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Vintage Riviera help


obstacle3

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Hi all,

 

I am a new kid on the block, and am looking to join the epiphone family.

 

Ive had my heart set on a vintage casino, but cashflow is keeping us apart.

 

I did, however, find a 1966 riviera for $2200 australian (approx. $2000 US).

 

The only thing is I am not sure what it is actually worth.

 

It has a replacement bridge, pickup surrounds and tuners and has been refinished (vintage sunburst). It also has the sticker missing inside.

 

I figure that sounds like a good price for a 60's epiphone riviera, but given that it is not entirely original is it overpriced and will I have trouble reselling?

 

The shop is pretty reputable, I have had other people verify it is a 60s riviera, and the guitar is to play not an investment, but I don't want to get ripped off.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I'd see what Jerrymac has to say about it, but to me that sounds a little steep for a guitar that has so many non-original features.

 

You might want to check out closed eBay auctions to get an idea as to the actual value of the guitar.

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Are the replacement parts, Epiphone USA, and if there's not any drilling or routing, and the re-finish is "pro" caliber,

it could be a decent deal? Hard to say, without seeing it. If it's been heavily modded, then that might be a tad

"high," even for a '60's Riviera. You could contact George Gruhn, at Gruhn Guitars www.gruhn.com and he could

(maybe) give you a much better idea, what it might be worth? It's hard, though, sight unseen, you know?

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Hi all' date='

 

I am a new kid on the block, and am looking to join the epiphone family.

 

Ive had my heart set on a vintage casino, but cashflow is keeping us apart.

 

I did, however, find a 1966 riviera for $2200 australian (approx. $2000 US).

 

The only thing is I am not sure what it is actually worth.

 

It has a replacement bridge, pickup surrounds and tuners and has been refinished (vintage sunburst). It also has the sticker missing inside.

 

I figure that sounds like a good price for a 60's epiphone riviera, but given that it is not entirely original is it overpriced and will I have trouble reselling?

 

The shop is pretty reputable, I have had other people verify it is a 60s riviera, and the guitar is to play not an investment, but I don't want to get ripped off.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.[/quote']

 

It sounds like an excellent price...if ...you say the pickup surrounds have been replaced. That guitar originally came with mini humbuckers. Have the pickups been replaced as well? If so you can deduct some points for that. Has the body been routed for full-sized humbuckers ? If so you can deduct BIG for that. The refinish. Is it a professional job or done with a spray can in one hand and a beer in the other? If it's a reasonably good refinish it's going to require some knocking off of the price but the better the job the less the deduction. The bridge being replaced isn't a big deal provided they used an actual Gibson ABR-1 bridge and not some Asian knock off. Again, the tuners. These originally came with Kluson machine heads with pressed in bushings (the things that hold the machine posts stable in the headstock). Now, if they were replaced with reasonably high quality machines (Gotoh makes an excellent replacement as does Grover) with the pressed in bushings that's not a big deal. If the machine holes have been enlarged to accept tuners such as Grover Rotomatics with screw-in bushings, it's a bit more of an issue and a larger deduction from the price. The verification that it is an actual 1966 Riviera is also very important. The serial number should be stamped into the back of the headstock, There were some Japanese Riviera re-makes produced in the mid 70's all the way to the present and while most of these that made it out of Japan were quite dissimilar to the Kalamazoo Riviera there were also some not quite so common reissue models that resemble the originals a great deal more that are much rarer but still out there. None of the Japanese reissues had mini humbuckers (until the present day) though so if it still at least has some kind of mini humbucker it's very likely authentic...if it has full-sized humbuckers and doesn't appear to ever have been non-factory routed for them then I'd be more wary.

