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dhanners623

Refinishing/ethics question for the hive mind....

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Love my '16 J-35 but one thing about it has always bugged me. When Gibson re-issued the J-35s, it gave them banner pegheads and the Gibson script logo in gold. A banner peghead looks cool, but it isn't "accurate" for a J-35. The original J-35s just had the script logo stenciled in white.

I once asked my favorite repair shop in the Twin Cities about refinishing the peghead and they said it wasn't work they would do because it would be "unethical." Feeling dumb for asking, I left it at that.

But sitting here in Cyprus, I'm getting bored and I'm again wondering -- Why not do it? (I wouldn't do it personally. I have a shop about a 5-minute walk away where the luthier/repairman does great repair work and is a whiz with refinishing. And you can buy period-correct Gibson script logo stencils on eBay.)

Part of me says, "The guitar is mine, I'm keeping it and I'm not worried about resale value. I could paint it chartreuse if I wanted." The other part of me says, "If a trusted and experienced repair person says it is unethical to do to an undamaged peghead, maybe there is something to it."

I'd not be representing the guitar as something it isn't. It is a Gibson J-35 and the serial number would clearly show it was built in 2016. The work would have zero impact on its sound. The only difference is it would look more period-correct.

Any thoughts on why it might be unethical or why it is a bad idea?

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It's your guitar, do what you want. No one is going to think it is a vintage instrument, and it isn't like you are re-branding it as something other than a Gibson. I don't see any ethical issue at all.

It may slightly decrease the value or reduce its market appeal when you go to sell it.

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Those must be really perfect godlike guys if their level of ethics is that high. If you repaint the guitar you bought you can do with it what you want. 

If you make changes to fake a higher grade model and try to sell it without mentioning would be unethical. But that’s not the case here.

To me it is unethical if someone limits your right to handle your guitar in the way you want.

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22 minutes ago, Peter Z said:

Those must be really perfect godlike guys if their level of ethics is that high. If you repaint the guitar you bought you can do with it what you want. 

If you make changes to fake a higher grade model and try to sell it without mentioning would be unethical. But that’s not the case here.

To me it is unethical if someone limits your right to handle your guitar in the way you want.

 

It is a top-drawer shop and pros from Leo Kottke to Jeff Tweedy and lots inbetween have their guitars worked on there. (I've been there when some of Tweedy's guitars have arrived from Chicago....) They've worked on every guitar I've owned since 1994, and they've always been great to me. One of their people even built me a fantastic dread out of a StewMac kit.

I'm thinking their remark about ethics may have stemmed from the fact the guitar was undamaged. Refinishing/restoring a damaged peghead is a no-brainer. Or maybe they didn't want their name attached to altering a guitar still under warranty at that point. Or maybe they just didn't feel like doing the work. Either way, I can't be too hard on them.

The thing I keep coming back to is, "It's my guitar." I trust the local guy here in Nicosia to do agreat job if it comes to that.

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I might have been to quick with my judgement. Your opinion is much more thoughtful than mine.

It is still your guitar! 🙂

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The Banner today is really just a doodad - bling designed to conjure up the image of a guitar built in days gone by.   If you really want your guitar to at least look like a '42  you could dispense with the Banner and shoot an opaque blonde finish.  Or not.

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Maybe that was their way of saying "bring us some work we feel is worth doing"  I've been brushed off by the "high and lofty" before.  Thing is, that was the last time I set foot in their shop..

so they can feel free to continue taking what work they want,, just wont run their shop using any of my cash..

as said,, it's your guitar,, if you wanted to drill holes in it and stick straws in the holes,, who am I to stop you..

 

 

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46 minutes ago, kidblast said:

Maybe that was their way of saying "bring us some work we feel is worth doing"  I've been brushed off by the "high and lofty" before.  Thing is, that was the last time I set foot in their shop..

so they can feel free to continue taking what work they want,, just wont run their shop using any of my cash..

as said,, it's your guitar,, if you wanted to drill holes in it and stick straws in the holes,, who am I to stop you..

 

 

After we get past the"it's your guitar and you can do with it what you want", business there is the problem of altering the appearance of an instrument to make it appear to be far more valuable than it is. Innocent intentions or not, this can potentially lead to mischief later on.

RBSinTo

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13 minutes ago, RBSinTo said:

After we get past the"it's your guitar and you can do with it what you want", business there is the problem of altering the appearance of an instrument to make it appear to be far more valuable than it is. Innocent intentions or not, this can potentially lead to mischief later on.

RBSinTo

 

I do not get this one.  Why would a headstock refinish make the guitar appear "far more valuable"?  

 

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Gibson made some limited  j-35, that were more like  "TV" or nowadays "Vintage" guitars, with period correct headstock, bridge, case and whatnot. like this one. I'd guess it'll take a little more to fake this model, which isn't the OPs  intention anyway.

Whatever, wish I had a luthier to trust, I would let  him do some unethical things to my guitars😜 

 

Edited by littlejohnny

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The guitar will still carry the original serial number, so it’s not like you’re trying to fool anyone.  Similar to removing a stock pickguard & replacing it with one you find more appealing, this is a personal preference thing.

Any guitar can be modified anytime by anyone - and of course we are not talking about a museum piece in this scenario.  But personally, I value originality & try to stick to reversible mods whenever possible.

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I don't see any problem with making the change that you want.  If anyone in the know ever pointed it out you just tell them that you wanted the headstock to look more like the guitars from the period so you had the logo changed.  No big deal.

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I usually try to make modifications reversible.

If I wanted to try something like this, I would make a veneer with a decal and apply it like a pick guard. The ferrules and trc screws would help hold it down.

Legend headstock

 

s-l640.png

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As I recall -- and someone correct me if I am misinformed -- when Gibson first reissued the J-35, they made some for Chicago Music Exchange that just had the stenciled white script logo and no banner.

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I don't see the ethics argument at all. If someone was going to buy an original J35 and had the resources with which to do so, it's infinitesimally unlikely that they would be tricked into buying a re-badged 2011, which, whilst a lovely instrument in its own right, is some way short of a "true" reissue.

I say go for it...it's your guitar and you plan to keep it, so why not make it your own cosmetically?

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maybe the luthier overstated his opinion by saying 'ethical'. 

When I wanted a irreversable mod on one of my guitars, my luthier had a problem with it. He suggested I just sell it. I think it was more a problem of disrespecting the design/build. Yes its your guitar and you can do what you want with it, but I can see the other point of view.

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I emailed the repair guy here in Nicosia and he says he's game, so I ordered the stencil. Depending on how fast the USPS is these days, I'll let you know how it goes. (I say that because this summer I ordered some strings from JustStrings and the USPS held them in New York for a full month before shipping them out. Normally, I love the USPS, but that DeJoy guy, jeez.)

Ordinarily, I wouldn't trust the guitar to just anyone. But this spring I had him work on my Farida OT-22, re-locating the tuner holes to accept a set of Golden Age Restoration tuners. As fond as I am of the OT-22, for whatever reason, Farida drills the tuner holes fairly far in from the side of the headstock. Farida uses a tuner with extra long stems for the tuner buttons, so you can't just drop in a set of tuners if you want to upgrade them, which I did. The guy filled the existing holes, drilled new ones, resprayed the faceplate (not touching the Farida logo) and sprayed on a lacquer and I swear you can't tell where the work was done. And believe me, I've looked.

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13 hours ago, dhanners623 said:

As I recall -- and someone correct me if I am misinformed -- when Gibson first reissued the J-35, they made some for Chicago Music Exchange that just had the stenciled white script logo and no banner.

 I think these were AJ35s so different from the stock J35s. 

 

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