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Has anybody ever seen a decent Gibson acoustic in a pawn shop in the past several years?

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Living abroad since 2014, it has been awhile since I've cruised pawn shops looking for deals. My recollection was that if the guitar said "Gibson" or "Martin" on the headstock, pawnbrokers would bump the price way over what the guitar was actually worth.

When I lived, worked and traveled in Texas in the 1980s and early '90s, I'd always work time in my schedule to check out the local pawn shops when I was in the oil patch of West Texas. When the oil industry was going great guns, roughnecks often bought guitars and since they were rolling in cash, they'd buy good ones. Then when the industry tanked, the guitars were the first things they'd pawn. I never found a deal that I couldn't pass up.

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In my area there is never any decent guitars in the pawn shops. I got my first Gibson in 1968, in a pawn shop in Phoenix,AZ. Big difference in Phoenix, & where I live now. Short answer is I don’t know. I live in the middle of nowhere!

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I looked 5-10 years ago on two occasions. About the only thing I saw was more suited for a flea-market. One of our Austrailian friends, when not fighting over TP, has come up with an occasional player recently. It's a lost thing around these parts, though.

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Seems like BK has had success with pawn shops  over in Australia, but over in the states I haven't heard much about pawn shops

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1 hour ago, uncle fester said:

Seems like BK has had success with pawn shops  over in Australia, but over in the states I haven't heard much about pawn shops

 

Warning!

I have bought 5 guitars from pawn shops - the WARNING part:: they all needed massive work and I have them repaired by possibly the best luthier in the country who lives not far from me. (He has also built me a wonderful custom guitar). My 2002 Gibson 2002 from a pawn shop is currently there getting tortured back to playability.

So another warning, if you think you are getting a cheap deal at a pawn shop, you ARE NOT - I bought these knowing he could fix them. Without him, all our plans are dirt.

 

BluesKing777.

 

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Not a pawn shop as such but a tiny store in Hobart, Tasmania selling used musical instruments and equipment.

Hanging on this back wall was a used Epiphone EJ-200.

soYFeT5l.jpg

I got the store owner to get it down for me. It was clean with fresh strings and in perfect tune. I bought it.

When I got it home and went over it carefully I was pleased to say it was close to mint.

Strange white plastic thing installed in the sound-hole turns out to be a Planet Waves O Port Sound Enhancer - can't say if it works or not but the guitar sounds great so I'm not touching it!

HXbW4asl.jpg

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1 minute ago, Brucebubs said:

Not a pawn shop as such but a tiny store in Hobart, Tasmania selling used musical instruments and equipment.

Hanging on this back wall was a used Epiphone EJ-200.

soYFeT5l.jpg

I got the store owner to get it down for me. It was clean with fresh strings and in perfect tune. I bought it.

When I got it home and went over it carefully I was pleased to say it was close to mint.

Strange white plastic thing installed in the sound-hole turns out to be a Planet Waves O Port Sound Enhancer - can't say if it works or not but the guitar sounds great so I'm not touching it!

HXbW4asl.jpg

Nice!

Todd Snider (who you gotta know, if ya dont) plays these on the road (tho cutaways).

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I just bought a 67 Southern Jumbo from a pawn shop 2 weeks ago. 900 bucks. 

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23 minutes ago, tru said:

Nice!

Todd Snider (who you gotta know, if ya dont) plays these on the road (tho cutaways).

I googled him and checked out loads of pictures - seems he used the full body version too at one stage - mine is a 2012 which was the last year they made the full body straight acoustic version, after that they're all cutaways with electronics.

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Got this mystery Gibson at a pawn shop here in Cali a 1932 L1 I am told by tpbiii $850 if I remember +50 for the case. Issues but who doesn't have some of those?

OsJlILR.jpg  

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3 hours ago, Holiday Hoser said:

Got this mystery Gibson at a pawn shop here in Cali a 1932 L1 I am told by tpbiii $850 if I remember +50 for the case. Issues but who doesn't have some of those?

OsJlILR.jpg  

Did this happen recently?

Why so cheap? Is one of the issues that a neck reset is needed...or cracks?

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6 hours ago, Holiday Hoser said:

Got this mystery Gibson at a pawn shop here in Cali a 1932 L1 I am told by tpbiii $850 if I remember +50 for the case. Issues but who doesn't have some of those?

