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The VOS looks like a guitar played by a person that liked greasy food and never cleaned anything, but looks great once cleaned up. The Murphy light finish checking is nice but there are some folks that say it does not look like real vintage checking. Lacquer hardens and shrinks into the grain over time and speeding that process up to achieve checking may not get that rippled wood grain look that actual vintage has. My ES 335, at 17 years old, is starting to have that gorgeous natural aged look. The original gloss Vintage Sunburst has turned into Tobacco since the red has faded out, and the plastics have aged along with the finish. It is the way.
The ML lacquer looks spot on to me, but it is more brittle. Dings can cause greater damage. On the other hand, other than look it also feels better and may have some small affect on acoustic resonance (brighter).
Posted a couple that I’m looking at. Not sure if I attached the photos correctly.
The darker one is the ML and the other is a VOS from CME.
I’ve heard the paint issue has been resolved but there’s not a ton of info out there. Figured I’d be hearing about it more of it wasn’t fixed. Plus Gibson is taking back guitars with the issue. Wouldn’t make financial sense to continue to sell models that you know you’ll have to take back
I can get them for roughly the same price after discounts and the fact that some smaller out of state stores don’t charge sales tax.