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ES-339 questions - value & serial # (first post, be gentle with me!)


Darcy
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Hi all, I've been trying to find some more recent posts so I don't have to spam you all, but the forum was showing an error after I did a search.  ANYWAY.

I bought a Gibson ES-339 in black satin & off-white/yellowish binding. I bought an Epiphone 339, fell in love with the style, then bought the real deal a little over a year ago. I've tried doing a serial # search on the Gibson site, and assuming  the 339 falls into the other ES-* categories, I don't have a clear picture. I also tried searching it here, but it doesn't recognize it.

The serial is clear mostly, but the last two digits are barely visible (last one you need a magnifying glass to see the indent) - but I've verified the internal certificate in the F hole. 

  • Serial #: 115890248
  • Style: Satin
  • Model: ES-339

From what I understand, this means it's a 2019 model (yes, bought it in early '20), made on the 158th day of the year, and factory lot # 0248. I'm wrong, but could someone help me get this right? It is a 2019, I bought it new, and there was a clearance sale for a few guitars, one of the guys who works at Long & McQuade told me about the deal so I bought it for $1900 CDN (about $1500 US). It came with a light brown HSC (made in Canada, which was '19 so pretty sure I got the date of manufacture right).

Where was it built? Nashville? Kalamazoo? Memphis?

I'm seeing this guitar selling for $2600 US ($3300 CDN) on Reverb, way more than I paid for it. Mine's in 'mint' condition, I only added locking Grovers & Gibson strap locks. Also has the '57 pups.

To summarize:  Where was it made? Is it really worth more than $2500 US?

Any & all advice appreciated. 

Thanks all, 

 - Darcy

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Edited by Darcy
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You got the date correct.  As to the which factory that's a little harder to tell.  They left Kalamazoo decades ago and ES type guitars were being made in Memphis.  They sold the building in Memphis in December of 2017 but didn't shut down production there for "about" two years, which puts it sometime in 2019.  So your guitar was probably made at the Memphis plant.

As to the value - it is worth whatever someone is willing to pay you for it.  Used guitar prices are up right now because the covid pandemic has disrupted supply and shipping so all sorts of things are back ordered.  If someone really wants one now and doesn't want to wait for a new one you might very well get more than you paid for it.  A new plain top lists for $2299 and a new figured top lists at $2999.

Edited by Twang Gang
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Thanks for the reply!

I noticed prices are all going up, at least for Fender. My American Performer Strat was $1400 CDN, and the exact same year, model & color is selling for $300 more. The fact my Gibson ES-339 is selling for more than I paid for it isn't as surprising as how much more. I'm not selling a thing for a while, I just like to keep track of how much better 'made in USA' (& Japan) guitars keep their resale value.

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I’m guessing it was made in Nashville.  The label says “Gibson USA”, which for many years has stood for production from the Nashville facility, while Memphis production always stated “Gibson Memphis” on the label, and I’d suspect that remained consistent throughout Memphis’ output.  There is also the possibility that it began life in Memphis, but was completed in Nashville during the transition period.

And regarding value, a black satin finish should typically be at the lower end of a model’s finish hierarchy.  Gloss finishes will generally go for more, and gloss figured grain will bump the price up again.  To my mind, $2600 seems very high.

Edit:  In checking Reverb just now, I quickly found a new gloss red 339 going for $2299.  Of course, maybe my vison of reasonable pricing on this model is immediately skewed by the fact that I paid $1529 for my new gloss cherry red CS labeled 339 back in 2009!

Edited by bobouz
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9 hours ago, bobouz said:

I’m guessing it was made in Nashville.  The label says “Gibson USA”, which for many years has stood for production from the Nashville facility, while Memphis production always stated “Gibson Memphis” on the label, and I’d suspect that remained consistent throughout Memphis’ output.  There is also the possibility that it began life in Memphis, but was completed in Nashville during the transition period.

And regarding value, a black satin finish should typically be at the lower end of a model’s finish hierarchy.  Gloss finishes will generally go for more, and gloss figured grain will bump the price up again.  To my mind, $2600 seems very high.

Edit:  In checking Reverb just now, I quickly found a new gloss red 339 going for $2299.  Of course, maybe my vison of reasonable pricing on this model is immediately skewed by the fact that I paid $1529 for my new gloss cherry red CS labeled 339 back in 2009!

Thanks, yep it was certainly entry-level regarding the ES series, so I was shocked to see such a high price set for it. Mind you, I'm referring to Canadian currency here (Reverb does an auto conversion to my currency). I much prefer a satin finish to gloss, maybe I'm just goth lol.

It's nice to see the value of Gibsons increasing as they are. The fact you got a CS labeled 339 for that price is pretty damn good. If it's in good form, no reason it shouldn't be worth more each decade or so. 

Ultimately, I'd get the Watermelon color ES-335 as my 'only' guitar, meaning I'd have to sell all 5 of my guitars to afford this:

https://www.gibson.com/Guitar/CUSCNL101/1959-ES-355-Watermelon-Red-Light-Aged/Watermelon-Red

I'd actually pay more to prevent any aging/relic'ing being done to it, though. The aging is very tastefully done, but it's just not authentic. For $7500 CDN, it'd damn well better have been handles by cotton gloves.

 

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