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GIBSON GUITARS

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LES PAULS

  1. 2000 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Green & Gold, (front), (back), (headstock), (DiMarzio strap), (case).  Recently traded back in and now listed $200 cheaper than before.  Lightweight, great color combination, solid mahogany body.  I'm getting more and more players looking for older, non-chambered, models.  A solid body like this '00 model has a crisper attack and more punch in the bass, more sparkle in the highs.   Gibson generally saves all of their lighter woods for their expensive Historic series but at 8.6 lbs., this one is lighter than many Historics I've had and around 2 lbs. lighter than the average Studio.  Since the early 80's the Studio has remained the best value in the "real" Les Paul line, i.e. carved maple cap over mahogany body, gloss finish, trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T Alnico humbucker, and Grover tuners.  During this era Gibson offered many more finish combinations and the Emerald Green with gold hardware is one of my favorites, with a two-piece maple top and one-piece mahogany back.  You can see the thin nitro finish on the back, where the grain is raised.  I'm seeing more and more "stars" playing Studio's on TV, and these are guys who can have any Gibson they want, usually for free.  Other than a few cosmetic appointments, this model is identical to the LP Standard but it's stripped down cosmetics (i.e. no binding and headstock inlay) means around a 40% savings compared to the Standard.  The original Studio's, ca. early 80's, were a more distinct model, with an all-mahogany body and dot inlays.  This guitar is in excellent shape, with no major flaws, just some minor player's wear.  Gold plating rubs off on these guitars rather easily but the gold is in great shape on this one, even the tuner buttons, which are the first to show wear.  The neck profile is medium, falling somewhere between the 60's thin taper and chunky 50's - and  well rounded in the back.  With a perfectly straight neck it sets up with beautiful action and has the classic LP tone of the early models.  This '00 model is in a desirable color, light weight for a solid wood Paul, and in a very nice color combination, all for $799.  Includes choice of DiMarzio strap/locks or standard strap pins, plus quality SKB-56 case that supports the neck the entire length.  For additional charge we can substitute everybody's favorite, the 90's Gibson brown case with pink lining (shown here) in beautiful shape.  

  2. 2008 Gibson Robot Les Paul Studio - Wine Red, (front), (back/jack), (headstock), (Tuning Knob), (bound ebony board), (bridge/tailpiece), (case power).  Flawless condition, killer player, works perfectly.  Rather than a long description here, click here for more details on the current model.  These Robots are too cool for words. Unlike the VG Strat or Line 6 Variax, which digitally transposes alternate tunings, the Robot mechanically changes pitch via motorized tuners, and you can select any one of 6 alternative tuners at the touch of a button or, of course, simply tune your guitar to correct pitch.  With the looks of a very traditional Les Paul, classic Wine Red finished in nitrocellulose lacquer, it's "magic" is rather transparent - tuners look normal from the audience perspective, and Gibson opted for a push/pull tone pot to control the guitar's tuning options.  While the four knobs do provide the standard tone and volume controls for each of the two pickups, the Multi-Control Knob (MCK) - the one with the illuminated top - serves as the master control for all aspects of the Robot's self-tuning system. The MCK is a push-pull knob - in the normal position (down), it behaves as a regular tone pot but when pulled out, the Robot's tuning capabilities are activated and ready for use. It immediately places the guitar in standard tuning mode (A440) but a quick turn of the MCK presents six factory presets, all of which can be customized. An LED display on top of the MCK lets you know when a string is out of tune, or when all strings are in tune, and even when the tuners are turning to get them in tune. It even guides the setting of accurate intonation. At the end of the tuning process, the blue lights on top of the MCK flash. Push the MCK back in and it's ready to go. You can go from a standard E to Open Am, Open D, Dm, etc. tunings in around 15 seconds and unlike the VG Strat/Variax, there isn't a hint of artificial sound since there's nothing digital about the tuning.  Other features include: chambered Mahogany body with Maple cap, Mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, Trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T pickups, large control pock with Smoky transparent acrylic cover, 17 headstock pitch, Corian nut that's Pre-radiused, 1.695" nut, 12" fretboard radius, Holly Headstock Overlay, Nickel plated truss rod nut, Chrome hardware, Powertune Stop Bar tailpiece - Powertune bridge, Powerheads tuners with brass sleeves, and a very smart move - a Neutrik output jack which keeps the cable securely in place. Neck is a hand-shaped 50's rounded neck profile.  The installed rechargeable batteries hold their charge for 200 tunings and just plug it into the charger when it runs down.  For YouTube demo's, click here for Gibson, here for Wired, and here for stuffTV.  Recently discontinued, the Robot Les Paul Studio listed for $3999 and originally sold online for around $2399.  This one is offered in mint condition for $1299(HOLD-Jim H 7/22), which is worth the price even without the Robotics.  Includes original case with charger & power plug, battery pack (installed). 

  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. 2001 Gibson Les Paul Studio - Wine & Chrome, (front), (back), (headstock), (case).  These pre-chambered body Studios have recently become desirable models as I have customers specifically seeking out pre-'06 models.  They have a crisper attack and more punch in the bass, more sparkle in the highs.   Gibson generally saves all of their lighter woods for their expensive Historic series so if you buy a Studio from this era you're not going to find a light one but then I don't feel that light weight guitars are necessarily more resonant.  This one is quite lively sounding in fact.   Since the early 80's the Studio has remained the best value in the "real" Les Paul line, i.e. carved maple cap over mahogany body, gloss finish, trapezoid inlays, 490R and 498T Alnico humbucker, and Gibson Deluxe tuners.  I'm seeing more and more "stars" playing Studio's on TV, and these are guys who can have any Gibson they want, usually for free.  Other than a few cosmetic appointments, this model is pretty much identical to the LP Standard but it's stripped down cosmetics (i.e. no binding and headstock inlay) means around a 40% savings compared to the Standard.  The original Studio's, ca. early 80's, were a more distinct model, with an all-mahogany body and dot inlays.  Within a few years Gibson offered a "Studio Standard" with body and neck binding, maple cap, but dot inlays and screened headstock decals - and finally in the late 80's the model we know today.  Cosmetically this guitar is in pretty nice shape with some light scratches and a few minor finish impressions, but nothing nasty and a fantastic low set up.  The neck profile is medium, falling somewhere between the 60's thin taper and chunky 50's - and  well rounded in the back.  Gloss finish Studio's are now running $1319 new.  This '01 model hasn't seen much actual playing time, judging by the frets, and is an inexpensive way to move up to a Gibson Les Paul - just $850 with original gigbag. 

