Would you consider a Les Paul with a repaired headstock break? (And maybe a cool coincidence!)

marc2211

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I've been looking for a real Gibson LP for a long time (many years), and found out that one model I really like is the Les Paul Standard Classic Premium Plus from ~1995. Each one I've played has been really very good.

I found a perfect one in a local store just before the lockdown, but the price was (very Swiss) much too much for what it was imo - they wanted ~2700CHF for a guitar that was very well used to the point of a good few dings, play wear on the back of the neck, a good bit of fret wear etc. (Reverb recommended ~2200CHF for a mint one). The top however was pretty spectacular and it was *wonderful* to play, perfect sound, amazing feel and action. I offered 2400CHF on the day but the store declined.

I really felt it was much too good an instrument for my guitar playing ability, and also expensive in that used condition. My wife convinced me to go grab it as another may not come by any time soon, and sell a few others to cover the cost. By the time I went back 2 days later to just pay what they wanted, it had sold - it was the one that got away! Ironically, Reverb now lists them as 4K+ for good condition!

Anyhow, yesterday I was browsing a local sales sites and found a LP that looked very similar (the one I saw also had a similar semi 'chevron' type grain by the bridge - what are the chances?). At first I really thought it was the guitar I missed out on, but reading the advert further it's not the same guitar, being a 2005, but is in the same 'plus' lineage. It's being sold with with the original hardcase, but no case candy or labels anything.

The guitar is clearly noted as having had a headstock break, with the fix done at the same store I saw the original guitar I saw (the biggest and most famous store in town). The asking price is vastly reduced from what I would have expected at ~1200CHF due to the repaired break (I think that it'll drop lower as it's already been reduced once).

Reverb lists the price for a mint one at ~2500CHF, so this is about half price.

Normally I'd never consider a repaired headstock guitar, but for this model (assuming it plays well and is solid), I'm tempted. The store is the most well regarded in the region, and has been around for 30+ years - they do all my luthery work already, so I can be pretty sure the repair work was done well.

Just wondering about people thoughts on this - would you consider it? What would be a fair price? Or even cheap would you give it a hard pass?

Any thoughts appreciated!

Here are some pics from the auction listing:

LP1.jpeg


LP2.jpeg


LP3.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Skyhook

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I've been looking for a real Gibson LP for a long time (many years), and found out that one model I really like is the Les Paul Standard Classic Premium Plus from ~1995. Each one I've played has been really very good.

I found a perfect one in a local store just before the lockdown, but the price was (very Swiss) much too much for what it was imo - they wanted ~2700CHF for a guitar that was very well used to the point of a good few dings, play wear on the back of the neck, a good bit of fret wear etc. (Reverb recommended ~2200CHF for a mint one). The top however was pretty spectacular and it was *wonderful* to play, perfect sound, amazing feel and action. I offered 2400CHF on the day but the store declined.

I really felt it was much too good an instrument for my guitar playing ability, and also expensive in that used condition. My wife convinced me to go grab it as another may not come by any time soon, and sell a few others to cover the cost. By the time I went back 2 days later to just pay what they wanted, it had sold - it was the one that got away! Ironically, Reverb now lists them as 4K+ for good condition!

Anyhow, yesterday I was browsing a local sales sites and found a LP that looked very similar (the one I saw also had a similar semi 'chevron' type grain by the bridge - what are the chances?). At first I really thought it was the guitar I missed out on, but reading the advert further it's not the same guitar, being a 2005, but is in the same 'plus' lineage. It's being sold with with the original hardcase, but no case candy or labels anything.

The guitar is clearly noted as having had a headstock break, with the fix done at the same store I saw the original guitar I saw (the biggest and most famous store in town). The asking price is vastly reduced from what I would have expected at ~1200CHF due to the repaired break (I think that it'll drop lower as it's already been reduced once).

Normally I'd never consider a repaired headstock guitar, but for this model (assuming it plays well and is solid), I'm tempted. The store is the most well regarded in the region, and has been around for 30+ years - they do all my luthery work already, so I can be pretty sure the repair work was done well.

Just wondering about people thoughts on this - would you consider it? What would be a fair price? Or even cheap would you give it a hard pass?

Any thoughts appreciated!

Here are some pics from the auction listing:

View attachment 999707

View attachment 999708

View attachment 999709
Yes I would.
Professionally repaired breaks can end up even stronger than pre-break, I've heard.

HOWEVER...
Since the words "Headstock Break" send many running for the hills(perhaps wrongly),
there is a serious drop in re-sale value. This would need to be adequately reflected in the asking price.
 

jimmywrangles

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Repair looks pretty good...I'd probably buy it as LP are freaking expensive and this would be the only chance I'd have to get one.
I just did a quick currency conversion to Aus dollars and it comes out at $1700 or therabouts which is OK but still a lot for a broken guitar.
Id try and haggle a bit and lower the price and then grab it but that's just me.
 

