The Sexy Hexy Burst: 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar owned by Alex Conti of Lake, Atlantis +

yeti

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Ok to the first point. I thought it confusing when I read it.
I get that a lot.


To the second, I think the problem with the previous sale was that there was no explanation provided to the buyer concerning the issues raised in the thread and no explanation provided as to why it was most likely an original burst. In fact, it may be that everyone had taken it on faith considering it was a guitar with know history but the absence of a picture of it’s original finish, I think a more thorough investigation should and now has been done.
I think the problem with the sale was that ...(according to RazzleDazzle's firsthand..., ah....second hand ???? ,getting confused here, ......account)

...Detlef sold him...

"a refinished '58 burst (that later on turns out to be a refinished '58 Goldtop within 1 minute of Eric Ernest looking at it)"

,that's how we learned about this transaction and to me it seemed perfectly believable. I believe explanations (albeit faulty) were given, such as that the serial number on the replaced neck was fake (Eric instead it was legit and outside the Burst-range) and according to Eric the guitar was sold at or close to a refin Goldtop price (I shudder thinking about what that means at Guitarpoint) , hence Eric's pointing out that RD didn't take a bath on the guitar.
One interpretation would be that it didn't really matter that much to the seller, not enough to pursue ironclad evidence even if he could have. Karl Allaut and Alex Conti are just one phonecall away, both those guys could have pictures predating anything shown here and IMHO also would have known whether the Burst was refinished when they got it because they weren't as ignorant about this stuff back then as some want us to believe.

Plus evidence constantly gets reinterpreted, just think of Eric's current interpretation that the DW/ Zebra PAFs point towards it being a '59 since they weren't swapped. Well, earlier Eric said this:

Proof????

Here is the Alex Conti Burst in question. Does this look like brown pore filler under red pore filler? ............ But the fact that it WAS refinished prior to 1975, had a removed Bigsby, Grovers, and pickups swapped with a reverse ('59?) Zebra....Hum....smoking gun?
I could of course be misunderstanding this quote but it sounds to me that Eric barely stopped short of using the "swapped" Zebra PU as circumstantial evidence that the guitar was doctored to appear a '59 (and therefore a Burst ) via the Pus.

I don't think you always get prime documentation on expensive refinished guitars as they are usually considered "player grade", I know that sounds asinine at 6 figures (or close to) and what you get isn't always as thorough as it should be. I criticized Norm's recently in a thread for selling a conversion as something he couldn't prove it was. It still happens even though it shouldn't
 

Jimmi

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I get that a lot.




I think the problem with the sale was that ...(according to RazzleDazzle's firsthand..., ah....second hand ???? ,getting confused here, ......account)

...Detlef sold him...

"a refinished '58 burst (that later on turns out to be a refinished '58 Goldtop within 1 minute of Eric Ernest looking at it)"

,that's how we learned about this transaction and to me it seemed perfectly believable. I believe explanations (albeit faulty) were given, such as that the serial number on the replaced neck was fake (Eric instead it was legit and outside the Burst-range) and according to Eric the guitar was sold at or close to a refin Goldtop price (I shudder thinking about what that means at Guitarpoint) , hence Eric's pointing out that RD didn't take a bath on the guitar.
One interpretation would be that it didn't really matter that much to the seller, not enough to pursue ironclad evidence even if he could have. Karl Allaut and Alex Conti are just one phonecall away, both those guys could have pictures predating anything shown here and IMHO also would have known whether the Burst was refinished when they got it because they weren't as ignorant about this stuff back then as some want us to believe.

Plus evidence constantly gets reinterpreted, just think of Eric's current interpretation that the DW/ Zebra PAFs point towards it being a '59 since they weren't swapped. Well, earlier Eric said this:



I could of course be misunderstanding this quote but it sounds to me that Eric barely stopped short of using the "swapped" Zebra PU as circumstantial evidence that the guitar was doctored to appear a '59 (and therefore a Burst ) via the Pus.

I don't think you always get prime documentation on expensive refinished guitars as they are usually considered "player grade", I know that sounds asinine at 6 figures (or close to) and what you get isn't always as thorough as it should be. I criticized Norm's recently in a thread for selling a conversion as something he couldn't prove it was. It still happens even though it shouldn't

To me, honestly, this is the primary issue for me connected to the original thread.

The low standards of professionalism in this business is both astounding and embarrassing especially considering the amount of money involved. In my perhaps naive opinion, a novice buyer should be able to walk into a vintage guitar store, be charged an appropriate price for an instrument and leave with both the price and the knowledge of what he actually bought.

We aren’t talking about a guy selling guitars out of their basement. These are businesses that claim to be experienced experts. In this case, the guitar wasn’t fully vetted. The replaces plastics were not noted and brought to the attention of the buyer. Do they change the way the guitar played and sounded ? No, but there is substantial cost differences. Serial number and other issues we have already discussed were also ignored. While you say GP could have called up Conti and asked for earlier photos, they didn’t did they? They didn’t note to the buyer what they could actually say it was and why.