  5. 2004 Gibson Les Paul Studio, (front/back), (headstock), (pickup option), (case).  Traditional Les Paul with no satin, no "worn", no burned maple.  I've seen a recent trend in pro bands on TV shows - more and more players are playing Studios than ever in the past.  Perhaps it's because Gibson isn't as free and easy with free guitars and players are having to actually pay for them now, or some players just want the understated look of a Studio, or perhaps the Alnico II humbuckers fit today's music better.  For whatever reason, the Studio offers the best value in a gloss finished Les Paul and if you don't mind giving up some body and neck binding, prices are around 40% less than a comparable condition Standard.  Features include solid mahogany body with maple cap, medium depth rounded 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 lacquer finish, and chrome hardware.  This guitar is original except for one upgrade, namely the bridge pickup has been changed to a DiMarzio Super Distortion (description), which is a true classic in rock music as it was the first pickup offered by Larry DiMarzio when he started building pickups in the early 70's.  It's a high output pickup and is especially good at overdriving the front end of tube amps.  If you don't want the DiMarzio, an original 498T can be installed at no expense.  A new black Studio with gloss finish is running $1319 but this one's in excellent condition with a killer setup for just $899 PLUS that includes a case that's much better than recent models - the good old Canadian-made brown case with pink lining.  It is a far better case than the current white-lined black cases.

  6. 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-1before-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. 

  7. 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. 

  8. 2007 Gibson Les Paul Studio, (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, but still with 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.  Features include solid mahogany body with maple cap, rounded 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 lacquer finish, and chrome hardware.  Judging by the clean condition of the frets and overall appearance, this guitar hasn't been played very much but at least for one night it had a careless owner with a mean belt buckle (as shown here).  If you're a player who doesn't mind a little bit of character, sort of like pre-washed jeans, this is an excellent playing Les Paul and easy on the wallet at $850.  Note: I also have a few of the vintage mahogany Studio's with Burstbucker Pro's, fresh in the box, for less.  

  9. Gibson Les Paul "Bugs", 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.

  10. 2008 Gibson Les Paul Push Tone #167, (front/back), (headstock), (Detail-back), (Extra pickups), (Case/Acc.).  Gibson's Guitar of the Month (GOTM) for May '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.  Most of the 2008 models featured cool colors and pickup/hardware variations but this one is truly radical.  The Les Paul Push Tone's defining feature are easily switchable pickups (click here for a demo) and each guitar comes with a pair of BurstBucker Pro's and a pair of P-94's that attach wirelessly to the body using strong magnets.  Burstbucker Pro's for the classic fat Paul sound you know and love, while the P94's are actually P90 single coils that are designed to fit in a regular humbucker slot - giving you 4 mix-and-match pickup combinations for loads of tonal flexibility.   The pickups load through the back and each is complete with the pickup already attached to the mounting bracket, and each comes with a quick-connect plug.  In addition to this unique pickup options this is a killer Les Paul with a lacquer finish  in Antique Natural with a beautiful AAA maple top.  The flame on this one is rather unique and is definitely nicer than the average Push Tone, with thin ribbons in a chevron pattern at the bottom, becoming straight across at the middle, transitioning into reverse chevron at the top.  It's a very pleasing look.  Other unique options of this model include: Maple fretboard inlays, Ebony fretboard, 50's rounded neck profile, locking Grover tuners, Neutrik locking output jack, commemorative case with commemorative interior shroud, and a very "clean" look without a pickguard, pickup rings, or selector ring.  Other specs are the same as a regular Les Paul Standard.  This was one of the more expensive GOTM models with a list price of $4399, discounted to $2899.  This one is better than new, totally untouched except for a killer setup by Martin, inevitably better than factory, and priced $400 less than a regular Standard Plus at just $2399.  For full specs click here for Gibson's site.   Trades on Fender Custom Shop and PRS are desired.

        

SG’S

  1. 1982 Gibson SG Standard, (front), (back), (headstock), (pickups), (case).  If you're looking for a museum piece, skip to the next listing.  This is a killer playing SG that has seen plenty of use and has a fresh refret job.  I got this from the same guy who owned the '82 Dot and he had Martin install jumbo frets, his personal preference, on both of the guitars.  Since it has an excellent neck and fresh frets, the setup is fantastic and it's ready to go for a few more decades before it needs any attention.  It also has a newer set of Gibson Deluxe tuners installed and strap pins are more recent Gibson pins.  The single ply pickguard is also a replacement, but I can order a 3-ply upon request.  In my opinion, this was an excellent era for Gibson, in both their Nashville (where this one was built) and Kalamazoo factories.  Their archtops, including the early 335's, solidbody guitars, and even some of their wacky short run models, had a build quality that's generally higher than the 70's, and much better than the 00's.  One of the first things you'll notice on this model is the block inlays, rather than the trapezoids used most years - plus an inlay at the 1st fret.  It also features the small pickguard, as used on the '61 Reissue, rather than the large pickguard that surrounds the pickups found on more recent SG's.  Also, the pickup selector is located above the knobs rather than at the edge of the pickguard, and also it uses a side-mounted barrel jack rather than the top mounted jack.  Original pickups have the epoxy on the underside that Gibson used during this era, but they're not the Lawrence pickups with multiple taps, rather the patent engraved PAF's that are simply covered in epoxy.  I see a source on the web that calls these Shaw pickups by virtue of the ink stamp but I don't have any evidence to support that opinion.  They have a nice, vintage tone with medium output and are dated 3/81 and 6/81.  As I mentioned, this is a player.  You'll frequently find that the better sounding guitars spend little idle time during their life and they tend to get a lot of fret wear, buckle scratches, and plenty of minor cosmetic flaws, the worst of which on this guitar is wear on back of the neck (pic).  It has never had any structural issues such as body cracks or headstock repairs, and the finish is original - it's simply a guitar that's been enjoyed over the decades.  Now at 30 years, it's definitely a vintage guitar and a bargain on the vintage market at just $1199.  Includes original Protector case with a replaced latch.   

  2. 2008 Gibson SG Diablo - Metallic Red, (front) front-2), (side), (back), (headstock), (case).  I had a number of these NOS in silver, but this is the first I've had in Red Metallic with gold hardware, which is a very elegant look to me.  One of 1000 made for Gibson's "Guitar of the Month" series in 2008.  Upon quick inspection looks like a '62 SG in a custom color, but up close you can see the very unique body cut that makes this truly a unique SG.  Both the top and back have a German carve, rather than the slab top of a standard SG.  This technique provides an attractive 3D effect to the guitar, while reducing weight and making it more comfortable to play.  A few other changes you'll notice include a matching headstock, a simple 2-knob layout with the volume knob being closer to allow volume swells with your pinky finger, and most importantly, a 24-fret neck rather than the usual 22 frets.  Features include: Burstbucker Pro 1 (neck) and Pro 2 (bridge) humbuckers, hand-carved mahogany body, mahogany neck with rounded profile, 1.687" fret width, 12" fretboard radius, Nashville bridge, Grover tuners, gold hardware, and Grover tuners. Lastly, this model features a nitrocellulose finish, which is an expensive process due to the hand work required and the very long drying time between coats. Nitro is a very thin finish and one which Gibson has been employing since the 1800's. It allows the guitar to resonate more freely than a thick poly finish, which is one of the reasons that old Gibsons sound so good.  Likewise, the paint on this guitar is very thin, and you can easily see the mahogany grain.  My personal opinion of this model - some of the best sounding SG's that I've played with the fatness you want from a dual humbucker guitar, while retaining excellent not clarity and plenty of top end.  The middle of the body is actually thicker than an SG Standard which gives it a neck that is much more stable than the floppy SG.  Presented in near immaculate condition with no scratches and only a few miniscule impressions, the only noteworthy one being a filled-in ding on the front (shown here).  It's all original except for stock cheap-o Tuneomatic has been swapped out with a German Schaller.  The last time I recall Gibson doing monthly limited editions was the Showcase Editions in 1988 (link here).  These guitars have proven to be very good investment pieces, fetching 50% or more over comparable regular production models from the same year.  Click here for a bizarre demo from GearWire.  The Diablo listed at $3249, selling in stores and online at discount for $2119.  If you missed one of these during their run in '08, here another chance to get one, in beautiful shape with as nice a setup as you'll play in an SG.  Just $1499. 

