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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. 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. $850 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 $779 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 $839 with Gibson deluxe gigbag or $899 with a new, excellent quality, TKL wood/Tolex hardshell case.
5. 2008 Gibson Les Paul Swamp Ash Studio, (front/back), (headstock), (case and box). Never retailed - unplayed condition and ships in original box. Gibson started their "Smartwood" Series in the mid-90's, utilizing sustainable woods which are both tonally acceptable, and eco-friendly. While many of these were exotic woods (such as Muira Piranga) we had never heard of, this is one of the newer models featuring good old Swamp Ash, a name that's been synonymous with guitars since the 50's. The Swamp Ash Les Paul is a limited edition model, although Gibson hasn't released total production numbers. The tone isn't radically different from a "regular" mahogany/maple body, but it does seem to have more punch, more pronounced in the mid-range; Billy Gibbons comes to mind. Most remarkably, this guitar weighs in at a remarkable 6.4 lbs., which would be light for a Strat or Tele, and unheard of for a Les Paul. Features include: satin natural finish, figured swamp ash cap over swamp ash body, rounded mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, 490R and 498T Alnico II humbuckers, rosewood fretboard, chrome hardware, green leaf truss rod cover, dot inlays, Gibson Deluxe tuners, and satin finished Mahogany neck. A regular black Studio is going to run you $1319 and will probably weigh around 9 pounds or more. This beauty is immaculate and at 6.4 lbs. is one of the lightest guitars, much less Les Pauls, you'll ever play - for just $1179. If you're looking for a Paul that you can play for 3 long sets without any shoulder fatigue, this is it. Includes black reptile case, manual, and paperwork.
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.
1. 2003 Gibson SG Special Limited Edition Platinum, (front), (headstock), (back), (gigbag). Very unique SG - Limited Edition Platinum with all chrome/platinum parts (pic here) including body, plastic, and hardware. All mahogany construction gives it that classic warm SG tone that has helped define the sound of rock, most notably with Angus Young. This model also features an Ebony fretboard, usually reserved for higher-end models, which gives it a little more snap on the attack than rosewood. Pickups are 490R/498T Alnico II humbuckers. You Fallout Boy fans might remember front man and guitarist Patrick Stump playing this model when they were becoming huge, before his jump to Gretsch. If you like low action - you'll love this guitar. It's got a great neck which allowed us to set the action very low. The neck's a tad on the chunky side, much closer to a 50's rounded neck than a 60's thin taper. Don't confuse this with the faded series. This is the gloss finish model and it sold in stores for $1049 during its last year of production 6 years ago. This one is pretty much immaculate - no scratches, dings, or fret wear, an easy 9.8 - and wouldn't look out of place hanging with brand new guitars in your local store. Just a super gloss-finished SG that plays as nice as it looks. $799 includes original gigbag.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
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.
1952 Gibson ES-150 Hollowbody Archtop, (front front2), (back), (back-2), (headstock back), (side), (case case2). ’52 must have been a big year as I recently got in this ES-150, and ES-125, and Fender Deluxe 8-string, all from 1952. This ES-150 is in beautiful shape, with no issues or excuses, and all original other than replacement Gibson tuners. The ES-150 was clearly above the ES-125 during this era, with a wider 17” body, bound neck, trapezoid inlays, and multi-layer pickguard. By appointments, it was close to an ES-175, except for headstock ornamentation. Specs include laminated 17” body, 3.5” deep, with maple top and mahogany back and sides, with mahogany neck and Brazilian fretboard and bridge, finished in nitrocellulose lacquer, 24.75" scale, single P90 pickup in neck position with volume and tone controls, multi-layer black pickguard, nickel trapeze tailpiece, bound body top and back, pearloid trapazoid fingerboard inlays, bound neck, silkscreen logo, Sunburst finish only. Early features 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. 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. $2100 includes a quality hardshell case.
