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Dave F

Case Value

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For those that buy vintage J-45’s from the 49’s and 50’s, what value would you put on having the original Lifton case in good condition?

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Tough call. Are you talking the tan case with green felt lining, or another version?

My guess would be about $500, all things being equal, maybe more. You see people ask crazy money for these as a stand-alone item with no guitar, for both the Lifton and the other brand, whose name escapes me: the one with the fortress logo.

Just looked online, and there are various Lifton cases for about $700-$900 asking. I didn't see one that was particularly for the J-45. Remember that there was rarely a separate case for each model, and therefore the fit was not always as good as we expect in a case today.

The case was an extra-cost item back then, from the basic chipboard case for about $10-$15 on up. The 1950 J-45 I bought last year had the original Gibson chipboard case, and although I did not have the seller ship the guitar in that case--I sent him a modern hard case for shipping--I did pay about $75 to have the chipboard case packaged and sent to me, since it was original to the guitar and in really nice condition.

Edited by j45nick
added additional thought

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Yup 350 to 500.  Wth the brown lining.  Knowing there maybe a few scuffs. And all the latches and hinges work.  
 

I just sold a decent lifton brown lined for 400. With edge wear. 
 

pink lining liftons are more.  

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26 minutes ago, j45nick said:

Tough call. Are you talking the tan case with green felt lining, or another version?

My guess would be about $500, all things being equal, maybe more. You see people ask crazy money for these as a stand-alone item with no guitar, for both the Lifton and the other brand, whose name escapes me: the one with the fortress logo.

Just looked online, and there are various Lifton cases for about $700-$900 asking. I didn't see one that was particularly for the J-45. Remember that there was rarely a separate case for each model, and therefore the fit was not always as good as we expect in a case today.

The case was an extra-cost item back then, from the basic chipboard case for about $10-$15 on up. The 1950 J-45 I bought last year had the original Gibson chipboard case, and although I did not have the seller ship the guitar in that case--I sent him a modern hard case for shipping--I did pay about $75 to have the chipboard case packaged and sent to me, since it was original to the guitar and in really nice condition.

I’m looking at a local ‘52 that has the original case. The seller references on reverb the same year, condition and style case that’s asking 1800 which is not something I’m in to. 

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1 hour ago, Dave F said:

I’m looking at a local ‘52 that has the original case. The seller references on reverb the same year, condition and style case that’s asking 1800 which is not something I’m in to. 

That's what I meant by asking crazy money. Does he want crazy money for the guitar as well?

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1 hour ago, j45nick said:

That's what I meant by asking crazy money. Does he want crazy money for the guitar as well?

We're talking trade. I haven't seen it yet but should this weekend.

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So just to be clear all you want is a vintage case for your J-45 and paying close to $500. If that is correct, for something you don't even play at that price to me sounds ridiculous. A case is just something to put my guitars in for storage and to transport them. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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7 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

So just to be clear all you want is a vintage case for your J-45 and paying close to $500. If that is correct, for something you don't even play at that price to me sounds ridiculous. A case is just something to put my guitars in for storage and to transport them. 

Look at the OP's second post. He is looking at a 1952 J-45 with the original case, and is trying to figure out how much value that adds to the guitar itself, to figure out if the price asked for the guitar with its original case makes sense.

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9 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

So just to be clear all you want is a vintage case for your J-45 and paying close to $500. If that is correct, for something you don't even play at that price to me sounds ridiculous. A case is just something to put my guitars in for storage and to transport them. 

Not exactly. I'm looking at at '52 J-45 and working on a trade. I have no interest in the case but the seller seems to be wanting to add some value to the trade via the case. I don't mind taking the case for a price such as Slim's mentioning but not more. I have plenty of cases. We plan on meeting this weekend.

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1 hour ago, Dave F said:

Not exactly. I'm looking at at '52 J-45 and working on a trade. I have no interest in the case but the seller seems to be wanting to add some value to the trade via the case. I don't mind taking the case for a price such as Slim's mentioning but not more. I have plenty of cases. We plan on meeting this weekend.

Got ya. I read it and thought it was a case from a '52 and that was all you wanted. If a case comes with it sure, I'm not paying extra, and like you said you have cases. 

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Met up with the J45.  The case was nothing special and I was willing to let him keep it but he let it go.

Guitar was in decent shape. Some wear . One back crack that was cleated the rest of the guitar is crack free.  A few loose braces.  someone tried to drill/ream a  thru hole in the endpin hole but broke off what looks like a reamer. looks like they were trying to install a UST. Someone put some clunky Grovers on it. Frets are original and only need dressed. Fretboard is in decent shape.  Neck is dead straight but it needs a neck reset. Bridge looks like a replacement.