  3. 1997 Gibson SG Special - Cardinal Red with Ebony Fretboard and EMG's, (front), (headstock), (back), (ebony board), (case).  Bang for the buck winner in the SG line.  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 silhouette and warm SG tone that has helped define the sound of rock, most notably with Angus Young.  This guitar is part of Gibson's "All-American" series, which Gibson promoted in the late 90's and is identifiable by the USA flag on the back of the headstock.  One of the nice features of this guitar is the ebony fretboard, usually reserved for higher end guitars such as the Les Paul Custom.  Ebony was hit or miss on SG's during this timeframe and from my experience, more were made with rosewood.  The lightweight, thin body, and deep cutaways make it one of the most comfortable guitars to play.  Pickups have been upgraded to a new set of EMG81's (link), which is EMG's highest output pickup.  Other features include 22-fret neck, dot inlays, 1-11/16" nut width, 24-3/4" scale, ABR-1 bridge, stop bar tailpiece, 5-ply pickguard, vintage-style Gibson Deluxe tuners.  The neck is well rounded and more chunky than the '60 thin taper, but not as chunky as a 50's style.  There are some cosmetic flaws but nothing horrible and no cracks or repairs.  Overall it's seen very little playing time as it has perfect frets and no wear in the usual areas.  The only other mods are cosmetic, including amber knobs and a cream pickup selector ring.  For more info click here for Gibson's site.  Don't confuse this with the faded series - this gloss finish model lists for $1665, $500 more than the Faded SG, plus neither comes in a gloss red finish, which was discontinued years ago.  If you're looking for a real SG and not worried about a few minor cosmetic flaws, you can save big time on this great playing used one.  $650 includes Roadrunner featherlight case which provides excellent protection, without the weight of a standard hardshell.  (Note: I have another of these in Black, also with EMG's, on my Gibson page).

  4. 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. 

  5. 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.   

  6. 1998 Gibson SG Special - Ferrari Red, (front), (headstock), (back), (gigbag or case).   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 more chunky than the '60 thin taper, but not as chunky as a 50's style.  Cosmetically, the body has some scratches in the clear coat and the top of the headstock has 6-7 small touch ups on some finish chips (shown here) and a few milky spots on the headstock (pic), but no real issues such as cracks, repairs, or fret wear.  For more info click here for Gibson's site.  Don't confuse this with the faded series - this gloss finish model lists for $1665, $500 more than the Faded SG, plus neither comes in Ferrari Red, which was discontinued years ago.  If you're looking for a real SG and not worried about a few minor cosmetic flaws, you can save big time on this great playing used one.  $629 includes Gibson gigbag or, if you prefer, $699 includes a nice 90's Gibson brown case with pink lining shroud.  (Note: I have this model in Black on my Gibson page).

  7. 2003 Gibson SG Standard - Black - EMG 25th Anniv. Pickups, (headstock), (case).  Freshly installed Limited Edition 25th Anniversary Silver EMG81's.  In '08 EMG produced just 2500 sets of this pickups world-wide, at a cost of $350 if you could find them.  Other than the pickups, this is your basic SG Standard, largely unchanged since 1961, when it was released as the "new" Les Paul style.  It has been in production continuously since that year, the longest running solid body model in Gibson history.   Features include all-mahogany construction finished in gloss Heritage Cherry lacquer, solid quarter-sawn mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard with 12" radius, trapezoid inlays, Corian nut, 1 11/16" nut width, bound fretboard, 22 medium jumbo frets, Gibson Deluxe tuners with Keystone buttons, holly headstock overlay with mother-of-pearl inlaid logo and crown inlays, black top hat knobs with silver inserts, Tuneomatic ABR-1 bridge and Gibson's most popular pickups, the 490R/498T Alnico humbuckers.  The SG Standard's remarkable sustain is due largely to two unique features:  the mortis & tenon neck joint which binds the neck to body so that the two pieces form one solid unit, employing the long tenon found on earlier SGs - plus the traditional 17 degree headstock angle, which increases pressure on the strings which maximizes string vibration between the nut and the tuners.  It features the neck profile of the mid-60's, not at all chunky as the 50's style, but nicely rounded.  Famous players of the SG Standard is a who's-who of rock music greats including Clapton during the "Cream" era, Tony Iommi and Angus Young both users for over 30 years, and Derek Trucks, who also uses extensive slide work in his playing.   Even with the EMG's, it still sounds like an SG, only better, with a more balanced tone, that's totally noise free.  This guitar is in excellent condition, with nice, low action, and with these Ltd. Ed. EMG's, a nice buy at $999(HOLD-Adam 1/27/14).  

  8. 1963 Gibson SG Junior (back),  (front1 front2),  (back1 back2), (headstock), (checking), (case).  Ah, the beauty of the Junior.  There's something wonderful about the simplicity of a single P90, with just a volume and tone, and wraparound tailpiece.  You only have one sound, but what a sound it is, and most of us tend to stick with our favorite tone 90% of the time.  I can't remember ever using the neck pickup on a Tele.   Equally simple is the single stud tailpiece, which is compensated for better intonation unlike the 50's studs which were a straight bar.  The wraparound is extremely comfortable and effective for string muting or playing staccato passages.  As they have since the 50's, the Junior (formerly Les Paul Junior with slab body) features all-mahogany construction which is a very warm, full tone that marries perfectly with the single-coil P90, which is a high output single coil, and is essentially the same guitar as the higher end SG Standard, including thickness, beveled edges, etc.  As you can see in the 2nd pic above, the body still has a strong cherry color, with the back of the neck being the only area that's faded to a brownish red.  This baby is 100% original including finish, electronics, and hardware.  There are no cracks or repairs.  Worst flaws are normal finish checking, some light finish rubs such as on the edge of the headstock, and some fine spots on the top which are visible only if viewed from the perfect angle, probably caused by using some spray cleaner and letting it soak in without polishing right away.  The pickguard has typical cracks at the 4 points, with only the treble point missing a small piece of plastic.  There are no stress cracks which are common around the jack and neck joint; electronics are all original with all factory solder.  The neck isn't the extremely chunky one found on some early 60's, nor a thin taper, it' very much a medium neck.  It's 1 11/16" at the nut, which for most players is more comfortable than the narrow 1 5/8".   Some players would make this their main guitar but for those of you who take an arsenal to a gig, this one can do your P90 tone beautifully.  Gbase price on a '63 Junior with no issues would be around $3800-$4500 but get this one that's reality priced.  Just $2700 for this baby.  Includes Gibson brown case that's missing the combo latch. 

