#1
So basically i'm in the market for a gibson from the 70s/80s as an investment, seeing as they will only go up in value. I'm after an LP Custom in particular, and i've managed to find a 77' LP Custom in Natural Finish for under 3 grand. I'm also interested into what years had the best build quality etc.

Does anyone have any advice on things to look out for when buying vintage guitars, and ways to tell if they are fake/ all original etc?

Much appreciated.
Quote by Mad Marius
DBZ guitars, love'em. Especially their Les Piccolo model.
Last edited by SOADriff at Dec 5, 2011,
#2
there are probably hundreds of places one the net that show differences in fake gibsons, search around, get a good idea of how they look. they aren't the best investment IMO. look at the pot date codes, i know at some point Gibson's serial numbers were a little askew, but don't remember what years. be thorough. if the guy will not allow you to take a good look, don't get it. check the underside of the pickups to make sure they are genuine, take back cover off and as mentioned pot codes, you will most likely see some finish checking, that is not a terrible thing as it is pretty common, but it may be devaluing. just go with your gut. look up the serial call gibson, only go to a reputable dealer, do not buy online. don't be in a rush. i played a vintage LP custom that my neighbor has, amazing guitar.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#3
Well the years of best quality and most value was anything that WASN'T made in the 70s and 80s.

Be aware that any Gibson from the mids 70s onwards and especially the 80s is never going to be worth the sort of money the 50s ones sell for. As investment pieces they're not worthwhile. The fact that you've found one that costs less than a new VOS Gibson does should tell you something about the status of 70s and 80s Gibsons. I mean there's an '82 Gibson Standard in a shop here that's priced £200 less than the 2010 Standard is from the basic Gibson production line.

Also if you're looking to invest then whether something is a Custom or not shouldn't matter to you. You're looking for the least cost to buy now which will sell for the most later on. In this sense, Fender are a much better option. Early 70s Fenders cost a less than a 70s Gibson does but their prices have gone up and up more steadily. 70s Fender Telecasters are already starting to fetch a lot more than Gibsons of the same era.
#4
Buying locally isn't really ideal for me. The Australian market is completely F!@ked compared to the american market and i would be losing money upon reselling.

I haven't looked into fenders yet, but i am open for consideration of them.
Quote by Mad Marius
DBZ guitars, love'em. Especially their Les Piccolo model.
#5
Quote by SOADriff
Buying locally isn't really ideal for me. The Australian market is completely F!@ked compared to the american market and i would be losing money upon reselling.

I haven't looked into fenders yet, but i am open for consideration of them.


dont buy a guitar for an investment if you have the ability to look at it. and as pointed out, its going to cost you more than $3k to get something that is really going to appreciate. i dont really see guitars appreciating like we did a few years ago, when quite a few guitars were selling over $50,000 and way more.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#6
Quote by trashedlostfdup
dont buy a guitar for an investment if you have the ability to look at it. and as pointed out, its going to cost you more than $3k to get something that is really going to appreciate. i dont really see guitars appreciating like we did a few years ago, when quite a few guitars were selling over $50,000 and way more.

I was thinking the silverburst LP Custom over others, as they seem to be in high demand and the ones in the 70s are very rare and seem to appreciate well. The chances of me finding one locally are next to nothing, however :\

Thanks alot for your input you seem to know your stuff
Quote by Mad Marius
DBZ guitars, love'em. Especially their Les Piccolo model.
#7
A silverburst Custom from the 70s wouldn't actually be worth all that much. Silverburst is a finished much loved by teenagers and not favoured by rich collectors, i.e. the people you actually want to impress because they're the ones with all the money to spend on your investment. Who knows if maybe in fifty years silverburst suddenly becomes a much sought-after finish, but at the moment and for the forseeable future it's not worth much. A basic cherry burst is worth more if the maple's nicely figured. A plain black or white Custom is worth a lot more so long as the finish has been kept clean.

I'm not a collector (yet!) but like you I've been looking into what to invest in. I've been looking for a couple of years now. I can't claim to be an expert but if there's one thing I know for sure it's that the only things guaranteed to make the big bucks are the classics. A Goldtop with soapbar pickups, a white Custom, a sunburst with a really highly figured flame top, perhaps wine red to a lesser extent. And people are more picky about old Gibsons than any other brand. An old Fender can have its pots changed or a tuner broken and replaced and only drop a hundred or so in value. Do the same to a Gibson and you've lost six or seven hundred, minimum. Gibson are probably the worst company to invest in. Whenever I've talked to proper collectors and classic guitar dealers they've always told me to forget about Gibson. The ones that are ever going to be worth anything have already gone into six-figure prices and the ones still with four-figure price tags probably aren't ever going to advance in to five-figures, let alone six. But you can pick up a Fender Deluxe Telecaster for a couple of grand and they're growing in popularity steadily and rapidly. Unless there's suddenly a massive backlash against them most Fenders worth four-figures now will be into five-figures within ten years. That's a much better prospect.

The important things are:
Classic model. The guitars that have grown in value the most are cherry burst LP Standards and classic black V-neck Strats. Blues, classic rock and country guitars are always going to be worth far, far more than any hard rock or metal guitar. Most collectors come from a blues or country background.
All original. No modification adds value. Any modification or repair lowers the value. It's better to leave a chip in the finish alone than to have it repaired or refinished.
Having the original case too ups the value a lot.
#8
Agreed with the above, and just want to add:

Don't buy a guitar as an investment. That's a sucker bet for sure. Guitars are terrible investments. If you want a nice old guitar to play, and one that will probably hold its value, sure. It's just very foolish to buy a guitar thinking you're going to flip it for a big profit in 10-20 years.
#9
Norlin's have more or less peaked. If you got an original 68/69 Custom or Gold Top they may increase or some specialty Norlins like Norms Rare Guitar models, Jimmy Wallaces RIs etc these would be more rare and desireable.
Moving on.....
#10
Quote by Roc8995
Agreed with the above, and just want to add:

Don't buy a guitar as an investment. That's a sucker bet for sure. Guitars are terrible investments. If you want a nice old guitar to play, and one that will probably hold its value, sure. It's just very foolish to buy a guitar thinking you're going to flip it for a big profit in 10-20 years.

