• THIS IS THE 25th ANNIVERSARY YEAR FOR THE LES PAUL FORUM! PLEASE CELEBRATE WITH US AND SUPPORT US WITH A DONATION TO KEEP US GOING! We've made a large financial investment to convert the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and now have to move to a new host. We also have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!
  • WE HAVE MOVED THE LES PAUL FORUM TO A NEW HOSTING PROVIDER! Let us know how things are going! Many thanks, Mike Slubowski, Admin
  • We're having some "break in" period issues with our new email system provider - the Achilles Heel of our conversion to a new hosting site. Please give us some time to resolve this. Thanks and apologies.

Trading vintage for vintage

aladdinsane

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
101
I'm hoping to get some advice on trading in a few vintage guitars toward one very expensive one. I have the chance to get a nice 54 goldtop (with only one changed pot, otherwise original). To get it, I would have to trade in my 52 goldtop (in good shape but has a repaired crack around the volume/tone knobs, 70s case), my 56 LP Special (some changed parts, refret), and a refin 68 LP custom. I could possibly trade in the goldtop and ONE of the others and add some cash. Crazy, but the value of these three guitars really do add up to one 54 goldtop!

What would you do? I don't see myself being about to buy a 54 goldtop outright any time soon, so trading would be my route. Trade all three? Two? None?
 

dwagar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 18, 2005
Messages
4,460
Well, that's a hard decision.

I think if I really, really wanted the '54, I would do the trade.

I'd probably opt to keep the Special and do cash if you can swing it.
 

MikeSlub

Administrator
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
15,192
Are. you fond of your guitars? I did a trade once of five really beautiful vintage Gibsons for one really expensive Gibson with an issue (that I knew about), plus cash, and have regretted it ever since. Ended up selling the expensive one. Think it through carefully.
 

S. Weiger

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
1,794
I'd try a compensation bridge (Mojoaxe ?) on my '52 and forget about the '54, unless it's really, really so much better than your 3 guitars that you have to have it.
 

aladdinsane

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
101
Are. you fond of your guitars? I did a trade once of five really beautiful vintage Gibsons for one really expensive Gibson with an issue (that I knew about), plus cash, and have regretted it ever since. Ended up selling the expensive one. Think it through carefully.
Thanks @MikeSlub! Yeah, that's a concern. I've slowly been trying to build my collection to the best of what I can get, but now I'm getting close to everything being pretty good. It's a tough decision.
 

aladdinsane

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
101
I'd try a compensation bridge (Mojoaxe ?) on my '52 and forget about the '54, unless it's really, really so much better than your 3 guitars that you have to have it.
Yes @S. Weiger! I have a Mojoaxe on the 52 now. So, it's pretty great as is.

The thing is that the 54 would be the most expensive guitar I've ever bought and it would be impossible to get any other way.
 

Attachments

  • r9apxmmpeihj7ohhbtyb.jpg
    r9apxmmpeihj7ohhbtyb.jpg
    168.1 KB · Views: 22

S. Weiger

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
1,794
Yes @S. Weiger! I have a Mojoaxe on the 52 now. So, it's pretty great as is.

The thing is that the 54 would be the most expensive guitar I've ever bought and it would be impossible to get any other way.
Now that's a lovely '52 right there :)
Like I said, for me to consider a trade, it would have to be a totally magical '54 I just couldn't live without.
 

seafood

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
Messages
398
that 52 looks great !!!!!! i would keep it , and i like that bridge too !!!! what about neck shape and weight ? also important factors to consider !
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,899
trade rarely gets you the value you could realize through selling for cash to use for the '54 purchase.
 

aladdinsane

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
101
that 52 looks great !!!!!! i would keep it , and i like that bridge too !!!! what about neck shape and weight ? also important factors to consider !
It's pretty great. 8 lbs. 4 oz. Full C shape neck. I only had it for about two weeks before I took it in to Norio Imai for a tune up, so I get it back next week. The 54 just popped up from the same dealer, so I was considering the step up.
 

aladdinsane

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
101
trade rarely gets you the value you could realize through selling for cash to use for the '54 purchase.
Very true! I would be able to trade the 52 for the same price that I bought it for because it's a recent purchase from the same dealer. The other two would be around 75-80% of my original purchase prices.
 

asapmaz

Active member
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Messages
304
Trade in the 52 (if they're giving you what you paid) and the refin 68 Custom. Make up the difference with cash.
After getting the 54, slow sell the 56 Special (it'll fetch the most money since it's pretty straight and you'd marginally lose the most money if you traded it in).
 

Steve Craw

Formerly Lefty Elmo
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
5,312
I think asapmaz has a great point, if you can pull it off financially. I'm partial to goldtops, I'd rather have a vintage goldtop than a vintage burst. My "one that got away" was a 1954 goldtop that I owned and sold in 1992. I've kicked myself every day since. That said, unless you really are attached to the three you have, I'd make a trade like that, in a heartbeat.
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
364
I'm hoping to get some advice on trading in a few vintage guitars toward one very expensive one. I have the chance to get a nice 54 goldtop (with only one changed pot, otherwise original). To get it, I would have to trade in my 52 goldtop (in good shape but has a repaired crack around the volume/tone knobs, 70s case), my 56 LP Special (some changed parts, refret), and a refin 68 LP custom. I could possibly trade in the goldtop and ONE of the others and add some cash. Crazy, but the value of these three guitars really do add up to one 54 goldtop!

What would you do? I don't see myself being about to buy a 54 goldtop outright any time soon, so trading would be my route. Trade all three? Two? None?
I would do some serious research online to the value of your three guitars just to see what it adds up to if you were to sell them. If the value works out similar or even slightly higher than the 54 and you prefer the 54 to any of your 3 guitars for play and sound I would go for it. You really only need one nice guitar with P-90's unless you are rich. The Custom is a little different as it has humbuckers, but if you have another humbucker guitar you like why not.

Thought I would be a bit more helpful. Can't use Reverbs price guide as it is an absolute mess. They list the last nice 54 Les Paul as being sold for 9K. There is no control over what goes into their sold history. Incorrect guitars, misrepresented guitars and I think they even mess things up themselves. I attribute a lot of the problems with gear value today to their price guide.

Best I can do is to use an old Vintage Guitar Price Guide from 2010. Not very recent, but we can hope it is still relative. I am going to assume the same condition for all guitars and use 50 percent for the refin. I am also going to use the low excellent condition value. 52 Les Paul 12k. 56 Special 11K. 68 Refin Custom at 50% 5k. That adds up to 28K. 1954 Les Paul is listed as 20K. That works out to 8K difference against you. It would probably be less if all guitars were in lower same condition as high excellent condition difference works out to 10K.

I hope this is somewhat helpful. If you know someone with a very recent Price guide or there is a store near you that has one it would be your best bet for figuring out the difference.
 

AA00475Bassman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Messages
3,781
I ALWAYS get the RSJ = Royal Screw Job when I trade - I might be inclined to accept a good old fashioned RSJ for a 54 !!!!!!
 
Top