OsJlILR.jpg  

 

you did well considering they were asking 2700.00 at the start.. looks like a good guitar..

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I gave-up on pawn shops years ago.  Maybe I was too much into believing that I would find some gem of a guitar that no one wanted, but was just there waiting for me...lol.....I don't doubt that some folks have found a great guitar in a pawn shop, but I suspect most of them "paid through the nose" for it.  Don't think I ever saw a Gibby or Martin.  Most were like Fenders, Taks and the prices were way-too-high for taking a chance........Anyway, just my .2cents.

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I have told this story before, but....I will tell it differently!

The Boss and I were at a regional type shopping area just after we moved into this new house in about 1997. No idea why we were there but as we got back to the car, she said she wanted to look in this furniture type shop for a cheapo rug that was dog proof. “Really?” was my reply, “But I think I will duck in here while you look for the rug!” A pawn shop. Lots of junker guitars and down the end was a Samick dread. I had to ask to try it. Hmm, not too bad really. “How much?”, I braved. $138.

Boss comes back - found a rug - we have to drive around the back to pick it up - I’m still playing.......”How much is that?”, she asked with that fearful look of experience in her eyes 😀. “$138”.

”Really?”, she said......”That is exactly what I paid for the rug! It is some kind of omen - maybe I should buy that guitar for you?”

I played it for a week or so and the action was awful, so I took it to my luthier and got a setup, a bone nut and saddle and a passive undersaddle pickup. And it was really good (ish). I played it a fair bit, but I had better guitars. Though I took it to a couple of outdoor parties.

I was interstate some years back and was talking to a friend. He knew I played guitar and asked what guitar he should get to “learn together with his young grandson”, who just got a guitar. Boy, was he is luck - I gave him the Samick....nice setup, pickup, bone bits, not many beginners have it so good!

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

 

Edited by BluesKing777

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Yep back is total crack attack, respray (poor)and already had one (bad) neck reset I swear it looks like super glue! I'm sure it was less than a grand I took some photos and mocked up a appraisal of 1200 on a fake photoshop letterhead. Caveat Venditor (let the seller beware) Wall hanger for now

Edited by Holiday Hoser

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I remember when I could find good deals on guitars in pawnshops!  That was kind of over by the early 90s, though.  The beginning of the end came when I walked into Arvin's Pawn Shop on Poplar Street in Macon in the early 90s and asked about old guitars.  The son of the long-term owner said, "I've got a cool old Martin you can look at, but we're saving it.  There's this guy comes over from England every six months or so and he rents a van and drives down from New York and stops at all the pawnshops looking for old guitars.  We're holding this one for him."  

This was the same shop I had once bought a '63 Stratocaster for $300 in 1983.  The same place I had bought a Guild D-25M for $75, where my Dad bought me a used Gibson ES-125 for $125 - but that was all over.   No more '60 Les Paul Jrs. for $200 (yep, that happened, and I let it go for way too little), no more buying a '65 Jaguar neck for $25 and then coming back a few weeks later when they've moved an old piano and found the rest of it - that was another $50.  Nope.  

Of course, once the internet got rolling, along with eBay, that kinda killed it.  I haven't seen anything I would call a real deal on a guitar in a pawnshop since.

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Lots -- but long ago.

We use to buy high end and junque -- I have a lot of stuff on my walls.  I generally made it playable and played it somewhere, but about 30 years ago we gave up childish things and got serious about bluegrass.  I'd have to check -- not something I have thought about lately -- but my insurance list show 18 (of about 150) from pawn shops and flea markets.  I have a lot more low end stuff I don't insure.

A few I can think of off hand.

42 Gibson LG-1, 67 Lake Placid blue Fender Coronada, 68 Wildwood Fender Coronada, 37 Gibson L-4, 49 Gibson ES-150, 62 Gibson Melody Maker, 67 Gibson SG JR, 67 Fender Musicmaster  II, lots of Danolectrics , 84 Gibson ES-335S, 74 Fender Strat, 67 Deluxe Reverb (black face), 72 Fender Tele Deluxe, 33 Martin 0-17, 44 Martin 00-17, 47 Martin 000-18, 48 Kay bass ...

Maybe I'll make a picture.  Nothing since c 2000 however.

Most of these came from pawn shops and flea markets.

iyddSgb.jpg

Best,

-Tom

Edited by tpbiii

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