caps. It has been re-fretted once and the nut was replaced during the fret work. Knobs and all other hardware is original. It also has straplocks. Binding has yellowed and the nitro cellulose has thinned on the back of the neck. The neck is three piece. It was never broken and there's no chips in the wood. There are 6 extra small screw holes in the back of the headstock from past tuners. Serial number is 157587 and Made in USA is stamped in the headstock just below the serial number. The original pots have the number 1377317 stamped on them. I'm told it means they are CTS pots from 1973. I also have the original case. FYI, I have the original pots and tuners as well as the original pups. The bridge pup's lead has broken so it would have to be replaced to put it back in the guitar.

 

Not totally sold on selling yet but it just sits these days collecting dust. Believe it or not, I use my little Epi black custom as well as my Strat most of the time. If I do decide to sell, I would like to get an idea of what it's worth before doing so. Thanks

 

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Guest Farnsbarns

It's a lovely guitar but there is enough wrong with it (in terms of value) that it isn't going to be worth a lot. Over here it'd be about £1000 -1500 I think. Because everything is expensiv-er over hear I would guess a similar value in $ but it's a different market so wait until a fellow American comments.

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Having all the original stuff is important.

 

Regardless of how good the WCR p'ups are the guitar will be worth much more with the original 'buckers fitted.

If I were you I'd also re-instate the original tuners.

In fact other than the original bits that have downright failed I'd suggest you return it to as near Original Specification as possible.

 

Otherwise it all sounds good.

As you already know the pots date to the 17th week of '73 and potential buyers would be suspicious if the guitar didn't have finish checking / greening so that's all fine, too.

Many 40+y-o guitars would expect to have been re-fretted at some point so as long as it was done well, and I've no reason to doubt that it has been, it shouldn't make much difference as to Market Value.

 

Like Farns I, too, am in the UK so am unable to hazard a guess at what you might get for the instrument.

If all you want at this time is a 'ball-park figure' then you could send pictures and info to some establishment such as Gruhn's Guitars.

They are specialists in dealing with vintage guitars and, importantly, people in the market for vintage gear know that Gruhn's is the place to go...

 

It would be sad for it to go, I'm sure, but if it has to go then I hope it all goes well for all concerned.

 

P.

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Don't want to be the voice of doom & gloom here, but "Norlin Era" LP's

aren't worth much, from a "collector's" point of view. I have a '76

LP Deluxe, that's in beautiful condition, and it never gets appraised much

more than a similar more recent LP Deluxe would as a "used guitar!" You MIGHT

get more, with all the original parts re-installed. But, it's been

drilled, at the headstock, and wiring has been changed (hence it's not

the original solder joints, and parts), so ALL of that will figure

in, and not to your benefit, unfortunately. You can check with George

Gruhn, in Nashville, http://www.gruhn.com/ for a good estimate of it's

worth, both "as is," and if you put it back to as close to "original"

as possible, now.

 

But, after it's 40 years, as a good friend, you may not want to part with

it, for the modest money you'd probably get? Still, it's worth investigating

if for no other reason than you're own curiosity, insurance coverage, and/or

peace of mind

 

Good Luck!

 

CB

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I knew it was not a collector item. The original tuners would be a waste of time as they are no longer any good. It would be near impossible to keep the guitar in tune with them. As far as sentimental value goes, I don't get sentimental over stuff. And I know 70's era guitars are not considered among Gibson's better work. I was just looking for a fair value for what it is worth. All my guitar playing friends say I'd be stupid to part with it. Then again, they all have a stable of guitars most of which never get played. They use the same 2 or 3 to gig with. Me, if I'm not going to play it, I don't need it.

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...I was just looking for a fair value for what it is worth....

 

It seems '73 goldtops, with mini's, are going for an average selling price "around" $3K (US). Condition and non-originality of yours could cut that in half, so I would say you should be in the $1500-1750 range.

 

Yes, I know the Sam Ash story on the full size hum's, but most people won't, and will also assume this "Deluxe" has been routed out for the full size humbuckers. Without Sam Ash or Gibson documentation you'll be hard pressed to prove otherwise. Between '71 & '75 Gibson shipped out a little over 1000 LP "Standards" (full size hum's), most, if not all, went to Sam Ash NYC. The documents I have show 4 being shipped in 1973 (the bulk of them in 1972).

