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AlanC

Buying some else's problems!

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I have always wanted to own a Gibson Johnny Smith Archtop.

 

One was advertised earlier this year as being in excellent condition. It was a 1968 and it was from a supposedly reputable guitar second hand dealer although I had never purchased anything from them. The guitar was in the shop on consignment and I live in a different city which meant that I had to basically buy the guitar sight unseen and rely on the integrity of the store. As I said they indicated that it was in excellent condition. However when I purchased the guitar, I discovered that it had the following problems :-

 

* Bad refret which had resulted in about 4 relatively large chips in the fretboard;

* Broken truss rod;

* Pickups sounding very soft. (When they was serviced a number of the coils in the pickups did not work and had to be rewound.)

* Poor action. Neck had large bow in it;

* Pick plate had broken and did not form a good base to hold the volume and tone controls;

* Pickups and machine heads are all badly pitted;

* Volume and tone controls have rusted and can't easily be removed

 

AC1_1055.jpg

 

So many problems. Would I buy it again? No!!!! Having said that the guitar plays well and has great sound

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That depends rather you got a good price on it or not. Did you contact the seller and disclose what you found.

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That depends rather you got a good price on it or not. Did you contact the seller and disclose what you found.

 

Yes you're right I got it cheaper. The guitar I bought was 50 percent less than others that I had seen. My problem was that the second hand dealer advertised that it was in excellent condition and I rang them to discuss it further and confirm that it was OK.

 

When you have this many problems to sort out no matter how good the guitar tech is, they usually want the guitar left for a long period. In my case it's been with the tech for 4 months and I've had it now for 3 days. Having said all this the guitar is now 90 percent OK. I need a new pick plate as the current pick plate is warped and the bridge pickup is too far away from the strings. After I fix the pick plate the guitar will be great.

 

The sound through the neck pickup is great and the playability is great because I did a refret and replaced the truss rod.

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Just an update. Whilst I have spent a fair few $'s fixing the Johnny Smith, what I can say is that I just love it. It's got its own distinctive character and sound and its become my favorite guitar. It's also the guitar that I play the most. So given I probably got it a bit cheap in the end its all been worth the effort.

 

I still haven't sorted the pick plate (it needs to be replaced) or got the bridge pickup to work perfectly on its own. It is sort of OK when blended with the neck pickup.

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