Gibson Johnny A Undervalued?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by jads57, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. stratlad

    stratlad Member

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    The JA (new) isn't cheap. It's "market value" is determined by, er, the market.

    Examined coldly and objectively, the JA is however, fairly expensive (for good reason) compared to the average electric guitar and at that price point it will simply never be the case (IMO) that the vast majority of electric guitar players will pay top$ for a thinline hollowbody.

    Why? I think for most players who can afford $2,400+ on a guitar they crave getting that Custom Shop Strat or Reissue Les Paul and (maybe) a 335 first. I think there is just far more overwhelming demand for those models once the price point goes higher; and not that many guitarists can afford several expensive instruments - so if they like Gibsons, they are more likely to go for an upsacle LP.

    I live near a good mid-sized guitar store and the manager was telling me one day how in essence they live by strats and LPs and that for used gear, other models are more difficult to resell. For sheer demand, those 2 models (Strats and LPs) just dominate all else. Until the average electric player has those guitar under his / her belt and knows more about different types of guitars, he/she is less likely to appreciate and seek out (and spend the significant coin on) a hollow electric. Once he/she has 1-2 fine classics the next spend is likely a good amp or two. Plus I think most electric players are rock/ blues / metal players (fewer jazzers out there) and hollow guitars send a "jazz" message many potential buyers may not be into.

    The JA is also an unusual guitar. I initially expected the JA to sound more like a 335 or something and it took me awhile to understand better what this model is about. In some ways the JA does what PRS first advertised it would do - fuse Gibson/Fender tones. The JA does that extremely well, but that in itself may be hard to mass market to folks hunting traditional favorites who are seeking a great traditional strat / LP or tele/ 335 tone. And I fully understand that.

    However it is amusing to see the prices people will pay for an R9 compared to JA. Both have flame tops, mahogany bodies and necks, similar pickups and hardware, but the JA looks more difficult to make to me and has a great ebony fretboard (upcharge there) and more detailed binding plus generally better looking mahogany on the back and (IMO) a better looking sunburst. Despite this we all know that R9s go for many more $. No logic to it - it's just the market shaped by demand.

    You see the same phenomenon with the CS336. I think those sound great - but those guitars also don't necessarily resell at the price points LPs do and if they do it is harder to sell them, because there is (I suspect) a much small demand for any electrics that are not solidbody guitars, esp. if they are a new model.

    The JA and 336 certainly have high sonic values though! Hopefully that value will be recognized over time.

    Cheers.
     
  2. phretbored

    phretbored Member

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    Over time these will be recognized as the great instruments they truly are IMHO.
     
  3. phantasm

    phantasm Member

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    They are great, they're just too darned expensive.
     
  4. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    There is one JA in Canada I've been told. It's a mahogany Standard in the Long & McQuade in Coquitlam BC. It's $3395 CDN which is probably a fair price for here. I didn't ask to play it because they have it 12ft up on the wall behind the check out and I'm not making some poor clerk run for the ladder to fetch a guitar I'm not ready to buy. I do have room on the credit card but my wife would absolutley flip. Bonuses are coming soon . . . so maybe.
     
  5. clothwiring

    clothwiring Member

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    I love my JA, if I could find a used Blond Hardtail I'd get a 2nd.
     
  6. Guitartim

    Guitartim Member

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    Yes, me too. However, Gibson made fewer Blond Stoptails than any other JA's. You might check the old Johnny A Registry website for a used one.

    www.jaguitar.org
     
  7. stratlad

    stratlad Member

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    True.Wilcutts had a ton of great looking JA's this summer but they were virtually all bigsby's esp the blond ones. Great minds seem to like the same look!
     
  8. mototpsychel

    mototpsychel Member

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    I came very close to buying one - just an excellent guitar. But at that money, I decided to go with a Les Paul R9 that was just a dream to play as well as a tone monster. I still would love a JA, but again - I don't come by 3K + that often.
     
  9. mwoeppel

    mwoeppel Member

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    I have owned over a hundred guitars, and this one just comes closest to the tone I wanted to hear. I absolutely love it. Even with tuning problems!

    I like what the other posters said about price appreciation, but I don't care. It sounds awesome and looks great, too.

    Even on the used market, it still commands around $3k. That's pretty expensive for a used guitar. Boo-teek territory, for sure.
     
  10. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd love to try one but my very discerning friend who has played one said he was really disappointed in it, didn't feel right/quality to him at all... maybe it was not a good one but at that price there shouldn't be any that are not at least very good.
     
  11. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    I've read the rare post where people didn't like the tone of the Johnny A but never a post where someone didn't like the quality.
     
  12. PaulE

    PaulE Supporting Member

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    I played a sweet black one today w/bigsby. 2899.00 brand new.
    Had me squirmin.
    Anybody wants to know where it was PM me.
    It'll save me from doin something I shouldn't do right now.
     
  13. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    right ... this is a guy who really knows quality and he thought it "felt cheap." Go figure ... my local used/vint. shop has one I should check out ... or maybe not, LOL.:eek:
     
  14. mwoeppel

    mwoeppel Member

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    Quality is not judged by "feeling", it's judged by examining the construction and materials of the instrument.

    Your friend might be discerning, but not of guitar quality.
     
  15. Droptop

    Droptop Supporting Member

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    They are the finest guitars being made by Gibson today.
     
  16. Droptop

    Droptop Supporting Member

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    Actually, I was there. I played that very same specific one and it was magnificent. Now can we please stop attacking one another and talking in third person.:munch
     
  17. mwoeppel

    mwoeppel Member

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    chill, man. I didn't mean to come off as high and mighty, we all have opinions. some are more valid than others, that's all! :)

    ps: what's STFU?
     
  18. phretbored

    phretbored Member

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    Can I quote you on this? :D

    Damn right they are!
     
  19. phretbored

    phretbored Member

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    Well the S is for SHUT and the U is for UP.


    Back to the JA discussion...

    They are a different beast for sure.
    That is what is so awesome about them IMHO.
    I just REALLY dig the neck...the 25.5 scale + ebony board is phantastic!
    Mine plays so smooth and easy with 10s on it.
    It responds very well to the lightest touch or if you push it harder.
    The controls are extremely useful.
    To me the quality of the construction, the quality of the tone, the quality of the feel/playability, and the quality of the appointments are all 10 out of 10.

    It's definitely not for everybody so if somebody tried one and did not dig it that's quite allright.

    Also +1000 on a Blonde JA Stoptail.
    Found 2 different ones for sale and the timing was not right so the hunt is still on.

    These guitars ooze cool as well.
     
  20. Droptop

    Droptop Supporting Member

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    The tones you can get from these guitars is amazing. I love the fat neck profile.
     

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