JohnnyThul

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That guitar has a Nashville bridge and a bigger headstock which make me think, it's not a Classic, but maybe a Standard? If so, I'd check it first, as the neck could be different from the Classic. I remember Gibson offering 50s and 60s neck profiles on the Standard, a classic always has the slim taper 60s profile, from what I remember.
But I am not expert, I had a 1993 Classic Plus, and these had a very small headstock and Abr-1 bridge and the slim taper neck and lightly aged inlays( not the green ones).
 

dreamingtele

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Yes I would. Only if the repair was professionally done and done right.

These repaired headstocks Gibsons usually give you one of the best prices you can get. Depending on the model, prices can still be high, especially if the repair was done by a really good luthier, but not absurdly expensive and priced like a non-repaired one.

The headstock would be stronger and usually are very stable.

I think I wont buy standard models as I can get them without headstock breaks with decent used prices.

I wont think twice if it is a CS model reissue, made to measure or special order.
 

marc2211

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That guitar has a Nashville bridge and a bigger headstock which make me think, it's not a Classic, but maybe a Standard? If so, I'd check it first, as the neck could be different from the Classic. I remember Gibson offering 50s and 60s neck profiles on the Standard, a classic always has the slim taper 60s profile, from what I remember.
But I am not expert, I had a 1993 Classic Plus, and these had a very small headstock and Abr-1 bridge and the slim taper neck and lightly aged inlays( not the green ones).

Ah yep, good eye! I just got the serial number and model from the buyer - it's a 'Standard Plus' (or 'Standard Premium Plus?) apparently.
 

Dismalhead

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If I had a guitar with a broken neck that was repaired I would keep it, but I wouldn't buy a guitar with a broken headstock unless it was dirt cheap and I knew it was repaired properly. IMO it's lost about 2/3 of the value, and you will have a heck of a time selling it if you don't want to keep it. It's like buying a car with a salvage title. If a mint one runs 2500 CHF (not sure what currency that is) I'd offer them maybe 800.
 

somebodyelseuk

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It depends.
If I had the dough, I'd buy the 'Peter Green' Les Paul, in a heartbeat. That's had three neck breaks.
A regular Les Paul? I'll be honest, I wouldn't buy any (Gibson) Les Paul made this side of 1960, that wasn't made in the Custom Shop, however, when it comes to head/neck breaks, it depends who repaired it... I'd want an invoice for the repair included and I wouldn't pay more than 60% market value.
As said elsewhere, because of the direction of the wood grain in Gibson necks, repairs can be stronger than original. This is why "lesser brands" scarf joint the heads - it's stronger than one piece.
 

marc2211

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Thanks for the viewpoints everyone, it definitely helps! :)

I definitely trust the shop, they are well respected for the quality of their work, and I've also know the luthier personally for many years. Repair receipt is included (and I can ask the shop for info on the guitar too as I'm sure they'll know it).

But yes, unless it was super cheap I guess I could be saddling myself with something I'd never be able to move on if I ever wanted to. If it's still listed in a month or so I'l make a low ball offer and see what the seller says.
 

Lonn

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The best playing Gibson I ever had also had the most horrifying neck break/repair I'd ever seen. It was gruesome but solid. I paid $300 for it with OHSC and wish I still had it. Sold it for twice what I paid to someone that was just as happy to get it.
 

Si G X

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If you are buying it to play and especially play out/gig with. Then I think it's a better guitar to buy than an unbroken one.... heck it might even need repairing again one day. Buy it and play the hell out of it.

If you are buying at as any kind of investment or to hang on the wall and leave to your kids, then maybe not.
 

jtees4

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As long as the price takes the break into account, and the repair looks solid (it does)...I'd do it! In fact I have had one or two guitars with repiared headstocks over the years, no problems, again, as long as you get a heavy discount.
 

Marc Morfei

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When I was a teenager many eons ago I bought a Les Paul Custom with a broken headstock. That was the only way I could have afforded a guitar like that back then. Guitar played fine, and I was a 17 year old with a Les Paul and a Twin Reverb. (That should have been illegal.) Of course, like an idiot I sold everything a few years later, for peanuts.
 

MickM

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I'd buy one. The best guitar player I know personally has a Reverse Firebird I and a LP Jr. both from early 60s that have headstock repairs due to having a crazy hot (jealous of his guitars) girlfriend thirty plus years ago. After she broke 'em(2 differen't occasions) she paid to get them fixed and they're as stable or more so than they were new.
 




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