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Dannyboyee82

Do Epiphones hold their value?

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I'd say you hit the nail on the head.

 

No one is ever going to convince me that the prices of vintage guitars have anything to do with tone. Collectors and investors' date=' motivated by their memories of having wanted to become guitar gods, have taken an interest in certain instruments, and the prices have gone up.

 

The prices of new guitars have increased as well with the implied promise that these guitars will too one day be "more valuable". However, in most cases these instruments will never be collector's items.

 

Buy 'em and play 'em!

 

 

[/quote']

 

 

Exactly. This goes right back to the point I made earlier about my very first Guitar from the 60's (Danelectro). It transports you back in time and has really nothing to do with the actual quality or tone of the guitar. For the most part, a $500 Epiphone can sound just as or more satisfying as a $20,000 "Vintage" anything under many circumstances. But the value is derived from the historical aspect of the Vintage instrument, whatever brand it may be.

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And why is that? Why should an old (sometimes beat up) Gibson LP standard cost as

much... or more than a house? Are they really the "tone kings" they are claimed to be?

Or is there so much myth and history surrounding these that they are the quinessential LP?

 

Is it just nostalgia talking here and some of us approaching the twilight years of

our lives can afford the ridiculous asking prices

and..for a brief moment..hope for that taste of elusive immortality

..maybe even play one to go back in time to when we were young?

 

And if you managed to get one..where would your keep it in order not to get it stolen?

Construct a vault in a room in your house?

 

Amen Brother..

 

I almost wish it were for these reasons carverman. Maybe it is. At least that would say something positive about the human condition and our aspirational nature. I could even sympathise with some sort of naive view that touching a great instrument' date=' maybe once owned by a great player, will somehow impart it's magic to the owner and make them a great player. There would be some sort pretence of nobility in it at least..

 

But I think no. It's because it's rare. Because it has become a tradeable commodity removed from the purview of a musician that could make the most of it, and placed in the hands of the accountants and investment opportunists who will do everything to hype up it's mystique. In reality, a '59 Les Paul is likely to be a heavily worn assemblage of parts, like a Stradavarius Violin or Marcelino Lopez concert Classical Guitar. In almost every measurable way, a modern Gibson Custom Shop built Les Paul will be a better instrument than a clapped out '59. But you can buy them anywhere..

 

I agree that ownership would be a nightmare. And heaven knows you could never play it for fear of damage or theft. So make that a humidity controlled safety vault. That guitar would become a freak show - a Spinal Tap[i']ish[/i] Nigel Tufnelesque joke: "don't touch it.. no I mean it. Don't even look at it.."

 

Viewed that way, a '59 becomes a complete contradiction. A completely unusable musical instrument. And that fails the first and most basic test of practicality.

 

All this makes a '59 worth absolutely nothing.. or $1,000,000.

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Amen Brother..

 

Viewed that way' date=' a '59 becomes a complete contradiction. A completely unusable musical instrument. And that fails the first and most basic test of practicality.

 

All this makes a '59 worth absolutely nothing.. or $1,000,000.[/quote']

 

So maybe we are getting closer to the crux of the matter. A 59 LP is sought after and

fetches a high price because of the year, the historic nature of where it was made..America

and not some factory in China. Gibson made it and not some Chinese or asian factory

making it for "brand x". Certainly because of the age and if in excellent condition, these

instruments should be higher priced than any currently made Gibson LP because..they simply

are not making any more of these in Kalamzoo!

 

If a particular '59 LP (or any LPfrom that era) was touched and played by a famous celebrity player..then it is worth

more because of the "mojo factor"..and if that celebrity had departed from this world

then it's worth even more because of the "ghost in the machine" factor...Jerry Garcia,

or Stevie Ray Vaughn or Les Paul actually owned it and played it..this particular

instrument then becomes part of the history of music/rockn'roll, blues.jazz.

Just think how much value will be put on BB Kings "Lucille" when he finally gets called

to guitar heaven....probably a million and it WILL BE under glass in some music museum or

somewhere in Gibson's vaults.

 

So this is what I think sets a good historic production run guitar apart from a famous

celebrity owned guitar, a celebrity who made some history playing that guitar on "pick your

favorite here" music that people enjoy listening to and follow.

