Wildwood Tom Murphy Painted Worth the Upcharge?

HRC-E.B.

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I fell in love with a WW spec, Murphy painted 58. It's a regular VOS, not aged, not Murphy Lab, but painted by the actual Tom Murphy. I've heard it demoed and it sounds glorious both plugged and acoustically and the color is super nice to my taste.

Thing is, this guitar would cost me about $8500 Canadian, and then another thousand in taxes once I bring it into Canada.

I could buy another "regular" 58 from 2019 in Canada, if there is such a thing, for less than half of what the WW guitar would cost. The color on this one is also nice. Have not heard or seen the guitar.

Leaving aside the sentimental and purely subjective aspects out of it, can a Murphy painted ww spec be worth the upcharge? For example, does Murphy only paint examples that are exceptional to begin with from a build and sound perspective, or does it have nothing to do with that?

I want a lifer guitar, and one that will wow me everytime I pick it up and play it. I hate the idea of paying close to 10 grand for a guitar, but I'd rather pay 10k if I know part of the price is objectively justifiable and I'll cherish it for years and years than spend $4K on something not really exceptional.

Can I be reasonably assured of getting something great with the regular, local 58 or, if I can swallow it, is there real value to be had by paying more than twice as much for the WW one?
 

Subterfuge

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I also live in Canada , sure you can buy a run of the mill R8 in Canada pretty easily, however if you want to purchase a premium Murphy anything guitar, of that quality ... other than the used market (if you're lucky,) you will have to buy outside the country ... and pay a stiff premium ... Americans live in guitar heaven and up here North of the border it's slim pickens ..
 

HRC-E.B.

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I also live in Canada , sure you can buy a run of the mill R8 in Canada pretty easily, however if you want to purchase a premium Murphy anything guitar, of that quality ... other than the used market (if you're lucky,) you will have to buy outside the country ... and pay a stiff premium ... Americans live in guitar heaven and up here North of the border it's slim pickens ..
Thanks. That it's essentially the price to pay is pretty clear. I'm wondering if I'm crazy for considering it.

I don't want a Murphy for bragging rights.

I just don't know how large the delta in sound, playability and mojo is between than Murphy at 10K vs that "run of the mill" at 4K.

I know about diminishing returns and that the Murphy can't possibly be more than twice as good.

Just wondering whether it's supposed to be "all that" to a sufficient degree for someone to want to spend that much more for things having to do nothing with prestige or provenance.
 

HRC-E.B.

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Serious questions: is the "regular" 2019 CS 58 RI a "cheap one"?

In which ways can I expect it to be inferior to the WW Murphy?

Or, in which ways is the WW Murphy supposed to be superior?

I know that these things are very subjective. Just trying to gauge what tangible things I'll be getting on top of the regular 58 RI from the same year for the extra $6k I'll be spending.
 

markguitar

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Here’s a point for you. As I’m sure you know, Yorkville is the Gibson distributor for Canada and has protection by Gibson. According to the dealer agreement that authorized US dealers sign with Gibson, they are not allowed to ship outside of the US. Granted, many dealers still do, and obviously Wildwood is willing to if they will sell to you. But any guitar shipped outside of the US has no warranty. So if you’re paying ALL of the money, which you would be, maybe a point to think about. Because with paying ALL of the money for a guitar like that, part of the big price includes the warranty.
 

HRC-E.B.

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They are not shipping to Canada. They are shipping to NY. I'll pay taxes both there and here.

If I need warranty work, I'll ship guitar from the US.

Border won't be closed forever.
 

DanD

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I like Tom's work but a paint job is only worth the $500-600 over a regular R model.

They are all in the same ball park quality wise. Just because Tom painted it doesn't make it a great guitar.

They all come off the same production line then some get painted by Tom.

I'd go in Toronto and play as many as I could and buy the best,

Last time I was up there 3 or 4 dealers were stocking CS Gibsons.

Is it not that way anymore?
 

markguitar

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They are not shipping to Canada. They are shipping to NY. I'll pay taxes both there and here.

If I need warranty work, I'll ship guitar from the US.

Border won't be closed forever.
Good way to get around it.
 

HRC-E.B.

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I like Tom's work but a paint job is only worth the $500-600 over a regular R model.

They are all in the same ball park quality wise. Just because Tom painted it doesn't make it a great guitar.

They all come off the same production line then some get painted by Tom.

I'd go in Toronto and play as many as I could and buy the best,

Last time I was up there 3 or 4 dealers were stocking CS Gibsons.

Is it not that way anymore?
I'm from Montreal and the choice is CS stuff is basically zero.

Long and McQuade have a few online, but all at different locations in Canada. None in Quebec.

Cosmo may have a few, but the only ones I see are 60th Anny with smaller necks, and an 8K price tag.

At that price, I'll get something I choose instead.

That said, that used 2019 R8 VOS looks nice, and the price is actually reasonable for what it is.

I just don't know how big of a gamble I'm making, because I don't know how consistently great these 2019 CS are, or how big the delta is between the worst ones and the best ones.

I was considering getting the Murph because I thought he'd handpick the outstanding ones to put his mark on, but if that's not the case, I don't know that a color I like is worth paying double and more.
 
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DanD

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The guitars aren't even assembled before paint. It'd be impossible to tell the good from the bad.

Ive been impressed by all the '13 and up Gibson's Ive played. MY '19 and up with the unpotted CBs have all been great.
 

Tim Plains

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For example, does Murphy only paint examples that are exceptional to begin with from a build and sound perspective, or does it have nothing to do with that?
Exceptional how? I'm sure they pick some better looking tops but you will never get a concensus on what sounds/feels best.

I say don't buy it because you are already gravelling about money. That tells me you might be too afraid to play it and will just end up with a case queen.
 

rockstar232007

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Some Americans live in guitar heaven and up here North of the border it's slim pickens ..
FIFY...

My wife and I both have semi-decent jobs, and I still can't afford (or justify) to pay what most people want for RIs, new or used, let alone the TM ones.

But, I digress.

To me, I don't care if they were painted by Leonardo da Vinci, the upcharge people charge for TM-painted guitars is rediculous.
 

soyboi

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I would never pay 8500 for a 58. That’s ‘59 moola. But if she’s the one, it’s hard to say no. Conundrum indeed OP
 

HRC-E.B.

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I like rounder necks compared to flatter necks for the same width (hence 58) and more discrete (or no) flame over exhubetant tops. I also prefer to play taller and narrower frets over the fatter but flatter frets on the 59s and 60s.

So a nice 58 is what I seem to require.
 

marshall2553

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I have a WW spec Murphy painted VOS R9. It’s beautiful and I in no way regret buying it. But it has no more “mojo” than any of my other historics that were about 1/2 the price. Whether or not they’re worth the up charge is subjective and depends on how much value you place on the specs and looks. I wouldn’t buy one online having not played it and expect it to be leagues better than any other reissue.

The aged plastics are nice. I could take or leave the low wind WW Custom Buckers. I don’t know about the R8s, but the “Murphy C” neck carve on my R9 is noticeably different from my other reissues and feels great in my hand. Those differences aside, I’d probably be just as happy with a run of the mill R9 with a great top.
 


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