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GIBSON GUITARS

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LES PAULS

1.     1981 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe - Cherry Sunburst, (front-1 front-2), (headstock), (back), (case).  Another sweet vintage Deluxe, much like the '78 I put up recently except this one's Cherry Sunburst, instead of Tobacco.  Overall lovely condition and at 33 years, is a true closet classic.  Only mod noted is a top quality pro refret with jumbo frets. The Cherry Sunburst finish retains strong color, rather than the faded red frequently found on old Pauls.  Only light wear exhibited - just check out the pics.  The worst flaws are two lacquer cracks in the top (shown here with flash) which are in the finish only.  Features of the Deluxe were basically identical to the Standard except for pickups, where the Deluxe used the mini-humbuckers and the Standard used the PAF style humbuckers.  A number of players prefer the mini-hums for their brighter tone; they fall between a PAF and a P90 to my ears.  With a perfect neck angle and straight neck, this guitar sets up with low action.  Look around the vintage sites and you'll see few Deluxe's going under $3K, and those that are seem to be in rough shape or not original.  This is an excellent player with low action, nice sustain, and sweet, creamy tone.  Like my buddy Ed says, "old wood sounds better" and judging by this guitar, a new one just doesn't have creamy tone.  Clean vintage Pauls don't come along often and I think this one is a sweet deal at $2100, Includes original Protector case with all latches and hinges intact. 

2.     2006 Gibson Les Paul Studio – Black, (front), (back), (headstock), (case).  Since 1983 Gibson has offered the Studio as an affordable alternative to the Standard, with all the tone and playability, but without the fancy cosmetic appointments.  Although initially it was an all-mahogany body, it soon evolved into the maple cap that made it even closer to the standard.  At one point in the mid-80's they even made a "Studio Standard" which had a bound body and neck, still retaining the dot inlays and screened logo.  A decade or so later Gibson added trapezoid fretboard inlays which makes the guitar look very much like a Standard from the audience perspective.  It remains to this day and excellent and more affordable alternative to players who could care less about binding and inlaid logos. I see numerous performances on TV where the featured artist, or backup guitarist, is playing a Studio. These are guys who can afford high-end instruments, they just apparently prefer the vibe of the Studio. In ’06 these models were not chambered, as recent models are. They of course are weight-relieved, as are all other Les Pauls since 1983. Features include solid mahogany body with maple cap, rounded 50s neck profile, rosewood fretboard, 490R and 498T Alnico II humbuckers, dual volume and tone controls with 3-way selector, Tuneomatic bridge with stop bar tailpiece, Gibson Deluxe tuners, gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish, and chrome hardware.  Judging by the clean condition of the frets and overall appearance, this guitar has seen very little use. No buckle scrapes, no fret wear, just a few clear coat scratches and dimples. With a new black Studio running $1499 you can save some hard earned cash on this great playing, good looking used model. $799 includes NOS TKL Canadian case, same specs as the old brown case.

3.     2001 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Wine & Chrome, (front), (flame), (back), (headstock), (case). Rare flametop Studio, this is easily a AA top and although the beauty is somewhat lost on a dark wine stain, it looks great in good lighting. This is one of the older "heavy" Studio's, before chambering became a standard feature on all LP's around 2005. Many players are seeking these out, with the belief that a better tone is worth the extra pound or two. The Studio's remain the best value in the "real" Les Paul line, i.e. gloss finish, carved maple cap over mahogany body, trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T Alnico humbucker, Gibson deluxe tuners, etc. Basic construction is the same as the Standard with the exception of cosmetic appointments such as body and neck binding. Cosmetically this one has its share of scratches and dings, but there are no breaks, repairs, or other issues. I attribute the flaws to a careless owner rather than extensive playing time as the frets are near perfect. It's a great playing Paul and for a lacquer finish Studio a nice buy, especially for the many players who are looking for a non-chambered body, which are becoming harder to find. With a new Studio in Wine selling for $1319, for the player this guitar offers substantial savings, an a lovely maple top. Just $729 and includes Gibson brown case. Case is missing the combo latch but other latches work fine.

4.     1997 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Wine& Chrome, (front), (back), (headstock). Sort of the LP mate to the SG above, also finished in transparent red and from the same '97 production year, a quality era for Gibson. You might remember this guitar, which was originally listed as a great player but in rough condition (before-1, before-2 and before-3) with miscellaneous finish chips and wear around the edges, but no structural issues. Martin touched up the rough areas with some "Wine" stain, lacquer over the areas, and buffed out the body. While it's certainly not mint, it is a very presentable guitar. The Studio's remain the best value in the "real" Les Paul line, i.e. gloss finish, carved maple cap over mahogany body, trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T Alnico humbucker, Gibson deluxe tuners, etc. Basic construction is the same as the Standard with the exception of cosmetic appointments such as body and neck binding. The original Studio's, back in the early 80's, were a more distinct model, with an all mahogany body and dot inlays. Following that came the "Studio Standard" with binding, dots, and maple cap - and finally in the late 80's this model. It's a great playing Paul with very minor fret wear (pic) and no structural issues, no cracks, etc., and for a lacquer finish Studio a nice buy, especially for the many players who are looking for a non-chambered Studio, which are becoming harder to find. Just $799 with Gibson deluxe gigbag or $850 with a hardshell case.

