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Used axe purchased on Reverb has replacement pickups - Legitimate beef or just part of the territory?

ixnay

Member
Messages
4,525
If I was the buyer, I'd be disappointed. I'd contact the seller and see what, if anything, they might offer to do. In the end, I'd know it was my fault for not asking in the first place, and accept whatever resolution is offered by the seller, if any.
 

ckfoxtrot

Member
Messages
4,496
Edit:



I don't know about the Strat, but if you take the pickups out of an Axis, it arguably ceases to be an Axis.

EVH and Steve Blucher developed the humbuckers just for this guitar. You can't buy them separately. EBMM got to keep the design after EVH left. There was a whole mystique around them in the early '90s. So I'd be a bit upset if that bridge pickup was gone.



For the "…but it's a functioning guitar…" crowd - real life current example - I've got an SM57 here with blown capsule - customer didn't want to repair and threw it away. Transfomer is still OK. I'm putting a pattern replacement capsule (£8 direct from Hong Kong) in, partly as an experiment, partly because this may become the sacrificial microphone for rough/wet environments.

If I later sold this SM57 with replacement capsule, is it on the buyer to verify that it's still got the OEM capsule?


Since the pickups were guitar specific and not available separately it might make the issue a bit trickier than, say, your typical guitar. Still, I'd be looking to the seller to hopefully inspect and disclose everything up front and ask questions myself if any details are lacking.

Take the PRS Silver Sky for example. There seem to be a lot of people that love those pickups and wish they could get them separately. There was even a guy here on TGP that made a thread about possibly swapping them into a Strat and putting some decent pickups in the SS and reselling the SS.

With that type of thing in mind, if I saw a listing for a used 2019 Silver Sky that simply said something like "Used 2019 Silver Sky for sale, good condition," with no other details, I'd first be a bit concerned about the lack of detail. Second, if I was actually interested, I'd ask the seller if the pickups/guitar are all original and what's included in the sale (e.g. original gig bag??).


With your microphone example, I think there'd be a higher expectation of it being all original to begin with, even though mic modifications and/or fixes are common enough. With that in mind, if you sold your mic, I'd hope you'd disclose the capsule replacement from the start, but if you just had it listed something like "SM57 for sale" and nothing else, I'd be inclined to protect myself by asking you if it's all original or has ever been repaired instead of assuming it's all legit and that you're just a lazy seller who doesn't make detailed used gear listings.

Though it's a bit of a tangent, with all of the counterfeit Shures out there, I'd be wary of buying one used regardless of any of the above.
 

Pauly B

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
573
I wanted to buy a Gibson LP Classic at a mom and pop here in town, and the original owner pulled the pickups and replaced them with literally the cheapest Chinese pickups available on Amazon. Like $10 a pair. Who does that? Rendered the guitar unbuyable.
 

Mark Robinson

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,003
It’s a used guitar kids. If something is important to you, you really should ask. Information is usually free, and only a fool assumes. Don’t be lazy, ask specifically about the details. If you want a get out of jail release, you probably should put together a checklist of actionable deficiencies, and then don’t take it personally when some sellers tell you, “ yes it’s still for sale, but not to you”.

Plenty of people are not up to speed on the minutiae of a niche guitar like that. Also, plenty of guitar sellers are shady operators and will remove valuable parts.

This kind of stuff is why I buy or sell in person only. If you want to take it apart that’s fine by me, or I’ll even do it for you, but the warranty ends when the guitar enters your car.

I have some great guitars for sale right now, but I won’t use Reverb, the gear page or eBay, won’t ship, cause I’m just not interested in the drama, sense of entitlement, and rampant buyers remorse. I have a great friend who owns a local store, I hear about the bad faith bounces.
 

DCross

Rock 'n Soul
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,898
These threads are good places to find sellers that I'd buy from as well as those I'd personally avoid. Buyer beware? Sure. But a seller should disclose everything that they know. If you're not sure, say that too.