  9. 1962 Gibson SG Special, (front), (headstock/neck/frets), (back), (controls), (finish checking), (cosmetic flaws), (headstock repair).  For the player who likes 50+ year-old Specials but doesn't have $6K to spare, the best value is a headstock or heel repair.  If done correctly these are excellent utility guitars whose playability and tone are unaffected.  Many times you'll see repaired Gibsons which have been cannibalized of pickups, pots, bridges, knobs, etc. but this one hasn't been raped and features all original electronics with factory solder joints, original pickups, original nickel compensated bridge, and knobs.  The tuners were changed but that was done as a practical upgrade to a set of Grovers that stay in tune perfectly, rather than ancient Klusons.  This came in with a very solid repair, but the area hadn't been finished cosmetically.  Martin did a superb job of finishing the repair with the proper Gibson stain and multiple coats of nitro lacquer over the repaired area.  The result is a repair that most people would never spot unless they were looking for it.  I'm not real clear on why these were never called a "Les Paul Special", since other same-year models with the SG body shape were called "Les Paul Junior" or "Les Paul Custom" but the fact is these are correctly called SG and not LP/SG.  The Special was more than a 2-pickup Junior and had upscale features such as a bound neck and inlaid mother of pearl logo rather than a decal.  As you can see in the pics, the color is very strong, a very vibrant red rather than the faded cherry or almost walnut look that these guitars frequently develop.  Overall it's in very clean shape, other than some rubs around the edge shown in the pic above.  The body is checked front and back but not excessively.  Original frets are in great shape, fretboard doesn't have any deep gouges, and the action is low and very comfortable.  This guitar has a very thin neck, a tad thinner than, say, a '60 Classic or "thin taper".  Under a blacklight, the guitar has a strong glow other than the repaired area (shown here).  The tone of these P90's, combined with very well aged Mahogany, produces a warm, very fat tone, that's tailor made for rock music - Pete Townsend was one of the famous players of the Special back in the 60s - but anybody who likes the P90 tone will love this guitar.  No wood sounds like old wood.  If you're a working guitarist, or a collector who doesn't ignore value-priced classic guitars, this is one great Special.  At $2250(HOLD-Stefan GE 7/15) it's well under 50% of a comparable condition Special without a headstock fix and it undoubtedly plays and sounds at least as nice.  Included will be your choice of a recent model Gibson brown case or an aftermarket high quality black tolex case  

  10. 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.

  11. 2003 Gibson SG Special Limited Edition, (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.  A new Special in black or cherry is going to set you back $999 but for $200 less you can have this beautiful and rare Ltd Ed Platinum model.  $799(HOLD-Gib RD trade 5/5) includes original gigbag.

  12. 2011 Gibson SG Special '60s Tribute - White - with case, (front), (back), (headstock), (case).  Very affordable version of an all time classic, the 60's SG Special, with it's all-mahogany construction and a pair of searing P90 single coils.  Finished in Worn White, which in the vintage world is referred to as TV White and has always commanded a premium over the usual cherry finish.  This SG's thin solid mahogany body offers a very lightweight package with a tone that's both subtle and aggressive, depending on your playing style.  It has a rich resonance with lots of harmonic depth and sparkle.  The solid mahogany neck is carved to a fast Slim Taper profile similar to SGs from the '60s, with a glued in deep-set, long-tenon neck/body joint and 17-degree back angled headstock, combine for a superior transfer of resonance from the neck to the body.  Two Gibson P-90 single-coil pickups with Alnico V magnets are among the finest reproductions of vintage P-90s currently available producing warm, vocal neck tones to loads of snarl from the bridge position, with rounder, funkier tones in between.  Gibson uses a PLEK-cut Corian nut to ensure maximum resonance and sustain.  This guitar is finished in a thin nitrocellulose satin finish, which protects the wood while contributing to a more lively response.  Please note that this isn't the raw porous finish found on many of the "worn" Gibson finishes but is smooth and non-porous.  It will "age" rather fast and soon, develop the look of a well-played vintage guitar.  It's set up with low action and the ease of play, combined with the light weight, make this a great guitar to play, set after set.  These sell new for $799 with gigbag but this one is in mint condition with optional Gibson case for $685(HOLD-John A 9/16).  (Also in stock is the same model with gigbag for $629, or in a light natural for $639)

 

GIBSON OR USA EPI SEMI-HOLLOW & ARCHTOPS:  

  1. 1982 Gibson ES-335 Dot Reissue, (Shaw PAF's), (front), (headstock), (back), (label), (case).  One of the earliest Dot reissue I've had, from Jun 15, 1982, Nashville Plant.  Although a few Dots were shipped in '81, 1982 was the first full year for the Dot Reissue and they're highly regarded by players.  I recall the '82/'83 models selling for a premium as far back as my first guitar show in '94.  I'm not sure if they're significantly better than the later 80's models, or if it's a case of "older is better".  One thing you can't deny, production numbers were way lower 30 years ago which could indicate overall higher quality control and better selection/seasoning of woods.  It's in nice vintage condition, all original (original bridge in case), with no cracks or other issues, little to no checking, and just light scratches in the clear coat, although it does have a small finish chip on the back (shown here).  One thing is certain, this is a wonderful sounding Dot perhaps due to the age and in part to the quality pickups which are the much-acclaimed Tim Shaw PAF's.  I got this from a player who puts jumbo frets on his guitars so it has been refretted with jumbos (see pic).  Its a top notch, pro job, factory quality and the frets are in great shape.  It has a super nice setup and at 30 years the maple has developed a voice that you won't find in a new one off the rack.  For the player looking for a Dot that's *almost* as good as a '59, especially a player who wants jumbos, you'll save the $200 refret charge and take this one right to a gig.  Own this great Dot for $2450. 

