Why pay such outrageous prices for beat up replicas of 58-60 Les Pauls?

EasyAce

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Stars and pro players buy artificially aged guitars from various companies which offer such service. The question is why? When people see them play such guitars, I would say that some assume that all wear and tear and aging on the guitar was from playing, would you agree?
Unless the player in question blurts out that yeah, he bought this fake-aged guitar, nobody in the ctowd would really know for dead last certain. But then musicians, rock musicians especially, for the sake of the Almighty Show, have been deceiving audiences for eons, now, as witness those faked hollowed-out ginormous walls of amplifiers.

(Before anyone hollers "Neil Young!!" he or she should bear in mind that those stage-prop apartment-building-size amp boxes he used on the Rust Never Sleeps tour were obvious props.)
 

mudface

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Unless the player in question blurts out that yeah, he bought this fake-aged guitar, nobody in the ctowd would really know for dead last certain. But then musicians, rock musicians especially, for the sake of the Almighty Show, have been deceiving audiences for eons, now, as witness those faked hollowed-out ginormous walls of amplifiers.

(Before anyone hollers "Neil Young!!" he or she should bear in mind that those stage-prop apartment-building-size amp boxes he used on the Rust Never Sleeps tour were obvious props.)
Geddy Lee used vending machines and washing machines to match Alex’s wall of amps.
 

Jim Connelly

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I'm seeing a lot hate for Gibson on the internet these days. All I can tell you is this - I have a 2018 R9 heavy aged Brazilian that is not only gorgeous but it's not about it looking old. It's about how they sound. I have a Les Paul custom that's less than 10 years old and a handful of other Gibson custom shop guitars and my R9 blows them all away. I don't play my Les Paul custom anymore there's no point in it. Nothing comes close to my sweet sweet R9. If you want to know what it's like, go find a 2018 R9 Brazilian and fall in love. Hopefully you can afford it. After all we only live once. I believe that on my death bed I will be clutching this thing with tears in my eyes knowing that I won't be able to play it anymore. Yes it's like that.
 

Bluesdr57

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So I went to Gibson Garage
I played a lot of guitars and ended up with a M2M DC LP that’s one off and the resonance of wood and sound is unlike my 60’s standard. Or any of my 3 other LP. It looks amazing and like a 1960. I bought it for me because when I played it I connected with it.
 

mjross

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So I went to Gibson Garage
I played a lot of guitars and ended up with a M2M DC LP that’s one off and the resonance of wood and sound is unlike my 60’s standard. Or any of my 3 other LP. It looks amazing and like a 1960. I bought it for me because when I played it I connected with it.
Let’s see it, is it your avatar? Dig those guitars, hope to have one some day.
 

EasyAce

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Geddy Lee used vending machines and washing machines to match Alex’s wall of amps.
He didn't forget the dryers, did he? ;)

1663720926283.png

On the other hand, imagine the speakers you could put behind the windows of those . . . or these . . .

1663721253762.png
 

80smetalhead

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Generally I see the same players that say they want to create their own memories also wipe their guitars down every time they look at it and keep it in a glass case in their office for 90% of its life. So I expect that guitar will still look new 50 years from now.
Me, I have 6 main guitars I play, 4 of which are electrics. I play a couple times a month between April and October. I expect I'll be about 180 before my guitars show age. And I hardly ever wipe them down.
Back in the 70's, 80's 90's I toured professionally and played 7 nights a week for the most part. I owned one guitar, a US standard Tele. After 15 years of road playing it barely looked like what a journeyman relic Fender would look like.
I understand relics completely. I've read enough posts in guitar forums that I get it. I used to own a heavy relic Masterbuilt nocaster. Was one of the most comfortable nicest feeling guitars I've ever owned. But I hated the look of it. I think heavy relic for the most part is just too over the top.
I currently own a custom shop 56 strat and a custom shop 52 tele and both are journeyman relics. For me I think that level of ageing is more realistic and I also think it suits a Fender tele and strat. I don't like the new looking teles and strats like the ultra and elites. Seems like their covered in plastic. With the journeyman relic it feels like I'm touching more wood and thats a more pleasing feel for me. And the level of aging doesn't make it look like it was dragged behind a pickup for 100 miles. Infact its hardly any aging at all except it looks like the finish has just sunk in to the wood grain, which I like. I also own a Brad Paisley silver tele signature. The finish is very thin on that one which I like although I don't like the fake arm wear on it. But there are other things I like alot about that guitar and it didn't cost much so it gets a pass.
Last, my Les Paul Standard 50. For me I don't really like the aging on a Les Paul. To me they are more works of art, much fancier than Fenders and I like the new look of my Les Paul. Sometime next year I'll be getting an R9. It won't be one of the Murphy Labs. Its just not what I desire in a Les Paul so VOS it is. And this is how it works. We are all free to buy what we like and I couldn't give a dam if some guy on the Internet doesn't get it. :jam:
I don’t care for what you’re implying regarding my care and usage of my guitars. They are not kept in a “glass case in my office” as I’ve been a gigging musician all over the West Coast since the early ‘80’s. After hundreds of shows my #1 Gibson Les Paul Standard has tarnished hardware, buckle rash, dings and the gloss finish has been worn completely off. It does not look like a relic but it does show the wear of years of hot lights, sweat and weather. And I do wipe my guitars down every time as that’s just good maintenance. You act like not wiping them off is some kind of badge of honor lol. Maybe you should work a little harder at not coming across like an arrogant ass.
 