1969 Gibson Super 400CES, (No hype - simply the best quilt ever). One-owner guitar, uncirculated, and a desirable pre-'70 Super. The Super 400CES was Gibson's top of the line archtop and this one has the finest quilted maple I've ever seen on this model. As soon as I opened the case and flipped it over, I heard Martin catch his breath. It was for him, quite literally, breath-taking. (front/back/side), (headstock/flamed neck), (flamed neck), (serial/label). This is one of those finds that collectors wait for - a one owner guitar, bought new in 1969, and rarely saw the light of day since new. It has never been circulated and is being sold only because of the owner's inability to play any longer. I've only owned a few Super 400's, but I've seen plenty and this is the finest of the fine. The worst flaw is very typical - deterioration of the pickguard. High quality repro's are available from a number of sources but the original is included, along with the bracket. Other flaws on this guitar are minimal (picture) and include light wear to some of the gold plating on pickups and tailpiece, and very minor rubs on edge of headstock. You have to look hard to find any flaws on this guitar but held in perfect light, you can see a slight clear-coat impression on the back where the guitar rested on the pickguard inside the case (pic) but, again, it must be viewed at the perfect angle, and very closely, to see. Includes original case with accessories - hang tag, manual, strap, cable, pickguard and bracket. There are no loose braces or other detractors that require maintenance. It's hard to place a value on a guitar like this. If an example with typically "good" flame is worth $X, how much more for perhaps the nicest quilt imaginable. To a collector looking for the finest uncirculated example I've personally seen, I consider this one very reasonably priced at $10,000. This is the most incredible Gibson archtop I've ever held and I'm sure the new owner will feel likewise.
1967 Epiphone Riviera E360TD “Wayne”, (front), (back), (headstock back), (finish checking), (label), (case), (Wayne inlay). Excellent quality Gibson-made Epi from the Kalamazoo MI factory. During the 60’s Epiphones were made by Gibson through 1970, when production shifted to Japan. Most Epi’s have a similar Gibson counterpoint and in the case of the E360TD, it is the Gibson ES-335TD, with the same woods, dimensions, finishes, etc., with the most outward difference being the parallelogram inlays on the Epi, while Gibson used blocks on the late 60’s ES-335. Additionally, the Gibson used PAF size humbuckers, while the Epi used the newer Mini-humbuckers, which in this case have the PAF sticker on the underside. Last owner, who had this guitar for 10 years, never noticed this but it has an old headstock repair (with flash without flash), which we spotted only after viewing a pic with a flash which upon closer inspection was a very clean crack repair. It was a good job both cosmetically and integrally, and does not pose an issue. In addition, looks like a SSN engraved at the base of the neck (pic). This is a lightweight guitar that plays easily and sounds very good, even with some higher amp gain. It is a single-bound, 16” wide, 1 ¾” thick laminated maple body with a maple center block. The one-piece mahogany neck has a nut width of 1 9/16”, with a standard Gibson 24 3/4” scale length and a comfortable medium neck profile. It has the black-faced 'long' headstock with overlay and inlaid pearl "Epiphone" script logo and pearl vertical 'cloud' inlay. Serial number "89516" is stamped in black on the label. Kluson-style no-line tuners with keystone plastic buttons appear to be replacements. Also, I’ve seen a number of these with Bigsby vibrolas but I don’t think any left the factory that way so it’s likely a replacement as well. Originally it probably had the trapeze tailpiece. The cherry finish is very vibrant with minimal fading. Included is a quality Canadian TKL case with arched top. The most unique aspect of this guitar, of course, is the name “Wayne” professionally engraved on the upper treble bout. I don’t have a pickguard for the guitar but an OEM model would cover most of it. Better yet, let the world know you are the owner of Wayne and display it proudly. Clean original examples of this guitar are going $3K-$4K but if you’re a player looking for a solid, nice gigging axe with a cool vibe, I think $1700 is a great price for a ’67 Riviera.
1. 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.
2. 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.