There are other dealers who do a much better job of this. When I have bought from Uncle Lou or Gruhn for example, I get a very thorough letter that describes what the part/instrument is and it’s supporting evidence including a detailed list of what has been replaced or altered that is clearly interpretable.

It is shocking to me that everyone around this industry is ok with the buyer baring the sole responsibility of vetting their purchase while the seller, even those who claim to be experts, are held blameless. Caveat imptor right? Ridiculous when buying from “experts” especially at this price point.

While you may disagree with Eric’s conclusions, he at least paid attention and brought the issues to the fore, did the extra work of looking through the ledgers (they exist through the serial number that was on the guitar) etc. GP could have contacted the former owners for pictures (Eric found a bunch to document the history of the guitar) but why didn’t they? Eric at least documented the issues and had even made them easily discoverable by posting them here. The next buyer if made aware can more easily seek a second opinion or decide to seek out a different purchase. Razzle was upset because the issues were not clearly identified making it impossible for him to investigate further or rethink the purchase based on the findings.
 
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eric ernest

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What I care about is that your initial assessment of the guitar being a Goldtop fueled a shitstorm across two forums and now that the story changed you talk about Detlef's "sins of omission" and stuff.

.

Wrong, again.

I suggested that might be the case six months ago, in February....not, "now." (That was just a few weeks after the story broke.)

yeti.jpg




Karl Allaut and Alex Conti are just one phone call away, both those guys could have pictures predating anything shown here and IMHO also would have known whether the Burst was refinished when they got it because they weren't as ignorant about this stuff back then as some want us to believe.

.

What makes you think that hasn't already been attempted? Again, you seem to think you know more about this entire deal.

One of the reasons I posted this instrument was to try and get additional photographic provenance from any European forum members. My second sentence in the original post.....go read it. What have you contributed? How have you helped out? :hmm:



I could of course be misunderstanding this quote but it sounds to me that Eric barely stopped short of using the "swapped" Zebra PU as circumstantial evidence that the guitar was doctored to appear a '59 (and therefore a Burst ) via the Pus.

.

I stated this because Alex DID do that with the Burst he bought around a decade later to replace the "Sexy Hexy" Burst. Unfortunately I conflated the two (as others here have) so I updated the original comments in the other thread.

1958_gibson_les_paul_standard_guitar_8_5384.jpg

(The other Alex Conti Burst with ES-345 pickups.)

In an attempt to recreate what the Sexy Hexy Burst originally was before it was damaged, Alex pulled the pickups from an ES-345 and installed them into another Burst. Because Alex DID do that much later, I went to great lengths to explain him doing that a decade earlier in 1974/75 it would have been out-of-the-ordinary. It's why I spent a great deal of time recreating the provenance timeline. It's why I mention that they could not be DiMarzios.

But again, you think you are extremely intimate with everything concerning this deal.



according to Eric the guitar was sold at or close to a refin Goldtop price.

.

Wrong again. I did not say that.

It sold for refinished Burst money.



I believe explanations (albeit faulty) were given, such as that the serial number on the replaced neck was fake.

.

Guitar Point did not tell Gregory the serial number was too low to be in the Burst range. No paperwork stating that. Embarrassing for them...



I don't think you always get prime documentation on expensive refinished guitars as they are usually considered "player grade",

.

You don't at Guitar Point.

In fact, in this case, Guitar Point didn't supply the numerous high quality photos they claim to provide all buyers. Why? It appears they provide them on even generic instruments of no merit. Why not this one?

Detlef did not even furnish high quality photos of this Burst with the 70's Gibson paint job on it...the one he had stripped off.

So Detlef disrupted the continuity of provenance....why?

Detlef told me he had photos of the guitar with the original finish, but he was not at liberty to give them to me. Why?

Werner, you seem to know everything about this deal. Care to elaborate?

Since you are so enthralled with this guitar, why didn't you just email me instead of posting a bunch of uninformed and hyperbolic nonsense?

In closing, I would like to again point out that we also have the issue of the fake Burst pickguard from Guitar Point. I'm the one that took the hit on that, not Gregory. He didn't know it was a fake until I looked at it....and that's a $5,000 hit...minimum.

Then there's that fake Marshall Gregory got burned on....

If anyone owes an apology, Werner, it's you....for random and or selective moral outrage.

But please, continue the shitstorm...until you feel completely relieved.
 
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yeti

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To me, honestly, this is the primary issue for me connected to the original thread.

The low standards of professionalism in this business is both astounding and embarrassing especially considering the amount of money involved. In my perhaps naive opinion, a novice buyer should be able to walk into a vintage guitar store, be charged an appropriate price for an instrument and leave with both the price and the knowledge of what he actually bought.