 

OK. A 1966 Riviera in very good and completely original condition in the USA market goes for an average of about $3500 USD (I'll have to use US dollars because I'm not sure about the Aussie exchange rate). Given that the guitar is in Oz and vintage American guitars go for about 25% to 30% more than in the US. we'll start by saying that original Riviera is going to be about $4000 in USD . For the refinish we're going to deduct 25% ($1000) off the top which takes us down to $3000 USD. If the body has been routed and the pickups replaced with full-sized humbuckers we're going to take off another 20% ($800) off the top so we're now down to $2200 USD. If the guitar hasn't been routed and has mini humbuckers only deduct 5% ($200) if they've been replaced with Gibson pickups, 10% ($400) if they've been replaced with any other mini humbucker making it worth $2800 USD. The machine heads, the same. Replaced with a direct replacement Kluson-type machine deduct 5% ($200) (making the guitar worth about $2600 USD) or 20% ($800) if the headstock has been altered to accept some other machine (making the guitar now worth $2200 USD). The same for the bridge. 5% ($200) if it's been replaced with a Gibson ABR-1 and 10% ($400) if it's replaced with something else. Using this formula the price asked seems reasonable and correct. You should never enter into the buying of a vintage guitar with the idea of any anticipated appreciation in price. It's a very volatile market and things change quickly. Re-sale value of course will be affected by the non-originality issues but you're buying the guitar with those issues already taken into consideration in its price. You have to look at the guitar as what it is and much of its value is in your eyes. I played a '65 Riviera for thirty years before foolishly trading it away for a '65 Casino. Which while I do like the Casino, I don't like it as much as I did the Riviera. You're about to enter a very rough world by getting into the vintage arena. Other areas I'd investigate are the neck set and neck condition, the condition of the frets and whether at some point there were any headstock breaks. These aren't huge problems but something to consider none the less. So, starting with $4000 USD as our guide:

 

Refinish-Deduct 25%

Routed body-Deduct 20%

Replaced pickups- Gibson deduct 5%, anything else deduct 10%

Replaced pickup surrounds- Deduct 5% (try to find any available original mini humbucker surrounds on the open market)

Routed headstock- Deduct 20-25%

Replaced Kluson-type machine heads- Deduct 5%

Replaced bridge- GIbson ABR-1 deduct 5%, anything else deduct 10%

Non-original case-Deduct 5%, no case deduct 10% (To replace an original hard shell Epiphone 1960's case with the exact replacement will cost about $300-$400 so this can be an issue but more so it's a good negotiating point when working on a price as are all of these issues)

 

I just saw the photo you posted and it looks very good in the photo...and Guitar Crazy is a reputable dealer.

The machine heads have been replaced with the screw-in bushing Grover-type but that isn't that huge of an issue. As I said, it looks very nice.

 

Good luck.

 

...and Al's your uncle.

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Yep CB, seems like Uncle Al knows his stuff!

 

Thanks for the detailed response Al, like I said it is purely being purchased for me to own and play. However, I expect that a $2200 investment in a guitar will mean it will retain its value. I'm certainly not looking for capital gains, but I want to be sure it is worth $2200.

 

FYI, the Australian dollar currently fetches about 93 us cents. This has improved significantly over the past 18 months. I remember it being in the 70c mark for most of the 90's. This has opened up the US market to alot of australians because prices that were 25% more expensive are now near parity.

 

There is a small photo in the link above, and like I said I will post bigger photos tonight.

 

The pickups are original mini humbuckers, just the surrounds that have been replaced.

 

Not sure if the body has been routed (not sure if you can tell from the photo??)

 

The refinish was a professional job and doesnt look too bad.

 

The bridge is tune-o-matic, just need to find out whether it is gibson or what brand.

 

No idea about the machine heads or holes being enlarged, any tips to find out? The guy in the shop said they are much better than the original ones.

 

There is a serial number on the back of the headstock (evident in the photos ill post later).

 

Thanks again, I appreciate this information so much.

 

Alos, are there any reputable US dealers I might pick up something vintage epiphone (60s) casino or riviera for under 3k? Like I said, our dollar is nearly parity with the US.

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Yep CB' date=' seems like Uncle Al knows his stuff!

 

Thanks for the detailed response Al, like I said it is purely being purchased for me to own and play. However, I expect that a $2200 investment in a guitar will mean it will retain its value. I'm certainly not looking for capital gains, but I want to be sure it is worth $2200.

