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Hello everyone! I am new to the site (but have been reading for a while) and I was hoping I could pick the collective brain here on a few issues over the coming weeks.

 

I was recently lucky enough to acquire at an estate sale a collection of Gibson and Epiphone guitars, some of which I want to sell on.These guitars were purchased together and as new by the previous owner in 1964 and he owned them continuously until he died this year. They have now passed to me. This must surely be quite unique. The guitars have never been gigged, but there are some condition issues.

 

There are some things which I feel must be done

- None have pick guards so I plan to replace those

- He was left handed. I plan to restring the guitars which have not been modded and rewired, possibly replacing the nuts.

- There are small areas of painted decoration which are easily removed

- The nickel plating on the hardwear is dull and degraded. I have read it is fairly easy to clean it and so will consider that

- One has modern replacement winders, and I plan to replace these with a vintage set

 

Then there are issues which would require more invasive work -

 

- The fretboards are well worn and the frets could easily be replaced

- The lacquer/varnish on some has noticeably, but not seriously, cracked in places

- The back of the neck of one has been crudely revarnished and this varnish is now degrading

 

When I look at these types of guitars for sale online they all look as if they have been completely cleaned and overhauled and look as close to new as it is possible to make them. I've no doubt with some time and effort I could do the same. My dilemma is that my guitars are largely original to 1964 and have honest wear and damage picked up during a lifetime of love from a single owner.

 

I feel like I should strike a balance between making the guitars as playable and commercially attractive as possible, without obliterating what (to me) are attractive and authentic flaws.

 

1. Is authentic wear like this ever attractive to the collectors market?

2. Does refinishing/revarnishing the body of a valuable 1964 Epiphone degrade its authenticity?

3. Are there examples out there of dealers who sell worn and "original," rather than refurbished vintage guitars?

 

I'm just looking for opinions of those who know much more than me on what to do. I would like these guitars to go to a good home, but I also need to make a good return on my (large) investment. I am a guitar player of over 25 years but have no experience of selling vintage guitars or having them restored. Any opinions would be welcomed!

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Hello everyone! I am new to the site (but have been reading for a while) and I was hoping I could pick the collective brain here on a few issues over the coming weeks.

 

I was recently lucky enough to acquire at an estate sale a collection of Gibson and Epiphone guitars, some of which I want to sell on.These guitars were purchased together and as new by the previous owner in 1964 and he owned them continuously until he died this year. They have now passed to me. This must surely be quite unique. The guitars have never been gigged, but there are some condition issues.

 

There are some things which I feel must be done

- None have pick guards so I plan to replace those

- He was left handed. I plan to restring the guitars which have not been modded and rewired, possibly replacing the nuts.

- There are small areas of painted decoration which are easily removed

- The nickel plating on the hardwear is dull and degraded. I have read it is fairly easy to clean it and so will consider that

- One has modern replacement winders, and I plan to replace these with a vintage set

 

Then there are issues which would require more invasive work -

 

- The fretboards are well worn and the frets could easily be replaced

- The lacquer/varnish on some has noticeably, but not seriously, cracked in places

- The back of the neck of one has been crudely revarnished and this varnish is now degrading

 

When I look at these types of guitars for sale online they all look as if they have been completely cleaned and overhauled and look as close to new as it is possible to make them. I've no doubt with some time and effort I could do the same. My dilemma is that my guitars are largely original to 1964 and have honest wear and damage picked up during a lifetime of love from a single owner.

 

I feel like I should strike a balance between making the guitars as playable and commercially attractive as possible, without obliterating what (to me) are attractive and authentic flaws.

 

1. Is authentic wear like this ever attractive to the collectors market?

2. Does refinishing/revarnishing the body of a valuable 1964 Epiphone degrade its authenticity?

3. Are there examples out there of dealers who sell worn and "original," rather than refurbished vintage guitars?

 

I'm just looking for opinions of those who know much more than me on what to do. I would like these guitars to go to a good home, but I also need to make a good return on my (large) investment. I am a guitar player of over 25 years but have no experience of selling vintage guitars or having them restored. Any opinions would be welcomed!

 

my opinion (without seeing them and knowing what you have)...

 

get them in playing condition first (preferably a pro...not a guy that sells guitars at Guitar Center). if they are all from around '64, a collector or someone looking for a vintage instrument isn't going to mind if they have cracks in the finish. most guitars I've seen from that era have this. I say keep them as original as possible. of course if you have one that the tuning pegs don't work or electronics that are shot; you're going to need to replace them.

 

look around town for someone that knows about vintage guitars that can actually physically examine them. if they need any kind of neck work; TAKE IT TO A PROFESSIONAL LUTHIER!

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My advice is to leave them alone, and sell them as is.

The dustier and funkier the better.

Here's why;

 

They are vintage, and they are what they are.

Lefty and all.

 

Let some other enthusiast take pride in doing what THEY want to do with those guitars to restore, after they have paid a suitable price for them.

 

Collectors will LOVE the idea that they have sat in storage for decades, and they will LOVE the notion of breathing the rarified air of all those years of dust and neglect.

