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Advice on selling '63 Gibson Southern Jumbo


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I would like to sell my '63 Gibson Southern Jumbo, and I'm trying to figure out how much it's worth. It's never been cleaned, but I'm afraid of using anything other than water to clean or polish it. The finish is checked, and the fretboard and frets are dull. I'm afraid that putting a polish on any part of it, or polishing the frets will somehow damage or "un-vintage" it. But most importantly, any suggestions on what it's worth, or what might be going on with the back of the neck pocket? The neck was never repaired if your wondering.

The photos are in the link below.

https://imgur.com/a/Zh3afst

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Nice old guitar, but there's a lot going on there. I wouldn't bother cleaning it just now, but it wouldn't hurt to bring it to a guitar 'doc' and let a pro size things up. While originality is valued in the vintage market, the plastic bridge is a dubious aspect and many would change it, certainly if they wanted it to just play. Snoop around on Ebay and Reverb to see if there are similar SJs for sale. It might help you get a handle on the asking price ranges.

I'd just guess a rounded off value of $2800-4K, depending on what work may be needed for playability and structural integrity. If you aren't playing it I'd consider slackening the strings until the neck heel gap can be analyzed.

Edited by jedzep
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If it's a 1963 (as the serial number suggests), it should have a 1 11/16" (43mm) nut width, and will be a bit more valuable than one from a couple of years later, which might have a narrower ( 1 9/16" or 39.7mm) nut.

The plastic bridge is a mixed blessing, but is original, and should not be changed prior to selling. You don't know what the next owner will want to do.

The saddle is cranked down, and the nut is deeply slotted, so the guitar may be into neck re-set territory. Because a poorly-done neck re-set could compromise value, I would leave that to the next owner, and simply factor it into the price. 

The open neck joint may suggest a glue failure in the neck glue joint, which can only be addressed properly by a neck re-set if the joint opens a bit more under normal string tension.

If I were interested in this guitar, I would want my own guy to work on it.

You can do a simple fret cleanup and board re-oil. You might just use a mild Scotchbrite pad (white or blue, NOT green or red) or bronze wool, working carefully  to avoid scratching the finish. If you are uncomfortable with that, don't touch it. That is work I happen to enjoy, and would prefer to do myself if I were buying the guitar. I bit of fretboard oil will make it look better after a simple clean-up.

You are correct in using nothing but a damp soft cotton or microfiber cloth to clean the guitar up. Crazed or check finishes are really tricky to work on. Poorly-done work will de-value the guitar.

Only a careful inspection will determine value. Things like loose braces or a damaged bridgeplate are easily repaired by a professional, but do-it-yourself work will de-value the guitar if you don't have the right tools and don't know what you are doing.

In really good condition with no work required, the guitar might be worth $4K or a bit more. I would not pay anything like that with the condition issues I see, but someone might.

In 1963, this is essentially a Hummingbird with less bling. It's a nice guitar.

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13 minutes ago, Robbie1299 said:

Any idea how I might find the best person to check it out or fix in Viriginia? Gibon's page on authorized service people only lists one, he's almost 2 hours away, and it looks like he's dedicated to electronics. Taylor lists a shop 1.5 hours away, and Martin hasn't gotten back to me.

Where are you in VA. I got a guy. I love in Newport News.

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1 hour ago, Robbie1299 said:

Any idea how I might find the best person to check it out or fix in Viriginia? Gibon's page on authorized service people only lists one, he's almost 2 hours away, and it looks like he's dedicated to electronics. Taylor lists a shop 1.5 hours away, and Martin hasn't gotten back to me.

Fret Not guitar repair in Newport News.

 

Actually, she is no longer in business, but there is a contact email on her website, and she may well be able to connect you with someone else in VA.

Edited by j45nick
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45 minutes ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

Live.

I do not love VA. In fact I hate it.

That's because you live in Newport News. I live in Charlottesville. It's beautiful. If you like the outdoors, local restaurants, and live music, it's a great place to live. I'm mean it's a terrible place to live. Nobody should move here. Barf!

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7 minutes ago, Robbie1299 said:

That's because you live in Newport News. I live in Charlottesville. It's beautiful. If you like the outdoors, local restaurants, and live music, it's a great place to live. I'm mean it's a terrible place to live. Nobody should move here. Barf!

I dig Charlottesville. I saw Paul McCarntney there where UVA plays B-Ball in 2015, and the day after went and stopped at a lot of the micro-brewery's. I still want to get the hell out if VA and back to the West Coast where I grew up.

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That's a big enough town (area) to check out music shops and get references. There are many non Gibson authorized luthiers who know what they're doing. If it actually needs a neck reset you'll want to weed out the amateurs and general practitioners.

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2 minutes ago, jedzep said:

That's a big enough town (area) to check out music shops and get references. There are many non Gibson authorized luthiers who know what they're doing. If it actually needs a neck reset you'll want to weed out the amateurs and general practitioners.

Ditto.

My luthier hates to do neck resets on Gibson's made after 1959.  I don't know what the significance of after that year is.

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15 minutes ago, Dave F said:

Ditto.

My luthier hates to do neck resets on Gibson's made after 1959.  I don't know what the significance of after that year is.

You wonder when Gibson switched from hide glue to aliphatic resin in general, and whether they might have used aliphatic resin in the neck joint as well at some point in time.

You can't easily de-bond an aliphatic resin joint like you can a hide glue joint.

Having said that, my luthier has re-set two 1960s  Gibson necks for me, and hasn't mentioned them being a problem compared to the 1950 neck he re-set. I think he charged the same amount of money in all cases.

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15 hours ago, Robbie1299 said:

That's because you live in Newport News. I live in Charlottesville. It's beautiful. If you like the outdoors, local restaurants, and live music, it's a great place to live. I'm mean it's a terrible place to live. Nobody should move here. Barf!

C-Ville has always looked beautiful to me...have never visited but my friend Devon Sproule lived and played there for a long time. 

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