PDA

View Full Version : how much are the orville by gibsons worth?


amshively
07-08-2010, 10:13 AM
a guy is trying to sell his orville by gibson, a les paul style guitar, for around 1350. is there any reason why it should be that expensive?

jtg116
07-08-2010, 10:57 AM
I don't know why his is $1350, on EBay they go for around $800, and if you wait, less.

stevieboy
07-08-2010, 11:02 AM
The Guitargai http://www.guitargai.com/html_folder/homepage.html has a couple of O by G's right now for under 1200, and a couple of Orville's for under 900.

David Vee
07-08-2010, 11:13 AM
The reasons these particular Japanese guitars command the price tags are:

1. Both "Orville" and "Orville by Gibson" branded models were officially authorized/supervised by Gibson. Think of stock Orville as the Epiphone line (which it would become), and OBG as Gibson USA (with near Custom Shop quality). Both were kept from being exported to the USA.

2. The OBG craftsmanship is said to have exceeded their American-made counterparts of that era. The OBG models also received the same electronics used by Gibson in the USA and received the famous fret edge binding. It is generally assumed by those kinds of details that OBG models received considerably more TLC during assembly.

3. They are now long out of production... rare usually commands a price

(Of course, Gibson would later rethink its exporting policies as they allowed the cheaper "Orville" line to morph into Epiphone... noteworthy is that the early Epiphones were first made in Japan and characterized as having traditional Gibson headstock profiles. It is generally accepted that when Gibson moved Epiphone to Korea, and changed headstocks, the line became "cheapened" and less desirable. The short-lived, early Japanese-made Epiphone quality, however, is reputed to have matched the OBG's craftsmanship.)

David Vee
07-08-2010, 11:19 AM
I don't know why his is $1350, on EBay they go for around $800, and if you wait, less.

I've seen many folks place the eBay listing as "Orville (by Gibson)"... but the headstock reveals what you are bidding on is a garden variety Orville. The OBGs command more money.

Also, like the American models... the finish matters. An opaque finished OBG will command less money than a burst.

germs
07-08-2010, 11:32 AM
so far so good, just have to know what you're buying.

regular "Orville" go less than $1K with regularity.

if the seller has the better model on hand, then you're probably getting a decent price.

Gasp100
07-08-2010, 02:09 PM
Orville's in good shape = $650-850 TOPS!
ObG's in good shape = $850-1200 TOPS!
I can't justify spending the money for an ObG when I can possibly find a used Gibson LP Standard for a tad more.

amshively
07-08-2010, 04:33 PM
thanks everyone. all these comments are helpful.

rogwerks
07-08-2010, 05:59 PM
can we still say "jap"...

Oy!!

vortexxxx
07-09-2010, 12:00 AM
Orville by Gibson reissues go up to $2000 depending on the model. They are close to Custom Shop quality. They sold for about $1400.00 when they were new. Much better quality than a standard production Gibson. People are finding out about these and the prices are going up. The ones that aren't reissues sell for a bit less. The ones without the "by Gibson" designation are lower quality and sold for less. The OBG reissues were much more accurate than the USA reissues when they came out.

cherrick
07-09-2010, 08:04 AM
Orvilles: 50% the price of a Gibson Les Paul standard (not a Historic).

vortexxxx
07-09-2010, 06:36 PM
Here's a 59 re-issue http://cgi.ebay.com/guitarfrenzi-Orville-Gibson-59-Les-Paul-/400133046253

because of the desirability of some of these models they have started counterfeiting them so be careful if you're buying.

jeffwith1f
07-09-2010, 06:50 PM
half.

Gasp100
07-09-2010, 08:01 PM
Here's a 59 re-issue http://cgi.ebay.com/guitarfrenzi-Orville-Gibson-59-Les-Paul-/400133046253

because of the desirability of some of these models they have started counterfeiting them so be careful if you're buying.

IMHO, the ObG reissues are the top of the line and still are "only" on par with Gibson LP Standards MIA IF you can find one in excellent condition. C'mon, they are Nitro, loaded with Classic 57's stock and nice wiring with all USA hardware. What's different between that and a nice Gibson LP Standard that's made in America. How in the world can they be MORE than a high quality as new Gibson LP Standard?
And yes, I have owned a ObG 59 RI.

captain_bob
07-09-2010, 08:40 PM
I sold an OBG around Christmas for $975.00

David Vee
07-09-2010, 08:47 PM
IMHO, the ObG reissues are the top of the line and still are "only" on par with Gibson LP Standards MIA IF you can find one in excellent condition. C'mon, they are Nitro, loaded with Classic 57's stock and nice wiring with all USA hardware. What's different between that and a nice Gibson LP Standard that's made in America. How in the world can they be MORE than a high quality as new Gibson LP Standard?
And yes, I have owned a ObG 59 RI.