We aren’t talking about a guy selling guitars out of their basement. These are businesses that claim to be experienced experts. In this case, the guitar wasn’t fully vetted. The replaces plastics were not noted and brought to the attention of the buyer. Do they change the way the guitar played and sounded ? No, but there is substantial cost differences. Serial number and other issues we have already discussed were also ignored. While you say GP could have called up Conti and asked for earlier photos, they didn’t did they? They didn’t note to the buyer what they could actually say it was and why.

There are other dealers who do a much better job of this. When I have bought from Uncle Lou or Gruhn for example, I get a very thorough letter that describes what the part/instrument is and it’s supporting evidence including a detailed list of what has been replaced or altered that is clearly interpretable.

It is shocking to me that everyone around this industry is ok with the buyer baring the sole responsibility of vetting their purchase while the seller, even those who claim to be experts, are held blameless. Caveat imptor right? Ridiculous when buying from “experts” especially at this price point.

While you may disagree with Eric’s conclusions, he at least paid attention and brought the issues to the fore, did the extra work of looking through the ledgers (they exist through the serial number that was on the guitar) etc. GP could have contacted the former owners for pictures (Eric found a bunch to document the history of the guitar) but why didn’t they? Eric at least documented the issues and had even made them easily discoverable by posting them here. The next buyer if made aware can more easily seek a second opinion or decide to seek out a different purchase. Razzle was upset because the issues were not clearly identified making it impossible for him to investigate further or rethink the purchase based on the findings.
While I agree with much of what you say I have to clarify a few things. My view is that GP might not have done all they could have because the guitar was priced accordingly.
I have never felt that GP is in the same league of dealers you mention, I think I made my feelings about them clear a few times in this and other threads. Regarding what was and wasn't disclosed my view above is informed by Eric's assertion that RD didn't pay refin-Burst money for a refin-Goldtop (post #74, contradicting my recollection that RD did pay refin-Burst money for refin-GT, even though now in post #83, he says RD did pay refin-Burst money). I honestly don't know anymore whether RD was overcharged or not.
Maybe Eric does deserve kudos for thoroughly investigating the guitar after all and I'm an idiot but I fail to see what evidence he has since unearthed, lack of which prevented him from coming to the same conclusion right away. The old pictures of Alex Conti and the ledgers showing the already pronounced fake serial number belonging to a lap steel?
Just riddle me this?
First the serial # is legit and out of Burst range, despite GP stating it's fake, then the now fake number is somehow important in clueing us towards the guitar being a Burst, why?
First the guitar is a Goldtop, despite the toggle route, then it's a Burst because of it, why?
First the Zebras are swapped and a "smoking gun", then they are original to the guitar ( since nobody swapped PAFs in mid 70's Germany) and point to it being a '59 Burst, why?
First it's a '58 which could have been a Goldtop, then it's a '59 which could have only ever been a Burst, why?

I feel I haven't gotten anything remotely convincing in return when alluding to these questions, only conjecture and arrogant replies ignoring my questions. It's hard to read posts for significant content when they drip with condescension, maybe you can point it out for me in case I missed it. Until then I'm tired of trying to nail jello to a wall.
 

eric ernest

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Werner, I never said Gregory paid Goldtop money for it in post #74.

you continue to misquote me (and others), mischaracterize prior posts, ignore my questions, and have the facts so wrong that I am no longer going to address any of this with you.

You are asking questions that have been previously answered. Explaining it for a third or fourth time is not going to help.

You have taken an already complicated issue and multiplied it several fold with your endless posting of nonsense.

Again, the shitstorm is on you...
 
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Jimmi

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I came into this thread late so admit I don’t know the details of each post at this point. I will also refer to the original thread on the other site and this one for the price but I think that was less of the issue than what was disclosed at the time of sale. The documentation provided at that point (a digital copy was provided either here or on the other site) was not detailed or very clear as to what remained original or what had been replaced and of that what was vintage vs later/reproduction. Even if the ”price is right”, the buyer still should be able to know what they are purchasing and that wasn’t done here.

The serial number from my recollection ended up being assigned to a lap steel on the ledgers and so the original was either lost or misread/misapplied when the neck repair was done. Eric deserves the kudos because no one else bothered to check.

The toggle route seems to be a fairly robust feature as after RevWille’s thread, I went through the entire burst log and at every guitar show or shop I have been to that had a 57-60 single cut LP std, I have been unable to find an example of an original PAF GT without the step. There are a handful of early 58 bursts with them near the transition from GT production to Burst but none the other way (again, excluding the one 59 GT which I assume doesn’t have it). The GTs prior to that have the smaller route or the step and came with P90s. None I have seen so far have the larger bore route without the step. Even if they did, the altered P90 route is an easy tell. So kudos to Bill because while I was aware the feature existed, I was unaware of how helpful it was.