1allspub

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They make these relics for 50-60 year olds that don't have enough life left to put that wear on it.
That hits a little too close to home for my comfort! :Ohno::laugh2:

Opinion only! They may not be a fool, they just may have the money to spend, people need to understand that! There are people that plan and save their money for may years to purchase nice things. They are not fools Sir! Those that are not wise enough to do the same just may be the fools.
So true and thats my story. When I was young, so many times I would want what I want and want it "right now", many times I'd get my self in a financial bind. Thats what being a fool is. Just before the pandemic hit I said enough of living like that I paid off all my debts one at a time, cars everything. The only thing I have left now is my mortgage that I'm paying double monthly payments and yearly lump sum payments, which is what my mortgage terms allow. That sucker will be paid in just a few years. Just in the past 2 years I've put $54,000 on the principal. And this is why I don't have an R9 just yet. I've been saving my extra disposable income for a year. I should be in good shape to buy a new R9 by next February or March all cash. Of course when the time comes that I have enough to buy a new one I am still going to see if I can get a decent used deal if there are any to be had. I have sacrificed every other pleasure in life (carribean trips, eating out, etc) to get to this place. There are times when I'm tempted to take out a loan or get it from the store on payments but over the past few years I've seen how much money I've saved not paying interest on things. I've got my standard 50 to keep me company until its the right time.
Yep, did the same thing about 3 years ago. Wife and I sold all our expensive (non-guitar toys ;)... e.g., cars, side-by-side, etc) and paid off all our debts, except our house. Then after our youngest graduated high school (and decided to join the Air Force), we sold our house in the city (Phoenix) and moved to rural Southern Indiana (where my wife is from), bought a 3-acre homestead outright for cash and other than a palty $190/mo car payment on a new 2021 Toyota AWD RAV4 for the wife (needed back here for winter) are debt free and own our home. So yeah, I’ve decided to treat myself to a couple nice guitars over this past few months. Don’t really feel as if I am anyone’s “fool” either. :cheers:
 

dspelman

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I realize I'm risking backlash here, but hear me out. I am genuinely curious as to why so many folks are paying 3,4 and 5 times or more than the price of a good used or new Les Paul to buy a modern built, intentionally beat up Murphy Lab "aged" replica R8/9/0. I mean; $7500 for an "Ultra Light Aged," $8500 for a "Light Aged," $9700 for a "heavy aged," and $11,400 for an Ultra Heavy Aged R9... Really? Seriously? Why?
I understand the desire for an original, heavily played, well aged, nice patina, with documented history, etc. authentic 1959 Holy Grail Les Paul rests deep in most of our hearts and the asking prices are well out of our range. But these Murphy things aren't real. No matter how close they get, they aren't real 59s. I know, I know, the hide glue, the long neck tenon, narrow frets etc, etc. It might look or feel the part but the fact remains they aren't. But c'mon, $11,400 could buy me another 5 new 50's Standards or half a dozen used gems of LP goodiness. I guess I come from the school of buy it new and play/age/wear/patina/beat it up yourself. Please explain the rest to me I'm clearly not getting. I genuinely want to know. Thanks!
I'm not a fan of making new guitars look old (it is, after all, mostly a fashionista paint job). But I sort of get it. I have guitars that are *actually* old, but I've selected those that are mostly in great shape, rather than beaten up. For playability, I'd rather have a more modern fretboard/frets, but the rest of it can go where it likes.

Veering a bit off topic: I have a nephew with a new Toyota 4WD pickup who goes "overlanding", a form of glamping that involves getting together with some same-brand folks who have their trucks similarly tricked out, driving somewhere more or less back country and then picking out a stream bed somewhere so that they can crawl along the rocks (usually with friends directing and sometimes using their winches to help them out when stuck) for a few hours. Then they camp, and the trucks sprout 270-degree awnings, showers, generators, luxurious truck-top tents, full kitchens, etc. As a long-time backpacker used to carrying multi-day supplies on my back, I snicker a bit. But it's the only way most of them will get wives and kids to go along. A bashed fender here and there establishes cred, and most leave the mud from the last trip in place for the next couple of weeks at least. They bad.