  2. 1997 Gibson Herb Ellis ES-165, (front), (sides), (back), (headstock), (case).  Look at the flame on this one...it doesn't get any better on a ES-165 and this rivals nearly any Gibson top/back/sides, including $5K custom shop archtops.  The ES-165 is based on Herb's '57 ES-175 (single pickup model) and the comparison is obvious (175 on top/165 on bottom).  Other than the figured maple on the 165 and the inlaid logo and flowerpot on the 175, specs are pretty much the same on the two guitars.  The guitar body is fully hollow with two internal lateral braces, measuring 16" across the lower bout and 3½ inches deep at the outer rims.  The top and back are composed of figured maple outer layer, followed by poplar, and another layer of maple.  Other features include Florentine (sharp) cutaway; 24¾" scale neck with 20 frets, joined at the 14th fret; 1 11/16 inch nut; 1-piece mahogany neck with bound rosewood fingerboard with parallelogram markers; bound neck; "rounded Jazz profile" neck that's a bit thicker then the standard neck; zigzag trapeze tailpiece and Tune-O-Matic bridge mounted to a rosewood base; b-w-b-w-b pickguard, headstock overlay features logo and model decal, Grover tuners with tulip buttons; gold hardware; Gibson 490R humbucker; volume and tone controls.  Overall this guitar is in beautiful condition, other than a very shallow hairline crack (shown here), which has been repaired and is 100% solid.  Other than that, it's obviously been played very little evidenced by frets which are barely played and bright, unworn gold hardware.  Body and neck are super clean and the finish shines like new.  If you're looking for a great playing jazzbox, from a very good era for Gibson, this one's just $1250(Tent Hold - Bill, local) and, again, the most visually stunning ES-165 you'll likely ever see.  Includes non-original case; either an Epi or unlabeled one.  Note:  If you're a fan of the early 50's ES-175 tone, we have a new Duncan Phat Cat (pic), which is a P90 that fits in an PAF slot, which we can swap out.  

 GIBSON ACOUSTICS:

  1. 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.  
  2. 1993 Gibson EAS Standard, (front), (back), (headstock), (side), (preamp), (case).  Fairly rare model from Gibson Montana, made only from '92 to '94.  An excellent stage guitar, the EAS has a body that's considerable thinner than a dreadnought.  Features include single Venetian cutaway, solid spruce top, maple back and sides, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard with pearl dot inlays, 2 multi-stripe rings rosette, rosewood reverse bridge, blackfaced headstock with screened logo, 3 per side nickel tuners, tortoise plastic pickguard, 20 frets, Vintage Sunburst finish, double bound 15-7/8" body, Gibson pickup/preamp system,1-11/16" nut, 24-3/4" scale.  While the body is less deep than your average Gibson, the body size is around the same width as a J-45 and it has excellent projection and a nice balanced tone.  The preamp is an effective system, with the semi-parametric mid an improvement over the Fishman Classic 4 which was also used on this model.  There's an easy access battery door should you ever need to change the battery.  Overall very clean shape with the worst flaws being a few slight indentations on the back of the neck from a capo.  This is a very well made acoustic that sounds nice, plays very well, and a good value on a quality Bozeman MT acoustic at $899.  Includes original brown case.  
  3. 1967 Epiphone USA FT-30 Caballero, (front), (back), (headstock), (checked finish  pic2), (label).  Gibson-made Epi from the Kalamazoo MI factory.  During the Kalamazoo era, most Epi's were Gibson models, assigned a different model name.  The FT-30 was the Epi labeled version of the Gibson LG-0.   It features all solid mahogany woods, top, back, sides, and neck; 14-3/4" lower bout, ladder braced top, 14-frets clear neck with 20-fret rosewood fingerboard, dot inlays, 1-19/32" nut width, 24-3/4" scale, tortoise plastic top binding, screwed-down tortoise pickguard, rosewood reverse-belly bridge, and open geared strip tuners.  Overall this one's in typical condition for it's age - a guitar that's been enjoyed regularly for 40+ years - there are minor scratches and the finish is checked all over, but no body cracks, repaired or otherwise.  It does have a very old headstock crack repair, shown here, which is very solid and stable.  It's a good player and especially recommended or players with small hands who will appreciate the thin neck width.  Not a museum piece but a cool guitar you can enjoy without worrying about devaluation.  If you enjoy the warm tone of nicely aged mahogany and the cutting voice of a 00-size, this ones just $399 or we'll do a pro neck reset for less than $200(HOLD-Andrew M CA 4/27), not bad for a well made Gibson flattop.  
  4. 1963 Gibson B25-12,  (front), (back/sides), (headstock), (finish checking).  Made during the early part of the folk boom in the 60's, the B-25-12 is appointed like a budget model with dot inlays and no ornamentation on the headstock, and unbound neck, although it does have a double-bound body.  This is a nice old 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 any 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 50+ 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.  Its 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 accused he 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 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.  This is 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 $2K-$2900.  This one might  be a little more played than the high-priced models, but I think at $1099, it's a steal for an early 60's Gibson acoustic that plays and sounds well.  Includes aftermarket hardshell case.  
  5. 2004 Gibson Hound Dog 60 Square Neck Dobro - with pickup, (front/back), (headstock/serial), (sides), (case).  Don't confuse with the newer import line - this is the real deal USA model made in Nashville, and while it's understandably not as cheap as the import, it's the best bang for the buck to ever come from Gibson or Dobro.  Being a square neck, this guitar is made strictly for slide play, and nothing sounds like a good old spider cone played slide style.  A cousin to Gibson's Model 60 D Classic Dobro, the Hound Dog, aka Model 60 S, features a square neck with 12 frets clear of the body and a high nut for slide-style playing as well as two sound holes to enhance clarity and projection.  The body is made of nicely figured laminated Maple, with the original style spider bridge and 10 1/2 in. resonator.  Other features include hand-rubbed vintage brown finish, black binding on top and back, slotted headstock, fan cover plate, Spider resonator, nickel plated hardware, and Fishman resonator pickup with end-pin output jack.  For specs, pics, and press release, click here for Gibson's site.  This is an very good sounding resonator guitar for the money and is in very near mint 9.8 condition with no player's wear whatsoever.  Recently discontinued but sold originally at Zzounds for $1377 with *gigbag* but this one's $500 less AND includes a quality *Dobro case*.  $877 for this one. 

 

 

