In need of serious advice for purchase

Discussion in 'Vintage SG' started by tonewheelz, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. tonewheelz

    tonewheelz Junior Member

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    So, in my continuing search for a late 60's Gibson SG standard, I've come across a 1967 Gibson SG, of all places, at Guitar Center in Towson, MD.

    This is the guitar:

    Vintage Gibson 1967 SG Standard Solid Body Electric Guitar | Guitar Center

    It's being sold for $2999, and I've gone ahead and put a deposit on it, while I try to do some more research. Lo and behold, I find the exact same guitar here from Woodlands, TX (and it is the exact same guitar down to the serial #):

    https://reverb.com/item/1749609-gibson-sg-standard-1967-cherry


    So, this $5,000 guitar on Reverb Guitar is now a $2999 guitar at Guitar Center. Needless, to say there are a lot of red flags. The tuners are not original (that's okay, I can buy some). The rep at Guitar Center says his repair guy confirms the pickups are original, pots are original, no repairs or breaks that he can see, nor any refrets and he says it plays perfectly.

    So, I'd be ever so grateful for some advice from you all. If I complete the purchase of this guitar from Guitar Center, I can have it shipped to the store in San Francisco, and then take it directly from the store to Real Guitars and have it appraised. I can then take it home and play it, and have the option to return it within 3 days to Guitar Center for a full refund. Of course, I'll be out for shipping & the cost of the appraisal.

    What would you do in this situation? Does the reward of scoring a 1967 Gibson SG Standard at $2999 outweigh the risk of losing what I end up paying for the cost of shipping & appraisal? Any theories on how this guitar being sold for $5,000 from Texas, ended up at $2,999 in Maryland?

    If I do go through with this plan, considering the information I've provided, any suggestions on specifically what I might want to look for, that even the appraiser might miss?
     
  2. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    Looks like the Reverb listing "Ended," which means that it didn't sell (at least not through Reverb). It might have sold for less privately.

    Looks like the GC link says it's no longer available either.
     
  3. michaelinokc

    michaelinokc Senior Member

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    Probably because he put a deposit on it.
     
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  4. tonewheelz

    tonewheelz Junior Member

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    That's right, it was posted as no longer available after I put a deposit on it.

    In the pictures, everything looks accordingly. Not sure if I should be so apprehensive about it bouncing from Reverb in Texas to Guitar Center in Maryland for $2,000 less.

    I've been trying to work out in my head how this could have happened. The only explanation I come up with is someone bought it on reverb and realized something wasn't right, and then sold it to Guitar Center and cut their losses. Even then, however, what could possibly lower the value of the guitar this much? Any ideas on what to look for if I go through with this?
     
  5. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    My guess is that the person who got it from the Texas owner didn't pay anywhere near $5K.

    If GC can confirm the Pat sticker pickups (sounds like they have) and maybe black light it to look for repairs, I don't see too much to worry about that you haven't mentioned.
     
  6. tonewheelz

    tonewheelz Junior Member

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    Thanks guys! Does anyone have any recommendation for a top notch appraisal or luthier in San Francisco that will be able to spot the smallest detail that's out of place?
     
  7. LPSGME

    LPSGME Senior Member

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    The knobs should be top hats not reflectors, and that pickguard doesn't look original to me - shouldn't it have more layers? If the tuners aren't stock then it looks to me like someone may have taken some of the parts off to sell as vintage. So I would wonder if the T-tops are still in there and check before buying. Otherwise a '67 SG is a sweet guitar.I have 50's PAF in my '68 and it sings.
     
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  8. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    A '67 should have either reflectors (earlier) or witch hats (later) - definitely not top hats.

    EDIT: maybe you meant witch hats when you said top hats?
     
  9. LPSGME

    LPSGME Senior Member

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    Doh! witch. At least I got the 'hat' part right. :D
     
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  10. Greg's Guitars

    Greg's Guitars Senior Member

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    You should check the pot codes and pull the pickups for inspection yourself,order the nifty handheld LED blacklight flashlight from amazon to further your inspection,then your not "relying" on someone else's "word"....
     
  11. tonewheelz

    tonewheelz Junior Member

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    I thought I'd give you guys an update. The rep finally got back to me with some close-up photos of the frets, and the back of the pickups and the pots. Do the frets look original? Either some of the nibs broke off, or whoever refretted it went to town and didn't care lol

    I can't really read part of the pot code numbers that I'd be familiar with. Are the pots original? The parts that read 137XXXX are covered. It looks like the other part of the pots read CBA 811 1053. Is that a period correct part number?

