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Gibson 64 Wildwood 345 Pickup Theft

frank rumbaugh

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heads up guys...bought this guitar off reverb some 3 years ago from a seller bearing the moniker " toms gear emporium" out of new jersey. i asked what type of buckers were in it and his response was " custom buckers, wildwood specs" i paid 3K for the guitar some 3 years ago...late 2019.

i finally opened the guitar up and was horrified to find a mis-matched set of pickups in it... a burstbucker 2 at the neck and a 490T at the bridge. i contacted the seller and he would take absolutely no responsibility for the wrong pickups being in it, although he did offer a full refund...now that the instrument is worth almost twice the original investment.

so guys...check the pickups in your guitar before...and after the purchase., i never would have dreamed...but there are guys out there who can , who will butcher a high-end gibson for profit.

what's this country coming to huh? there's alot of folks out there that seem to have chucked their integrity at the gate.







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There seem so be no ethics in business anymore in general, so I agree with you on that.  However, since you played the guitar for three years before finding what pickups were in it, I'm guessing it sounded pretty good to you as it was?  Really nice looking top by the way.  I notice in your photos that you have clipped the wires so I'm thinking that you are putting different pickups in it now?  What are you going with, if that is the case? 

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i rarely ever played it., it was more an investment than an instrument to me. i was in the process of changing the hardware to chrome from gold when i discovered the theft.

the short, patched in cables are the replacement pickups., i eould never cut a set of pickup leads like that! i took them apart and discerned i had a burstbucker 2 in the neck, and a 490T at the bridge. i removed them, removed the entire wiring harness, and replaced the pickups with a pristine set of gibson custom buckers. the custom buckers had come out of a les paul, and as difficult as it was, i did my dead level best to do as " stock" a re-wiring job as possible. to that end, the original leads are now in the guitar and it's fairly close to stock now. my wiring job certainly was a perfect as the original, those guys do it several times a day...but it's not bad. as far as the pickups are concerned, the originals were custom bucker " wild-wood spec. which i understand are somewhat underwound., these are stock custom buckers so i suspect i've got a bit more output than what the original layout would yield.

i bought the instrument from " toms gear emproium " off reverb, the guys name is tom natoli. i have evidence he committed this crime, but he had no problem at all denying my request he make the pickup situation up to me., and this after he told me before the sale, the pickups were stock. the evidence is then, he is not at all a man of his word., it's as worthless as my " certificate of authenticity.

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  • 4 weeks later...

First off, the seller probably had no idea the pickups had been swapped out. If he offered you a full refund after 3 years and you didn't take it, then you can't really complain. The seller sounds straight up to me. I seriously doubt you'd make any substantial profit on it, but if you think you can, put it back together as is and list it; noting the pickup inconsistencies. I would have taken the full refund, but that's just me. If you're that bothered by the pickups and really want to keep the guitar, then buy the dream pickups of your choice.

Here's a good article on this subject.


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