 

I would love to have that L5 that Wes Montgomery played..but I don't have the financial

resources to buy it, and I doubt that it will ever be offered for sale..he and his particular

L5 is a part of history. Same with Charlie Byrd and his Guild MK V...that guitar produced

quite a few hits in the 60s, when he was famous...that guitar whereever it is..is worth

it's weight in gold..only from a nostalgic point of view. You can get re-issues for

a lot cheaper than the thousands speculators ask for them...

but these are just that...re-issues.. they are not part of history!

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Collectors and investors' date=' motivated by their memories of having wanted to become guitar gods......

 

[/quote']

 

I wonder if this specific part.........memory motivation, re-living reality or fantasy-based dreams.........might not contribute to what we lovingly refer to as GAS?

 

For my own part, I know I'll never be good.......probably won't ever even approach "so-so"......yet I have the urge to collect and own.

 

Self-awareness in the face of unrelenting aquisition.......

 

Anyone have any blueprints for a suitable vault?

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So maybe we are getting closer to the crux of the matter. A 59 LP is sought after and

fetches a high price because of the year' date=' the historic nature of where it was made..America

and not some factory in China. Gibson made it and not some Chinese or asian factory

making it for "brand x". Certainly because of the age and if in excellent condition, these

instruments should be higher priced than any currently made Gibson LP because..they simply

are not making any more of these in Kalamzoo!

 

If a particular '59 LP (or any LPfrom that era) was touched and played by a famous celebrity player..then it is worth

more because of the "mojo factor"..and if that celebrity had departed from this world

then it's worth even more because of the "ghost in the machine" factor...Jerry Garcia,

or Stevie Ray Vaughn or Les Paul actually owned it and played it..this particular

instrument then becomes part of the history of music/rockn'roll, blues.jazz.

Just think how much value will be put on BB Kings "Lucille" when he finally gets called

to guitar heaven....probably a million and it WILL BE under glass in some music museum or

somewhere in Gibson's vaults.

 

So this is what I think sets a good historic production run guitar apart from a famous

celebrity owned guitar, a celebrity who made some history playing that guitar on "pick your

favorite here" music that people enjoy listening to and follow.

 

I would love to have that L5 that Wes Montgomery played..but I don't have the financial

resources to buy it, and I doubt that it will ever be offered for sale..he and his particular

L5 is a part of history. Same with Charlie Byrd and his Guild MK V...that guitar produced

quite a few hits in the 60s, when he was famous...that guitar whereever it is..is worth

it's weight in gold..only from a nostalgic point of view. You can get re-issues for

a lot cheaper than the thousands speculators ask for them...

but these are just that...re-issues.. they are not part of history!

[/quote']

 

Carverman has is spot on from my perspective.......The only reason I have guitars is to play some tunes I love and if I can do that on a guitar that physically looks like or vaguely sounds like what John Lee Hooker, Johnny Winter, T Bone Walker played I am happy.

 

My three main guitars of choice given my budget have transpired to be

An Epiphone Sheraton

An Epiphone Zephyr Blues Deluxe

A Gibson Firebird

 

Of course if I had unlimited funds I would want to track down

"The" very Epiphone Zephyr Thinline in Natural or one from the same year and factory

john-lee-hooker-14.jpg

 

Or this very fine Les Paul (which exact model is that guys with the long tailpiece and 2 big fat soapbar P90's, I will never forgive you twofeets)

JohnLeeHooker.jpg

 

Or a beautiful 1966 Sheraton 1, or a Gibson ES5, or a 1964 Gibson Firebird........they are more than guitars they are "indexical signifiers" of greatness, and who does not want to touch greatness..... if they can afford it.

 

When I play a few Hooker tunes on my porch in the summer I will be mostly playing my 1987 Epiphone Sheraton it cost me US$375 and I will spend some to make it the best it can be for me....I have just got to make a guitar I am proud of and it becomes "indexical" of me, for my kids, in the future....value takes many forms

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Wellllllll...as the original topic asked, Epiphones WILL "hold their value!" If for no other reason, than "inflation!"

He wondered about 30 years from now. Yeah...it will be worth as much, or more, than it is (new) now. Unless,

the economy turns even further south, never recovers, and "Things" of value now, including instruments, become

firewood! Then....it's "Mad Max"...and .50 cal's will be what you want to negoitiate for, on the very black/bleak market.