In all, I think the guitar, though known to most, had not been thouroghly vetted and now it has been in a public forum. One thing I thought was dumb was the resistance that many of regulars of the other forum dismissed the idea it might not have been an original burst when there was a lot of evidence it might not have been. Thier refusal to do so and closed minded reception to the evidence seemed more rooted in the fact their buddies had already blessed the guitar. That kind of reaction makes me nervous and the result is what we had with the Ganzler situation a few years back where no one is willing to say the emperor is naked. You or others may consider Eric a contrarian (some think the same of you BTW ...not trying to offend but true) but I think we need those in this business (and other walks of life for that matter) as a check against the old buddy network and established popular cannons of thought to some degree. In this instance there is much more known about a somewhat famous guitar. Buyers in the future will be able to know most of what they need to when considering a purchase.

As to the rest of the comments concerning Eric, I think I have to leave that between you two.


While I agree with much of what you say I have to clarify a few things. My view is that GP might not have done all they could have because the guitar was priced accordingly.
I have never felt that GP is in the same league of dealers you mention, I think I made my feelings about them clear a few times in this and other threads. Regarding what was and wasn't disclosed my view above is informed by Eric's assertion that RD didn't pay refin-Burst money for a refin-Goldtop (post #74, contradicting my recollection that RD did pay refin-Burst money for refin-GT, even though now in post #83, he says RD did pay refin-Burst money). I honestly don't know anymore whether RD was overcharged or not.
Maybe Eric does deserve kudos for thoroughly investigating the guitar after all and I'm an idiot but I fail to see what evidence he has since unearthed, lack of which prevented him from coming to the same conclusion right away. The old pictures of Alex Conti and the ledgers showing the already pronounced fake serial number belonging to a lap steel?
Just riddle me this?
First the serial # is legit and out of Burst range, despite GP stating it's fake, then the now fake number is somehow important in clueing us towards the guitar being a Burst, why?
First the guitar is a Goldtop, despite the toggle route, then it's a Burst because of it, why?
First the Zebras are swapped and a "smoking gun", then they are original to the guitar ( since nobody swapped PAFs in mid 70's Germany) and point to it being a '59 Burst, why?
First it's a '58 which could have been a Goldtop, then it's a '59 which could have only ever been a Burst, why?

I feel I haven't gotten anything remotely convincing in return when alluding to these questions, only conjecture and arrogant replies ignoring my questions. It's hard to read posts for significant content when they drip with condescension, maybe you can point it out for me in case I missed it. Until then I'm tired of trying to nail jello to a wall.
 
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eric ernest

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The toggle route seems to be a fairly robust feature as after RevWille’s thread, I went through the entire burst log and at every guitar show or shop I have been to that had a 57-60 single cut LP std have been unable to find an example of an original PAF GT without the step.

Jimmi,

Here's an early 50's Goldtop with the large switch rout. All it takes is one....and I never used the large or stepped rout as a proof of anything...contrary to Werner's suggestion.

Gibson large toggle switch rout.jpg
 

Jimmi

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I think Gibson must have been experimenting at some point. From the ones I have seen so far, I have not uncovered one that with the combination of PAFs, GT and large bore non-stepped route. Could there be one? Sure but seems fairly rare and in the absence of convincing evidence to the contrary, I would come down on the side of step route should be expected in an original 50s LP std GT with original PAFs.
 

yeti

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Werner, I never said Gregory paid Goldtop money for it in post #74.
This is the relevant part of post #74

IIRC RD suffered a loss in the transaction paying refin-Burst money for a refin-Goldtop.
He did not.
I won't speak for what Gregory paid, that's HIS business.
This is how the entire thread has been going, the facts become less obvious by the post and I don't feel like there's any point other than gamesmanship left to this exchange so I'm respectfully bowing out of this thread.
 

eric ernest

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Gregory "did not" suffer a loss on the Les Paul.

Thanks for bowing out.
 

58 special

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Until an object is bought and sold no profit or loss occurs. Until EE sells the guitar all he has is an expenditure. No profit or loss.
 

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Until an object is bought and sold no profit or loss occurs. Until EE sells the guitar all he has is an expenditure. No profit or loss.
You’re right on this, but you’ll probably agree with me that this is just a transitional situation.
 

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I don’t know the details of the GP transaction, but I can guess the profit of buying a refin goldtop and trying sell a refin 59 burst. :thumb:
 

eric ernest

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Guitar Point couldn't do that. It was a "Burst" when they bought it.

Whether they knew the real history of the guitar or could even figure it out...that is open for debate.
 
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DDF

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In this case it would be more appropriate “if you got it it’s a goldtop, if I’ve got it’s a burst...” :rofl:
 

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Damn, my post was funnier before you edited yours...
 




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