When it comes to guitars there such a thing as seller’s remorse ? Yes there is. Over the past 25 years I acquired many guitars and basses. I sold many of them for various reasons. Sometimes to finance another purchase and sometimes because I was just “stupid” me.
Few times I suffer from seller’s remorse when I see the value of a particular guitar/amp going up, way up. Most times I regret because I got emotionally attached to a particular instrument but my chronic disease called G.A.S. made me do it. Addicted people don’t think reasonably.
On the other hand I was lucky to purchase rare and vintage stuff at almost no cost. A bargain if the seller is desperate to part with his/her gear or in most cases is not aware of the actual value. I had a lucky buy every now and then… Anyway, here are some of my remorses and lucky strikes:
(If I mention any value it is including VAT – 21%)
The Gibson Guitars…
The Gibson ES-335 Natural. I am hunting all corners of the world for this one. I want it back! This ES has the most crazy birdseye top, -back and -sides I have ever seen. It is an “ordinary” 335 from the Memphis factory but the looks are so great. Every picture I took couldn’t capture the beauty of the guitar. It would vary from a white pale color to dark maple. Whoever has it…I want it back. (Sold it at the time for €2500/$2880)
In 2009 I got a couple of Gibson SG Zoot Suits. When hurricane Katrina flooded the Gibson facilities the production of this guitar came to an early ending. These guitars are made of different coloured layers of wood, pressed together and then the guitar is routed out. As far as I know it is the only SG in perfect balance. No neck dive on these rockers. Later on I acquired a pristine “Rainbow” and a “Blue/Red” on Ebay. (I sold these for €850/$980)
Big remorse over the Gibson ES-335 Chris Cornell in Satin Black. In 2013 I bought both the black and the olive drab version of these superb guitars. Shop price at the time was €2200/$2500 (including 21% VAT). After Chris Cornell passed away these instruments tripled in value (or more). In 2019 Gibson did a reissue but only in Olive Green (shop price €3500). Sold the black one for €2500/$2800. I did a review on the 2013 and 2019 Cornells: here
A decade ago I traded a Fender Stratocaster for a vintage Marshall Super Lead (SLP) from 1969. Until 1973 all Marshall amps were hand wired. This one was in excellent condition. The standby switch was replaced in the seventies, just loaded it up with NOS tubes and the beast roars again. Got a free tinnitus with it! Loud as hell. The same period I got a Marshall Silver Jubilee(1987) and a Jubilee (1989) amp head for peanuts. Loud is more cheap! I got all the crunch I need …forever.
Marshall 1987x-pw. The signature amp of the Father of Mod: Paul Weller. A very limited number (about 70 amps) were produced and the profits went to charity. I reviewed this one earlier. Picked it up in the UK for under €1000/$1150.
Coup de Fender!
Fender Telecaster Custom Shop 1998 (1 of 20). These Tele’s were dealer select for Sam Ash Music. The store chain is long out of business. There were only twenty made, each in a different color. I got number one in a purple finish. The neck is made of quilted maple and it has a pearloid pickguard. I keep it in close range as my go to guitar. Bought it second hand for €900/$980. A steal!
Found a Fender Pro Junior (made in US – 1992) at a flea market. Works perfect, only 50 euros.
Remorse: LAG Keziah Jones signature. Made in France, solid body guitar with nylon strings and a piezo pickup. very well suited for jazz or rhythmic chops. Well… it is gone. Sold it for €750/$870…
… to be the owner of a Duesenberg Starplayer TV – Ice Pearl. Picked it up brand new for €2000/$2300 including VAT. Also known as the Ron Wood guitar. Superior German quality and playability. The Duesenberg Trem system is way more stable than a Bigsby. Semi-hollow goodness and whoever wants it shall have to take it from my cold dead hands. I never part with this one. Actual store price is over €4000/$4625.
The list does not come to an end… But if you have an ES-335 in birdseye maple I’ll be on your doorstep soon!
Quick comparison of a vintage Marshall Super Lead (1969) and a modern Diamond Amps Nitrox.
Player: Antoine Pütz
Guitar: Gibson Les Paul Standard (Custom Shop)
Tuning: drop C
Cab: Marshall 4×12 – 1960AV
Attenuator on SLP: Bad Cat Leach
Is there any love for Gibson basses? In my opinion Gibson basses are underrated. One of my go-to basses is a four string ES-335 bass. Put some flatwounds on it, plug it into the Ampeg B-15 and you’re time warped into the sixties. Tons of vintage low end and growly bass notes. I love the Gibson basses and apart from an occasional thunderbird I rarely see any at a gig.
In general, guitarists are very “conservative” people. Many guitarists swear by the classics: Strat’s and Tele’s, LP’s and SG’s. Bass players are less prone to stick to a particular type (or brand). Spend one day at a festival and you’ll notice guitarists with Fenders and Gibsons but the bass players are different: Fender, Rickenbacker, Zon, Fodera, Dingwall, Ibanez, Warwick, Lakland, Musicman, Sadowsky,… Hardly, if ever, you’ll see a bassist with a Gibson. Yes, Cream had an EB bass, I know…
Two years ago, I came across this Gibson EB-5 bass. Five because it’s a five string, what did you think? As many bass players I never had any attention for the modern Gibson basses but what caught my eye was the finish. The red satin finish of the swamp ash body, black hardware and the red inlays are stunning. No doubt about it, this was the bass version of my 2016 Les Paul Voodoo. I have a 2004 and a 2016 Les Paul Voodoo. It are LP Studio’s with superhot red and black zebra pickups. Real eye-catchers. This 2019 EB-5 was the Bass version of my 2016 Les Paul.
I got a good deal on it and picked it up for around €1000 (including VAT). It is a small price for such a lot of bass! I searched the internet and never came across another one like this. Yes, there was a similar instrument in France but it had a rosewood fingerboard, mine has a richlite board and blacked out hardware (Grover “elephant-ear” tuners and a black Babicz full contact bridge). The quality of the instrument surprised me and I was really stoked. It’s a player and a stay-er! A five string is not so comfortable for me, at first I used the low B as a thumb rest. Once used to it I could dig and appreciate the extra low end.
After some research I found out these basses were destined to end up in Japan. More than once Gibson did something special with their end-of-life products. Before sending them into oblivion they “reworked” the instruments for the Japanese market. I have two Gibson Les Paul London Fog’s which are actually Dark Fire LP’s stripped from their robot tuners and electronics and finished in a greenish/salmon red color… Again, for the Japanese market.
The EB-5 is a great bass. Swamp ash body, maple set neck and dual humbuckers. The electronics are passive with a black knurled volume knob for each pickup. The pups are splitable (coil tap) and you can combine and dial in to your liking. The 34” scale bass has 24 (!) frets and a fretboard radius of 21”. The wide rounded neck requires long fingers but the wide string spacing won’t disappoint slappers.
Overall, it is the look of the bass. A red satin nitro lacquer finish called “juju”, red marker dots, chrome hardware and long sleek elegant body. A well balanced instrument.
Oh dear! How do I tell my wife I bought a new guitar? Maybe I’ll buy two guitars!