 

;>)

 

CB

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Wellllllll...as the original topic asked' date=' Epiphones WILL "hold their value!" If for no other reason, than "inflation!"

He wondered about 30 years from now. Yeah...it will be worth as much, or more, than it is (new) now. Unless,

the economy turns even further south, never recovers, and "Things" of value now, including instruments, become

firewood! Then....it's "Mad Max"...and .50 cal's will be what you want to negoitiate for, on the very black/bleak market.

 

;>)

 

CB[/quote']

 

With all due respect that's not holding value IMHO..........a cheap asain guitar is a cheap asian guitar! Period and that is all it will ever be. C'mon dude lets keep it real here! There are so many of these fake wood, dipped in poly "gems" out there that it's just not logical to assume they will somehow go up in value.#-o

 

I don't mean to sound like an Epi-hater.......I'm not! I just don't see there being much demand for some of these guitars 30 years from now.

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Carverman has is spot on from my perspective.......The only reason I have guitars is to play some tunes I love and if I can do that on a guitar that physically looks like or vaguely sounds like what John Lee Hooker' date=' Johnny Winter, T Bone Walker played I am happy.

 

My three main guitars of choice given my budget have transpired to be

An Epiphone Sheraton

An Epiphone Zephyr Blues Deluxe

A Gibson Firebird

 

Of course if I had unlimited funds I would want to track down

"The" very Epiphone Zephyr Thinline in Natural or one from the same year and factory

[img']http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/ae271/JoeSamick/john-lee-hooker-14.jpg[/img]

 

Or this very fine Les Paul (which exact model is that guys with the long tailpiece and 2 big fat soapbar P90's, I will never forgive you twofeets)

JohnLeeHooker.jpg

 

Or a beautiful 1966 Sheraton 1, or a Gibson ES5, or a 1964 Gibson Firebird........they are more than guitars they are "indexical signifiers" of greatness, and who does not want to touch greatness..... if they can afford it.

 

When I play a few Hooker tunes on my porch in the summer I will be mostly playing my 1987 Epiphone Sheraton it cost me US$375 and I will spend some to make it the best it can be for me....I have just got to make a guitar I am proud of and it becomes "indexical" of me, for my kids, in the future....value takes many forms

 

That Les Paul with the trapese tail is viewed by most as the biggest abortion Gibson ever produced! Impossible to play and intonate and the design was so bad Les Paul himself didn't want his name on it! Yes they are collectable old guitars but any real player will tell you they suck compared to any stop tail guitar.

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I must add my 2 cents here, I've had a fair bunch of guitars in my 20 or so years of playing, ranging from 50's,60's, 70's and modern Gretsches, 60's and modern Gibsons, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and modern Fenders, 90's and modern epiphones. The differences I've found between old real wood guitars and modern plastic ones are gigantic and I'd need 5 pages to get into detail so I'll stick to the Epiphones I've had. My first epiphone was a 96 SG G-400 which I upgraded the bridge pickup to a seymour duncan.... fantastic guitar and I do miss her, for raunchy rock'n'roll and punk I prefered my epi SG over my 67 sg custom even though quality wise everything was superior. I then got a 90's (I think) slash snake version red epiphone LP which I took back after a few days because it just didn't seem to satisfy me with anything. I have had the chance to play for a couple of years a peerless made epi casino, which in my experience in epiphone guitars, is the top edge of MIK models, seeing how they're made and QC'd, I think these models will go up after a few years because they are very well made and tone wise fantastic.... very close to vintage quality. I then tried my luck with a few MIC LP's and SG's but none of which satisfied me. So I currently have a 95 MIK LP goldtop, switched the pickups out for a BB pro and 57 classic and it sings very well to my ears, even though my luthier told me that these models were fully made of maple (neck and body) and tend to be a little on the bright side of tone which I do notice but it has an old woody feel to it and a very playable round taper neck.

 

So I think it all get's down to what someone is looking for, and would be the same for someone in the future, MIK LP goldtops were mass production guitars but I don't see too many of them around these days, who knows maybe in 50 years when chinese wood runs out and epi moves production lines to another country where production costs even less, maybe these old MIK LP's and SG's will get their fair share of the vintage market too.... who knows!