5.     2016 Gibson Memphis ES Les Paul - Pelham Blue, (front), (back), (headstock), (cert.), (case). An ingenious marriage of the ES-335 and Les Paul, the ES Les Paul combines a semi-hollow construction with the classic Les Paul shape to provide a guitar that’s very lightweight and capable of a wide variety of applications. It is not simply a “chambered Les Paul”, which has been done before. With its laminated maple top, back and sides in the semi-acoustic construction of the ES-335, and a solid mahogany center block for sustain and feedback reduction, the ES-Les Paul is truly a new guitar; an instant classic. Other features include: mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, 12" radius, pearloid trapezoid inlays, 1.670" nut, white body and neck binding, nickel Kluson single ring tuners, ABR bridge, and lightweight aluminum tailpiece. Pickups are a pair of MHS (Memphis Historic Spec) humbuckers wound to accurately replicate vintage PAFs. Presents as new and untouched with plastic still on the pickguard. This sells new at Wildwood for $3299 but get this “as new” example for $1100 less, just $2199. Includes Gibson brown case and certificate.

6.     Gibson Les Paul "Bugs", (front), (back). Okay, here's a model you've never had a shot at - because it's the only one in existence. Available only through Gibson's "Custom Direct" service, where your $500 membership gives you access to the rarest of the rare. For this particular guitar, Gibson commissioned noted artist Carol Paulsen as part of their "Art of the Guitar II" to paint two "bug" guitars - this Les Paul and an ES-5 ( the ES-5 subsequently sustained a damaged neck, never retailed, and was blown out in a charity auction). As much a work of art as it is a playable instrument, the "Bugs" features a Les Paul Standard with hand-painted bugs on the top, as well as the highest quality Abalone fretboard inlays. It's hard to capture the the beauty and intricacy of her paining in great detail but here are some attempts: pic3, pic4, pic5, pic6, pic7, pic8. Includes original case and warranty card. This guitar was collector owned, unplayed, and mint condition other than very sight tarnish on the edges of the pickups - we can replace the pickup covers if desired. This guitar was obtained through an IRS auction where the original owner, with the finest collection imaginable, was forced to sell off dozens of highly-prized guitars, most of which remained unplayed. Cost to the original owner on this guitar was $10,000. There was not a list price, that was the actual selling price. Offered here, at my humble site, for just $7000. One of these days I hope to contact Ms. Paulsen and, hopefully, offer it on her site as well.

7.     2001 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Wine & Chrome, (front), (back), (headstock). A lot of players are looking for the pre-chambered Les Pauls these days and the Studio offers the best value for the money. At 9.6 lbs., it’s not overly heavy for a non-chambered Paul.  Despite a number of finish impressions, presents very well thanks to a nice buffing out by Martin who got rid of all the small scratches and judging by the frets (shown here), another guitar that's seen little playing time but didn't have a particularly meticulous owner. I've got to hand it to Gibson, they do build some nice necks and with the well-cured woods they were using early in the century they produced consistently great necks. This one's no exception and it has a very comfortable set up and that fat 'Paul tone we love. Maple top is mildly figured and with the buff job, has a nice shine all over. Nice value in a nitro-finished maple top Les Paul at $699. Includes Gibson wedge-shaped gigbag or for $49 substitute for SKB case with ATA latches.

SG'S

1.     1973 Gibson SG Standard, (front), (back), (headstock), (pots/switch), (Gibson/Bigsby), (case).Killer SG in lovely vintage condition, a classic rock icon from the 70's. Pickups are the sought after "Super Humbuckers", designed by Bill Lawrence and easily identifiable by the black epoxy on the underside (pic). This guitar sounds incredible, plays fantastic, and is an excellent example of Gibson's early 70's guitars. Features include mahogany body and neck, ebony fretboard, block inlays, 22 frets, factory Gibson/Bigsby tailpiece, wide Schaller-made tune-o-matic bridge, Gibson/Schaller tuners, narrow 1-9/16" nut, and 24-3/4" scale. All original except for two pots replaced in 1983. You'll note the rounded end of the fretboard (shown here under blacklight), which is more associated with Gibson acoustics but you will see the occasional solid body. Google it and you'll find one recently sold by Elderly with the same feature. Cosmetically, very nice vintage condition with just the usual scratches in the clear coat but nothing through to the finish. No cracks, no repairs, a very solid piece, ready for another 40+ years of jamming. Includes the proper case for a Bigsby-equipped SG, the rectangular tolex case with plush purple lining, top of the line model. Very cool SG with a factory Bigsby for $1950.