I see your point, but what it really comes down to is fit and finish. Sadly, American craftsmanship ain't what it used to be... and the Japanese were, and still are, fanatical when it comes to woodworking. I'm not saying they can beat every Custom Shop model, but on any given day... that 20 year old Japanese example of their best efforts can make our boys go back to their drawing boards wondering why and how.

vortexxxx
07-10-2010, 12:26 AM
Last time I got my OBG 59 setup the guys at the store were in awe of it at the 12th Fret in Toronto. They have all sorts of vintage gear there including some 50's Les Pauls. They carry the entire Gibson line. I've had many USA Gibsons and the quality is hit and miss. I can't say if the other OBG reissues are as good as mine because I've never had any other OBGs but if you check the MyLesPaul forum you'll see how coveted these are.

"What's different between that and a nice Gibson LP Standard that's made in America. How in the world can they be MORE than a high quality as new Gibson LP Standard"

The US Standard has nothing to do with Vintage Specs. so it's like comparing apples to oranges. I don't want a semisolid Les Paul and many others don't as well. I don't want a 10 pound LP either (like the Norlins). Mine is completely solid and weighs just under 8 pounds. Try finding a non custom shop- not chambered one of those. If you must compare them they are comparable to historics. The only fault mine has are the fretboard inlays. You can see a sliver of the black epoxy they used to glue them in on some. I'm not trying to imply it's perfect (because it's not - no guitar is) but the quality control on most newer Standards is not much better than the Studios.

vortexxxx
07-10-2010, 01:05 AM
Another bit of trivia I found - Japan still uses the now illegal in the US nitro that was used in the 50's. on some guitars. I'm not implying that this one uses that but it's just an example of how much into tradition they are. The first official reissue guitars were Fenders made in Japan.

Gasp100
07-10-2010, 10:30 AM
I agree with what you are saying in certain respects, but a factor that keeps me from shooting for an ObG (or any higher quality MIJ from the Golden Era - ie. 80 - 90's) is that you rarely, if ever will get a chance to play before you buy and many times have to trust in a seller from Japan to ship one to you (buy to try).
Good examples of MIA Gibson Standards are so plentiful (on here, mylespaul, ebay, etc...) and locally in many cases you "might" have a better shot finding what you want.
It's always a crapshoot, I hold the MIJ LP's in VERY high regard and would love to own another one someday soon. But, the $1300-1500 zone is just too high in my humble opinion. I think in that level you might actually be looking at some very high level MODERN Japanese LP copies as well, new? Tokai, Bachuss, real ESP Navigators?

amshively
07-10-2010, 12:43 PM
can anyone tell a difference between the japanese craftsmanship of 20 years ago versus today?

pbradt
07-10-2010, 01:32 PM
a guy is trying to sell his orville by gibson, a les paul style guitar, for around 1350. is there any reason why it should be that expensive?
You can get one on ebay for a lot less than that (http://cgi.ebay.com/Gibson-Orville-Les-Paul-/260633429718?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Guitar&hash=item3caef686d6).

vortexxxx
07-10-2010, 06:47 PM
You can get one on ebay for a lot less than that (http://cgi.ebay.com/Gibson-Orville-Les-Paul-/260633429718?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Guitar&hash=item3caef686d6).


Be careful with this one. It could be a fake. It's definitely not an OBG reissue. Someone put a Gibson logo on it so it could be anything. The guitar case is fake as well. Someone just spraypainted it. I think this is one of those counterfeit Gibsons.

vortexxxx
07-10-2010, 07:04 PM
I agree with what you are saying in certain respects, but a factor that keeps me from shooting for an ObG (or any higher quality MIJ from the Golden Era - ie. 80 - 90's) is that you rarely, if ever will get a chance to play before you buy and many times have to trust in a seller from Japan to ship one to you (buy to try).
Good examples of MIA Gibson Standards are so plentiful (on here, mylespaul, ebay, etc...) and locally in many cases you "might" have a better shot finding what you want.
It's always a crapshoot, I hold the MIJ LP's in VERY high regard and would love to own another one someday soon. But, the $1300-1500 zone is just too high in my humble opinion. I think in that level you might actually be looking at some very high level MODERN Japanese LP copies as well, new? Tokai, Bachuss, real ESP Navigators?


