Vintage or Makeover?

Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by LesPast, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. LesPast

    LesPast Junior Member

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    Hello everybody.

    First, I would like to thank you all guys. This is my first post, but I have been a reader and a member of the forum for a long time, enjoying all the knowledge and the passion (and sometimes the passionate arguments as well!) shared. Grazie.

    I know this kind of dilemma has already been discussed in the forum, probably. But nevertheless I would really like to hear your opinions and suggestions.

    I currently own a 2009 R7. My number one. It sounds great, it's in my possession since 2009 and it stayed, while for example two Collector's Choice (#8 The Beast and #7 Shanks) came and are now gone.

    Now I am in the position to spend some money and I am pondering these two options:

    1 - send the R7 to Florian Jaeger in order to improve the guitar in all those aspects I still don't like (mainly the feel and the aesthetics, primarily the finish etc.). Think of it as an act of love towards my number 1.

    2 - try to find a vintage, player's grade, 1969 standard, routed for humbuckers, maybe with a stable headstock repair, at an affordable (for me) price. I have always been fascinated by the idea of owning and playing a vintage Les Paul, and I think I could find one at more or less the same amount of money necessary for the makeover.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Andy
     
  2. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    what about 3. find a 50s Junior
     
  3. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

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    Maybe begin searching the market to see what's out there first, but finding the right vintage guitar takes time - sometimes a long time. At least with the makeover, it's a finite thing as far as money and time. Also consider that the guitar you love now may feel and play markedly different after the makeover (that was the case with mine).
     
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  4. LesPast

    LesPast Junior Member

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    @dwagar , thanks, it is indeed an option I had previously considered. Then I tried a 1960 DC junior, and was a bit underwhelmed. I am also afraid a jr. could be not as versatile as a standard (or a special).

    @Duane_the_tub I have been keeping an eye on the market lately. It is not easy to find the perfect one, and it's even more difficult if you live in Italy. I necessarily have to look to the US. The primary reason for the makeover would be to improve the feel and look of the guitar, and I would be curious to see if also the tone would be further improved. Was this the case for yours?

    Thank you,

    A.
     
  5. Crotch

    Crotch Members Only Premium Member

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    If it makes any difference to you, from a financial standpoint, you'll more than likely lose on a makeover in comparison to a vintage guitar. There is a 69 goldtop on our forum for sale right now that is awesome.
     
  6. LesPast

    LesPast Junior Member

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    @Crotch I completely agree with you, and it's something to be considered. I saw the goldtop you mentioned. Very clean guitar. I was thinking of something less expensive (even if it means more issues), as I have to take into account also import duties in my country.

    Thank you,

    A.
     
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  7. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    I don't know what price range you are looking at, have you considered a 50s Special?
     
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  8. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

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    It can feel like a totally different instrument. It was from Historic Makeovers, so they recarved the top and reshaped the neck in addition to just refinishing it. I only ask because it seems as though you really like the guitar now, so you may want to be careful about too dramatic of a makeover that could change the way it feels and plays. It's a shame if you spend that kind of money and end up disappointed, wishing you could get your "old" guitar back.
     
  9. Wailing

    Wailing Senior Member

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    +1 on the Junior
     
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  10. Joe A

    Joe A Senior Member

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    I'd sayf your R7 has been with you that long keep it & add something else to the collection
     
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  11. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Recovering Oxblood Addict V.I.P. Member

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    Vintage if you can.
     
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  12. jamman

    jamman Premium Member

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    Vintage ,,, Keep the value in your pocket , MO ..Bye Bye $$$$ if you ever want ,need to sell .
    If a guitar that's big $$$ is the point , make sure it's a good 1 for you . If you can't play it first .. MO . Better chance it'll still be the #1 you sent in before the MO ...
    DOGS are still floating around . Don't pay to find out if that's 1 of them .... sure bets are ,imo a good thing ...
     
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  13. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    I tend to agree with others here: keep the R7 as it is and begin the search for a vintage that you can afford. Since this may take a while, you may be able to continue to increase your budget as you search. HM-ing a guitar you like and have played for a while might not give you what you want and the vintage will be an investment (or at least hold its value over time). Sorry to repeat what others have said.
     
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  14. LesPast

    LesPast Junior Member

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    Well, thank you guys, lots of precious advice and new perspective.