2.     1997 Gibson SG Special with Upgrades, (front), (back), (headstock), (pickups), (case). For you EMG fans out there, this one just had a new set installed, plus a set of Hipshot locking tuners. Pickups are an EMG-89 in the neck, which pairs perfectly with the EMG-81 bridge. The 89 has the bonus feature of being splitable via push/pull pot which gives it the ability to deliver Strat-type sounds, or traditional fat humbucker tones. EMG's sound great in an all mahogany guitar and this is definitely better sounding than any Special I've had. Also upgraded were the tuners, which now feature a new set of Hipshot locking type. All work was done by my man Martin, so you know it's done right. Lastly, pickguard was changed to a white with beveled edge, which is gives it a cool tuxedo appearance. Cosmetically this guitar has its share of scratches and dings but as the frets are perfect, I'll chalk that up to a non-meticulous owner who gigged with it for a brief period. The set up is fantastic and with excellent sustain, this guitar is definitely a winner. If you're not looking for the flash of a Standard, but are more concerned with tone, this is a sweet axe for $679. Includes original brown case with non-working combo latch and missing the latch from another latch - no problem, it stays closed just fine.

3.     2001 Gibson SG Special - Gloss Black, (front), (headstock), (back), (gigbag).The SG Special provides the classic SG tone, but without the cosmetic features of a Standard, it's a better bargain. It features an un-bound neck, dot inlays, screened logo, and uncovered pickups, but is otherwise the same guitar. Its all mahogany construction with unmistakable beveled edges gives it that classic warm SG tone that has helped define the sound of rock, most notably with Angus Young. The light weight, thin body, and deep cutaways make it one of the most comfortable guitars to play. Pickups are 490R/490T Alnico humbuckers. The neck is well rounded and on the chunky side, but not as chunky as a 50's style.Don't confuse this with the faded series, which are good guitars in their own right, but this is the gloss finish model which sells new for a $1K. For more info click here for Gibson's site. A new Special in black or cherry is going to set you back $999 but this one's in excellent condition with a great set up for just $679 with the older & better Gibson wedge-shaped gigbag.

4.     2012 Gibson Faded SG Special, (front), (back), (headstock), (case). SG bang for the buck winner. The Faded SG Special is a no-frills axe with the same woods, silhouette, electronics, and hardware as the higher end SG Standard, but with a satin finish, dot inlays, and unbound neck.  This one, in Faded Cherry has the vibe of the original ca. '62 SG/Les Paul models, when they replaced the slab body models.  The Faded process makes for a better guitar from a tone point of view.  The thin satin finish allows the guitar to resonate better, for increased sustain and a more pure voice - plus it gives the guitar a cozy, broken in feel that many players will appreciate.  Finish aside, it's very much a traditional SG, with all solid mahogany construction including body and neck, tune-o-matic bridge/stopbar tailpiece, and Alnico 490R and 490T humbuckers, controlled by dual volume and tone controls with 3-way selector.  Neck profile is sort of in between the 50's and 60's. It's not as chunky as a 50's but rounder on back than a 60's. Lightweight and fun to play, this one's in very clean condition, with a great setup, for just $550. It includes your choice of the feather light case pictured, or a clean original Gibson gigbag.

5.     2013 Gibson SG Deluxe – Orange Burst, (front), (headstock), (back), (case). Mint-mint-mint. The SG Deluxe is a cool modern take on a ‘60’s classic model, the SG/LP Custom, which featured the same trio of humbuckers, bound neck and headstock, and nice fretboard inlays. Gibson chose split diamond inlays on this model rather than blocks, as well as no pickguard, and a more stable tremolo system. First impressions: first thing you’ll notice is the very noticeable color, Orange Burst (also came in Cobalt, Lime, and Red) which is topped by AA flamed maple (if you look closely). It has many coats of clear and with the deeper orange on the edges it presents a very striking look. Not for everybody perhaps but for those who want to stand out… Gibson also chose to use a bound 24-fret rosewood fingerboard and locking Grover tuners. For pickups this one uses a trio of 57 Classic humbucking pickups, some of the most popular recreations of vintage PAF humbuckers made, producing the blend of warmth and creaminess that made original PAFs the holy grail of pickups. The control setup uses a “TogPot” around the three-way pickup selector which lets you blend in the middle pickup for many tonal options. A solid, Grade-A, quarter-sawn mahogany neck is glued into the body and carved to a slim ’60s profile (.800” at the 1st fret and .875” at the 12th) and is capped with a bound Grade-A rosewood fretboard with 24 medium-jumbo frets and split-diamond inlays on the fretboard and headstock. These sell for $2599 but this one is in dead mint, unplayed condition, for just $1699.

6.     2016 Gibson SG Special Faded Traditional, (front), (back), (headstock), (gigbag). In contrast to the fancier Robby Krieger SG below, this model is a stripped down version but basically all the important elements are there. All mahogany body/neck construction with cherry finish, rosewood fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets, dual humbuckers with corresponding volume/tone controls and 3-way switch, tuneomatic bridge and vintage Kluson style tuners. For pickups Gibson chose the 490R (neck) and 490T (bridge) which are probably a little more suited for rock than the '57s, which are equally adept at most styles of music. The 490T is overwound for a hotter sound and I believe both pickups have more presence than the 57s. The neck is still referred to as a slim taper, although slightly deeper at .818" 1st fret and .963" 12th fret. This guitar is also in perfect condition with no flaws noted and plays with ease. The tone seems to have more life with this faded nitro finish than other Specials I’ve had with a hard gloss finish. Really nice guitar in perfect condition for $575. Includes clean, original wedge gigbag.

