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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. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's worth the value assigned by any potential buyer because there is no absolutely no market for a mongrel guitar that happens to have a 1952 Les Paul body--if that story is true.

    It may even be the best-playing guitar in the entire universe, but that doesn't put it remotely the same league as an all-original or near-original 1952 Les Paul.

    Without an appraisal/authentication by a reputable vintage dealer, right now it's simply a guitar with a fantastical story (there are boatloads of those) and a Gibson logo on the headstock.
     
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  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If you’re Brad Pitt, I’m Scooby Doo.
     
  3. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Holic

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    Now, I know a lot about vintage Gibsons, but nowhere near as much as I know about vintage Fenders, so interpret this as you will. The top carve looks kinda weird to me, it's very prominent/pronounced. Now, I have personally seen genuine 50's Les Pauls with pronounced top carves, and they do exist, but they're probably in the minority. The way the top carve was done back in the day at the kalamazoo factory was with this rotary-pantograph-mill thingy (that's the best way I can describe it), so they were somewhat consistent. What stands out to me more is the inlay. It doesn't really look like the old cellulose nitrate pearloid sheet material made by Mazzucchelli SpA. that Gibson used back in the 1950s. Another thing that stands out to me is the control cavity and switch cavity covers, they don't quite look original to me. Now I could be wrong, but to me, they don't have the "pucker" marks around the screw holes like most original 50s LP's do. It's important to point out, when I say pucker, I am not talking about shrinkage like cellulose nitrate guards do, but a rather a very subtle "contraction" around the screw holes, I don't exactly know what plastic Gibson used for the back covers, it's something I've been researching for a while now. Then there is the tuning machine ferrules. Assuming those are not replacement tuners, those should be the stepped lip ferrules, the kind seen on brands outside of fender. Is this a genuine 1952 Les Paul? I do not know. Ideally I could look at this thing up close and in person, but in lieu of that, I can only offer what I can from the pictures. What is more important, in my opinion, is whether or not it sounds like a good guitar.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  4. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Seems you didn't really read the OP. The only thing that is supposedly original is the body underneath the new paint job. The neck is a supposedly a replacement, as is every other part.

    As I have said before in this thread, it doesn't matter whether it is actually a '52 body or not. It pretty much has zero effect on the value. "Authenticating" whatever there is left to be authenticated is a complete waste of energy. It's worth whatever a player thinks its musical value is worth. It has near zero collectible value.
     
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  5. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It you’re scooby doo, I’m Ryan Reynolds.

    Where are the back shots of the D28 ?

    The Brazilian aspect of those guitars is as important as anything else.

    The Schallers wipe so much of the 50’s off it . Period tuners are needed/not too hard to find.
     
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  6. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Holic

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    Surely the back of tht Les Paul would show some signs wear?!
     
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  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    If you’re Ryan Reynolds, I’m a 1952’ Les Paul gold top.
     
  8. Wildeman

    Wildeman Tele-Meister

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    Well, it being a '52 would at least offer some reasoning as to why all that work was done. A '52 LP has a trapeze tailpeice bridge thingy and a shallow neck angle so neck resets and bridge mods are fairly common on them.
     
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  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The logo is worth 85 cents just as a laugh.
     
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  10. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yeah, isn't that like selling a Chibson?

    The Gibson Custom Shop can make a neck with that logo, but is Moonstone authorized to do so? I think not.
     
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  11. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    I like the Martin a lot, though I don't have a clue what it's worth -- not as much as they're asking, it seems like, by quite a bit. If I got a chance to play that Gibson and it played and sounded as good as my LP Studio, I'd go a solid $799 on it. I'll sell you a fairy tale to go with it . . .
     
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  12. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    Imo, and it’s a non-professional opinion....if that Martin is a great player, it’s worth in the neighborhood of what he’s asking.

    That LP isn’t worth anywhere close to $15k, probably not $8500.