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

  1. USA Epiphone Historic Custom Wilshire 1962 Reissue, (front), (headstock), (back), (certificate), (case).  Second in a series of what Epiphone calls its Historic Custom USA collection.  Following a run of 100 Wilshires finished in Cherry, Epi released 100 more, this time in white, both commemorating the solid body guitars the company made in the late-fifties and sixties in Gibson’s Kalamazoo factory.  Features include a 1-piece Peruvian Mahogany body, 1-piece Peruvian Mahogany neck, headstock with 17 degree pitch, set-neck design, Madagascar Rosewood fretboard, 24-3/4"scale, 1-11/16" nut, 12" fretboard radius, 22 medium jumbo frets, original 60's rounded neck profile, pearloid dots inlays, vintage Kluson tuners with plastic oval buttons, two Gibson P-90 pickups with adjustable pole pieces, CTS potentiometers, Switchcraft switch and output jack, ABR-1 bridge, aluminum stopbar tailpiece, black single ply guard with foil "E" logo, made in the Gibson factory in Nashville, USA. This is an excellent sounding guitar that's a lot of fun to play.  Its extremely lightweight with a thin body and designed to provide the easiest access to the top frets.  Offered in unplayed condition, zero hours of use.  Factory provided accessories are missing but it includes the certificate in a nice leatherette binder plus original TKL/Canada case that hugs the body on all sides (pic).  With a list price of $4443, this model sells new for $2499.  If you don't mind missing out on a cable, T-shirt, and strap, save big time on this "as new" example, $900 less than new.  $1599 takes it.  
  2. 1962 Gibson Melody Maker, (front), (headstock  neck), (back), (sides), (pot code), (finish checking), (bridge), (case).  An early Gibson student model, the Melody Maker first appeared in '59 as a single cut, much like a Junior except with a thinner body.  In '61 they changed to this double cutaway style, keeping in line with the Les Paul which also changed to a double cut SG style.  Beautifully simple with a single single-coil bridge pickup, volume and tone, the Melody Maker has a thin slab mahogany body and a one-piece mahogany neck with all electronics assembled on a pickguard and installed in a front-routed body.  The pickup is low to medium output and truly has its own voice.  You can draw little comparison to a Fender single coil, largely due to the all-mahogany construction which yields a warmer, mellower tone than either ash or alder.  Overall in lovely shape, although it appears that it was oversprayed, but not refinished, at some point.  The sunburst finish is original with moderate finish checking on the front but overall it's extremely clean other than some finish dings on the sides shown in side pic above.  Electronics are all original with original solder joints and pots dated 15th week of '62.  The only non-original parts are tuners and a Jason Schroeder stoptail bridge (link), a lightweight aluminum bridge which is will intonate fully and can be adjusted for different fretboard radii.  I have a '65 Gibson compensated wraparound that we can swap out at no cost if desired.  Tuners are OEM style Kluson Deluxe which replaced the original open-back strip tuners, but originals are in the case should you want to put them back on.  The neck is slightly chunky but not a baseball bat like most 50's models.  Neck angle is very good which allows for a comfortable setup.  Super lightweight at just 5.2 lbs. and with the standard Gibson scale of 24 3/4" (Gibson also made a short scale MM for younger players).  Gibson has done several iterations of a reissue in the 80's, 90's, and 00's but none were as accurate as the most recent, made only in '07-'08 (see my Gibson page for two of these with upgraded electronics).  Although a lot of players started out on a Melody Maker, none have earned it the fame as Joan Jett, who played it extensively in "The Blackhearts" and Gibson honored her with a signature model a few years ago.  If you want a guitar that's extremely fun to play, with the tone that only 40-year-old mahogany can produce, this one's in beautiful shape and just $850(HOLD-Mike C 3/4).  Includes non-original hardshell case.  
  3. 2007 Gibson Melody Maker with Duncan JB Jrs., (front), (headstock), (back), (other mods), (case).  Another one!  If P90/Phat Cats aren't your thing (guitar near the bottom of this page), how about some fat, quiet humbuckers?   Originally equipped with stock single coils, this one has been upgraded with a JB Jr. Bridge and JB Jr. Neck.  The JB's are primarily geared toward heavy blues, rock, and metal (specs here).  Stock pickups on this model make it a decent guitar for rhythm or fill, but with these Duncans, it can jump out of the mix and sound absolutely huge, on rhythm or leads.  Another important upgrade:  the stock bridge has been upgraded with a Tonepros, which is fully intonatable so you'll have a guitar that plays in tune.  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, 5.8 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.  With almost $300 in upgrades, including a hardshell case, it's a totally gigworthy workhorse guitar for just $550(HOLD-James A 4/12).  
  4. 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).  
  5. 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.  
  6. 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.  
  7. 1998 Gibson Firebird V with PAF's, (front), (back), (headstock), (pickups), (case).  Classic "reverse" body style with neck-through-body design.  For players who want the vibe of the Firebird, but who want a heavier sound than the stock mini-hums, this one has been routed for PAF's and has a quality set installed:  DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 (link) in the neck and a Duncan Invader (link) in the bridge.  It sounds extremely heavy with this setup.  The Firebird was yet another radical design from Gibson, fearlessly debuting the model in '63, shortly after the demise of the Flying V and Explorer.  The body style wasn't well-received and within 2 years it went the way of the V and Explorer, only to emerge as a non-reverse model in '65 which stayed in their catalog a bit longer.  Features include 9-ply mahogany/walnut body with mahogany wings, thin nitrocellulose finish, "banjo" tuners, bound rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid inlays,  2 volume and 2 tone controls, a 3-way switch, and chrome hardware.  Cosmetically, nice shape for a used guitar with just scratches and impressions in the clear coat; plastic headstock overlay has some surface scratches and slight flaking (as shown here), but headstock itself is unaffected.  Frets are nearly new, no breaks or repairs, and an outstanding setup and a tone that's darker than the average Firebird and should especially appeal to players of harder-edged music.  If you're not a fan of the ceramic mini-humbuckers, here's one that's already been upgraded to PAF's, at a substantial savings.  Just $1099(HOLD-Sean T 1/2) and includes original brown case with original paperwork, and truss rod wrench.   
  8. 1983 Gibson Spirit I,  (front), (back), (headstock), (neck tenon/pickup/color), (finish checking), (case).  Looking for super low action, with the vibe of a Les Paul Junior?  The Spirit I is a very cool model that had a brief run of just a few years, ca. '82-'85.  The Spirit came in a I and II, with the II having dual pickups, plus a Spirit XPL, which was a different animal altogether.  The Spirit I is nearly identical to the '60 Les Paul Junior (comparison pic), except with a humbucker instead of P90, joins the body at the 20th fret instead of 22nd, and an adjustable tailpiece instead of the compensated wraparound tailpiece.  The Schaller 455 tailpiece has six intonatable brass and employ the same large studs without a separate tailpiece, factors which I feel are tone enhancements.  Also, instead of all mahogany, this model uses a poplar body, which is a perfect compromise between warmth and brightness.  Okay, it's not identical to a Junior but it's definitely the same vibe.  As shown in the 4th picture above, this model has a long and thick neck tenon, since it doesn't have to be cut around a neck pickup route, which gives the guitar great stability and transfer of energy.  You can also see in the pic the original silver color under the pickguard area, which was silver, while the rest of the finish has faded to a green.  Also shown in the pic is the original patent-engraved humbucker, which is a medium output, excellent sounding pickup.  Cosmetically, the finish has check lines on the body, neck, and headstock, but definitely no cracks or repairs and the worst flaw being a few finish chips on the top edge of the headstock.  All original except for Schaller strap pins and tuners were replaced with a relic-looking set of Gibson Deluxe with oval buttons, for that Junior appearance.  They have the exact same footprint as the originals, which had keystone plastic buttons.  For fans of low action, it rarely gets better than this.  Frets have had a dressing so they're in great shape and with a perfectly straight neck, this guitar has low action from the nut to the top fret.  The neck profile is very shallow, at least as thin as a 60's thin taper and perhaps even thinner.  If you're looking for a great relic vibe, the cool simplicity of a Junior with the fat tone of a humbucker, this one plays fantastic, sounds great, and is an excellent value in a 50+ year-old Gibson at $850.  Includes hardshell case and matching strap.  
  9. 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.  
  10. 1984 Gibson Designer Series Explorer, (front/back), (headstock), (bridge), (case), (1984 Flyer).   Speaking of rare custom finishes, check out this beauty.  I've had a few of the Designer Series before but this is the first of the black&gold Explorers that I've seen.  The thought that immediately strikes you is, "that's one elegant looking Explorer."  Pics don't do it justice but the overall look is very striking, especially with the gold hardware in such clean shape.  Gibson called this graphic a "Style 20" as shown in the flyer above, offered as were all custom finishes, at an upcharge over standard finishes.  Specs are the same as Gibson's standard Explorer with the exception of the finish - plus this one was built with optional factory locking tremolo system which works very well.  This guitar is extremely clean and appears to lived in the case much of it's 30+ year life, easily a 9+ condition.  Even the gold hardware retains most of it's plating with little to no gold-wear or pitting.  Set-up is spectacular and it has the fat tone you'd expect on a dual humbucker mahogany Gibson.  Custom finishes have always proven to be good investments.  What may have been only 5-10% upcharge at the time of original sale can translate to 200% or more as evidenced by a Fiesta Red Strat vs. a Sunburst - or in the Gibson line, a Golden Mist Poly over a sunburst.  For a guitar in this condition, rarity, and just plain coolness, this is a super buy at $1799.  