 

GIBSON OR USA EPI SEMI-HOLLOW & ARCHTOPS:

1952 Gibson ES-125 Hollowbody Archtop, (front) (front-2), (back), (back-2), (headstock), (tailpiece), (case).  From Gibson's Golden and lovely condition, especially for 60+ years old.  The ES-125's were near the bottom of the price list for Gibson archtops of this era, but that only means minimal cosmetics appointments.  It received the same care in manufacture as the higher end models.  The 125 has a laminated 16 1/4" body with maple top and mahogany back and sides, with mahogany neck and Brazilian fretboard (pic) and bridge, finished in nitrocellulose lacquer.  Although they made a thinner version (125T), this is the original full depth model, 3.5" deep.  Other features include 24.75" scale, single P90 pickup in neck position with volume and tone controls, tortoise grain pickguard, Kluson strip tuners, nickel trapeze tailpiece, bound body top and back, pearloid dot fingerboard inlays, silkscreen logo, Sunburst finish only.  Early features (pic) include half-clear/half-gold knobs, and rounded P90 cover.  The pickup has 6 adjustable poles between two Alnico 5 bar magnets, which is fairly mellow, not as harsh as some P90's were in the 50's.  The tone is well suited for Jazz, or even Delta blues.  Cosmetically, it's in beautiful shape with minimal finish checking, little to no player's wear, no cracks or repairs; just a very nice example of this model.  Only noteworthy flaw is a bit of finish peeling on the back, bottom edge (pic), probably from a wooden stand.  The set up is low and comfortable.  These have gone up considerably over the past 15 years but this one is still and excellent buy for an early 50's in this condition.  $1699 includes a quality hardshell case. 

2013 Gibson ES-339 Traditional Pro Figured Top, (front), (headstock/neck), (back), (case).  Designed as an alternative to the ES-335, with a smaller body, no f-holes, and more tonal options, the 339 is a real joy to play.  If you've found the size of a 335 a bit ungainly, this guitar will be more comfortable, not much larger than a Les Paul or SG.  Its rounded symmetrical cutaways offer easy access to the upper frets and the Classic 57 neck and Super 57 bridge pickups are wired to push/push volume pots that enable coil-splits, plus there's a 10dB user-adjustable boost on a push-push tone pot.  Being an active circuit, the 9V battery is accessed easily via a door on the back of the guitar.  The ES-339 features a mahogany body and arched, mildly figured, maple top with a solid maple center block to help reduce feedback and enhance sustain. The top is in a gloss finish, the back is satin, although this one is buffed out to a near full gloss on back as well.  This guitar has one finish touch-up (shown here) of a finish gouge which has been clear coated and buffed out.  The set up is spectacular and with the remarkable selection of tones, it's one of the best players you'll find. If you don't mind a small blem, this is an excellent semi-hollow, with the back nicely buffed out, for just $1339.  Includes form fit custom shop case.  

 

GIBSON ACOUSTICS/Chet Atkins:

1991 Gibson Chet Atkins SST, (front), (back), (headstock back), (controls), (gigbag). These are getting hard to find. The SST was one of the first solidbody acoustic models, designed especially for stage use, i.e. to allow for higher volume before feedback.  First introduced as a nylon string model (Chet Atkins CE or CEC) in 1981, the steel string SST joined the line in 1987, gaining instant popularity among pro players such as Dave Matthews who played an SST as his main stage guitar from '92 to '99.  The SST was a simple but very well designed guitar.  It features a solid Spruce top, Mahogany back with Chromyte (as used on ES-335's) reinforcement, Ebony bridge, and Mahogany slim-taper neck with Ebony fretboard.  Cosmetic appointments include inlaid logo and star inlay, star fretboard markers, bridge with star inlays and Ebony pins with pearloid dots, multi-ply body binding, and gold hardware.  Electronics are simple and are located, unobtrusively, on the side of the bass upper bout and include volume, bass, and treble.  Again, this model is very resistant to feedback and these simple controls seem to handle it well.  This guitar features a long 25.5" scale (3/4" longer than normal Gibson scale), 1 11/16” nut, and 21 medium jumbo frets.  Cosmetically, you can see that this one has been lovingly played for years, exhibiting a fingernail wear spot on the treble side and a few minor dings near the bass edge. It exhibits some fret wear but nothing that interferes with a very comfortable set up with no string buzz. The back is in much cleaner shape and there are no structural issues such as cracks or repairs. For all the spec's on this model check out Gibson's site here.  After a long run of 19 years, the SST was discontinued in '06 and considering the popularity of this guitar they have become harder to find as the years go by.   If you're looking for an excellent stage guitar, there are few better in terms of comfort, tone, and playability than the SST and at $799, it's truly a pro model for a modest price.  Includes well padded Levys gigbag.  

