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  #1  
Old 01-24-2023, 11:31 PM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is offline
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Default First foray into vintage Gibson '63 J50

I have been hunting for a mahogany slope shoulder. I have been mostly searching newer Kopp, Walker, maybe Gibson. I have a potential trade of my Posch Advanced Jumbo for a '63 Gibson J-50 adjustable bridge plus money to me. Below are some pics. Unfortunately it is a distance away, so I can't play it before making the trade. I am waiting for a report back from the current owner's tech. I have asked for information on frets, neck re-set or needing one, condition of the bridge plate, any loose bracing, cracks (there is one small one at the pickguard by the bridge), truss rod operation, fretboard divots, overspray or finish work. There is no pick up or strap button on the heal. The current owner acquired it from the daughter of the original owner who bought it new. It does have the adjustable nut and plastic bridge which may need to be changed and I would probably replace the plywood bridge plate. (Estimated cost of about $1K for work) Just wondering if I am missing anything. I believe the price is right and am expecting to spend some money. Below are some pictures. The original owner did not have a case and the one that will be supplied has seen better days.

I appreciate any feedback or comments. Thank you

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Old 01-25-2023, 07:33 AM
Skarsaune Skarsaune is offline
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Two comments:
- I hope the $$$ coming your way is substantial considering the condition of the J-50. It's not terrible, but I wouldn't rate it as good, either.
- I think you are estimating on the high side for repair costs, but that is probably a good idea considering you aren't able to evaluate it in person.

Cool piece. Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2023, 07:59 AM
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hubcapsc hubcapsc is offline
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It looks like a guitar that has had some play, that's probably a good sign.

Decent pre-plastic-bridge mid 50s gibsons like that (my Country western is a 57)
can be had for $4,500 - $5,000 ... I like my Country Western a whole lot ...

The bridge work you plan to have done sounds sounds like a good thing to
suggest to your tech... if you're good with whatever it is going to cost you, it
seems like a good bet to me...

-Mike
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Old 01-25-2023, 08:34 AM
Dave Richard Dave Richard is offline
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It's not easy to evaluate condition from photos. Having said that, i think I see a crack, on the treble side of the fingerboard extension, extending into the soundhole(with visible misalignment of the soundhole ring). That will need careful repair and reinforcement.
Given that crack, the top crack under the B string between soundhole and bridge, and the large, lifting pickguard(shrinking celluloid guards are a significant contributing cause of such cracks), I would plan to remove the guard, fix the cracks, seal the bare spruce under the guard, and reattach the guard with double-faced adhesive. This will allow the plastic guard to, in future, move(continue shrinking) without damaging the top.
Given the visible condition of the guitar, I think your 1k estimate for repairs is reasonable, perhaps even low, but it's not possible to be sure without an in-hand, on-the-bench evaluation.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:30 AM
dilver dilver is offline
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Depending on where you are and your repair man, $1,000 might even be a bit low of a estimate of repair costs:
- neck reset
- refret/nut
- replace bridge
- replace bridge plate

Could be a cool piece once you’re done, but depending on your patience, you might be better off selling your guitar and THEN shopping for a vintage piece in slightly better condition.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:47 AM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is offline
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These are great responses and suggestions! Thank you all. This is all new to me and I can appreciate the vintage market can be slippery and expensive.
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Old 01-25-2023, 10:02 AM
Fathand Fathand is offline
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Do you specifically want vintage? A new J-45 standard is like $2849 with a case and warranty? A vintage one that needs a neck reset , bridge, crack and probably frets could eat up more than that and maybe more in the future.
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Old 01-25-2023, 04:15 PM
tomcstokes59 tomcstokes59 is offline
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I would like to thank everyone again for the comments. It looks like this isn't the way I am prepared to go. I previously had an interest in BMW air cooled motorcyles. The advise I was given was to spend more up front on one in the best condition needing the least amount of work. You may be ahead in the long run. Maybe the same holds true for vintage guitars and honestly I don't know enough (yet) to start down this path. I ended up with an excellent deal on a Walker Wise River - close to the vintage Gibson sound in a newer build. I think for now that will suffice.
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Old 01-25-2023, 04:18 PM
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hubcapsc hubcapsc is offline
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a Walker Wise River... I think for now that will suffice.

Oh yea... and probably later too ...

-Mike
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