 EPIPHONES

  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 Upgrades, (front), (headstock), (front), (EMG SPC), (pickups).  New and unplayed, and upgraded with a pair of Gibson SG Standard pickup as well as an EMG SPC/Mid-Boost active circuit.  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 can fatten up the sound of single coils, or it works equally well with humbuckers, fattening 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 and with these upgrades, a nice deal at $479, flawless and unplayed.  Includes, manual, cable, poster, etc.  (Note:  I also have this model with EMG81/85 on my Gibson page).  
  3. 2006 Epiphone SG Double-Neck - Heritage Cherry Flametop, (front), (back), (headstock), (case.).  Ah, the iconic SG double neck.  Who can't look at one of these without thinking of Jimmy Page in concert or in "The Song Remains the Same" concert documentary.  These aren't the guitars you play all night long but whip it out for a few select songs and the audience inevitably claps louder because you can "play two guitars at once",  and you'll be able to use it like Jimmy, Slash and John McGlaughlin, etc.  This is the bolt-on model which is actually a good thing on these guitars, which are prone to neck angle problems.  On a set neck guitar, if you need to change the neck angle, typically because the action is too high but the bridge is all the way down.  When that happens you'll need to take it to a tech for a $200+ neck reset.  On this model it'll cost you around 10 min. and a neck shim.  Another plus, is Korean manufacture (Unsung factory) which we've found to be markedly superior to Chinese.  Also, I don't think they do the flame top models any longer and it certainly adds some visual appeal.   The set up on this guitar is fantastic, on both necks, with low action and nicely dressed fret ends.   For those who aren't familiar, there is a 3-way selector to choose 6-string, 12-string, or both.  Both is used when you want the un-used neck for it's special "droning" effect, which sounds pretty cool if used properly.  Each guitar also has the standard 3-way pickup selector for neck, bridge, and both pickups.  The pickups are Alnico humbuckers and they sound very good.  Nothing makes the crowd go "wow" more than when you pull out the double neck and you needn't spend thousands of dollars to get a great playing, nice sounding Gibson.  This one will do the job quite nicely...for $750.  Includes Epiphone case and one killer pro set up.  
  4. 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. 
  5. Epiphone AJ-200SR Solid Top Acoustic, (front/back), (headstock), (neck).  NOS, unplayed, and perfect.  Perhaps the best value we've had in a solid spruce top acoustic.  The AJ-200S features Gibson's classic Advance Jumbo body size, more of a dreadnought shape than a standard jumbo like the J-200.  We have several of these and, as is normal, they came with "average' factory setups.  With some detailed nut work, properly adjusted saddle, and truss rod adjustment, they set up much nicer than factory specs, which inherently are set to allow the maximum guitars to pass through final inspection.  As I've said many times, there's no reason an inexpensive guitar has to play badly, it just comes down to some fine tuning by a skilled luthier.  Current specs call for mahogany sides and back but I bought these NOS 2006 models because, in addition to the solid Spruce top, these still had the rosewood sides and back, which provide a much richer tone and is generally a more expensive wood - and gold Grover tuners.  I played one of the '08 models with mahogany body and chrome tuners and it just didn't compare in terms of tone, or looks.  We don't have a super blow-out price on these but at $198 ($332 List) you're getting a guitar that's properly set-up and, I feel, a nicer model than current production.   Includes manual, poster, truss wrench, etc.  (several in stock as of Feb 2010)
  6. 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. 
  7. Epiphone G-400 Gothic Series SG, (front/back), (headstock).  I just got a few more of these in and from the first batch I they have proven to be the best value in a set-neck, all-mahogany SG.  Based upon Gibson's very successful "Gothic" line, the Epiphone Goth Collection features the same Satin-Black finish and Black hardware for a look that's obviously aimed at the rock/metal player.  Features include Grover tuners, Ebony fretboard with side markers, black chrome hardware, Roman numeral "XII" inlay on the 12th fret, a Celtic Cross on the headstock, and Epi ''57 Classic Alnico-V exposed-coil humbuckers.  These guitars are stamped to indicate cosmetic 2nd (pic) for reasons we cannot discern - they're totally flawless.  With a new list of $499, these are excellent value at $249, especially considering a pro-setup that makes them play better than anything you'll find from the super stores.   If you want the pro upgrade, we can install a clean set of Gibson pickups such as a 496R/500T, which sell new for $160/pair, for just $140 more, including parts and labor, and the original pickups included in the box.   
  8. 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.  
  9. 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.   
  10. 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.  
  11. 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.
  12. Epiphone Goth G-400 SG, new-old-stock and perfect.  All the features you love in an SG - in an all-black look.  Set-neck construction of all mahogany, a pair of quality Alnico V humbuckers, EBONY Fretboard, gothic cross headstock inlay, and special XII inlay at the 12th fret (XII is Roman for 12...get it).  New and unplayed and an excellent value in a set-neck Epi.  With a list of $599, these sell online for $429-$449 at your favorite online store. This one is first quality stock, setup better than factory, and a sweet deal at $399.
  13. 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.  
  14. 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.  
  15. 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

USED EPIPHONES

 (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 tuners. These upgrades will likely run you over $350 at your local store.