1970 Gibson LG-12 Acoustic 12-String, (front), (headstock), (back), (sides), (case). Cool little 12-string for back porch strumming in incredibly clean condition. Gibson's LG-series were their budget acoustics with no fancy ornamentation, screened logo, dot inlays, etc. I remember back in the 90's we used to pick up LG's for well $400 but in recent years players have recognized that, at 40+ years old, they're become excellent sounding guitars and prices have doubled or tripled. The LG-12 was the 12-string in the LG line, with the same small body (14.25" lower bout), but with a full scale length. The LG-12 features a solid spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, 18-fret neck with 12 clear of the body, belly bridge with adjustable saddle, teardrop pickguard in '70, bound top, natural top finish, light mahogany finish back and sides, Kluson deluxe strip tuners, screened logo, and pearl dot inlays. Although not the lowest action (shown here), it's very comfortable for playing cowboy chords and you can get by okay on barre chords - but if you want it to play like a Taylor, it really would want a neck reset. The light satin type finish, along with the aged mahogany body wood, give this guitar a nice warm sound with a mid-range that will stand out in the mix. They say old wood is good wood, and at over 40 years this one has developed a very pleasing voice. As you can see in the pics, this guitar is in beautiful condition with no flaws to speak of. Original case for this model with a heavy semi-hard with plush red lining and this one's in nice shape. If you're looking for lovely vintage 12-string to strum on, this one's hard to beat at $599.

1963 Gibson B25-12 Acoustic 12-String, (front), (back), (headstock). Made during the early part of the folk boom in the 60's, the B-25-12 is appointed like a student model with dot inlays and no ornamentation on the headstock, and unbound neck, although it does have a double-bound body. Not surprisingly, my tech commented that was a great sounding folk instrument. The B25-12 is a 00-size small bodied (14 1/2" lower bout) Gibson flattop, with a solid Spruce top, solid mahogany back, and laminated sides. Other features include multi-ply binding on top, bound back, ebony bridge, long tortoise pickguard, 2" nut width, 24 3/4" scale, and Kluson strip tuners. This one has seen an average amount of playing time I would guess, but was taken care of by previous owners. The only glaring flaw is a small chip out of the front corner of the headstock (shown here). It does indeed look like a 55+ year-old guitar with plenty of finish checking and a slightly dull finish which we can buff out at no cost - but no cracks or repairs. The tone is just what you'd expect from a small Mahogany body - very warm tone with plenty of mid-range - but surprisingly crisp and bright. It’s a fun guitar to play, especially comfortable when sitting around the living room and like an old parlor guitar, doesn't look out of place with the decor. Later in the 60's Gibson went to a small bridge with a trapeze tailpiece but this is the more desirable model with standard bridge with acoustic string pins. The only non-original aspect of this guitar is a replacement bridge, but it's the proper belly bridge - plus a compensated saddle replaces the wooden one. Most of the bridges from this era look identical, but have adjustment screws for the saddle height, plus 2 pearloid plugs that cover the hold-down screws that Gibson used on their bridges (I've never figured out why Gibson couldn't glue down their bridges properly without the use of these screws.) Since most players accuse the stock adjustable bridge in this era as being a "tone robber", it wasn't uncommon for players to do away with this feature. Bottom line though, is this guitar is plenty loud with good sustain, and that may be in part due to the removal of the adjustable saddle. This guitar has a good neck angle and a straight neck so the set up is very comfortable for a 12-string, even with barre chords. A great example of affordable vintage, priced way under what a reissue would sell for, should they ever make one. It's guaranteed to go up as the years pass but unlike a stock or CD, it's something you can enjoy. Gbase prices for 60's B-25-12's, even the trapeze models, are running $1600-$2000 with bad neck angles. This one plays nicely and at $1099, it's a steal for an early 60's Gibson acoustic that’s ready to go. Includes aftermarket hardshell case.

OTHER USA GIBSONS: MELODY MAKERS, NIGHTHAWKS, FIRBIRDS, EXPLORERS, V'S, ETC.:

2007 Gibson Melody Maker with Upgrades, (front), (headstock), (back), (other mods). Very cool upgrades which make this guitar, essentially, a single cut LP Special with all-mahogany construction and a pair of P90 pickups. Originally equipped with small single coils, Martin routed the pickup cavities and installed a pair of Seymour Duncan Phat Cats (specs), which are P90 single coils. The tone is big and fat, using two Alnico 2 magnets for more sustain and softer attack, which the metal covers provide more shielding and noise reduction than standard soapbar covers. The neck pickup is RW/RP for noise-canceling operation in the middle selector position. Additionally, the tuners were upgraded from the vintage Kluson style to a set of nickel-plated Schaller/Grovers which stay in tune much better than the stock tuners. Lastly, a pair of gold chrome dome knobs with pointers were installed for that early 60's look. For the pickup selector we used a mini-toggle switch between the knobs. Lastly, we used oversize strap pins; for your locking strap guys, we can swap out to Dunlop or Schaller locking type at no cost. The stock bridge on this model is the good old wraparound tailpiece, the ultimate in simplicity and, I feel, the most comfortable and effective for palm damping techniques - or we can change to a Quan-style bridge with saddles that intonate (shown here). Other specs include '59 rounded neck profile that's not at all chunky, standard 24 3/4" scale, 1.695" nut width, 22 frets, and '59 authentic single-ply black pickguard. This is a very lightweight guitar, less than 6 lbs., due to the body size, which is slightly thinner than a Junior/Special. The tone is anything but "light - it's big and fat, with excellent sustain and very lively overall, thanks in part to the very thin satin finish which lets the guitar vibrate better than a thicker, hard finish. This one has around $300 in upgrades, and for the pro player, a totally gigworthy workhorse guitar for just $550. Includes well-padded gigbag (pic).