This. Especially with the direction music is currently going. If there were more big guitar bands around and they all started using a certain or similar guitar to each other, it might be worth picking one up.
#11
if you want to invest, buy gold.

i used to advise buying land as well, not anymore though.

guitars are horrible investments.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#12
Quote by SOADriff
I was thinking the silverburst LP Custom over others, as they seem to be in high demand and the ones in the 70s are very rare and seem to appreciate well. The chances of me finding one locally are next to nothing, however :\

Thanks alot for your input you seem to know your stuff


An all stock mint condition '79 lpc silverburst with minimal nitro aging will probably be worth a pretty penny in the future
#13
Quote by gregs1020
if you want to invest, buy gold.

i used to advise buying land as well, not anymore though.

guitars are horrible investments.


Dont buy gold. You've missed that boat. Buy guns, lots of guns.
#15
Quote by SOADriff
So basically i'm in the market for a gibson from the 70s/80s as an investment, seeing as they will only go up in value. I'm after an LP Custom in particular, and i've managed to find a 77' LP Custom in Natural Finish for under 3 grand. I'm also interested into what years had the best build quality etc.

Does anyone have any advice on things to look out for when buying vintage guitars, and ways to tell if they are fake/ all original etc?

Much appreciated.


Assuming you can't afford anything from the 50's Les Paul Custom-wise as they're pretty expensive, the best Customs after that generally fall between 68-73 so that's the best for build quality and sound. Anything post-69 isn't vintage for a Les Paul BTW, it's just a Norlin-era Gibson.

I'd check for a headstock repair, generally you can get a lot knocked off the price and tbh the headstock is often stronger after being broken and repaired than before it was broekn.

Make sure the guitar has an original finish, that can have the biggest effect on price and is very undesirable really.

Pickups should be Pat code pickups or T-Tops between 69-73.

Tbh, just post a picture on here or go to www.mylespaul.com/forums and you'll be given help and info about the guitar.

77 really isn't vintage btw and it's unlikely to rise very much in price at all, don't have dreams of more than $5k in the next 10 years really. Prices are falling, it's a buyers market and a 50's LPC can sometimes be had for $30k so if you're thinking big numbers then it's unlikely to happen. A 68 LPC can go for quite a lot mint though as can a 69.


If I was buying a LPC from that era I'd go for a white LPC from 74 with a mahogany neck or a 73 in black. They range between $3k and $4k, best you'll get for the money really.

If you're going from later 70's go for a 79 Silverburst that hasn't greened too much, might be worth something in the future if you're lucky.

I went for a re-issue because it was miles cheaper, it's a new instrument that I can age and nothing I could afford would actually increase in value. I ended up getting a CS Gibson that plays and sounds great so I'm happy with that.

ie, the 74 on the right (pic from mylespaul.com)


or this 74 (again this pic is from mylespaul.com)
'And after a while, you can work on points for style.
Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.'

'You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
So that when they turn their backs on you,
You'll get the chance to put the knife in.'
Last edited by digman50 at Dec 5, 2011,
#16
there are 70s les paul customs for under $3k all the time on mylespaul in the classifieds.

and there probably always will be.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#17
Unless you've got Coin of the Realm to plunk down on a 1950's Gibson Les Paul Standard or Custom, "investing" in a Les Paul is a waste of money. Buy it because it is a fine guitar and you want it to play music. There are far better ways to invest your money. And vintage guitar dealer will tell you the same thing.

That having been said, the 1970s Gibsons were considered poor specimens. Oh, they made some fine ones, but they made far more lemons. Gibson was sold a couple of times during that period, and the owners were not primarily (or at all) guitar experts. They cut corners to make the instruments cheaper and the lack of QC showed vividly. The Gibsons built during the late 1990s to date are, on the whole, much better instruments. They will make for terrible investments because Gibson makes so many of the desirable models these days. Twenty years from now, a beautiful Les Paul Standard or Custom from the first decade of the millennium won't be worth much more than you paid for it new because there will be so many around for sale.

If you can afford a 50's Les Paul, ES-335, Strat or Telecaster, then by all means invest. Hang onto it for twenty years and you'll probably be able to fund your retirement with it. But on the whole, musical instruments - particularly electric guitars - are not good investments. Get the best Les Paul you can afford and let "vintage" be damned. Play the hell out of it and enjoy it.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#18
Just don't go into Jackson's Rare Guitars, they rip you off.
Quote by SimplyBen
That's the advantage of being such a distance from Yianni. I can continue to live my life without fear of stumbling upon his dark terror.


Quote by Toppscore
NakedInTheRain aka "Naked with shriveled pencil sized bacon In The Rain"
#19
total waste of money for investment purposes. that ship has sailed and the market is loaded with "vintage" guitars. there are far to many 70s and certainly 80s LP's around for them to ever be a solid investment. the other thing to consider is that the generation that wants "vintage " guitars is getting older and in a few more years all the 50s-60s guitars that were bought for investments will be on the market depressing the demand for the newer ones. you can buy a gibson custom shop model for the same money as many of the older guitars that is a far better instrument which kinda deflates the idea that they don't make em like they used to. they're better.