I have my eye on a Toyota FJ-alike built by Icon. This is one of those farm-implement-style vehicles that was born of the original Jeep (Form of Jeep = FJ) 4WD in Japan, originally built of thin stamped steel that, like the original Land Rovers, could go pretty much anywhere. Most are heavily rusted, but cherished. Icon takes one of these crusty bits, cuts the VIN number off it and tosses the rest. They weld the VIN number bit onto the frame rail of a brand new chassis from Art Morrison that eschews the original leaf springs for coil-overs and that includes a whole new suspension, brakes, transmission, engine (430-horse V8). No Toyota parts ever touch this car. The body, too, is all-new and looks like the original, but it's made in Brazil of thick aluminum. Tougher, lighter, etc. The interior *looks* like an upgraded version of the old car, but it's leagues better. Instead of paint, the car is powder-coated and LineX'd and overall this car *looks* like the old thing, but is, in every detail, a very new thing.

Drive it though a bit of mud and it LOOKS the part, but in every way it's more capable and more comfortable (seat heaters, natch) and stronger and faster and able to leap taller buildings. Parts available everywhere and usually overnighted to you if you can't find one at a local dealer. Nothing exotic.

All that to get to: Old looking, but totally modern. If you like the "old" design aesthetic, but don't want to put up with the crap an old one represents, you *can* have your cake and eat it too.

I'm not a fan of making a new old guitar, because what I really don't care for is often still there. But I haven't been able to get Gibson to build a modern guitar that just looks old. Oh well...
 

mjross

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I'm not a fan of making new guitars look old (it is, after all, mostly a fashionista paint job). But I sort of get it. I have guitars that are *actually* old, but I've selected those that are mostly in great shape, rather than beaten up. For playability, I'd rather have a more modern fretboard/frets, but the rest of it can go where it likes.

Veering a bit off topic: I have a nephew with a new Toyota 4WD pickup who goes "overlanding", a form of glamping that involves getting together with some same-brand folks who have their trucks similarly tricked out, driving somewhere more or less back country and then picking out a stream bed somewhere so that they can crawl along the rocks (usually with friends directing and sometimes using their winches to help them out when stuck) for a few hours. Then they camp, and the trucks sprout 270-degree awnings, showers, generators, luxurious truck-top tents, full kitchens, etc. As a long-time backpacker used to carrying multi-day supplies on my back, I snicker a bit. But it's the only way most of them will get wives and kids to go along. A bashed fender here and there establishes cred, and most leave the mud from the last trip in place for the next couple of weeks at least. They bad.

I have my eye on a Toyota FJ-alike built by Icon. This is one of those farm-implement-style vehicles that was born of the original Jeep (Form of Jeep = FJ) 4WD in Japan, originally built of thin stamped steel that, like the original Land Rovers, could go pretty much anywhere. Most are heavily rusted, but cherished. Icon takes one of these crusty bits, cuts the VIN number off it and tosses the rest. They weld the VIN number bit onto the frame rail of a brand new chassis from Art Morrison that eschews the original leaf springs for coil-overs and that includes a whole new suspension, brakes, transmission, engine (430-horse V8). No Toyota parts ever touch this car. The body, too, is all-new and looks like the original, but it's made in Brazil of thick aluminum. Tougher, lighter, etc. The interior *looks* like an upgraded version of the old car, but it's leagues better. Instead of paint, the car is powder-coated and LineX'd and overall this car *looks* like the old thing, but is, in every detail, a very new thing.

Drive it though a bit of mud and it LOOKS the part, but in every way it's more capable and more comfortable (seat heaters, natch) and stronger and faster and able to leap taller buildings. Parts available everywhere and usually overnighted to you if you can't find one at a local dealer. Nothing exotic.

All that to get to: Old looking, but totally modern. If you like the "old" design aesthetic, but don't want to put up with the crap an old one represents, you *can* have your cake and eat it too.

I'm not a fan of making a new old guitar, because what I really don't care for is often still there. But I haven't been able to get Gibson to build a modern guitar that just looks old. Oh well...
What? Glazing over VERY quickly!
 

dspelman

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love this thread -
I've never been closer than about 4 rows away from an original burst so have absolutely no idea what they're like but trust the their 'mystique' didn't just happen by accident.
I've played just over 30 different serial numbers of original '59 bursts at this point. Between accommodating owners and guitar shows and Rumble Seat Music, it wasn't a quest; it just happened.

