Wildwood Tom Murphy Painted Worth the Upcharge?

HRC-E.B.

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What happened to NAFTA? I never had a problem bringing HDs from Canada to the US?

I was still under the impression that Canadian and US goods traveled freely?

The only problems I've had was bringing Ducatis to the US. Those were taxed as they were made in Italy and weren't taxed by the US yet.

I think you may be confusing duties and taxes. Canada charges at least our insane sales taxes (15%). Goods that are subject to duties (most imported stuff; I think a US-made guitar may be exempt; I'd have to check!) get charged anywhere from another 5-20%.
 

Geronimo

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I think you may be confusing duties and taxes. Canada charges at least our insane sales taxes (15%). Goods that are subject to duties (most imported stuff; I think a US-made guitar may be exempt; I'd have to check!) get charged anywhere from another 5-20%.
And I thought seven and a half percent was steep.
 

Subterfuge

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I thought GST/HST 13% TAX applies to bringing items into Canada, at least that has been my experience bringing items purchased in America across the Border ...
 

Subterfuge

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Question. What would stop somebody that lives in Toronto from taking a ride to say, Ohio or Michigan and buying a guitar in the States? And then putting it in their trunk and driving home? This may be a dumb question but I live in Ohio and I thought our borders were pretty open and friendly. I understand this is probably against the law but man it’s just a guitar. It’s not like you’re smuggling drugs or anything. Do they check you that close? It’s been a while since I’ve been to Canada but I was never harassed crossing the border. I read about this issue with prices a lot. I personally think it’s BS. You should be able to pay the same as I do for the same guitar. Again, pardon my ignorance on this matter
it's easy to do provided that you have nerves of steel, there are certain "tells" common to all humans when they are lying or being deceitful that Border Guards are trained to spot, not saying it can't be done but you had better read up on your smuggling techniques before attempting, getting caught could be rather expensive plus a year or two ban on crossing the Border
 

zdoggie

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that 's a stiff lick on canadian fee's but I just like the guy above said if gonna be a till you die guitar buy it and be happy
it doesn't matter what you buy there is going to be residule thoughts on ''what if'' so buy what you want and you'll be happy GOOD LUCK !
zdog
 

C-4

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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.


If you want an outstanding Les Paul, order a M2M version and send them pictures of the top you like, figure-wise, weight and neck dimensions. That will get you possibly closer, but no guitar is guaranteed to be what you want unless you personally pick it out. You could even go to the Gibson factory, pick out all the parts, and even that won't guarantee that the guitar will respond as you want it too.
 

blustrat

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I don't know if this makes a difference , but ... I once owned a 59 Murphy Paul ( 2005) , now I kept and still own a 59 VOS Cs (2004).... sound wise I couldn't tell the difference ... neither could my engineer in A/B ing the recordings . blindfold me and put each one in my hands and I wouldn't know . buy what you want but try and compare Murphy VS non Murphy at the same sitting ... then pull out your credit card ... regardless , you will still be happy .... yes ... I sold the Murphy and have never looked back
 

StevenXmas

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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?
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?
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.

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?




Hello Everyone,
I can answer all of your questions and the mystique that surrounds a Tom Murphy guitar. I worked at the Gibson Custom Shop for 21 years. I ran the Pro Shop for 5, then continued doing Artist Relations for the Custom Shop and I was also in charge of the selection of woods for both artists and consumers. I know Tom quite well. Unitl the recdent bankruptcy and purchase of Gibson by KKR Holdings, Tom was not an employee of Gibson. He was contracted to "age" guitars only out of his shop in Franklin, TN. He rarely every painted anything and also rarely was involved in the selection of woods. His primary responsibility was aging historic resissues for the Japanese market and also was involved in the aging of some of the signature models. Understand, the Custom Shop had an aging department during the time Tom was aging from his home. Tom focued primariy on "heavy" aging. Tom did train the aging department employees how to age an instrument; but Tom was not in the shop but maybe once a week. Tom did not age every guitar associated with his name. That is incorrect. Toward the end of my tenure with Gibson a couple of years ago Tom did select maple tops and mahognay backs with me in the Rough Mill. That was for specific limited runs for the Japanese dealers. The Japanse are, by far, the biggest, purchasers of Gibson, and Gibson Custom Shop Les Pauls. They did get preferential treatment. These dealers soiuld fly to Nashville at least 3 times a year a hand select the figured maple for their instruments. Tom was never involved. Today, the aging department that is still in the Custom Shop has had it's name changed to "Murphy labs" and Tom was hired on as a Gibson employee and manager of the department. It was not created. It already existed. Now that Tom is a full-time employee, he is spraying lacquer / painting. Tom does not roll the necks of the instruments, nor does he age the hardware or assemble the instruments. Tom's name does carry weight in the industry and the historic Les Paul's with his name from the early 90's are considered to be the most valuable because the top's were exceptionally figured. Understand that just because Tom's name is associated with the product does not mean he actually worked on that individual guitar. When I was at Gibson there was at least 6 employees who worked in the aging department. I'm sure most, if not all of them, are still there. None of them went to luthier school, they have all been trained. Tom's name does carry value but his name is now associated with larger production numbers of instruments than in the past; so in fact, that reduces the overall value of the instrument because the Custom Shop is shipping more Murphy guitars. Tom's speciality is that he recreates the burst patterns exceptionally well and he was one of the, if not the, first person to age / relic a guitar. If you want to have the best Tom Murphy Les Paul look for one from the early 90's, they are work two times what they originally cost. Today's Murphy's are not limited in production. Anyone can get one.
 

Tim Plains

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Understand that just because Tom's name is associated with the product does not mean he actually worked on that individual guitar.
I hope you're only referring to Murphy Lab guitars here, that should be common knowledge at this point, but any Murphy before Murphy Lab should have been aged by him and him alone.
 

bobsessed

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Paying more just because "someone great at it" painted it, is, in my humble opinion, nuts. Of course it is your money. I've been buying, selling, and playing guitars for 45 years and I now know that one should probably not spend a lot of money for any musical gear, unless that piece brings you much happiness and joy. With that in mind, you should know that a $100 guitar can be as inspiring as a $5k Lester.
 

HRC-E.B.

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As indicated, I decided to go with a local guitar instead. Got this killer R8 today. I'm over the moon!
 

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