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How Much Is A 1954 Les Paul Body Worth?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Torren61, Oct 25, 2020.

  1. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    My buddy has a friend who has a 1954 Les Paul. The fact is that the only thing on that guitar from 1954 is the body and that has had a refinish to a gold top. The neck is a Moonstone neck custom made for him. The pickups are some high end pups (I can't remember who made them) and none of the electronics are from the 50s.

    My buddy played it and says it's the best guitar he ever played. Now, when he says that, I'm pretty sure it's a sweet guitar because my buddy is an excellent guitar player and has a LOT of high end gear. He has enough stuff to open a modest mom and pop music shop if he wanted and all the things in there would be high end.

    He offered the guy $8500 for the axe but the guy thinks he can get $15,000. What is that guitar worth? Ballpark. I know you have very little info because i have very little info but just with what I've given you, what do you think it's worth?

    Btw, my buddy is trying to raise the money for the guitar just in case his friend changes his mind. He's offered to sell me his 1959 Martin D-28. THAT guitar is rough. I figure the condition rates as "fair". Swapped out tuners at least twice before these Schallers, some kind of headstock plate was screwed in and then removed, someone named "JUDY" owned it at some time and it still has the letters of her name glued to the top and there are various dents and dings all over the guitar.

    The back and sides are Brazilian rosewood. It comes with a Martin Geib hsc. It has had a neck reset and sound pretty good. He wanted to sell it to me for $5,500 with first refusal if I decided to sell it in the future.

    I decided it's not for me.

    So, what do you think the LP is worth and, while we're at it, what do you thin k the Martin is worth? Here are some pics of the Les Paul:

    Resized_DSC00281.jpeg Resized_20201016_152852 2.jpeg Resized_DSC00284.jpeg Resized_DSC00285.jpeg
     
  2. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Here are some shots of the 1959 Martin:

    1B4FF62A-A46A-4A8E-9FA4-7E838BF0C2F7_1_105_c.jpeg 67D4BFA2-65D9-4C24-8E58-05CB5CFC4434_1_105_c.jpeg E8E8D79D-3885-4683-BBD9-9110BDAA5396_1_105_c.jpeg 3C8B8A7A-030E-4CD9-8E33-2DB691288885_1_105_c.jpeg E96F18B9-DF4C-4FC5-81E5-05E1E38259E1_1_105_c.jpeg E3ACE9F0-1556-452E-AAF5-18E1EAE437B0_1_105_c.jpeg 3341BEE9-7D9B-49D9-B088-53B25D993E64_1_105_c.jpeg 00DB509A-8F04-4BD3-892B-A5E2C7BFB504_1_105_c.jpeg
     
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  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Guess 5 to 7
    Imho

    I might go a lot lower now thinking about it . So I Recind. Not even orig paint
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  4. teletail

    teletail Tele-Afflicted

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    I wouldn’t even consider paying $8,500, let alone $15,000 for the body of a ‘54 Les Paul.

    More power to him if he can get it.
     
  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Even bone stock and complete, a 1954 Les Paul wouldn't be worth all that much in the grand scheme of things. As a bare, neckless, stock (i.e. unrestored) body, it would probably be worth more than what the guitar as it stands is worth. The fact that the guitar was "completed" makes it worth very little. As it is, it has zero value as a collectible – only as a player. What is the best guitar you've ever played worth? That's up to the potential buyer. IMO, it's not worth $8,500. Maybe a few grand, at most, only as an investment in an excellent tool – nothing to do with the fact that it is [supposedly] a '54 body underneath all that other stuff.
     
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  6. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I don't know if the owner even has any provenance for the body. Is there a way to tell it's a '54 body?
     
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  7. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Provenance is only as important as it being a '54 body is...which is almost not at all.

    Plenty of ways to "kind of tell," with the guitar in hand. But the refin and replaced electronics make it less than 100 percent.