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Wellllllll...as the original topic asked' date=' Epiphones WILL "hold their value!" If for no other reason, than "inflation!"

He wondered about 30 years from now. Yeah...it will be worth as much, or more, than it is (new) now. Unless,

the economy turns even further south, never recovers, and "Things" of value now, including instruments, become

firewood! Then....it's "Mad Max"...and .50 cal's will be what you want to negoitiate for, on the very black/bleak market.

 

;>)

 

CB[/quote']

 

[biggrin] Yes, you never know what the future is going to bring, and certainly with

instruments. Back in the 20s, people got rich "on paper" beyond their wildest dreams,

and thought that the bubble would continue..until reality hit in '29..

we all know what happened there.

 

Songs like "Brother can you spare a dime" comes to mind. Not saying that it

will happen again, but this last episode (2008/9) of fiscal mismanagement and greed doesn't

help to instill any feelings of comfort in human nature.

 

..and so it is with guitars.

The guitars that you have are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them

in the future should you want to sell them...Gibson or Epiphone.or whatever..

what you think your "precious-precious" is worth in your collection, and what someone

else thinks it is worth are two different things and it may require a lot of negotiations

back and forth to arrive at a price that both the seller and buyer are satisfied with.

 

Certainly because of the Gibson logo and past history, Gibson will always be worth

more than asian made Epiphones..but if the speculators think they can continue

to ask $400K for that '59 LP that someone famous, and now deceased played..

 

well...I got some swamp land in Florida...ok, I guess Disney bought that up

too. #-o

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[blink]

Similarly with my Kalamazoo Gibson made Epi Triumph..in '66 it was worth around $400 CDN with a Gibson

hardshell case. In 2002 it sold for over $1800 (unfortunate decision). So from '66 to 02 (40 yrs almost) it

appreciated over 4 times the original price because it was made by Gibson and there is some historic/nostalgic

value there.. and VERY FEW WERE MADE.

But the question remains could I buy 4 times more for the $1800 than I could in '66..I rest my case!

 

I was curious what 400 1966 dollars is worth today so I checked the CPI Inflation Calculator which tells me that in today's dollars that guitar would have cost $2675.

 

Just curious, did you buy it new in '66?

 

Cheers

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That Les Paul with the trapese tail is viewed by most as the biggest abortion Gibson ever produced! Impossible to play and intonate and the design was so bad Les Paul himself didn't want his name on it! Yes they are collectable old guitars but any real player will tell you they suck compared to any stop tail guitar.

 

Well according to my books "Gibson Guitars/Ted McCarty's Golden Years '48-63)

and The Early years of the Les Paul legacy 1915 to 1963), Lester had designed

a miracle trapieze tailpiece that he patented and used on some of his archtops

prior to the Gibson designed LP. He insisted (when he signed the contract to

promote the new Gibson LP) that his miracle tp be used on all LP carrying his name.

He would collect extra money for every tp he supplied to Gibson, as he had them

made by someone.

 

As you say, what was workable on a larger full bodied jazz archtop was not workable

on the solid body LP, so it was difficult for players to play and intonate..and because

of the height of the bridge used then, Gibson had to wrap the strings the "wrong"

way to make it even playable, and Lester didn't like that because you couldn't

palm the tp to rest your picking hand on it the way he liked to do. Lester had

an accident and his right arm the picking arm was badly injured and he liked to

rest it on his miracle tp...so goes the story.

 

McCarty or Larry Allers (chief engineer at Gibson then) designed the T-O-M and and the stop tailpiece and sales

took off from there.

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I was curious what 400 1966 dollars is worth today so I checked the CPI Inflation Calculator which tells me that in today's dollars that guitar would have cost $2675.

 

Just curious' date=' did you buy it new in '66?

 

Cheers

 

[/quote']

 

Yes, I did. Don't forget it was Cdn dollars..which were par back then and I also

modified it with pickups which reduced it's value to around $1800 and change.

I took it to the 12th fret in Toronto, where I sold it on consignment. These were considered

"limited" production because Gibson didn't make too many acoustic archtops in

those days, so it sat on the shelf at the Cdn distributor for Gibson in Toronto

where I saw it and had it shipped to our Epiphone shop.