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bpm37zpcm9zuk48/AADB0OJL4ddriDCPq4kT0H5Pa?dl=0
     
  12. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    I think I see 1376XXX on the neck volume pot and I could be convinced that the first X is a 7. The frets look OK to me in terms of nibs/originality.
     
  13. reedy

    reedy Senior Member

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    Doesn't Guitar Center have a pretty decent return policy? If so, when you go to pick it up and check it out, if you think there are issues you don't have to take it. Right?
     
  14. tonewheelz

    tonewheelz Junior Member

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    You're correct! As in the original post, the quandary was this: Does the reward of scoring a 1967 Gibson SG Standard at $2999 outweigh the risk of losing what I end up paying for the cost of shipping & appraisal?

    It looks like, despite the questionable circumstances, and barring any type of cracks or repair jobs, I've minimized the risk enough where it actually might be worth it.

    I think I'm gonna pull the trigger purchase it to have it sent here and get it appraised.
     
  15. tonewheelz

    tonewheelz Junior Member

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    So, the guitar arrived this evening.

    Good news is there doesn't appear to be any repairs, breaks, or cracks in the body, neck, or headstock. I went over it with a black light, and the whole thing lit up, including the knobs. So, either the guitar was refinished/repaired a long time ago, or it's simply never been repaired/broken. I also took a closer look at the pots, and although most of the date codes are covered by sodder, I did manage to see the year on at least 2 pots. One reads 13766XX, and the other reads 137664X. So the pots were definitely 1966. This guitar is most likely a very early 1967, or an extremely late 1966. Accoring to the Gibson serial # article the 005300 dates it to 1967, though.

    Now the bad. Some moron before me used an unoriginal bolt/screw that was too long to affix the vibrola arm to the maestro vibrola. The result is it bored a small shallow hole into the finish of the guitar. Deep enough to reveal some wood. Not a deal breaker for me.

    Other than that, the frets are speed bumps. I can't tell if they're worn down, or if it's just vintage fretwire like on my Custom Shop 68 Strat. The bridge was adjusted perfectly, but I had a hell of a time bending in the middle frets. So I adjusted the truss rod relief to add a slight underbow. Now I can dig in under the strings in all parts of the fretboard.

    I've attached some pics of the things I mentioned. Overall, I honestly love it. The nut width, neck profile, the sound of the pickups, are all exactly what I wanted. Unless the people at Gryphon strings find something glaring...I'm keeping this baby.

    Also, here is an original song I recorded tonight with the SG, Highway 1 Fender P-Bass, and EZ Drummer. It's the SG > Dirty Little Secret MK II > OCD v4 > MXR 108 Fuzz > MXR M169 Carbon Copy > 1967 original stock Super Reverb

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtJbvhir1zI



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  16. ThinLizzy

    ThinLizzy Senior Member

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    The guitar is sweet but that song is freakin' awesome! You need to put an album together.
     
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  17. tonewheelz

    tonewheelz Junior Member

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    ThinLizzy, you're far too kind lol. If you listen to any of the other songs on my YouTube account, you'll see that most of my music is all over the place. Not sure it's focused enough for any album.

    So I suppose it's safe to say that the book is closed on the deal. I had the guitar appraised at Gryphon Strings, and they confirmed that the nuts, frets, pickups, pots, etc are original. No breaks or cracks, and estimated its value at about $4500. They did say the fret were pretty worn, but didn't suggest refretting it if I don't have a problem with it. Thus far, it's not a problem for me. I've been putting it through the paces with long bends and haven't had any issues so far.

    I also visited a local ebay seller of vintage guitar parts and got old kluson tuners installed. Once I got the correct vibrola screw, she'll pretty much be period correct parts on all fronts.

    Here's a clip I made trying some big bends. I tried keeping a long one at about 44 seconds.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/czgplwmv5x7gtyy/sg.mp3?dl=0

    Thanks to everyone for your advice with this purchase. I've been dreaming about this guitar for a long time now. So glad the search is over.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    Congrats on a great score!

    Nice track as well. Thanks for sharing. Sounds great!
     
  19. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    Looks great. Nice score. Put up some full body shots of that beast!

    Pretty sure I had a full blown flashback while listening to your song. Very cool.
     
  20. tonewheelz

    tonewheelz Junior Member

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    That's hilarious, Crotch.

    I don't think I could have taken any better pictures than one of the previous owners, so I'll post those here lol. (these aren't my records...I wish!)

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