Opinions on 1946 L7

Discussion in 'Other Gibsons' started by Artisan, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Artisan

    Artisan Senior Member

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    Jan 17, 2011
    Hi all,

    I have an opportunity to buy a 1946 Gibson L7 from a local musician. It is in pretty good shape. But what bugs me is that the fretboard has been replaced or redone. The original split parrallelograms have been replaced with single inlays.
    I have a luthier friend that can make me a new fretboard and put in the proper inlays but in either case the issue is what is the value of this guitar as it stands?

    I've seen some nice ones go on eBay between $2500 and $3000. Really nice ones are a bit more. I don't know what to offer the guy. Is this thing a collectable without the original fretboard?

    Should I just stay out of it or should I offer him something?

  2. TinyBabyBrandon

    TinyBabyBrandon Member

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    May 11, 2012
    Hmmm. Interesting. That's a bummer on the fretboard for sure. It seems like that should make a huge amount of difference on it's value. Anything non original hurts a vintage Gibson's value, and with a fretboard, that's a pretty big aspect of the guitar to have replaced. On a vintage 335 if you add a bigsby it's like 30% of the guitars value goes, same with a non original stoptail (if it was a trapeze), and for a headstock repair take half off. So I would put it somewhere between the 2, it's not structurally impeding the guitar like a headstock repair, but it's more extensive than a Bigsby or a stoptail. I would offer the guy 40% off of what the guitar would normally get in the market for it's condition. You might get one hell of a deal on an otherwise great player's guitar. For me, I don't collect, I just play, so those are the kind of deals I would gravitate towards, as long the work on it is sound and aesthetically good, but if you're looking to ever resell this or as an investment, run for the hills, sir!
  3. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Nov 28, 2010
    I doubt it's very collectible without the original fretboard, but I bet it would be a cool axe to have. So long as it's legit otherwise, who knows? Give it a shot.


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    Feb 24, 2011
    I've been playing this roadworn '47 L7 that my brother in law got from MLP member XPUN.
    Sweet guits, man.........but this one is REALLY touchy and shows it's age.

    1 person likes this.
  5. old mark

    old mark Senior Member

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    Aug 21, 2009
    Someone replaced that fretboard because of wear...They are beautiful guitars, but they are a whole different thing from modern guitars-they feel a lot different to play. BUT they are really classic GIbsons...It would be a good player if you can get it cheap enough because of the incorrect board...I doubt it would be collectable at all, but it still has value as a classic old Gibson.
    FWIW, I have a round hole archtop L 3 from 1924 that needs fret board work...It happens pretty often.


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