This guitar was owned by a former neighbor of Lonnie Mack and he used to play it when he visited. I'm a big Lonnie Mack fan but even if this was documented I don't think it adds any value., just character.

I worked a trade for a guitar and amp that I had $3500 invested. This is the 4th birth year guitar I'm trying. The others didn't cut it and moved on.

Off to the luthier for neck reset, fret dress and braces glued. I'm estimating $500-$600. I already have some tuners for it. This luthier lives in Lonnie's old stomping ground and maybe he can verify the info.

I have a 1940 Recording King I picked up the other day that also needs the neck reset that will be joining it. Otherwise it's a closet queen.

Here's a couple pics

52 J45

 

52 J45

 

52 J45

 

 

52 J45

 

 

Edited by Dave F

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It does make sense to acquire a period-correct case for your vintage guitar because of the increased resale value it will bring to your instrument. Lots of mold in that specimen, and a lot of work for the luthier besides that. Let's hope it turns out fine.

Edited by Leonard McCoy

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Hope this one works out for you as a birth year guitar.  Mine would be a ‘51, and the idea of it is always fun to ponder.

The bridge has definitely been replaced & the bridgeplate holes appear to indicate it once had the adjustable saddle hardware.  But that option first appeared in 1956 according to Gruhn, so I wonder what exactly is going on with that.

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40 minutes ago, bobouz said:

 

The bridge has definitely been replaced & the bridgeplate holes appear to indicate it once had the adjustable saddle hardware.  But that option first appeared in 1956 according to Gruhn, so I wonder what exactly is going on with that.

That was my question as well. Those holes look like the oversized holes for the barrel nuts of an adjustable saddle, but the small bridgeplate is consistent with the original standard bridge in that period. 1952 may have been the last year of the slot-through saddle

There's a story there somewhere.

I'm hoping Dave will confirm whether or not it still has a tapered headstock. There is some uncertainty when that feature disappeared.

The top brace scalloping is similar to that on my  "new" 1950 J-45.

The top 'burst is almost identical to the original 'burst on my "old" 1950, but very different from the 'burst on my "new" 1950.

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They bring enough to cause people to remove the guitars they came in and sell separately.   

The only original Gibson Lifton case still in the house is that which came with our 1960J200.  Other than that  we have a couple of 1950s Geib cases  as well as an early 1960s yellow lined Gibson Victoria Luggage case.  

Assuming you are talking about the flannel lined Liftons which are the most common, I have bought a couple and paid in the $400  range for them.  But that was a while back as over the years I have lost the urge to acquire them so have not kept up with what they bring.,   

Edited by zombywoof

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Some case shots. I sprayed it and have it setting outside airing out

52 J45

 

 

52 J45

 

52 J45

 

 

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4 hours ago, j45nick said:

......

I'm hoping Dave will confirm whether or not it still has a tapered headstock. There is some uncertainty when that feature disappeared.

....

It has a slight taper,  .060" 

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That J45 has been monkeyed with.  I hope your going in a good direction on price. I know what I would pay.  I know where there is a original case for one of these for 200.00. Case is in decent condition. 
 

but the 45 Im going to say. 3 to 35 tops. 

Edited by slimt

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10 minutes ago, slimt said:

That J45 has been monkeyed with.  I hope your going in a good direction on price. I know what I would pay.  I know where there is a original case for one of these for 200.00. Case is in decent condition. 
 

but the 45 Im going to say. 3 to 35 tops. 

I did 35 w/case (trade value) no cash changed hands

Edited by Dave F

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17 minutes ago, Dave F said:

I did 35 w/case (trade value) no cash changed hands

Nice.  Love that old Soul tone in those.  I have a few. There great guitars. 

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I haven't seen that particular case before. Does it have a Lifton brand on it somewhere, or did the seller just assume it is a Lifton?

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So what did you pick it up for? I saw a number like $3500 in one post.

I'm no expert but that case can't be from '53 can it?

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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6 minutes ago, j45nick said:

I haven't seen that particular case before. Does it have a Lifton brand on it somewhere, or did the seller just assume it is a Lifton?

No badges or tags. Every Lifton I've had had a badge. This guy was not very knowledgeable about guitars but he was a very nice talented guy that knows how to use them. A local artist a little older than myself. We had quite a few common friends.  Wants me to do some setup work for him and he's wanting to buy a CJ165 I have. 

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3 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

So what did you pick it up for? I saw a number like $3500 in one post.

I'm no expert but that case can't be from '53 can it?

Traded for 3500 value

I'm no expert on cases either.

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