I agree with you that not being able to play one before you get it is a big issue. In my case I knew the dealer and he hand picked it for his personal collection. He was forced to sell it because he found a 50's Tele at a great price that he couldn't pass up.

stevieboy
07-10-2010, 07:08 PM
Be careful with this one. It could be a fake. It's definitely not an OBG reissue. Someone put a Gibson logo on it so it could be anything. The guitar case is fake as well. Someone just spraypainted it. I think this is one of those counterfeit Gibsons.

Yes I think so too, though I don't know everything! But Gibson authorized the Orville and Orville by Gibson lines to have those two names on the headstock, I've never heard of just "Gibson" being allowed, big red flag there.

And the case too. The Orville's and O by G's came with gig bags, not cases. It's possible tyhere were exceptions but that is spray painted as said.

Jray
07-10-2010, 07:10 PM
Jim Sevall (Scumback Speakers / Southbay Ampworks) has a Orville by Gibson. Sounded good. Can remmy if I played it. Hit him up. Bet he has some insight on it's value and what to look for in terms of avoiding a scam.

stevieboy
07-10-2010, 07:38 PM
FWIW I have an O by G 335. I also have a Gibson 335 that's become my main guitar, but if the Orville didn't have a thin neck profile that's pretty uncomfortable for me I would have not felt the need for the Gibson.

Here's some Orville and O by G info for anyone who's interested.

http://www.guitarsjapan.com/orvillegibsoninfopage.html

amshively
07-11-2010, 03:38 AM
once again, awesome info guys. thanks a bunch.

Scumback Speakers
07-11-2010, 11:44 AM
I got my first Orville 4-5 years ago. I now have five.

The OBG models are supposed to have the Gibson pickups from the 80/90's in them. They are not going to make you real happy.

In my experience, the electronics on the regular Orville models AND the OBG all were sub standard, fitted with cheap pots/caps/switches/jacks/wire. That all has to be replaced with CTS, WCR, RS or some other decent pots, and caps, etc. The tuners are basically crap as well. The tailpiece/bridges were ok in most cases.

As far as the finish is concerned, I am not convinced that the OBG had nitro lacquer, and if they do, it's not a very thin one. My Explorer OBG and my LP Custom OBG should both have these finishes, and in the finish chips I've seen they're much thicker than any of my real or replica Gibsons. So I'd have to say the OBG line (as I have read on the net) may have had the Gibson pickups in them, but as far as any other enhancements such as thin nitro finishes on them, I am skeptical.

My Orville goldtop LP has a solid maple cap, as does the OBG LP Custom. Since I don't have a flametop LP model, I can't comment on whether the flame is "foto-flame", thin veneer flame, or a solid flame maple cap.

Generally this is what I do when I get an Orville.

Fret dress, get the nut cut or replaced as needed, tuners are replaced, pots/caps/pickups/switch/wire/jack are replaced. Then you have a known quantity on the electronics/tuning. As for the wood/fit/finish, the regular Orvilles and the OBG all seem to have had the same decent (USA quality) work done as the American counterparts. That's why I have five of them!

So hopefully that helps. As far as Orville fakes and pricing. I've found that the Orville models generally cost about 80-65% of a comparable Gibson NOW. Back when I bought mine years ago, it was more like 30-60%. They did get popular due to the low cost, and workmanship. And doing all of the stuff I talked about can cost up to $5-600 if you buy all top of the line parts. I've never seen an Orville fake.

I bought my LP GT for $600 shipped, did the upgrades, and bought a Gibson case, I'm into it for about $1150 now.

The Explorer I bought for $475, with upgrades, and case, I have about $950 into it now.

The LP Custom OBG I bought for $600 with case/shipping, and the upgrades set me back an other $400.

If you were to go buy the Epiphone models and do the same thing, the price would be similar, maybe a little less. Personally I like the Gibson headstock design better than the Epi design, so that's why I have five of them.

Now, all that said, I would love to have my Epi Birdseye LP I sold to get an Orville back, because that guitar was truly great, and I didn't care if it had a veneer on it, since it sounded so good. But I sold it to get the Orville GT LP, and I've had to put way more money into the Orville than the Epi. But then again, I went through about 15 Epi's to get that one good one, and I've only sold one dog Orville out of the five I bought, so the Orville's have a much higher ratio of decent sounding guitars than the Epi's.

mikefair
07-11-2010, 01:53 PM
$1350 sounds high for a OBG Standard from any year. They did make some reissue models that command a higher price on the used market.

My 1990 Standard is a nice piece of wood, finished very well with good hardware. It came with Bill Lawrence designed pickups that sounded a little cold to me. I replaced the cheapy pots that came in it as well.