1980 Gibson Sonex-180 Deluxe, (front), (headstock), (back), (electronics). Another one of Gibson's "innovative" models from the Norlin years. The Sonex, which came in 4 models (Deluxe, Standard, Custom and Artist) at various times during their 4-year run, featured a bolt-on neck, which was very unusual for Gibson. The main innovation from this guitar was the "Multi-Phonic" body, which consisted of a wood core (usually mahogany), with a man-made resin outer layer. In this fashion you still had the wood-wood contact in the neck pocket, but with a resin body that was inexpensive to make and more impervious to climate change. The Sonex was replaced by Marauder and S-1 models bolt-on models, although made of an all-wood body. The Deluxe model retailed for $419 when the line was discontinued in '84 after a 4-year run. Features include a pair of Gibson "Velvet Brick" humbuckers, maple neck with 22 medium frets, ABR-1 tuneomatic bridge, large pickguard (covers 3/4 of body face), rosewood fretboard, Grover tuners with metal Keystone buttons and "The Gibson Guitar Company" logo. Cosmetically this one is in typical condition for a Sonex with scratches and scrapes in the resin core as well as the typical cracks in the resin core (not a problem, just the nature of the beast). It has had a strap button relocated to the back near the neck plate. It has a very comfortable setup and a good quality tone from a pair of nice sounding humbuckers. A good value in an old USA guitar at $450.

EPIPHONES

 

NOS Epiphone SG Standard G-400 with Upgrades, (front), (headstock), (back), (EMG SPC), (pickups), (case). 2006 model but it's new and unplayed, and upgraded with a pair of Gibson SG Standard pickup as well as an EMG SPC/Mid-Boost active circuit AND a new case. Finished in classic Alpine White, this G-400 has the look of the early 60's SG and with these upgrades you have a guitar that sounds as good as it looks. This guitar was originally a Ltd Ed model with EMG's, thus it already had a battery compartment, so when we added the EMG mid boost, which requires a 9V battery, no modification to the body was necessary. The SPC is a killer unit that adds a lot of versatility. It fattens up the mids which can make your tone less muddy. It can also be used as a clean boost - just turn up the knob when you want some extra output, for leads etc. It provides sufficient gain to drive a tube amp into clipping while adding more harmonic content. The SPC is wired for both pickups; likewise the Tone control. Features include solid mahogany body with set-in mahogany neck, Grover tuners, slim-taper neck has a rosewood fretboard with pearloid trapezoid inlays, with a deep double-cutaway allowing easy access to the upper frets. Don't judge Epi SG's by guitars you may have played in a store. With a proper set up, they play with ease and the fret ends are perfectly dressed. This model listed for $999 without case or gigbag and with these upgrades it’s a super nice deal at $499, flawless and unplayed - and includes a new hardshell case. Also includes, manual, cable, poster, etc. (Note: I also have this model with EMG81/85 on my Gibson page).

2007 Epiphone Les Paul Custom, (front), (back), (headstock), Epi's version of the LP Custom, truly the Cadillac of the Les Paul line, beautifully adorned with multi-ply body binding, neck binding, inlaid logo and split diamond headstock inlay, multi-ply bound headstock, and gold hardware. In addition, from my observations, the neck angle seems to be better on Customs which allows for a very low set up at the nut, all the way up the neck. This one's finished in Alpine White, always a popular finish in a Custom. Pickguard was removed for aesthetic reasons but otherwise, it's all original and in excellent condition, other than two finish cracks (shown here). Finish cracks in this area, or below the fingerboard, are extremely common on white Customs, both Epi and Gibson. Prior to shipping we will lacquer over the area at no charge to prevent any flaking and color match the area, if desired. This guitar plays great, with a quality tone, and a with new ones selling for $699, get a nice savings on this great playing used one. Just $379 - or add $22 for a new TKL gigbag (shown here), or $55 for a used Epi case (shown here).

2006 Epiphone SG Standard G-400 With EMG's and Gigbag, (front/back), (headstock), (gigbag). New and first quality in Classic Alpine White Finish! New upscale Ltd. Ed. model from Epi, using the increasingly poplar Zakk Wylde setup of active EMG's with an 81/85 combination. Features include solid mahogany body with set-in mahogany neck, Grover tuners, slim-taper neck has a rosewood fretboard with pearloid trapezoid inlays, with a deep double-cutaway allowing easy access to the upper frets. Don't judge this guitar by one you may have played in a store. With a proper set up, they play with ease and the fret ends are perfectly dressed. With a list of $999, these are a very good value in a set-neck guitar with the EMG 81/85 setup at just $499. Includes, manual, cable, poster, etc., plus a very well padded Levy's EM7P gigbag with ¾" foam padding and headliner lining, accessory pocket and twin shoulder straps.