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I'm the one and only owner of a '73 Goldtop. I bought the guitar new from Sam Ash in NY in '73. From '73-'75 Sam Ash worked a deal with Gibson to sell Goldtops with the large Humbuckers. You could only get one from Sam Ash. Mine is one of those. I'm thinking of selling it now and was wondering what it may be worth. It has the usual wear and tear for a 40 year old guitar. Finish has bubbled in a couple of places and there is some buckle rash on the back. Machines have been replaced twice. Gibson vintage tuners are on it now. They look exactly like the originals. The pickups are WCR American Steele set (no covers) and the pots have been changed to 500k CTS. The original bumblebee caps went bad and were replaced with .22 metal film caps. It has been re-fretted once and the nut was replaced during the fret work. Knobs and all other hardware is original. It also has straplocks. Binding has yellowed and the nitro cellulose has thinned on the back of the neck. The neck is three piece. It was never broken and there's no chips in the wood. There are 6 extra small screw holes in the back of the headstock from past tuners. Serial number is 157587 and Made in USA is stamped in the headstock just below the serial number. The original pots have the number 1377317 stamped on them. I'm told it means they are CTS pots from 1973. I also have the original case. FYI, I have the original pots and tuners as well as the original pups. The bridge pup's lead has broken so it would have to be replaced to put it back in the guitar.

 

Not totally sold on selling yet but it just sits these days collecting dust. Believe it or not, I use my little Epi black custom as well as my Strat most of the time. If I do decide to sell, I would like to get an idea of what it's worth before doing so. Thanks

 

goldtop1.jpg

goldtop2.jpg

goldtop3.jpg

goldtop4.jpg

goldtop5.jpg

goldtop6.jpg

goldtop7.jpg

goldtop8.jpg

goldtop9.jpg

 

 

'73 Goldtop,

 

Please, really think this through. Don't go on impulse. Many years ago, I had a 1983 Les Paul Standard. I bought it used for $750 . I later traded it for a new American Standard Stratocaster. This was a straight trade done with a local guitar shop no money involved. Guitar for guitar. To this very second I truly, truly regret it. Not to sound funny but not a day has gone by that I don't think of that awesome Les Paul and I'm mot joking. I now own a 2014 Les Paul Traditional. BEAUTIFUL guitar but my '83 is still gone. Hold on to it my good man. The feeling you'll get when she's is simply awful. Fix her up and enjoy her. Take care. MississippiBlue.

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It seems '73 goldtops, with mini's, are going for an average selling price "around" $3K (US). Condition and non-originality of yours could cut that in half, so I would say you should be in the $1500-1750 range.

 

Yes, I know the Sam Ash story on the full size hum's, but most people won't, and will also assume this "Deluxe" has been routed out for the full size humbuckers. Without Sam Ash or Gibson documentation you'll be hard pressed to prove otherwise. Between '71 & '75 Gibson shipped out a little over 1000 LP "Standards" (full size hum's), most, if not all, went to Sam Ash NYC. The documents I have show 4 being shipped in 1973 (the bulk of them in 1972).

 

It seems people are highly skeptical of my story. Prevailing wisdom says 70's goldtops ONLY had minis or P90s. What documentation to you have that says Deluxes could also be had with Standard HBs? I can find very little. As far as only 4 deluxes being shipped in '73, I don't know about that. There had to be more than myself and three others that bought a goldtop with large HBs in '73. Back then it was the cheapest way to get into a LP with standard HBs. I remember because I wanted a Sunburst but didn't have the extra cash.

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As far as only 4 deluxes being shipped in '73, I don't know about that. There had to be more than myself and three others that bought a goldtop with large HBs in '73.

 

I think you are confusing Gibson shipping records (guitars shipped to retailers) with retail sales numbers (guitars purchased by consumers). This is why I specifically said "shipped", not "sold".

 

Also, I didn't state "Deluxes", I said "Standards", which is defined by the factory installation of full size humbuckers.

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