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1957 J-50


Ryno0

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Hey guys, I found a cool looking older Gibson for sale in an online auction. Problem is, it seems like the price points for the J-50 is all over the board. Any help with a conservative value on this guitar would help (even a range).

 

The description they give is as follows:

 

1957 Gibson J 50 Acoustic Guitar. This guitar is in good shape cosmetically and an incredible player. I did a light restorative cleaning and a restring. The bridge appears to be original with replacement pins, frets appear to be original with wear (nothing major), fretboard shows usual wear, and the tuning machines are replacements. I did not try to remove the folk art.

 

Thanks guys.

 

It is in a online auction (AtlantaSurplus), and I don't want to overbid on it. What are y'alls thoughts?

 

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Tis' a cool looking old J-50. I actually like the "folk art". The value is hard to establish on any online auction because you can't know if it needs a neck reset (as old guitars often do) or has loose braces (an easy repair) or any number ot problems unless you can personally inspect it and play it. '50's J-50s are pretty desirable for us J-50 and J-45 fans but considered a C in collectability overall. A good thing to do is check ebay and determine what the "winning" prices have been over the last year ..... throw out the highs and lows and you'll have a range. Determine your budget and don't go over it .... and then cross your fingers because without extensive discussions with and owner you can trust, you are buying an unknown item. Be sure to check on the return policy. Good luck.

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Truss Rod Cover ain't original which in itself is not a big deal and usually means nothing other than some wingnut lost it. But when I run across this I tend to give the neck a good looking over and make sure you can adjust the rod.

 

Can't help you on price as I do not like giving opinions on value when I have not eyeballed the guitar and there will be alot of fluctuation depending on where you live.

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I'll go check out ebay and see what it says. Thanks guys.

I've hesitated to chime in too, because there just isn't enough information to judge. The Vintage price Guide has a '57 J-50 in excellent condition at $4K to $5K. This one has only minor issues -- as far as we know -- so the answer could be $3K. But it could also be $2K, because it could need close to $1K of work. There's just no way to tell without inspecting the instrument (which is why a lot of us avoid eBay, et al., and buy from reputable dealers instead).

 

-- Bob

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Well damn. I bid just a minute before this auction closed (at $1220) $1268 but I had to put in my f$#@%ng credit card info. By the time I put it in the bidding was closed. Brilliant.

 

 

That was potentially a very good buy at that price. The guitar is a bit rough, but might clean up quite well. The issue with guitars with chewed-up necks is how deep the gouges really are. I've seen necks that were unplayable as-is, and only a serious filling of the damage to the back of the neck would make the guitar usable. And that, ironically, might compromise the value.

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Well damn. I bid just a minute before this auction closed (at $1220) $1268 but I had to put in my f$#@%ng credit card info. By the time I put it in the bidding was closed. Brilliant.

 

 

Oh man, John, I hate you missed that one. I was going to bid myself and forgot about it until it was 9:10 Eastern time ..... nice to know the final price, seems like a good deal.

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Oh man, John, I hate you missed that one. I was going to bid myself and forgot about it until it was 9:10 Eastern time ..... nice to know the final price, seems like a good deal.

 

I know man. I was inconsolable. I really liked that folk art. I had forgotten about the time difference too until 7 my time.

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I would not give over $900 for it. Though it could sound good, odds are if there was no concern for what tuners go on it then you have no idea which goober with a screw driver "worked" her over either.

 

 

That's a pretty harsh evaluation without seeing the guitar in person or playing it. The guitar has obviously had a bit of a hard life, but could be a really good player. It certainly has a pretty high "funky" quotient, but it's hard to relate that to the quality of the guitar as a player. Certainly it is not a collector's guitar.

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I would not give over $900 for it. Though it could sound good, odds are if there was no concern for what tuners go on it then you have no idea which goober with a screw driver "worked" her over either.

 

 

Well any time one bids on line , one is taking a chance on the quality of the guitar anyway. So for $300 more than you would have paid, someone got a funky guitar that may or may not be a good player or have a good tone. I like the folk art and think it gives it a little mojo. What if it was a wonderful player and sounded like we all hope a 57 J-50 would sound? I have contended here several times that you don't know what you have until you take her home and live with her a while ..... both guitars and women. So, heck for a few more bucks, I'd take a chance.

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Well any time one bids on line , one is taking a chance on the quality of the guitar anyway. So for $300 more than you would have paid, someone got a funky guitar that may or may not be a good player or have a good tone. I like the folk art and think it gives it a little mojo. What if it was a wonderful player and sounded like we all hope a 57 J-50 would sound? I have contended here several times that you don't know what you have until you take her home and live with her a while ..... both guitars and women. So, heck for a few more bucks, I'd take a chance.

 

Agree 100%. I also suspect that the "folk art"--which I don't care for--would be pretty easily removed. Get rid of the lousy tuners, clean it up, and you could easily have a $2000+ vintage J-50, even with the damaged headstock.

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I hear a lot of people in the vintage gear world say "what is this thing worth?" IMO the correct answer is not in a book or in the completed listings on ebay. It is whatever someone will pay for it. I was willing to take the risk and to pay more than the final bid. It was a shame that either I messed up my bid or the website messed up. I was kind of sad.

 

Call me crazy- but I really liked the folk art. It looked old. It was unique. I don't normally go for that stuff but for some reason I latched on to it.

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