1953 Gibson ES-295 on Craigslist- opinions

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by sidmadrid, May 24, 2015.

  1. sidmadrid

    sidmadrid Member

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    Hi everyone. I am new here but have lurked for awhile. Would anyone be so kind as to give their opinion on the legitimacy of this guitar, of course from the Craigslist photos. I do not have a serial # yet. I am working on that.

    It looks legit to me. Thanks.

    https://fortwayne.craigslist.org/msg/5039693324.html
     
  2. kracdown

    kracdown Custom User Title Gold Supporting Member

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    It is definitely not all original. The headstock looks like it was split in half diagonally at one point (and the TRC looks like a repo):
    [​IMG]
    Second, there is some weird metal plate thing on the bottom where the jack is:
    [​IMG]
    Also I don't think Gibson had the tunomatic configuration out in 1953 (knobs and switch tip look repro too):
    [​IMG]

    I think it should look like this if it was from 1953:
    [​IMG]
     
  3. seafoamer

    seafoamer Member

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    I agree with kracdown, although I can't tell from those pix if the TRC is repro. Ya, the big metal contraption by the input is HUGELY concerning. Most probably there is some extensive wood damage to the side there.... And yes the headstock indeed looks to have been repaired. With those issues I'd definietly need to see and play it before dropping any cash on it. And it better play sound and feel DAMN GOOD for me to drop anywhere near $1600 w/ those issues.
     
  4. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    I don't know if it's worth it effort wise, but it probably is worth 1500ish in parts.
     
  5. Palladio

    Palladio Member

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    I agree with Kracdown on his observations. I too wonder what is going on under that metal plate. It might be a repair where the guitar was dropped or damaged at some point. Hard to fathom why someone would install a plate that large otherwise. Plus from what little I can see in the photo, there appears to be a crack or damage around the side of the plate where it meets the lower bout. Unless the OP is knowledgeable about this kind of thing, a luthier should probably take a look at the guitar to see if it's internally sound, the neck set is OK, etc. before buying.

    Yeah the guitar has issues, but it also looks very cool! If it sounded and played great, I'd probably be all over it. At $1600, I don't think that's a bad deal - unless the guitar needs a bunch of repairs to make it structurally sound and/or playable. I'd also want to make sure the pickups are original 1950's and hadn't been swapped out. That's probably $1000 in value right there. And yes the parts are probably worth $1500 at least, but I hate to see old guitars get parted out....Uggh!

    As a reference point, the 2015 Vintage Guitar Price Guide gives a range of $4400-5600 for this model in excellent all original condition. So $1600 if the thing is a good player as is doesn't seem unreasonable to me.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  6. Ron

    Ron Supporting Member

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    Play it.... and if it sounds really killer and seems solid, then negotiate a deal.
     
  7. Palladio

    Palladio Member

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    A guitar like this can be a disaster and money pit, or the best guitar ever. You have to go play it and see what kind of shape it's in structurally. It certainly looks cool, with that original gold finish checked and greening. From the photos, it looks like a guitar that someone loved and played for many years, which is a good sign IMO. They took the trouble to fix the headstock, install a TOM bridge, that custom plate (for whatever reason), etc. I'm guessing it sounds good, or it would have been on a junk pile by now. The problem is that if it needs a refret, internal bracing repairs, or a neck reset you are looking at potentially $1000-$2000 worth of work unless you can do it yourself. In which case, you'll likely never get your money out if you ever decide to sell it. I hope you go check it out and report back, I'd be curious to hear more about it. It's a rather rare guitar. I've only seen a few in real life and I'm a vintage Gibson hound.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  8. ssdeluxe

    ssdeluxe Member

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    I had a 52 in worse cosmetic shape. It was played hard and put away wet...almost no finish left in the contact areas...but what a neck shape.....the perfect chunky half round with no shoulders...it was a great gtr....playing is a must.....if you can ! Good luck !
     
  9. Palladio

    Palladio Member

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    Well the CL listing is gone, and I have a bit of hope that the OP bought it and will report back here.

    I also wouldn't be surprised if a less than scrupulous dealer picked it up on the cheap and either parts it out or restores it to resell with no mention of all the issues.
     
  10. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    Yep, as a player, at the right price it may be heaven.
     
  11. sidmadrid

    sidmadrid Member

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    The person selling the guitar never responded to my texts via CL, and now the ad is gone so who knows?
     

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