Overall I think they represent a pretty good value. I do think it's an exaggeration to say the equivalent USA Gibson would cost twice as much.

vortexxxx
07-11-2010, 09:57 PM
[QUOTE=Scumback Speakers;
In my experience, the electronics on the regular Orville models AND the OBG all were sub standard, fitted with cheap pots/caps/switches/jacks/wire. That all has to be replaced with CTS, WCR, RS or some other decent pots, and caps, etc. The tuners are basically crap as well. The tailpiece/bridges were ok in most cases.[/QUOTE]


You can say the same generalization about US Gibsons though. CTS pots are made in asia these days and thats what Gibson uses. The old CTS were good the new CTS are not so good. My tuners are Kluson style which are unbranded so I don`t know if they are real Klusons. They do own the patent on that design though so they may just be unbranded. They do work just as they are supposed to. The pickups that were stock were 57 Classics which sounded good but I`ve upgraded them to a real 50`s longmagnet Gibson PAF and a WCR Filmore pickup. I`ve also put real bumblebees in it (Gibson uses fake bees that are not even paper-in-oil in their custom shop stuff). You`d be doing these upgrades to a stock gibson anyway. Contrary to popular belief the pots are quite nice. I`ve opened them to give them a custom taper. They are very well made. The tailpiece and bridge on mine were vintage correct lightweight aluminum.



I know you like Orvilles so I`m not disagreeing with you just explaining to some others that you pretty much have the same quality stuff in a current Gibson (that people may wish to replace).

Would I trade my Orville 59ri for a Custom Shop Gibson 59ri? - sure, but I`d be keeping My PAF

vortexxxx
07-11-2010, 10:20 PM
Just for comparison here is the quality control on custom shop Gibson:

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=745855

So My last comment about trading it for a Gibson R9 - maybe I wouldn't.

NWOBHM
07-17-2010, 12:52 PM
The last 3 guitars I bought were a 2004 Navigator, 2010 R8, and a 92' OBG Fujigen here on the emporium. The OBG unplugged is the best of the 3. Very much alive, even past the 12th fret notes bloom and sustain better than the other 2. The Navigator would be 2nd, it's the only current MIJ I know of, that uses real thin 50's style nitro and Hondran mahagony and rosewood which, is actually stronger than Brazillian, according to the internets? ;) The grain is very tight, just like on my 54' Les Paul with Brazillian roswood. Now, that guitar would be number one out of all of them, it's truly alive in your hands. The 2010 R8 is the most historically accurate of the 3. Although, I think it's a great guitar and plays really good for a new guitar, it doesn't project as much as the other 2 but, that could be from being brand new so, who knows after it breaks in more, it might rival the others?

27sauce
07-17-2010, 12:56 PM
Killer
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180534120595&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

NWOBHM
07-17-2010, 01:04 PM
Killer
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180534120595&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
Photoflame, I've never played one but, there alot guys that have, that say they love there's.

Scumback Speakers
07-17-2010, 01:08 PM
Killer
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180534120595&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Pretty sure that's a "foto-flame" top, or the thin veneer of maple. Notice how the flames stop around the pickup rings and don't continue to the routes?

27sauce
07-17-2010, 01:44 PM
It probably is foto-flame. It reminds me of my '88 Pre-Historic which has the "enhanced" flame. Sometimes those enhanced tops look like foto in pictures.
http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg278/msauce27/DSC05039.jpg

vortexxxx
07-17-2010, 10:50 PM
My 1993 Orville by Gibson Les Paul '59 Reissue (LPS-59R)


http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/4154/61706530.jpg
By vortexxxx (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/vortexxxx) at 2010-02-22

http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/6587/54911440.jpg
By vortexxxx (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/vortexxxx) at 2010-07-17

http://img828.imageshack.us/img828/2244/25837071.jpg
By vortexxxx (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/vortexxxx) at 2010-07-17


These are the seller's photos. The pickups have since been changed.

vortexxxx
07-18-2010, 01:56 AM
Pretty sure that's a "foto-flame" top, or the thin veneer of maple. Notice how the flames stop around the pickup rings and don't continue to the routes?

Yes the ebay one is photo is foto-flame. It's a process where the flame pattern is printed on but there is no 3D effect. Usually "Orville" guitars have photoflame and "Orville by Gibson" guitars have either solid maple caps or solid maple with a veneer on top which still gives you the 3D effect

vortexxxx
07-20-2010, 12:52 AM
From "The Gibson Les Paul Book" by Tony Bacon and Paul Day:

``Orville. The first name of the founder of the American company
was used by Gibson on a range of Japanese-made guitars, launched
in 1988, which officially copy Gibson's most famous designs.
While the cheaper guitars carry only the Orville logo, the higher
priced versions are branded Orville by Gibson. This latter line
bears the 'Les Paul' logo when appropriate, and models include
the Custom, Standard and Junior. The Orville by Gibson instruments
are equipped with US-made Gibson pickups. At the time of writing
these high quality, accurate repros are sold only on the Japanese
market, because Gibson does not perceive a market niche for them
elsewhere.''