 

Had the guitar been left original and in perfect condition, it would have been worth about

$2200 according to the guitar blue book value that the dealers use

But this was 6 years ago and just like Pawn Stars reality show..anything that is modified

or changed in any way... is not worth as much as left alone..even with buckle rash

on the back..that's the way it is in the collectors market.

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With all due respect that's not holding value IMHO..........a cheap asain guitar is a cheap asian guitar! Period and that is all it will ever be. C'mon dude lets keep it real here! There are so many of these fake wood' date=' dipped in poly "gems" out there that it's just not logical to assume they will somehow go up in value.[blink

 

I don't mean to sound like an Epi-hater.......I'm not! I just don't see there being much demand for some of these guitars 30 years from now.

 

Were you around in the sixties? The way you are describing today's imported guitars is exactly the way we described the "cheap asian guitars" coming out of Japan back in the 60's and 70's. Seems to me there is at least some interest in them today, and they are valued for what they represent. Pretty short-sighted of you to be so dogmatic about today's imports, IMHO. A lot of things change in 30 years.

 

Cheers

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With all due respect that's not holding value IMHO..........a cheap asain guitar is a cheap asian guitar! Period and that is all it will ever be. C'mon dude lets keep it real here! There are so many of these fake wood' date=' dipped in poly "gems" out there that it's just not logical to assume they will somehow go up in value.[blink

 

I don't mean to sound like an Epi-hater.......I'm not! I just don't see there being much demand for some of these guitars 30 years from now.

 

 

Relax, "dude." ;>) It's all in fun. I never said they'd "Grow in value," but only that they would probably "hold" their value,

based on inflation...i.e. worth more dollar wise, because of that. NONE of us know, what will happen 30 years from

now, about ANYthing.

And...Any reference, by anyone, to "Cheap Asian guitars" these days (beyond the terrible unauthorized fakes, being

passed as authentic, or authorized), is just a bit Elitist, and maybe even a little bit Racist! Like it, or not...there's some

really decent to Great guitars, being made, all over the world, and not just in Kalamazoo, Nashville, Memphis, Santa Ana,

or Corona. And, Epi's are authorized, and spec'd according to Gibson...no matter where they're made.

Don't blame "Asian" factories or workers, for USA company policies, and specs, and "Cheap" pricing.

They're contractors! They do what is asked or demanded of them, in that capacity...be it specs, construction,

materials, whatever. So, yeah, let's keep it real! ;>)

 

CB

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The main rule of thumb: a used guitar is worth exactly what the buyer is willing to pay for it!

 

As CB said' date=' rarity is a huge factor in the selling price of a "vintage" guitar. Take your imported Japanese guitars from the 60's like Teiscos, Kawais and the like. Despite being some of the coolest looking guitars, they really were, in most cases, crap instruments. Now they are going for many hundreds more than the were worth originally simply because there are not a lot of them around ... and because a lot of baby boomers that came up playing them have the income to purchase what's left.

 

 

 

Jim

[/quote']

 

 

Uhhh that would be me and Jim by the way, bought another one today from the land of the rising sun. I had to, it had a gold foil pickup and was dirt cheap... $20.00 so even in this class there are bargains. So don't buy it as an investment, buy it as a tool and play it like you stole it #-o

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And...Any reference' date=' by anyone, to "Cheap Asian guitars" these days (beyond the terrible unauthorized fakes, being

passed as authentic, or authorized), is just a bit Elitist, and maybe even a little bit Racist! Like it, or not...there's some

really decent to Great guitars, being made, all over the world, and not just in Kalamazoo, Nashville, Memphis, Santa Ana,

or Corona.

CB[/quote']

Thanks for this, CB. This is how I feel too. I get kind of pissed when I see recurring mention of sweatshops, child labour and such nonsense. It really is a condescending, ill-informed view of the world, I think. There are some mighty fine guitars (and other products) coming from Asia. Those kind of statements are just cheap soundbites and don't reflect today's reality at all.

 

Let's face up to the fact that people in other parts of the world can do this just as well as we can, gang. Get over it. And like the old crusty guy here says, "Shut up and play yer guitar!"

