1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Need a Gibson "vintage guitar" appraisal, who should I contact ?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Davyo, Jan 8, 2012.


  1. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    My father passed away recently and was a pro musician his whole life,,, when I was cleaning out his house I found two Gibson guitars both from the late 50's or early 60's,,,, I remember these guitars from when I was a small child,, I did not know he had kept the guitars after he retired many years ago.

    My father was endorsed by Gibson since the 1950's and all the guitars Gibson ever gave him or made for him were always high end or special edition guitars,,, they might be very rare.

    One is an electric,, I think an E125 Special, the other is an acoustic Gibson,, anyhow, they are both in very nice condition and Im thinkin they both might have some great value as vintage classic guitars.

    As a bass player I dont know enough to take a guess on the value of these guitars and have never had the need to get an appraisal of a vintage guitar or bass.

    Can anyone suggest who I might contact to get an appraisal,,, and yes,, I will contact Gibson but I wanted to get some second opinions.

    Thanks in advance

    Cheers
    Davyo
     
  2. 123321

    123321 Bravely eating @ MacDonald's Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    Virginia
    In my experience, your best bet would be to contact Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, TN.

    Gruhn Guitars

    Besides being an absolute authority on vintage instruments (any one want to try and refute that?), he is able to do an appraisal with digital photos. He will typically appraise, offer a consignment price, and an outright purchase price. There is a fee but- it is an excellent investment! It is a written appraisal.

    You sound like you have a couple of "blue chip" items...
     
  3. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    You're in Las Vegas? Never mind shipping them to Gruhn (who I find a bit of a shyster). That is a major pain, and it'll cost you hundreds. Drive them over to Cowtown Guitars and get a value from them. They won't charge you a dime.
     
  4. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Not the last word, but I always found Vintage Guitar Magazine to be a good starting point in my "collecting days".
     
  5. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011
    Atlanta
    Gruhn appraised my father's '59 strat last year. I had to email pics of the front and back and serial number. the appraisal cost 50 dollars. for that price they sent a written quote for what they believe the value to be based on the pics I sent. They were very clear that if i wanted a more in depth appraisal that I would have to take them the guitar. The appraisal made from the emailed pics was sufficient to get the guitar added to my dad's homeowner's policy for the appraised amount. If you were trying to auction the guitars, you might need something more in depth. I was very pleased with gruhn based on the level of interaction i had with them. good luck to you! I'm sorry to hear that your father passed, but I'm sure he'd be pleased to know that you are looking after his guitars.
     
  6. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish Banned

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.
    What's that TB phrase? No pix, no guitars???:bag:
     
  7. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Having worked for George, I can assure you he is not a "shyster"... He is very intelligent and though I will be the first to admit that he can be odd, he is actually a very good guy. He didn't build the reputation that his store has by ripping people off. I find that to be a common misconception. Nothing against Cowtown, I'm sure they do a great job as well.

    Sorry to hear about your Dad.

    Moonshine :bassist:
     
  8. 123321

    123321 Bravely eating @ MacDonald's Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    Virginia
    Yes Indeed!!+1

    (plus, there's the monthly bass related article by Slog or Moseley...)

    I've had some very good dealings with Gruhn over the years. George and Guitar Trader, Ax-In-Hand, and more were all there was once upon a time... He may seem a bit different to some but man- he knows his stuff and he has other experts in his fold to call upon if needed...
     
  9. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Gruhn personally spearheaded the out of control price increases on vintage instruments. Over the last 25 years, you could and still can rely on Gruhn Guitars to have the most overpriced gear in the country. I'll take your word that Gruhn is a nice guy, but jacking up vintage instrument values, and putting vintage instruments out of reach of the average person is his stock and trade.
     
  10. 123321

    123321 Bravely eating @ MacDonald's Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2004
    Virginia
    As a successful businessman, I'm sure Gruhn has charged "what the market will bear" in addition to a realistic profit margin. I don't think Gruhn (or anyone for that matter) can totally dictate the market and its values. It is what it is. I'll have to agree that it is sad that older stuff is so expensive. I remember the late eighties when Strats just went completely off the chain. One of the major impetuses to that was the offshore buyers like persons from Japan and others. They had some serious dough and would actively be at shows buying like mad.
     
  11. Pics?
     
  12. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Banned Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    If your dad was endorsed, then contact Gibson directly. They should be able to tell you about the instruments they sent him, including serial numbers. Then, after you have authenticated it with them, contact George Gruhn or the editor of vintage guitar magazine. They will give you a price.
     
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    This makes no sense and I don't buy it. What a guitar is appraised for is most meaningful for insurance purposes; what it SELLS for is the real measure of value...and the sales prices of guitars determine what the appraisal should be.

    The fact that vintage guitars went up in price is due to the market, since buyers competed with each other and were willing to pay higher prices. In turn, appraisals went up. All Gruhn or any other appraiser can do is to provide appraisals which reflect their understanding of what the market will pay. If Gruhn was the first to make an accurate estimation of what the market would bear and to price guitars at those levels, then he should be congratulated for being more astute than others.
     
  14. smcd

    smcd

    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I wasn't talking about Gruhn's appraisals. I was focusing on his retail business practices.
     
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Same argument. He can't sell for more than the market will pay. If he didn't sell anything, he'd be out of business. If all of his vintage stuff was overpriced, it wouldn't sell. Ergo, he's probably selling at prices that are appropriate - even if one of us doesn't like those prices. As a friend of mine says, "tough toenails."

    Granted, he's in Nashville and that's probably a great market for vintage guitars - but that simply means it's a great place to sell a vintage guitar if you own one.
     
  16. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Gruhn has long been considered a standard for valuing old instruments.
    That said, a large part of their business comes from overseas buyers who value vintage American instruments even more highly than we do. That has, in some part, affected their view of pricing as opposed to what one of us might expect from Craig's list or an ebay sale in the lower 48.

    And that said, they have seen far more vintage instruments come and go than almost anyone, so their perspective has some real value.

    As Pilgrim said, the true value of an instrument is what someone is willing to pay for it. One of the best sources for this information you can find is the completed transactions on Ebay. There is a check box for this in the search field.

    Every week on Craig's list I see the vintage gear start out at jaw dropping prices...only to see the price fall after each week it doesn't sell. Eventually, people come to realize on their own (by how many phone calls they are getting - or not getting) what the market is for their instrument.

    One of the greatest criteria in determining the value of of vintage instruments is: is it in original condition? Any variation from the original state devalues it tremendously. This includes finish, knobs, tuning keys, pickups, pick guard - just about anything except strings.

    Some things may have great value, but are slow sellers. Left handed guitars, fretless basses, obscure brands to name a few.
     
  17. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Digital Brand Development and Product Development at GHS Strings
    As another option, what about the guys at Elderly Instruments? They are very knowledgeable about vintage instruments, and provided you send them some pictures, could probably help you out as well.
     
  18. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone made and thanks to "smcd" for the CowTown store suggestion here in Las Vegas,, I totaly didnt even think about taking the Gibsons over to CowTown.

    I think I will take the Gibsons over to my local CowTown store as well as calling Gibson.

    Here is the asked for pictures of the guitars.

    Cheers
    Davyo

    3506vkm.
     
  19. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Kind of making George out to be Dr Evil aren't you? It sounds to me like he pissed you off (something he is very good at)...

    Last I heard, no one was forcing anyone to deal with Gruhn's.

    Moonshine :bassist:
     
  20. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011

    /thread












    ...but if it's not the end of the thread, also consider Mandolin Brothers in Staten Island, NY.
     

Share This Page