OTHER USA GIBSONS: MELODY MAKERS, NIGHTHAWKS, FIRBIRDS, EXPLORERS, V'S, ETC.:
1. 2010 Gibson Explorer, (headstock), (back), (gigbag). Excellent playing gloss finish Explorer that shows no player's wear but has a finish touch-up on the back of the lower horn and on the end of the long point (both shown here). These in-store dings are the only signs of use on a guitar that is otherwise perfect with no pick or button scratches, frets like new, etc. The Explorer became a true classic from Gibson...eventually. It was one of the failed futuristic guitars that Gibson unveiled in the late 50's, which were discontinued until the timing was right, and they started reissuing them around ca. '67. Like the Flying V, and ill-fated Moderne, the Explorer features set-neck construction, with a mahogany neck set in to a mahogany body, with dual humbuckers (496R and 500T) and unbound body and neck. It has an exaggerated "Z" shaped body, the original "hockey stick" headstock with 6/line Grover mini tuners, vol-vol-tone knobs in line, with a 3-way selector on the upper treble bout. A cool guitar for the Metallica/Skynard/etc. fan, or anybody who wants to delve into one of the original metal axes, designed nearly 20 years before metal was even invented. For players who do a lot of lead work on the low strings in the upper register, no guitar provides easier access. Set up with super low action and a fat, warm tone. If you don't mind 2 touch-ups on a guitar that's barely been played, this one's $550 less than a new one ($1399 new) at $850. Includes quality gigbag.
2. 2003 Gibson Flying V Standard Figured Top, (front), (back), (headstock back), (bound body/neck), (case case2 cert). The guy I got this from called me with a correction – this is a 2003, not a 2013 as originally listed. Pot codes agree, 22nd week of ’03. This is one of 50 of these made by the custom shop creating the unique marriage of a Flying V and ’59 Les Paul Standard. Les Paul features include the flamed maple top/mahogany back body, bound neck/body, trapezoid inlays, control knob layout with dual volume/tone controls and LP selector ring, and bell-shaped truss rod cover. This is about as breathtaking as it gets for a Flying V and to entice you even further, it weighs in at under 6 lbs. 9 oz.! Features include Washed Cherry Sunburst flamed maple top with 2-piece mahogany back, single ply cream binding on body and neck, Nickel hardware with ABR-1 bridge, 1-piece mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard and trapezoid inlays, early 50’s rounded neck, vintage tulip tip tuners, Burst Bucker ½ pickups, dual volume and tone controls with 3-way selector, inlaid Gibson logo with Flying V screened on headstock. This model went into regular custom shop production in 2015, identical except for the “Flying V” name is no longer screened on the headstock. It’s in exceptional condition other than two slightly faded spots on headstock (as shown here) from a guitar hanger. List on the current model is $7449 and you’ll see them at American’s favorite online non-chain store discounted to $5299. That’s expensive, we agree, so how about $2000 cheaper for the first run model, just $3299(HOLD-Wanda 4/27) for this beauty. Nice!
3. 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).
4. 1964 Epiphone Olympic USA, (front), (back), (headstock), (neck), ("inside"), (checking). With it's plain Cherry finish, dot inlays, screened logo, single pickup, and simple wraparound stud tailpiece, the Olympic is a no-frills guitar but for many players, me among them, that makes for the perfect guitar. I had one of these a year or two ago but it had the optional vibrola. For most players, this model has a better feel, stays in tuner better, and is way cooler. These solid mahogany guitars are generally lightweight and, get this, 5.0 lbs. on this one! One of the unique design aspects is the neck joining the body at, literally, the top fret, which allows the easiest possible playing in the upper register. Overall very nice vintage condition, with original finish with consistent finish checking all over - front, back, neck, and headstock. It's 100% original with no cracks, repairs, or overspray. Like Gibsons with this finish, these nitro finishes are prone to losing their color and turning brown but a look under the guard shows how vibrant the cherry finish remains, and it's nearly as vibrant as the color under the pickguard. All electronics are original including solder joints with pots dated '64, original nickel Kluson tuners with plastic buttons, black radio style knobs with metal pointer rings around the pot shaft. Great looking Brazilian fretboard that Martin reconditioned while he had it on his bench (pic here), and he also polished the frets so bends feel smooth as silk. These guitars are real sleepers on the vintage market, as are most USA Epiphone's, and sell at a fraction of a comparable SG Juniors, made by Gibson's "other" company. Tone-wise, it has the clarity of a single coil pickup mixed with the warmth of mahogany, a combination that I enjoy. Although not as hot as a P90, the tone isn't unlike an SG Junior from this era. If you're looking for a guitar that's fun to play, super lightweight and at 50 years old has no where to go but up in value, I highly recommend Olympics. Just a really nice, original Gibson-made Epi for $1499. I got this without a case but I recommend a new aluminum flight case (pic1,pic2) complete with ATA recessed latches, for just $100 more.