    @dwagar a 50’s special might be an alternative to the 69 standard. I might as well start looking for that.

    @Wailing thanks, I don’t know, why would you prefer a 50s Jr. to a special or a 60s standard?

    @Joe A , @rockinlespaul , @BBD , so more or less you all agree: keep the R7 as it is, look for a vintage guitar, the right one hopefully. In a worst case scenario, re-sell without losing too much of the initial investment. Seems very reasonable. Keep in mind it could be difficult for me to play the guitar before buying it. These seem to be hard to find in Europe.

    @jamman, thank you, as you say a makover could be a safer bet, if I have no chance to try a guitar before buying it.
     
  15. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Recovering Oxblood Addict V.I.P. Member

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    Definitely. Nothing beats a good R7 so you have that to play while your looking and you can always do the Florian thing down the road still if you want.

    I would shoot for a nice Junior with a killer sounding original P90. Those can growl like a humbucker guitar, believe me. I had a '55 that I regret letting go to this day. If you do go the slab body route, get a single cut. A late 60s goldtop would be great too. Good luck!
     
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  16. Wailing

    Wailing Senior Member

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    Hi lesPast

    I am lucky enough to own a Les Paul ‘standard’ (signature T), a DC Special and two Juniors... There is something about the dog ear P90 on the solid slab of maple that ‘sings’.. very subjective...however once you’ve played one, I think you ‘get it’ ... Just my view.. whatever you get.. have fun
     
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  17. BBD

    BBD Senior Member

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    If you buy a player-grade vintage at a reasonable price, you will be able to sell it on without much / any loss if you don't bond with it. And as you are in the EU, there's a big market out there with no import duties. Patience and it will happen seems to be the rule with these things.
     
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  18. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    My thoughts are...........not every Vintage Guitar is worth owning. A lot of members here think Vintage is always best, that is certainly not always the case. Most Vintage Guitars I have played are nothing special, compared to what is being built today.

    As far as retained value is concerned, I distinctly remember prices on Les Paul Juniors & Specials being way higher a few years ago than they are right now. So much for holding value but as BBD said you have to buy right.

    As far as a Makeovers are concerned, most people always seem to take a haircut at resale time.

    A friend of mine had a Makeover done by Florian & he didn't like it............sold it within 3 months or so but he also changed from Replicas to Vintage & then sold them all. The last Makeover I saw on this Forum that he did, didn't float my boat........it looked all wrong IMHO.

    I don't think there is any right answer, just have to do what works best for you, regardless of resale or not. As far a prospective keepers are concerned I don't think of resale if it is a great Guitar I know I am going to keep. However, since many buy & sell like they are changing their underwear I can understand why resale is an important consideration.

    Good luck & welcome too MLPF.

    :cheers2:
     
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  19. GT40

    GT40 Senior Member

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    Neither. If you like what you've already got, play it and don't worry about it.
     
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  20. Sct13

    Sct13 Gold Supporter Premium Member

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    Experienced with the makeover .....while I loved the process and really enjoy my creations....the end result is.......

    You will have no idea what to expect when you get it back..., it WILL be a different guitar. Same pieces of wood that are reworked to your (or someone else's spec) ask yourself if your ready to just give up your #1

    I sent my first one and years later in retrospect ....would I do this again? ...yes I would....So I did, but this time it was a guitar that had a few problems. (I'm playing it tonight) Loved the result.

    However, I would NEVER redo a guitar that I enjoy as it came from Gibson. So give this some thought....

    If your really itching for that experience, then find yourself a cheap R8 or R7 you haven't bonded with, then send it....Had I known this, I probably would not have sent my first R8, but something else instead.

    Think about something PRE 2013 (which yours is) or even pre 2009, I think there were some things that needed correction before then (for historical accuracy) if your interested in that.

    Forget about resale....unless you find a buyer specifically looking for what you have \, its going to be yours for sometime.

    I have see Florian's work and he is a master!

    I agree with Rudi.....I haven't seen a vintage guitar, that I have been willing to throw the same dollar amount at. I just can't see paying for something I could have bought as a used guitar 20 years ago for $300.

    I saw an epiphone Coronet (that I would have bought) but the guy thought it was worth WAY too much, That was a $400 guitar .... not $2400...
     

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