  1. 1999 Epiphone ES-295, (close-up), (headstock), (side/back), (case).  Fairly rare model that's been discontinued...beautiful condition...excellent archtop in all regards.  The original ES-295 ('52-'58) had a short but distinguished history.  First released by Gibson in '52 with the "matching" Les Paul Model, which was also gold with cream parts, although it was originally an "all-gold" model, fitted with gold hardware.  Once considered the ultimate rockabilly guitar, thanks to the 295 being the guitar of choice by the great Scotty Moore (Elvis' guitarist) and because of him the model received a lot of high profile visibility on TV shows and concerts.  In '57 it received the "new" humbucking pickups but was discontinued a year later.  The Gibson model was resurrected in 1990 as part of the "Reissue" series, later called "historic".  Likewise, the Epiphone version was extremely short-lived, running from 1998 to 2000.  Features include Metallic Gold finish, laminated maple body with Florentine cutaway,  mahogany neck (set neck), Alnico V P90 pickups, Tuneomatic bridge with rosewood base, rosewood fretboard with split-parallelogram inlays, nickel-plated Epiphone/Bigsby tremolo, dual f-hole, bound body and neck, gloss black headstock with logo and crown inlays, Kluson-style vintage tuners, cream plastic parts, screened floral pattern on pickguard, 1 11/16" nut, 24 3/4" scale.  This guitar receives great reviews on Harmony-Central (link), with a 9.6 overall rating.  A few H-C reviewers claim that it was a Japan-made model but I can't find anything to substantiate that, other than the serial number which lists the specific factory, followed by the serial number.  In this case it is an "R", which indicates the Peerless plant in Korea, followed by the year "99", followed by an "F", which in normal nomenclature indicates the FujiGen factory in Japan.  Perhaps this was a joint venture, such as Fender's California Series (Mexico/USA), or perhaps the "F" has nothing to do with the factory and is just a serial system I'm not familiar with.  Regardless of its origin, it's a quality instrument with a fantastic setup, quality tone, and beautiful condition no flaws to speak of, 9.9 condition.  The last retail price when discontinued in 2000 was $1499, and Epi's are generally priced without case.  With an original Epiphone case, this is a smoking deal on a fantastic and rare Epi, just $739.  
  2. 2006 Epiphone 1965 Elitist Casino, (front), (headstock), (back), (Beatles), (case), (specs).  Simply as fine as it gets for a current Gibson/Epi hollowbody, and if you're a Bigsby fan (as shown by John, Paul, and George above), this one has had a genuine Bigsby added (original tailpiece included).  I've had 5 of the USA Lennon signature Casino's and, quite honestly, this Japan models a better guitar.  Of the 4 different Elitist models I've had, each one was a superb guitar and their quality control for the Elitist series seems to be above the Gibson plants.  They are advertised as "instruments that approach custom shop perfection" but in my opinion, they *are* custom shop quality.  As you may know, Epi's archtops paralleled Gibsons during the 60's and the Casino was Epi's version of the Gibson ES-330.  Features include an all-maple laminated body, fully hollowbody (no center block) thinline, which give it improved acoustic properties compared to an ES-335 Dot which has a center block in the body, although the Casino is may feedback more in excessively high gain situations.  Crafted with premium woods, fitted with American pickups and circuitry - even USA toggle switches and Grover tuners - they're made at a special factory devoted specifically to their manufacture where they are much more "hand built" than most of the Gibson counterparts.  The Elite 1965 Casino is true to the original made famous by The Beatles, mostly closely associated with John's, which started out sunburst and ended up Natural, after he stripped it.  Specs include a great sounding pair of USA P90's with chrome covers, nickel hardware, 5-ply maple top/back/sides, neck set at 16th fret, Bone nut, trapeze tailpiece with tuneomatic bridge, pearloid parallelogram inlays, and multi-ply pickguard.  This one is in truly immaculate condition, other than a small lacquer crack behind the nut (shown here), which is 100% guaranteed to be lacquer only and not in the wood.  It has seen very little living room use only, and has zero signs of actual play.  With a list of $2498, these sell new for $1799, and if you want a Bigsby added, you're looking closer to $2K.  Save a short lacquer check, this one is flawless, and a great guitar for the fan of collector, at just $1299(HOLD-Mark P 3/30).   Includes Elitist case, warranty, manual, tools, and original trapeze tailpiece.  
  3. 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. 
  4. 1999 Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus, (front/back), (headstock), (fretboard).   Killer player; desirable crafted in Korea model.  If you're looking for low action, the kind of guitar that almost plays itself, you don't have to pay $700 or more, all you need is a straight neck with the nut cut properly and a pro setup.  This came in as a mediocre player, the kind you'll find among a "full wall" at your super store.  Martin did some of his magic and, boy, what a difference.  It now plays as nice as good as a Gibson LP Standard and even stock Alnico humbuckers sound good.  Also features vintage Kluson style tuners, inlaid logo, trapezoid inlays, bound body and neck, and chrome hardware.  Although this guitar presents very well from the front, there are some touch-ups with a Gibson touch-up pen around the edges (as shown here), but the frets are perfect and overall it's in nice shape for a used guitar.  As a plus model this has a nicely flamed top and, quite by accident, one of the best looking fretboards I've seen on an Epi - looks like the fretboard wood they use on Gibson's Historic series.  The new Epi LP's are made in China and they dropped the list around $100 from the Korean Standard Plus.  If you're a player who is looking for the best playing Paul for your money and don't mind a few minor flaws, you can get this great MIK model for $200 less than a new Chinese Plus.  Just $349 for this one.  New deluxe gigbags available for $25.
  5. 1997 Epiphone Les Paul LP300 with upgrades and case, (front/back), (headstock), (Duncans), (Detail), (case).  Upscale bolt-on and a very well crafted Korean Les Paul.  Has all the usual Les Paul features including bound body, bound neck, carved top, and trapezoid fretboard inlays.  Pickguard was removed to show off the top and did not come with the guitar.  Sporting a nice flamed maple top, these were slightly cheaper than a Standard Plus, but not by much, selling for around $500.  This one has a pro upgrade with a pair of Seymour Duncan pickups installed and the tone will blow away just about anything else in this price range.  Not mint but cleaner than the average used guitar and with an Epiphone case, a good value with the Duncans at $429.  
  6. 2004 Epiphone Zakk Wylde Les Paul Custom with EMG-81/85, (pic2).  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. 
  7. 2004 Epiphone Les Paul Classic Birdseye, (pic2), (pic3).  Extremely cool looks with an amber maple top, loaded with birdseye.  Mahogany body is chambered to keep the weight at a very nice 7.8 lbs., around a pound or two less than the non-chambered models.  Has all the normal LP Classic features including dual humbuckers without covers, bound body and neck, Mahogany body with a maple top, Mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard and trapezoid inlays, black headstock veneer with inlaid Epiphone logo, tuneomatic bridge with stop bar tailpiece, and 3-way selector with dual volume and tone controls.  This one has had the pickguard removed to better show off the top.  I think it looks better this way but if desired we can order a pickguard for it.  Overall a few cosmetic flaws but very nice overall.   Martin did his magic on this guitar.  When it came in it was far from fun to play but 90 minutes on the bench and it now plays as good as any Gibson you'll pick up; really nice.  Good deal on a great playing Les Paul at $375.    Note:  We can install pickups from a Gibson LP Classic for $125 parts and labor.  
  8. 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). 
  9. 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.  
  10. Epiphone AJ-200, Advance Jumbo model is a throwback to the 50’s 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 it’s in essence new and with a list of $299, better than new as it’s set-up to optimum playability for just $165
  11. 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.