5. 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.
6. 2008 Gibson Shred V Flying V, (front/back), (headstock), (Kahler), (Case/Acc.). Gibson's Guitar of the Month (GOTM) for August '08. Never retailed and offered in mint condition. Last year Gibson offered a unique collection of monthly limited editions, with production limited to just 1000/each, an idea that was previously used with their Showcase Editions (link here) in 1988. Clean examples of Showcases go for significantly higher than their regular production counterparts and these guitars should also prove to be good investment pieces. The original Flying V, first released in 1958, wasn't well received by the public and production was discontinued within a year. It was later resurrected in 1967 where it has stayed in production since that time, eventually finding its niche as one of the premier rock/metal axes. With this in mind, Gibson has created the definitive metal V with the Shred V, with features such as a pair of EMG 85 pickups, perfect for aggressive hard rock and metal, and a Kahler 2215K tremolo to withstand aggressive playing and dive bombs tricks. In place of a locking nut, Gibson opted for Grover locking tuners, which keep the guitar in tune nicely, without the hassle of locking the strings down. Other features include all-mahogany construction, black chrome hardware, Ebony finish that enhances the futuristic vibe - and metal look, one-piece mahogany with '50s rounded contour, Ebony fingerboard with black acrylic dot inlays unique only to the Shred-V, wide 1 11/16" nut, flat 12" fretboard radius, master volume and tone, and standard 3-way pickup selector. The Shred V carried a list price of $3499, selling at discount for $2299. This one is better than new, totally untouched except for a killer setup by Martin, inevitably better than factory, and nicely priced at just $1899. For full specs click here for Gibson's site. Trades on Fender Custom Shop and PRS are desired.
1. 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).
2. 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 Â¾" foam padding and headliner lining, accessory pocket and twin shoulder straps.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Epiphone Collegiate Les Paul Juniors, (Sample of Univ of North Carolina), I have these in Kentucky, Texas, North Carolina, Florida State, and Florida. These are nice playing guitars with a cool look and nice tone via an Epiphone high-output humbucker. With a list of $499 you'll see them discounted to $299 but I have a dozen or so at $250 while they last. Includes matching gigbag, strap, cable, etc.
10. 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
Ask about our
"hot rod" job to install new pickups, Sperzel tuners, etc., prior to
shipping For around $200 (INCLUDING labor) you can get a pair of Gibson, or
other similar quality pickups and a set of Sperzel/Grover/Gibson/Hipshot
These upgrades will likely run you over $350 at your local store.
1. 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).
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Epiphone EC-20 Classical, (pic2). ca. mid-70's and a very good quality made in Japan classical. Features Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides, Rosewood fretboard, nickel silver frets, scrolled gold-plated tuners, and Ivoroid tuner buttons. This guitar has a pleasing tone and cosmetically, in stunning condition. Very thin finish is near immaculate and you'll find it hard to believe that it's 30 years old. Good quality for low bucks, just $159(Tentative - Bob A 9/30).
5. Epiphone Bully SG Special, one of the discontinued E-series, it's basically an SG Special with slim taper neck, upgraded E-series open coil humbuckers, and E-Dovewing headstock and logo. Very clean shape and nice setup - for $165(HOLD-Brian D 8/7).
6. 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
7. 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.