 

Cheers

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http://www.trademe.co.nz/Music-instruments/Instruments/Guitar-bass/Electric-guitars/auction-281465388.htm

 

More than $1000NZ for a 12 year old Casino is what I'd call maintaining value. They're $1600NZ new, probably less back in 1998. It does have a Bigsby though, and an uncommon finish, and I suppose the Casino is generally a bit more interesting and sought after than an Epi Les Paul. And the seller probably owes some of that price to his comments about the Korean Epiphones being superior to the current MIC models. As an owner of a 2009 MIC Casino, I can attest that it is a fine guitar, and I would challenge anyone to find a better Korean made version.

 

Still, I'd be pretty happy if my Casino could sell for upwards of $1000NZ in 10 years! Not that I intend to sell it, of course.

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That Les Paul with the trapese tail is viewed by most as the biggest abortion Gibson ever produced! Impossible to play and intonate and the design was so bad Les Paul himself didn't want his name on it! Yes they are collectable old guitars but any real player will tell you they suck compared to any stop tail guitar.

 

Layboomo......The "abortion" is back if your assessment is right then if I wish I can spend US$3' date='305 for the honour of owning a guitar that will not intonate and is impossible to play......the selling blurb states "A fitting ode to the man himself! Gibson Les Paul".....[blink[biggrin] It seems if your claims are right A guitar can have a value of US$3,305 and probably appreciate even if it is an abortion as long as it has the moniker "Gibson" on it......

 

1952-2%20(2)lo.jpg

 

http://www.maxguitarstore.com/store/index.php?productID=5879

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I've never been in the enviable position of being able to purchase something in the hope & expectation that it may one day accumulate value. There have occassions when I have realized more for an item than I actually paid for it.

One was the dreadful deathtrap of a car called a Citroen 2CV' date=' which I bought for a paltry £500, kept for a year and sold for £850.

Better than that was the Gibson J45 which I bought on a whim, did about 80+ gigs with it, played at loads of mad parties with it, had an enjoyable two years owning it, and sold it for more than twice what I paid for it.

It was only slightly spoiled by subsequently learning I could have got four times what I paid for it.

C'est la vie, mais non?

Pierre.[/quote']

Another amazing thing about those 2CV's.... and yet another example of the sometimes senseless value humans assign things, is the fact that they have absolutely SKYROCKETED in value in the past few years, simply because of "cult" popularity! They are arguably the worst car Citroen, or anyone else, ever built, and theyre worth many thousands more than alot of much more logically desirable cars.

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The new Trapeze-Bridge LPs are VERY playable, because Gibson FOLLOWED THE DESIGN this time!Back in 'the day' they basically said "We know Les Paul's design better than Les Paul" and proceeded to screw things up. The new ones are very nice. Not my cup 'o' tea, but nice still the same.

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"Value" is in the brain of the beholder.

All my epis have maintained their value and most have gone up in value; according to what I value.

What others deem valuable is not important to me in the least. I do not buy my guitars for investment purposes. I buy them to play them. I buy them to enjoy them.

And in that respect, I find their value increasing every day.

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The new Trapeze-Bridge LPs are VERY playable' date=' because Gibson FOLLOWED THE DESIGN this time!Back in 'the day' they basically said "We know Les Paul's design better than Les Paul" and proceeded to screw things up. The new ones are very nice. Not my cup 'o' tea, but nice still the same.[/quote']

 

 

Yes, that is true for the NEW ones today, but lets not forget that the early LPs made in 53

had a different neck set angle from the current ones, and that was the reason they had to

run the strings under the bridge rather than over it as Les Paul had intended.

Les modified his guitars extensively anyway so he figured Gibson would take

care of it. Because the suspended pickups were set lower in the body,

they had to run the strings under rather than over and this pretty much put

the kibosh on any palm muting.

 

The prototypes given to LP to evaluate had the cast ES-175 tp and some kind

of simple bridge.

 

The Les Paul Miracle Tailpiece with the sustain bar was developed by Les Paul

before Gibson came up with the solid body with the carved top. So the extra

height of the carved top and angle of the fb/tp and bridge made it unplayable

due to very high action.. unless the strings were passed underneath the bar

rather than on top.

As well because there wasn't enought downward pressure

and with the long length of the trapieze, the strings didn't stay in tune as well.

 

However, because they had signed the contract with LP who insisted on his tp

being used on those models, they were forced to go into production with a

less than desirable setup. When they started to get complaints from the players

they came up with the adjustable height string stop bar (wrap around) and

they started putting it on LPs in mid 53.

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