And honestly, I'm not sure that I could point to anything that's particularly special about them. They *did* arrive at their mystique rather accidentally. They fell into the hands of musicians who later became legends, some of whom sought the guitars out because they *were* being played by their contemporaries who were already legends in their own right.

Modern versions come with a modern set of pickups, with a greater output bridge pickup and a lesser output neck pickup. The originals came with two of the same pickup, so they sound different.

Gibson has never put out an accurate replica of a '59. They *could*, but they haven't. Guys working in their garages and little workshops have done them so well that experts have to get really squinty to tell them from the real thing, but Gibson? Never.

Murphy does a good job of painting the guitar to look as if it were old. But you can tell. For starters, every instance of "bare" worn wood is actually painted with a matte lacquer. The lawyers demand it. And the hardware, while slightly faked to look old, is still new. And the tuner buttons aren't shriveled, the inlays aren't shrunken and falling out, the nut isn't cracked. In the end, it's a nice-looking fake for those who want them, and it's a lot cheaper than the real thing at this point. It's only a matter of days until the offshore boys begin to crank them out for $500, and at that point, you'll need a shit-ton of documentation to prove that your fake is realer than their fake.

The fakes carry no mystique because, well, they weren't there. Murphy hasn't yet developed a cure for that.
 

dspelman

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Staying with the car parallels for a moment since that is a definite theme of this thread ... What about all of the 1960s muscle-car clones that exist?? Camaro/Chevelle SS, Mustang Shelby/BOSS/Mach 1, or the millions of fake AC Cobras. The fact is that there were very few of these cars made so that the value of them has skyrocketed, so that many of the old "SS", "Shelby", "Mach 1", and "Cobra" vehicles that you see are actually clones, and not the real deal. That definitely does not offend me. The owners are not purporting it to be anything more than what it is if asked. But it makes the inaccessible accessible ...
There are vintage Ferrari owners who have duplicates of their own cars made that they can actually drive.

This has gradually become a good-sized business for several entities and they all dance around Ferrari's lawyers by using real (but lesser) Ferraris as the basis for the re-bodied cars.

I met a couple at the Pebble Beach Concours weekend (this was at the Italian show, which is separate) who'd parked their 250 California Spyder *in the lot* with the other door-bangers, not on the show lawn. They'd driven it the 400 miles from the LA area and would be driving it back. Jaws dropped. It was the real thing and worth stupid money. But finding someone treating their car like...well, a car is so rare as to be a one-off. Gotta admire their guts, their insurance company and their bankroll. They're not the original owners, but they've had the car so long they may as well be. The value has more or less bloomed around them.

I have an old '67 Lamborghini 400GT, purchased for $13K (new, they were $14,725) back in '83. As Lamborghini's 50th anniversary approached, they began to look around for the original 350/400GT cars. They made around 250 of my model, and they weren't very popular and a lot of drivers bought them, crashed them, repainted them (mine had five different paint jobs and three different colors of bonds when we took it down to bare metal) and even passed them on to the crusher. They weren't very precious in those days.

Suddenly the values skyrocketed (one went across the auction block at over $800K), and because there are few of them left and most of those are in collections and museums at this point, it's near-impossible to find even a ratty example for under $400K. Like that couple at Pebble Beach, I've seen the value of that car bloom around me, and I've become a caretaker for a tiny chunk of history. Ack!
 

rjwilson37

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Wow, someone has a lot of time on their hands to write a good reply. Haha :dude:
 

mjross

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Why pay such outrageous prices for beat up replicas of 58-60 Les Pauls?​

It’s because you want to, nobody puts a gun to anyones head forcing them to buy these guitars. Damn, how many times do we have to answer this fucking question! Seems to pop up weekly causing all kinds of bullshit and arguments!
 
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golfnut

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let‘s try to end this never ending BS!

Why pay such outrageous prices for beat up replicas of 58-60 Les Pauls?​

It’s because you want to, nobody puts a gun to anyones head forcing them to buy these guitars. Damn, how many times do we have to answer this fucking question. Seems to pop up weekly!
I would never spend the kind of money that a real 59 les paul costs. No way, no how. You will never catch me being a fool enough to spend that on a vintage les paul. And you know why? You really wanna know why I would never do that? Cause I don't have that much fucken money to spend on a guitar. And likely never will. But if I did...
 

mjross

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I would never spend the kind of money that a real 59 les paul costs. No way, no how. You will never catch me being a fool enough to spend that on a vintage les paul. And you know why? You really wanna know why I would never do that? Cause I don't have that much fucken money to spend on a guitar. And likely never will. But if I did...
I get it, however, this question comes up a little too often and the answer is so obvious, “because we want to“, pretty simple!
 

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