Epiphone Hummingbird, (full length), I have several of these earlier Korean-made Hummingbirds in stock which supposedly had cosmetic flaws but appear flawless now. Features solid spruce top and mahogany back/sides, basically the mahogany equivalent of the Epi Doves on my acoustics page. Like the Dove, the Hummingbird is a recreation of the Gibson classic with the looks and tone of a vintage classic. Nicely appointed with multi-layer bound body, bound neck, dual parallelogram fretboard inlays. The list price on these when they were Korean made was $665 and as with most Epi's, they fairly dropped the list to $582 when production was moved to China. I have a few of these for less than the new Chinese models; $325. If you need amplification, we can send you one with a Fishman Acoustic Matrix (pic2) saddle transducer installed for $99 more (sells new for $129, not counting installation). The Matrix is designed for a slight boost in the bass range which, on a full size dreadnought like the Hummingbird, gives it incredible bottom end, but clear note definition throughout. The cool thing about these units is the entire preamp is built into the elongated output jack, rather than having a separate preamp stuck to the back or side of the guitar. Runs on 9V battery with a battery life of over 6,000 hours. Whether you choose an acoustic, or with the Fishman upgrade, it will be better than the current Chinese model plus it will receive Martin's personal setup which guarantees it will play easily and the frets properly dressed.

2006 Epiphone SG Standard G-400 With EMG's, (pic2), (pic3). New and first quality in Classic Alpine White Finish! New upscale Ltd. Ed. model from Epi, using the increasingly poplar Zakk Wylde setup of active EMG's with an 81/85 combination. Features include solid mahogany body with set-in mahogany neck, Grover tuners, slim-taper neck has a rosewood fretboard with pearloid trapezoid inlays, with a deep double-cutaway allowing easy access to the upper frets. I have two of these, both new, old stock and perfect, inevitably set up better than factory. With a list of $999, these are a very good value in a set-neck guitar with the EMG 81/85 setup at just $499. Includes, manual, cable, poster, etc.

Epiphone AJ-1 Advance Jumbo, 2004 NOS, new in the box and best value in a SJ round-shoulder style flattop. Features select Spruce top, with the warmth of mahogany sides and back. Natural gloss finish and body binding give this a simple, but elegant look. The design of this guitar gives it very ample bass response, and a pleasing tone for strumming with friends on the front porch. With factory setups these guitars are only so-so but when Martin does his magic, you'll have a guitar that's a joy to play with comfortable action throughout the register. Lists at $232 but this one's new in the box AND set-up to play for just $149.

Epiphone Les Paul Pee Wee Package, Unlike the Ibanez kit above this is a smaller guitar aimed at younger players and includes everything your little rocker needs to get started on guitar including a Les Paul Pee Wee electric guitar (picture 2), amplifier, strap, cable, pics, and instructions. The Les Paul Pee Wee is 1/2 the size of a regular guitar but with a full width neck, suitable for both kids but also adults looking to take the party anywhere. This pack includes the Epiphone Studio Mini amp that's also portable and features a shoulder strap and runs on either a 9V battery or via 9V adapter (not included). The amp features volume and tone controls, with a switch to choose clean or overdrive channel plus a headphone jack for private practice. Due to the short scale we recommend tuning them up around a fifth which also allows them to occupy the frequency range of a mandolin, which really stands out in a jam session. Don't think you're going to get a crappy playing guitar because of the cost. All of these short scale V's and LP's we've had actually set up with excellent action and even an accomplished player should be happy with the playability. With a list price of $252, this is a fairly inexpensive way to get Junior started on a real guitar setup at just $149, set up and ready to jam as soon as you open the box.

2004 Zakk Wylde Signature Les Paul Custom, (pic2), (pic3). I'm on my second order of these - cosmetic 2nds but don't let that throw you - Any flaw is so miniscule that it's virtually invisible. Overall, these are extremely impressive and priced just a little higher than a stock Epi LP Custom. Immaculate bulls-eye paint job, and all the LP Custom feaures such as multi-ply binding, gold hardware, pearloid block inlays (and not cheesy looking brushed chrome ones), and the classic split diamond headstock overlay. What really sets this apart though are the EMG HZ 4 and HZ4A humbuckers, which are the passive version of the EMG81and 85. It also has an extremely chunky neck which has an unfinished feel as found on Zakk's prized LP. If you're not into big necks, you don't want this guitar, but the bare (only a sealer coat) baseball bat feel is perfect for my hands. We looked these over closely and I give up on trying to find the blem on most of these - about the only blem I can see is the "2nd" stamp on the back of the headstock. Unlike new ones you might buy online or at your local store, these guitars will be shipped fully set-up with playability that will rival the $3800 Gibson model.This model lists at $1332 and sells online at $799. If you can live with a guitar with what is likely an invisible cosmetic flaw, save some nice cash right here, at $629.

2003 Epiphone Les Paul Baritone, Red Oval finish. I just got in several of these, unplayed, straight out of the box. They are overstocks so the serial was partially obliterated, but they are first quality and are not stamped "used" or "2nd' - all first quality Epiphone. Les Paul Standard Baritone is a long-scale guitar that adds beefy, bottom-end tones to the LP tone you already know and love. The most notable features is the long 27.75-inch scale length, 3 inches longer than a standard Les Paul, that lets you play 1/2 an octave below normal. The result is one helluva beefy sounding guitar. It also features black hardware, satin finish, simplified control layout, Grover tuners, and some very upscale pickups that sound great, by Gibson USA, which tout Alnico magnets, "double vacuum wax dipped", and "enamel coated wire". With a list of $831, these sell everywhere for $499. This one is perfect, set up BETTER than factory, and you'll have save enough dough to score a nice amp with the difference, just $379 while they last.