 

FYI, the Australian dollar currently fetches about 93 us cents. This has improved significantly over the past 18 months. I remember it being in the 70c mark for most of the 90's. This has opened up the US market to alot of australians because prices that were 25% more expensive are now near parity.

 

There is a small photo in the link above, and like I said I will post bigger photos tonight.

 

The pickups are original mini humbuckers, just the surrounds that have been replaced.

 

Not sure if the body has been routed (not sure if you can tell from the photo??)

 

The refinish was a professional job and doesnt look too bad.

 

The bridge is tune-o-matic, just need to find out whether it is gibson or what brand.

 

No idea about the machine heads or holes being enlarged, any tips to find out? The guy in the shop said they are much better than the original ones.

 

There is a serial number on the back of the headstock (evident in the photos ill post later).

 

Thanks again, I appreciate this information so much.

 

Alos, are there any reputable US dealers I might pick up something vintage epiphone (60s) casino or riviera for under 3k? Like I said, our dollar is nearly parity with the US.

[/quote']

 

 

DSC00916-1.jpg [/img]

 

 

Best of luck with your new guitar. As you can see I have a fondness for that model as well..mine however isn't vintage but it is a USA-made reissue from 1993. The price of vintage Casinos has gone insane and most that are worthy of consideration are in the $4000 + range and most of that premium is because of these three guys from the north of England who happened to use them.Good luck again and congratulations.

 

...and Al's your uncle.

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Hi all' date='

 

I am a new kid on the block, and am looking to join the epiphone family.

 

Ive had my heart set on a vintage casino, but cashflow is keeping us apart.

 

I did, however, find a 1966 riviera for $2200 australian (approx. $2000 US).

 

The only thing is I am not sure what it is actually worth.

 

It has a replacement bridge, pickup surrounds and tuners and has been refinished (vintage sunburst). It also has the sticker missing inside.

 

I figure that sounds like a good price for a 60's epiphone riviera, but given that it is not entirely original is it overpriced and will I have trouble reselling?

 

The shop is pretty reputable, I have had other people verify it is a 60s riviera, and the guitar is to play not an investment, but I don't want to get ripped off.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.[/quote']

 

I'd see what Jerrymac has to say about it' date=' but to me that sounds a little steep for a guitar that has so many non-original features.[/quote']

 

I had written a longer post detailing my concerns, but then I saw the photo of the guitar and that answered most of my questions. My only concern would be the refinish, you said it doesn't look too bad. That's where you could lose some resale value.

 

Good luck, and welcome to Epiworld!!!

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This is a little off the subject but back in 67 I bought a riviera 12 string but never really played it much. I kept it around and only played it every now and then. About 3 years ago when I was looking to purchase a semi-hollow 6 string I set up as a 6 just for sh--ts and giggles to see what it would sound like and I was blown away. The sound was exactly what I was looking for. It even has a certain ring to it unlike any other guitar when you plug the cord into the jack. For the next year and a half I continued my search for a semi 6 but could not find one that compared in sound and playability as the old riv. So I thought what the heck and had it converted to a 6 changing the nut, bridge and tailpiece. The only thing that wasn't changed was the headstock. At the time however, the luthier that did the work tried to talk me into converting the headstock to a true 6 string but I didn't do it because I thought the change would really diminish its current value and knowing that I could change it back to a 12 anytime. Keep in mind that the luthier who did the work is a nationally known guitar builder so I know that he would have done a teriffic job. He told me that the length of the headstod and the spacing of the tuners would be done to exact specifications and the only way you would know it was changed was by the serial number and model number on the orginal label. Just to let you know, as a 6 I use the bottom six tuners so the spacing is obviously closer than if it were a true 6. I plan on keeping this guitar for a long long time as it now has become my main axe but I'm torn between keeping the headstock orginal vs. having it changed to a true 6. Uncle Al and others, what do you think I should do.

 

Zeek

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