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Why is The VOS less Than The Non-VOS


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Hi all, just had a question, I recently purchased and have fallen in love with a Gibson Custom Shop Re-issue 1960 TV Yellow Les Paul Special. My question is this, the same guitar but with the added VOS (Vintage Original Spec) is actually a couple of hundred dollars cheaper. Don't get me wrong, I love the guitar I have, but I was wondering what the big deal is in the price difference. Are the guitars different or is it just the fact that the VOS model has the Patina finish, and the Non-VOS has a brand new finish. Any help would be appreciated.

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supply vs demand is my guess I rarely see the non VOS

I wanted a non-VOS R8 and had to order it. I was told that VOS is so mainstream now that people don't want non-VOS and it has to be ordered...maybe a three month wait!


My R9 is VOS, now that I have it, I think it's a great finishing touch.

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Yeah Tim is correct. It's all down to not going through the final buffing stages. Some bright spark at Gibson suddenly thought.. Bing! Hey all these guys want faded guitars that look 50 years old. We can part way give them that and save money at the same time.. We'll call it Vintage Original Spec. Like everything. It's another marketing hype.

The problem is that like Fender with the Stratocaster, Gibson got it right with the Les Paul 50 years ago.

How many ways can you serve up an egg for breakfast?

Original Les Paul's were all shiney and that's the way I like mine. Mine has mellowed itself and taken on an older patina as it has aged. Even the reds in the burst are turning to iced tea. The dings are all mine too.

That's why I got one of the rarer full polished R0's. Hell they were only making about 400 odd a year back in 2003 and now with the VOS finish they are making even less.


Notice how it's starting to age naturally. Like me....LOL






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The Custom Shop found a lot more people were interested in 'aged' guitars, so they modified their original Custom Authentic treatment and called it VOS. They also then made it the normal production method. So now a non-VOS guitar has to be pulled from regular stock and set aside until they have enough 'shiny guitar' orders to justify it. Then they run the shiny guitars through. The non-VOS also get a bit more lacquer and the polishing work, thus the up-charge.

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VOS, Relic, Worn, Faded, etc.....


I still don't get it.

Why would I PAY MONEY for my guitar to look like that?

I suppose there's a difference if I let my guitar finish age, oxidize, fade and generally go to hell - value plummets.

But if it's done on purpose by Gibson, the price is disproportionately jacked up and it's worth $$$$?


I know some of them are the finest pieces coming out of Gibson regarding build quality, but I find it odd.

If the guitar is the ULTIMATE Les Paul, the best that they can build, how does a shiny finish hurt it?


I can think of no other industry where such ideas of cosmetics on a finished product would ever fly.

Ferrari in primer?

World Cup sailboat in raw fiberglass?

Learjet in zinc chromate?

Steinway Concert Grand finished like a cargo pallet?

Supermodel with zits, wrinkles, yellow teeth and stretch marks?


Such is marketing.

We all owe a debt to Tom Murphy for redeeming all those vintage owners who let their guitars go to hell.



I know some of you guys have quasi-finished guitars you love, and I've no intent of insulting you.

But I've seen them, played them, looked them over, and I'm still puzzled.



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Neo, I'm with you. I don't inderstand faux ageing. I don't cherish my guitars, but neither do I abuse them. I love the idea that I'm putting regular gig wear into my guitars. I know they are probably depreciating, but every pound (dollar) lost is gained in satisfaction twice over.

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The thing about natural aging is that each dent and mark is a memory. Some you treasure, others make you a little mad. I have a big dent in the finish of my Jackson that happened when someone knocked it over during a gig in Liverpool. Actually I was re-stringing it before the gig. It makes me mad that I left the guitar in a vulnerable position, but then I remember the gig. But each blemish is a badge and has a story that I was involved with, not some employee in a factory thousand of miles away.

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