Epiphone Demons, new-old stock, choice of metalic black or metalic red, solid wood body, rosewood fretboard, string thru body, "ultra-hot" humbuckers, very cool vibe for small change, full specs at Epiphone's Site, List $499, Sale $225

2008 Epiphone Sheraton II - Ebony, (front), (back), (headstock). Probably our best seller among hollow/semi-hollowbody guitars is the Epi Sheraton II. It's solidly built, generally sets up very well, and sounds much better than it's price tag would lead you to believe. Sheraton's proud history goes back to '59, when, owned by Gibson, Epi started producing the Sheraton, which was a model unique to that company, rather than an Epi version of a Gibson, which was the fashion in the early Gibson days  Today, models that are unique to the Epiphone line, including the Sheraton, Zephyr, Riviera and Emperor, seem to be built to higher standards than their Gibson copy line (Les Paul, SG, Dot, Hummingbird, etc.).  The Sheraton does share design features with the Gibson ES-335, but the cosmetic appointments are much higher on the Sheraton.  The original Sheraton was outfitted with a Frequensator tailpiece but didn't gain much popularity until Epi changed to a stop bar and Tuneomatic bridge, i.e. the Sheraton II.  Like the Gibson ES-335, the Sheraton has a laminated maple body, top, back and sides, which, with its bright tone, works well with the darker tone of PAF humbuckers.  Unlike the Dot's mahogany neck, the Sheraton features a maple neck, for increased stability, capped with a rosewood fretboard.  High-end cosmetics include gold hardware, multi-layer binding on all edges including body, fretboard, neck, and headstock; abalone block & triangle fretboard inlays, headstock overlay with inlaid logo and vine inlay, and multi-ply tortoise pickguard with raised "e" logo.  Players as diverse as Oasis guitarist, Noel Gallagher and blues legend John Lee Hooker both have signature model Sheratons, which is testimony to the versatility of these guitars.  It's capable of high gain without feedback, which makes it attractive to rock players, but sounds equally good on more mellow jazz or blues.  Cosmetically, it’s in great condition having been buffed out beautifully by Martin, and he also gave it an excellent setup with very comfortable action throughout the neck. For killer looks it's hard to beat black and gold. This is a lot of guitar for the money in my opinion. $399. Add a clean MBT gigbag for $19 (pic).

2005 Epiphone Gothic Les Paul Studio - Floyd Rose - Seymour Duncan Upgrade, (front), (back), (headstock), (pickups), (Floyd). Excellent quality import from the Unsung (Korean) factory. The Gothic Les Paul Studio is a barebones rock/metal axe, offered in either a stop tail or, this version, with a quality Floyd Rose trem. This is a very good quality Floyd, and appears to be identical to the "Original Floyd Rose", although stamped with the "Epiphone" brand. There have been a few changes to this guitar, most importantly, the generic non-covered black humbuckers have been replaced with a great sounding pair of Seymour Duncans - the Alnico Pro II Bridge and Alnico Pro II Neck - as used by "Slash" and many other top name players. Cosmetically, some stick on fretboard cross inlays have been added, and "BLS" (Black Label Society) stickers added to the front and back. I think they look pretty cool but we can remove prior to shipping if desired. Also, it's been buffed out nicely, so it looks more like a gloss finish than the factory satin finish. This guitar is like the original 50's Black Beauty Les Pauls in that it's 100% mahogany, with a carved mahogany top. It's fatter sounding than the maple top versions and with these Duncans, has a classic 'Burst tone which lets your playing style shine through rather than a scorching high-output sound. The set up is super comfortable, the Floyd stays in tune especially well, and it's an excellent guitar, especially in this price range. With around a $200 pickup upgrade, a super nice buy on a Korean LP at $399 with gigbag.

2004 Epiphone Zakk Wylde Les Paul Custom with EMG-81/85. This guitar is located on my Gibson page but I just got in a mint pair of EMG-81/85 (pictured) which we offer as an upgrade on this model when I have the pickups in stock. It's pictured with the stock EMG HZ's, which are very good pickups in their own right, but for the real Zakk tone, you have to have the active EMG's. Click here for Harmony-Central reviews where they score a remarkable 9.8 avg. mark in tone with 16 reviews. This guitar sells new for $799 with the stock pickup setup. The one I'm offering was never retailed and virtually flawless, although it is a cosmetic 2nd for a flaw that we can't find. It's offered at $629 in stock condition but we can upgrade it to the 81/85 set and sell at $799.

Epiphone AJ-200, Advance Jumbo model is a throwback to the early days of Epi and Gibson, with round-shoulder dreadnought design, bound spruce top, mahogany back and sides, nice player with a nice tone for something in this price range. Stamped Used but in essence new and with a list of $299, better than new as it’s set-up to optimum playability for just $165

2002 Epiphone Les Paul Studio, good quality set-neck Paul at a killer price, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, features of a LP Standard except for black pickguard and binding and slightly slimmer body - same great playability and tone and an absolute feather weight. Very clean shape with no major flaws and fairly rare. Get the tone and vibe of an LP at a better price, $325 w/gigbag.