IMHO, the onus is on the seller to be as open and honest as possible or be prepared to pay for return shipping.
 
Messages
1,214
Most guitars are worth less without the original pickups.

i struggle to come to terms with this, of course you're right..but I can't help but think somethings wrong when the value of something is only felt and expressed in terms of monetary value.
Were guitars always thought of like this, was/is everything thought of like this?
Sorry guys, Soul and greed/worship of money don't sit together well.

I say play the guitar, keep it if it sounds good..then play it some more, write some damn music with the thing.
 

Golem

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,069
It's legitimate if it's what you bought the guitar for. If you buy a PRS that comes stock with pickups that go on the used market for $500+ you're obviously going to be disappointed if it comes with Lollars or Fralins. I don't like the Axis pickups, but if it makes it less desirable to people and it wasn't reflected in the cost I could certainly understand.
 

Rushhead

Member
Messages
177
Thanks for the replies. I'm actually surprised how one-sided they are. I can easily see how the shop could have missed the pickup swap, and I'm annoyed at myself for not asking about it. Live and learn, I guess. The good news is that I actually bought the guitar for the guitar, not the pickups. I was planning on replacing them. It's just annoying to lose out on the original ones in case I want to resell the guitar at some point. Value will be less.

Also, please stop knocking my Axe body spray.
 

Mark Robinson

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,003
Thanks for the replies.

Also, please stop knocking my Axe body spray.
I can smell it from here, bro and I’m on the west coast. It’s cool though, at least you have the good sense to go both feet in, and lay that manliness ON. Just stay out of the Hai Karate, that’s my jam!
 

Five Aces

Member
Messages
56
I've always looked at each case on its own merits but as all the examples and comments have shown, you can easily side with either the seller or the buyer. it's all in how you want to look at it.
I'm glad for you... it sounds like you got what you wanted in the long run.
 

wi3465

Guitar Hack
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
705
How does it sound with the pickups that came with it? As you just noted, you were going to change them anyway, so not an issue. Congratulations on the new to you guitar.
 

Brian N

Member
Messages
2,488
i struggle to come to terms with this, of course you're right..but I can't help but think somethings wrong when the value of something is only felt and expressed in terms of monetary value.
Were guitars always thought of like this, was/is everything thought of like this?
Sorry guys, Soul and greed/worship of money don't sit together well.

I say play the guitar, keep it if it sounds good..then play it some more, write some damn music with the thing.
Only when selling it. There's not a guitar I've owned that I havent modded in some way. I plan on keeping every instrument I buy, but sometimes something better comes along and there's no need to keep both. I don't generally keep original pickups, and have no problem making a guitar my own. I've no interest in keeping a high resale value; I'm a musician, not a reseller. Others aren't wrong in keeping things stock though.
 

sixstring531

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,223
I don't know if "beef" is the term I would use, but would be something the seller should either make right or accept the guitar as a return. This happened to me twice through Reverb, once from a private seller and another from Chicago Music Exchange itself when it was the owner of Reverb.

In both cases, neither seller had any idea the pickups were anything other than what they acquired the guitar with. Here is how it was remedied:
- Chicago Music Exchange: sent me a pair of humbuckers of my choice from their store and told me to keep the ones in the 335
- Private seller: sent me a refund for enough to buy the pair that were supposed to be in the Les Paul to begin with

Both sellers would not let me give the offending pickup sets back, so I sold them.
 

nightchef

Member
Messages
602
Some folks are talking as if asking the seller to honor a return request in this kind of scenario is imposing some kind of outrageous burden. I guess I have a very buyer-centric view of market transactions. It’s the seller’s obligation to give the buyer what they thought they were paying for. It’s reasonable to set limits to this obligation, and that’s what the “as described” caveat is for. But to me, the default assumption should be that the description contains every piece of information that could possibly make a reasonable person see the item’s value differently. And the buyer is the one who gets to decide if that was true.
 




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