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1956 Country Western


sixxes
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Hello there.  I'm new to the forum but have been lurking quite a while. 😀

 

I don't have much vintage guitar knowledge and I've run across a local '56 Country Western in excellent shape, original finish but with a replaced bridge.  I'm clueless as to what a fair person to person price might be given original condition minus the new bridge.  I'm not sure about the bridge plate itself, or even what the original is supposed to look like so I suppose if you could address the effect on value of a new bridge plate as well - so 2 different scenarios.  1) excellent original condition with new bridge only, 2) excellent original condition with new bridge and plate.

 

Thanks very, very much for any assistance you can provide.  Jon

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Pictures would be helpful.

A properly-replaced bridge and/or  bridgeplate will have relatively little impact on the value of this guitar. "Properly" means that the bridge is period-correct, and the bridgeplate is of correct materials and dimensions, unless there is some compelling reason to do something different. 

Some of these might have had adjustable-saddle bridges, and it would not be uncommon for those to be replaced or modified with a fixed saddle. Once again, it depends on how well it is done.

These are nice guitars, but they are not yet priced ridiculously high. A reputable dealer might list a guitar like this in the $5-6 k range at the high end, but that would mean a guitar  that really is in "excellent" shape. Good ones you often see around $4-5 k or so, depending on how good they really are. Person-to-person prices will be quite a bit lower--by at least 20%-- unless the guitar really is pristine. If it is as-is, where-is, with no right of return, the price should be lower still, since you may be buying a pig in a poke unless you have a really good understanding of what you are looking at.

Most of these I've played have been really nice, with a neck that is still a good handful, and the straight-braced, balanced voice that is typical of all the mahogany Gibson slope-J guitars of the mid-1950s. They can be great all-around guitars.

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15 minutes ago, j45nick said:

Pictures would be helpful.

A properly-replaced bridge and/or  bridgeplate will have relatively little impact on the value of this guitar. "Properly" means that the bridge is period-correct, and the bridgeplate is of correct materials and dimensions, unless there is some compelling reason to do something different. 

Some of these might have had adjustable-saddle bridges, and it would not be uncommon for those to be replaced or modified with a fixed saddle. Once again, it depends on how well it is done.

These are nice guitars, but they are not yet priced ridiculously high. A reputable dealer might list a guitar like this in the $5-6 k range at the high end, but that would mean a guitar  that really is in "excellent" shape. Good ones you often see around $4-5 k or so, depending on how good they really are. Person-to-person prices will be quite a bit lower--by at least 20%-- unless the guitar really is pristine. If it is as-is, where-is, with no right of return, the price should be lower still, since you may be buying a pig in a poke unless you have a really good understanding of what you are looking at.

Most of these I've played have been really nice, with a neck that is still a good handful, and the straight-braced, balanced voice that is typical of all the mahogany Gibson slope-J guitars of the mid-1950s. They can be great all-around guitars.

That's helpful, thanks.  Are the actual bridge and bridge plate dimensions available anywhere so I can measure?

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1 hour ago, sixxes said:

That's helpful, thanks.  Are the actual bridge and bridge plate dimensions available anywhere so I can measure?

It's not just the dimensions: it's the shape and execution. You can do something of exactly the right dimensions that is completely wrong. A picture of the top of the guitar would help on the bridge. The bridgeplate is a more complex problem that requires inspection rather than dimensions in any case. For example, is there grain tear-out on the bridgeplate at the pin holes, overly enlarged pin holes, etc?

Generally, it is better to save a damaged bridgeplate than replace it, but repairing a damaged one is a job for professionals. Bridge replacement almost always requires professional attention. These can be key to playability, and the can impact significantly on value if not properly done. Proper replacement of bridge and bridgeplate generally runs $500+, and can easily knock that amount off the value--or more--if poorly done.

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Never mind all....it just sold.  I suspected it was a closet queen but I'm too much a noob re: vintage instruments I was too slow in my actions.  It wasn't meant to be, but I certainly learned a ton about mid-late 50s Gibsons. 🙂  Thanks very much for everyone's help.

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It looks quite good in the photos, including the bridge. 

Some bridges, but not all, have the pins a little further away from the straight edge of the bridge.  For reference, to be correct, that bridge would be  6" wide, and the bridge "wings" would be 1" across the ends. Often replacement bridges are slightly oversize to cover flaws.

The guitar almost looks too good to be true. It also has a very desirable case, which might have been bright yellow/gold on the inside.

Sorry you lost it. What kind of money did they want for it?

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The case was pink inside actually.  

He was asking $4,500 or a nice boat.  Lol.  I spoke with him on the phone this morning, seemed like a good dude.  Wasn't a player, said his father had bought him the guitar originally.  I was going to head over after work.

C'est la vie.  There will be another.  It's easy to by a buyer, not so easy to be a seller in this market.  

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1 hour ago, sixxes said:

Bet it sounded like it had a bag of dirty laundry stuffed in the sound hole.

At least, that's what I'm telling myself. 😜

Eventually, if you're like most of us who love vintage guitars, you will have a list of guitars that fall into the category of "the one that got away."

This may be the first for you, but it probably won't be the last. 

Welcome to the club.

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4 hours ago, sixxes said:

Thanks so much for your help.  Here is what I have...what do you think?

56CWback.jpg

56CWFront.jpg

To be honest.  I think someone did well.  I would of had no issue in the price that you mentioned.   Nowadays I see alot out there in that ball park that are on there way to being beat to death. 

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