• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we 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!

Vintage Guitar Buying Concern

Attila

Formerly Are9
Joined
Sep 23, 2002
Messages
268
Lately I have been looking at all kinds of 60's era guitars -- mostly just LP Custom, Sg, and ES-335 models. Sometimes I see where they are sporting the original pickups (solder in the control cavity appears original), but missing one or both pickup covers. My concern is that even though the pickup may not have been fully removed from the guitar, someone may have repaired or even tweaked the pickup somehow. In other words, the cover may not just have been removed for looks.

Are my concerns unfounded? Would the missing cover(s) impact the valuation of the instrument?

Thanks for any thoughts.
 

somebodyelseuk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
451
I always take the 'solder looks original' comments with a pinch of salt, to be honest.
If someone rewired a 50+ year old guitar 40 years ago, and did a good job of it, the solder will look old, because... well, it's old. I doubt anyone can tell the difference between soldering that was done 70 years ago and even soldering done 30 years ago.
I'd be amazed if anyone would repair a pickup without completely removing it from the guitar. I don't repair pickups, but if I did and you came to me with a pickup not working, requesting it be fixed without removing it from the guitar, your options would be 'go away' or a bill that was higher than what you'd lose from disturbing the solder joints.
In your shoes, I'd be concerned with whether they were the original pickups. I'd take it as read that with the covers missing, they've been off the guitar. I just think the resoldering was done properly, a long time ago. Also,bare in mind that at the time they were likely removed, originality, vintage value etc weren't considerations.

I don't know how/whether missing covers affect the value, just that I'm certain the pickups will have been removed to do the job.
 

corpse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,854
One way to get a gauge of originality is to check the resistance readings of the pickups- figure in the 7-9 range- prolly the 7.5-8.5 range really. Covers-off is very common and I doubt whether is is a deal-buster or the indication any other work was done.
But figure- if a pickup needed repairing it needed repairing- right?
But DO consider the language. "Never been messed with" from the seller- "well, despite the pickup covers beign off" might make you want to look closer at the guitar from every aspect.
 

S. Weiger

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
1,731
I always take the 'solder looks original' comments with a pinch of salt, to be honest.
If someone rewired a 50+ year old guitar 40 years ago, and did a good job of it, the solder will look old, because... well, it's old. I doubt anyone can tell the difference between soldering that was done 70 years ago and even soldering done 30 years ago.
I'd be amazed if anyone would repair a pickup without completely removing it from the guitar. I don't repair pickups, but if I did and you came to me with a pickup not working, requesting it be fixed without removing it from the guitar, your options would be 'go away' or a bill that was higher than what you'd lose from disturbing the solder joints.
In your shoes, I'd be concerned with whether they were the original pickups. I'd take it as read that with the covers missing, they've been off the guitar. I just think the resoldering was done properly, a long time ago. Also,bare in mind that at the time they were likely removed, originality, vintage value etc weren't considerations.

I don't know how/whether missing covers affect the value, just that I'm certain the pickups will have been removed to do the job.
It's not that hard to unsolder & remove the covers without removing the pickup from the guitar, if you have the right tools and know what you're doing.
 

somebodyelseuk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
451
It's not that hard to unsolder & remove the covers without removing the pickup from the guitar, if you have the right tools and know what you're doing.
No, but it's less hassle to take the pickup off, and let's face it, 99.9% of people who want to take the covers of will remove the pickup first. It's unlikely they were removed in the last 20 or 30 years, since people have become mindful of 'originality', and the covers would be in the case, if they'd been done recently.
 

gmann

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
6,138
No, but it's less hassle to take the pickup off, and let's face it, 99.9% of people who want to take the covers of will remove the pickup first. It's unlikely they were removed in the last 20 or 30 years, since people have become mindful of 'originality', and the covers would be in the case, if they'd been done recently.
And just yesterday you were certain!
 

gmann

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
6,138
You’re still certain you have to remove pickups to take the covers off? And, I’m in Japan and a day ahead so it was yesterday!
 

Reddart

Active member
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Messages
286
Speaking for myself, the only time I have removed covers from a pickup with the pickup removed is if I took covers off of pickups I bought separately. I have removed covers with the pickups still soldered to the guitar many times.
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,644
One way to get a gauge of originality is to check the resistance readings of the pickups- figure in the 7-9 range- prolly the 7.5-8.5 range really. Covers-off is very common and I doubt whether is is a deal-buster or the indication any other work was done.
But figure- if a pickup needed repairing it needed repairing- right?
But DO consider the language. "Never been messed with" from the seller- "well, despite the pickup covers beign off" might make you want to look closer at the guitar from every aspect.
I will add that back in the 70's when we were kids a friends Les Paul Custom that he purchased had the Patent Sticker T-Tops messed with the windings somehow . This was done by another kid our age who worked at a mom and pop shop . As far as we know the effects of this were nil as we could not hear a difference , as the covers were removed .
 
Top