    Consider you have a Partscaster that has a legit 52 body and everything else is new stock, including a new finish. Would you pay anywhere close to a 50s Tele price? No way. And even that would be a bigger seller imo than the LP because if you gradually bought the age appropriate parts, you could easily turn it into a 1952 Telecaster. That LP is never going to turn into a legit 50s LP.
     
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  13. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    IIRC a '52 top would have a very pronounced, dished carve to it.

    I wouldn't consider that guitar as anything but a music making tool. If I wanted something like that as a tool, I'd buy a Gibson.
     
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  14. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    Well, he's dead so suing him is not an option. (The owner of Moonstone Guitars)
     
  15. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Sorry to hear that. I wasn't suggesting suing him, or that it's not a quality neck, but I can't imagine a counterfeit guitar to be worth that much.

    $1000 maybe, considering the body and the neck quality, $2000 only if someone's willing to pay that.
     
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  16. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I know, I wasn't cranky with that last post. I'm certain they weren't trying to counterfeit a Gibson.

    The original story goes something like this: Steve Helgesson, they owner of Moonstone Guitars ( http://www.moonstoneguitars.com/ ), had this body for years and it was sitting around his shop. He was going to do something with it but never got around to it. Now, Steve was a world class luthier and made some extraordinary guitars while he was alive. His inlay work is second to none. I've played his guitars and they are amazing players. Both acoustics and electrics.

    Anyway, one of his employees really wanted that body to do his own project so Steve gave him the body. Steve made him the neck and, although I've not put my hands on the guitar, I'm certain the neck is near perfect in every way. Moonstone guitars are not cheap. The employee built the guitar the way he wanted it to be his version of the perfect guitar. I don't think he ever intended to sell it. He played it for years and years as his main axe.

    So, fast forward to today. He's getting old and rethinking what it means to him and he decides to sell it. Now, he and my buddy are friends and my buddy has lusted after that guitar for years. So when he finds out it's going to come up for sale and the owner wants to contact famous players to see if they want to buy it, he wants to buy it himself at nearly any price. I mean, he did offer the guy $8,500 which is a LOT of money and he DID offer me that '59 D28 and i know him and I KNOW he'd never sell it unless he thouight it was one piece he could sell to me and possibly buy back after a few years. It's not like he doesn't know what things cost. It's likely the total value of all HIS gear is more than most any TDPRI member's total gear value. He has really quality gear. Hs last purchase was a Ronin.

    The owner of the guitar has a supremely sentimental attachment to it and knows it's a special player but I think he's blinded by that and doesn't really know that he should have jumped on the $8500 offer. I think HE thinks if he can get it into the hands of a pro, they'll gladly give him $15k for it. Haven't some of us been in similar situations before thinking something we own is worth much more than it really is?

    So, that's the fantastic story behind the guitar. I think my buddy is all caught up in it with emotion just like the owner. I'm certain it really IS a special playing guitar and that's what's driving all of this. I actually feel sorry for the both of them. I think $15k is nearly out of the realm of possibility to get for it and I think $8,500 is much too much to pay. However, the value of something is what the buyer and the seller mutually decide it should be. That is the essence of any deal, isn't it?
     
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  17. flathd

    flathd Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not a guitar expert, but almost anything I've ever seen refinished or restored loses it's value. Even if it was all beat up it would be worth a lot more than a refinished one.

    Ever watch the show "American Restoration"? I almost cry when someone brings in their grandpa's 1905 bicycle and Rick makes it look like "brand new"...for $7500.00 :eek: .

    Then the grandson says "That's beautiful, it looks just like the day grandpa bought it!"

    Rick smiles and says, "Yup, and we were right on budget, that'll be $7500." :rolleyes:
     
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  18. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    And we've come full circle. Does this mean the guitar is real?
     
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  19. Bassman8

    Bassman8 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I wouldn't go near either of those guitars.
     
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