335guy
07-20-2010, 02:24 AM
I just cannot see buying an Orville for $1,200.00 or so. I bought a 2005 Gibson Les Paul Classic for $1,235.00 with the original case. It is in very good ( 9+ ) condition. Of course, the Classics have a few "issues" some don't care for. Mainly, the snot green fretboard inlays, the ceramic pickups and the 1960 pick guard. I replaced the pickups with a Classic Plus in the bridge and a SD 59' in the neck for $150.00. The pickguard was replaced with a genuine Gibson Les Paul Standard pickguard. Genuine Gibson nickel plated pickup covers and a plain truss rod cover plate were also put on it. So, I maybe put another $100.00 for a total of $1,485.00 total. Not a great deal but it's what I wanted. It has the 60's neck carve that I wanted and the frets were flawless. Also noteworthy, is the quality of the worksmanship. The inlay work is way better than the pics of those Orvilles, there's no bleed through on the binding, the fit and finish is top flight, the tone is excellent and it's a USA Gibson with a Gibson hardshell case.

vortexxxx
07-20-2010, 04:11 PM
The "Orville by Gibsons" were never cheap guitars. In the early 90's the selling price was about $1200 for the 59 reissue when it was available new. Yes you can get a classic for that price but you can't get a 59 reissue and it would unlikely be as good as mine. Perhaps mine is better than the norm. I don't have experience with others but others who have tried them or own them swear by them. Did you know the most expensive ObG in the 90's was $2200.00 (very expensive for the 90's)? Other than the inlays which I mentioned before there really isn't any quantifiable difference between my guitar and a Custom shop Gibson R9 other than mine now has better pickups since I have a mid 50's PAF and a WCR filmore installed. The fretwork is immaculate. The neck shape is correct 59 profile - delicately carved. It's not too heavy, vintage correct hardware, etc. You had to wait another 10 years for Gibson USA to offer these more correct specs for a re-issue (It has only been a year or two since Gibson added the thinner vintage-correct bridge adjustment wheels - The ObGs had the thinner correct ones almost 20 years ago)

I'm not trying to convince anyone to go out and buy these. I'm just trying to clear up some misconceptions that people have about them. If you do decide to buy one another thing to consider is if you want a veneered to or a non-veneered one as these have come in both styles. The non veneered ones are obviously more coveted so that is reflected in the price. Some have one piece backs and some have 2 piece backs (another thing to consider)

The biggest problem for many though is that you can't play them before you buy them since most of these still reside in Japan. In my case, if I didn't like it, I would have just resold it (the 59 reissues are probably the most wanted and are easy to sell) The last one that I saw on ebay sold for about $2000 in just a few hours after it was listed.

Something I just recently found out was the reason they chose the Orville name was because Gibson was celebrating 100 years since Orville Gibson founded the company. In the US they issued a special commemorative Les Paul that sold for $8000.00 A lot of money at the time. I've never actually seen one of those. I'd love to see what they looked like being that expensive.

Regarding the bleed through on the binding, this is one of the things that mostly Gibson USA has been doing for their reissues because the originals were like that. I'm not a particular fan of this either (but it's vintage correct).

vortexxxx
07-20-2010, 04:54 PM
I just found out about those commemorative $8000.00 Les Pauls I mentioned previously - I just read they had diamonds used as inlay materials...Yikes!

335guy
07-20-2010, 05:49 PM
Price is not always indicative of quality. We all know this. Your's may be exceptional. But this Ebay sale and closeups of the inlay work on the neck are hardly good, IMO. Look at all the filler.

http://cgi.ebay.com/guitarfrenzi-Orville-Gibson-59-Les-Paul-/400133046253#ht_1854wt_998

My Classic's inlay work is flawless. I can't say whether these are good or not. But I would be disappointed with any guitar, especially one touted as high end, that had this poor of workmanship.

vortexxxx
07-20-2010, 08:21 PM
I just looked at that auction. My inlays are better than that example but they aren't perfect. What's strange is that the manufacturer of this one is different from mine (mine was Fujigen) and they both have somewhat sloppy inlays.
Well... I guess you could call that being consistent:bonk

This particular guitar (in the auction) probably has a flame maple veneer. The reason I say that is because he isn't saying otherwise. Sometimes you get a clue by what they don't tell you.