 

The minute you replace this nut or that pick-guard, you tamper with history, and you devalue the guitars.

There will always be a doubt in the buyers mind then. "What ELSE is not original on this old guitar?"

 

Leave them alone, sell them as is, and you will have people beating down your door to buy them at top dollar.

 

Trust me on this.

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Agreed on everything suggested, so far. The value of these guitars is in their age. If somebody is looking for "perfection", let them buy new. They'll never find it in an original guitar, and odds of recouping your investment, to get them there, are slim. As for the "lefty" part of the equation, I'd use the same principle. If you can't recover the cost of "returning" the guitar to a righty, to increase your market (and I doubt that you can), let the purchaser bear that expense, if he needs to. Bottom line, the less you spend on these, the more return you'll get. If after a month, they don't move, then start considering putting some money into them. My guess is, if you don't get greedy in your pricing, they'll move, all on their own. Love to see some pictures.

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The minute you replace this nut or that pick-guard, you tamper with history, and you devalue the guitars.

There will always be a doubt in the buyers mind then. "What ELSE is not original on this old guitar?"

 

Leave them alone, sell them as is, and you will have people beating down your door to buy them at top dollar.

 

Trust me on this.

 

I was going to say the same. Don't ruin them especially if you're a righty and they're lefty. I will say no more until there are pics!!! Lets see 'em!

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I was going to say the same. Don't ruin them especially if you're a righty and they're lefty. I will say no more until there are pics!!! Lets see 'em!

This ^^^^^^^^^! Leave 'em the way they are.

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Thanks for your responses so far. I'm glad there is a consensus and that it kind of tallies with what I was thinking. Here are a couple of shots of the casino so you can see what I'm talking about regarding the cracks in the varnish. There are also dings, scratches and a screw hole.

 

I've never seen vintage instruments like this up close before so I've no idea what is par for the course, and what is a serious issue that will affect the value. The guitar in the photo is untouched, I haven't even wiped it down yet. Any comments/recommendations on the condition would be welcome..

 

post-73177-042802900 1437910164_thumb.jpg

post-73177-026653900 1437910171_thumb.jpg

post-73177-096445600 1437910176_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for your responses so far. I'm glad there is a consensus and that it kind of tallies with what I was thinking. Here are a couple of shots of the casino so you can see what I'm talking about regarding the cracks in the varnish. There are also dings, scratches and a screw hole.

 

I've never seen vintage instruments like this up close before so I've no idea what is par for the course, and what is a serious issue that will affect the value. The guitar in the photo is untouched, I haven't even wiped it down yet. Any comments/recommendations on the condition would be welcome..

 

post-73177-042802900 1437910164_thumb.jpg

post-73177-026653900 1437910171_thumb.jpg

post-73177-096445600 1437910176_thumb.jpg

 

The cracks are a little severe but aren't really that out of line for a guitar that's 50 years old. I've seen worse in a Casino of similar age that was for sale in a shop around here. There's a '64 for sale in better shape on E-Bay right now for $8K. The screw hole is from removing the pickguard. Unless there are structural issues, I'd just gently remove the grunge from the finish, clean and oil the fretboard, and give it a setup. The hardware appears to be nickle so you'll never get a high polish on it.

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If you plan on reselling them, know thy audience, collectors have skewed standards. Generally speaking, the crappier the better. An old guitar is worth more unplayable than fixed with a single period-incorrect screw. They get this way with old cars, too. It's hilarious.

 

If you plan on playing 'em, do whatever you want. In fact, the more you piss off the collectors, the better. Maybe you'll give a few of 'em heart attacks, and the guitar resale world will become a slightly saner place. Even if you don't, their reactions will be, again, hilarious. Read the comments on the various forums of the guitar world when people restore or modify 'vintage' guitars some time. It's better than laughing gas and kittens.

 

As for tips on how to actually do the work? You're in the wrong place, mate! Too many 'vintage tone chasers' about! Stew Mac has some helpful video tutorials, many by the legendary Dan Erlewine, and there are some luthier forums about, luthiertalk.com is a good one.

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If you plan on reselling them, know thy audience, collectors have skewed standards. Generally speaking, the crappier the better. An old guitar is worth more unplayable than fixed with a single period-incorrect screw. They get this way with old cars, too. It's hilarious.

 

If you plan on playing 'em, do whatever you want. In fact, the more you piss off the collectors, the better. Maybe you'll give a few of 'em heart attacks, and the guitar resale world will become a slightly saner place. Even if you don't, their reactions will be, again, hilarious. Read the comments on the various forums of the guitar world when people restore or modify 'vintage' guitars some time. It's better than laughing gas and kittens.

 

As for tips on how to actually do the work? You're in the wrong place, mate! Too many 'vintage tone chasers' about! Stew Mac has some helpful video tutorials, many by the legendary Dan Erlewine, and there are some luthier forums about, luthiertalk.com is a good one.

 

 

This is the perfect answer!! [thumbup] [thumbup] [thumbup]

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