Questionable Reverb listing - but what is it?

Duane_the_tub

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This listing is supposedly for a '95 Murphy R8, but if so it's the strangest one I've ever seen.

1995 Gibson Custom Shop '58 Les Paul Sunburst Reissue Tom Murphy Aged / Virgil Arlo Pickups https://reverb.com/item/46988969-19...are&utm_campaign=listing&utm_content=46988969

Obviously, first red flag is the three piece top. Aging doesn't look right. COA looks like it was made on a computer. Most of the parts clearly aren't Gibson, though that doesn't necessarily mean anything. The stickers on the pickups don't match other VAs I've seen, but those can be all over the map it seems.

I messaged the seller and she doesn't really know anything about it. Says she bought it at "a vintage guitar shop in Florida."

So, what is it? My gut says it's a replica, but who would build one with a three piece top? Meant to look like a refinished goldtop or Norlin? Clearly it's not an R8, unless it's a one-off that was intended to look like a refin. Never seen anything like that from Gibson.

Any thoughts, MLP sleuths?
 

burstone

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I don't think it's a 3 piece top. It's the rings/grains on the toggle side lining up that make it look like there's another seam, but I don't see a clear seam there on other pics of the top.

Looks right to me for early - mid '90s Historic, i.e. inlays, fretboard, tenon, plastics, tailpiece location, mahogany, etc. Serial number on the headstock and the COA look little funny and don't think the black Historic cases were available in '95.
 

Duane_the_tub

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It is really hard to tell from the pics. I asked the seller is it's a three piece top and she said "I think so." If it is legit, the seller doesn't know anything about it - which I consider another flag, especially on such a big ticket item.

Weren't COAs stamped back then?
 

burstone

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I don’t think ‘95s came with COAs, I don’t remember seeing COAs until ‘99/‘00. So that COA may be a “new” one done later by CS or someone else.
 

Roxy13

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I looked it over, wondering if it began life as Japanese guitar, but I don't think so unless the neck binding and/or fretboard were replaced. The nibs are wrong for an Aria Pro II or Greco that could have been a 3p top.

I don't know enough about early Gibson Historics to comment otherwise. The first ones, done in Japan as Orville by Gibson don't have 3p tops and again, the nibs are different (made from 93-95 in both the Terada and Fujigen factories). I have an ObG 59 reissue here right now that belongs to a friend.
 

Barber

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inlays are correct for mid 90's reissue,
looks like it could have started life as a goldtop from the back colour and 3pc top?
no coa in 1995
 

ESchmidt

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Looks like the serial number font would be more indicative of a 2005 vs a 1995. But the inlays are dead on 90s style before the pointy ones of the 2000s era. I have a 98 r6 and the inlays are identical to this in size/shape/material. COA looks suspicious. I’ve never seen one with that script. Granted they are handwritten, they do appear to be pretty consistent from the ones I’ve seen—but this one seems off. Quite a confusing guitar, this.
 

Justin_Case

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No COA in 1995.

A 1995 would have shipped in a regular Brown USA case. The case shown is not a regular Gibson AH case - would have the reptile textured tolex, the one show has a crinkle type texture. By 2005 Gibson had gone to the Star logo CS case.

yzefpgu0rqsn2veqcp3o.webp
 

DanD

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No COA in 1995.

A 1995 would have shipped in a regular Brown USA case. The case shown is not a regular Gibson AH case - would have the reptile textured tolex, the one show has a crinkle type texture. By 2005 Gibson had gone to the Star logo CS case.

yzefpgu0rqsn2veqcp3o.webp


The Star logo stood out to me right away. And yeah, no certs except special runs in '95.

My guess is the current owner got burned and may or may not know it.

Or maybe it's a 2005 and the seller got the date wrong?

A quick call to Gibson with the serial number would clear up whether or not it's legit.

Serial number askew looks wonky, tuners look a bit wonky too.

And yeah, the case is correct for a '95 but I've seen more than a few people (me included) ditch the later Star case for an earlier Arts and Custom.

Maybe a third or fourth owner and guessed '95 based on the serial and case?
 
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Justin_Case

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The Star logo stood out to me right away. And yeah, no certs except special runs in '95.

......

ANd yeah, the case is correct for a '95 but I've seen more than a few people (me included) ditch the later Star case for an earlier Arts and Custom.

There were no CS cases in 1995 AFAIK. The Arts and Historic cases were standard in 2000 to 2003. 2004 had the Custom Shop Logo with the Star
 

DanD

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You're right! Just brown USA cases with the pink shroud. Which were actually a very good case.

I forgot when Custom got their own case.

But I'd have still probably upgraded the USA case to the one shown if the opportunity presented itself. :naughty:

But based on the on the info in the ad I'd be leaning more towards the owner has the year wrong and it's an '05.

That doesn't work either as the inlays should be pointy in '05. Run don't walk :facepalm:
 
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GearHo

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That is not a 6000 dollar top, whether its real or not. Also the font on the cert looks like no other, because it probably is not.

We buy with the eyes online, and this looks more like a 2k top, than a 6k. Unless of course its labeled "good wood" then dumbos pay more. ...
 

BigJim

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That is not a 6000 dollar top, whether its real or not. Also the font on the cert looks like no other, because it probably is not.

We buy with the eyes online, and this looks more like a 2k top, than a 6k. Unless of course its labeled "good wood" then dumbos pay more. ...
Cmon, the Arlo pickups are worth $2000!!! Lol...
 

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