    Again, the '54 aspect of the thing is meaningless at this point. Too much has been done to it, and it likely can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt anyhow. He's dreaming even at $8,500 (and your friend is not smart to be willing to pay that much), and off his rocker at $15,000.

    FWIW, the carve on the top looks very extreme to me.
     
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Pictures of the control cavity might give evidence as to whether or not the story about it being from 1954 is accurate or not. no way is it worth what is being asked for it as far as I am concerned. And...What is with the truss Rod cover. I first noticed it was at an angle, then I realized that it does not cover the truss rod cavity. Hey, if you can fake the logo you should be able to fake the truss rod cover.

    I would value the Martin far above the GT clone there.
     
  9. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    I have to say I kind of dig the “Judy” spelled out in what look like 1960s American car badge letters.

    But I’m no collector, and one of my Peavey amps has an International Harvester badge on it.
     
  10. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    It would be interesting to take it to a dealer for a value. I can't figure one out, you can buy a 54 for for 15 to 20K. There's really nothing to suggest it's a 54 just looking at it,the carve seems wrong but even if it's a 54 the value of that would be maybe a grand as a husk but put together with a bunch of parts rerouted for a modern bridge and a suspect neck I see no value other than as a player.
    The Martin though is cool I'd see the Judy as an added value.
     
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  11. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I texted him and it's a '52 body. I checked Reverb sold listings and 1952 Gold Tops in good condition have been selling for $11k all day long. There were MANY selling for less than $10k. I think $15,000 is a pipe dream and $8500 is WAY too much. That dude should have JUMPED at $8500. He was telling my buddy he was going to contact Pete Thorn and sell it to him. Dream on, Dude. Dream on.
     
  12. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Holic

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    That guitar is kinda like one of those bands from the 70s that only has one original member left (and it's the bass player)
     
  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The Martin would be slightly more tempting if it was a '55 or earlier. We'd be so far apart we couldn't even start talking turkey at $5500. The Gibson, that's a pipe dream right there. Too many guitars available that would suit me more than either of those things for that kind of money. You could buy a Tuff Dog, and not miss either of those two, and have money left over for a good bargain when it came along.
     
  14. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I agree with Toto’s Dad on the 59 Martin. In that shape he is about twice retail. $2500 - $3000. The letters tacked on the front and the generally poor shape hold it way back.
     
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  15. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Well, that makes my earlier estimate, which was already bad, even worse. Those are the hands-down least valuable original issue Les Pauls. They're one of the few that actually have more desirability in the market when modded. They are more sought after when converted to a more modern bridge and/or tailpiece system. Real world players buy them because they are a cheap way in to the world of "real" vintage Les Pauls; they generally aren't highly sought after by collectors.

    And again, that's as stock and original. As a body only, with original finish, perhaps hammered: maybe a few thousand bucks. But the fact that it has been "completed" and refinished actually eliminates all value that would have been there by it being a "vintage" body.

    Its only value is as a player. I said that before...but now I really mean it. It should be priced like any other used Les Paul made recently. Anyone who spends more than $1,500 on that guitar is a fool, IMO. That's about what a great playing and sounding Les Paul is worth on the used market, IMO.
     
  16. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Now I would start to question what value a piece of wood from a vintage guitar even has? Unless he added the stop tail piece and a tune-omatic bridge, its not a 52' either. I'd kindly walk away. Don't know much about this deal and have heard enough to tickle the Spidey senses...
     
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  17. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Meister

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    That Martin is infinitely cooler than the LP.
     
  18. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Afflicted

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    With everything else being so off, it wouldn't be a stretch to question whether that is a real Gibson Les Paul body at all, much less a nineteenfiftysomething. Like others have noted, that carve looks really massive. Maybe its just the photo. Too many questions to be sure about anything.
     
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  19. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    If that's a 1954 Les Paul, I'm Brad Pitt.
     
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  20. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    '52
     
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