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fixing vs ruining


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  • 4 weeks later...



I have some usa kramers that all have little things that need repair - some the tremalo system, some the plugs, some the finish. I was wondering what repairs increase the value, and what repairs decrease the value?


Thanks, RC



Depending on the issues repairing the tremlo and electric components will add to the value. However, the same can not usually be said about finish repairs. Again it all depends on the extend of the issues.

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  • 2 months later...

i guess you mean resale value? b'cuz value is subjective, and if you plan to keep it then what is valuable is how you make the guitar suit your playing style, etc.

also when you say "usa kramers," do you mean vintage usa made kramers? or gibson reissues? if the former, then (for purposes of resale) the principle is: restoring it to the original specs increases value; modifying the guitar decreases value. for example, don't modify the body shape, cavities, pickup configerations, etc. some collectors want the original pickups, neckplate, etc.

priginal floyd rose tremolo maaintains its value. if you swap out the original floyd b'cuz it's old for a newer, but licensed floyd then the value will go down.

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  • 3 months later...

It's been my experience dealing in guitars resale value is based on two factors. Function and Appearance.

Function: In order to preserve resale and collectable value ALWAYS replace any parts with the same brand parts. There are sources for origional parts. You may have to dig around the internet a bit but they are out there. If you can't find what your need, then consider a different brand. Make sure that you don't have to drill or alter the neck or body in any way! On something minor like a tuner, or tremelo/bridge part, your not looking at a huge resale difference if it's not factory. The most important thing is to have a fully functioning insturment.

Finish: Most guitars develop character as they are played and giged with. Your best bet is to NEVER alter the factory finish. Guitars with true wear (not reliced[cursing] ) retain their collectable value. The only exception is when the factory or authorized repair center does the refinishing. I've seen alot of 80's Strikers out there that have a crappy clear coat. Even though they were the cheap model they might be worth something in 100 years or so.

Seriously, If you just want to make sure it retains it's collectable value stay as close to factory as possible and don't worry about the dings and scratches. If there is serious damage that affects the playability, your gonna have to replace it. As before, there are factory parts out there to be found.

On the other hand, If you have a lemon, you can make lemonade! There are alot of old strikers that pass through places like craigslist or pawn shops at about $100 in good shape. If you have one of these you can always make upgrades that make it worth more. Make sure you replace pickups with well respected brands like EMG etc. Let's face it, a Kramer is easy to recognize, what model, original factory equipment isn't. You can sell a hot rodded Kramer to a player who likes the style rather than a collector. Understand if you go to resell it your basically selling your upgrades.

Don't just take my word for it. find a local vintage guitar shop or a gibson authorized repair center near you. Show them what you've got and get their advise.

Restoration can be tedious just keep in mind what the guitars value is now and figure on modest increases until the brand rises again!

PS Be sure to keep all paperwork of things done at a repair center!

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  • 2 years later...

good info above


My only thing would be to add that if you need to swap anything (and I would only do "bolt on" stuff that requires no modificatons like pickups, pots, etc)...........SAVE ALL THE OLD STUFF.......even if it is a nasty noisy pot or a pickup that sounds like hell, save them so that you can always put it back to "original" or include them with the guitar if that is what a buyer/collector wants.


I would never do anything that required drilling, cutting, or any type of re-finish.



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