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  1. #1

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    Really nice vintage guitars are much rarer over here than in the US. I always thought the 350 would be the perfect jazz guitar for me and - since these are rare over here and in the 8-9 K realm (euro!!!!) I bought a totally mint and gorgeously flamed 1947 ES 300 about 6 months ago. And it sounds fabulous, as you may have heard on my latest vids with it.

    The same guy I bought the 300 from all of sudden has a 350 for sale but it has a nasty jack output repair. I mean, REALLY ugly.

    Click here to look at the pics and scroll until you see the jack repair.

    My question. Could this be fixed and at what price? That would be on top of the asking price (5450 euros)

    I could not keep my 300 (which is a real stunner, both in sound and looks) if I got this one. Not sure if it's worth it. I suspect not.

    DB

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  3. #2

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    It appears to have been repaired at least two times...


  4. #3

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    Well obviously a collector wouldn't go for it. But for a player, and assuming it plays well, it might be worth negotiating. I don't think damage like that could be completely concealed, so it would have to be accepted. Jim Hall, for example, had a huge metal plate on the side of his old 175. Ugly, but stable. I'd be dubious about another repair ever completely concealing that damage, although I guess it could be strengthened from the inside. I suspect you'd have to live with it.

    My guess is that you're a player rather than a collector, so it really comes down to price/ resale value, and how much the cosmetic damage bothered you. I suspect many members here wouldn't consider it though

  5. #4

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    I guess if it were repaired now and I assume it has, this would not bother me. Cannot make it invisible so if stable and strong then the guitarist is worth what you want to give for it.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  6. #5

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    It would make me anxious to get a guitar with this kind of repair even if it plays and sounds incredible, I think I'd lose my time inspecting it (waking in fear each time there is a wood crack noise in the house).

  7. #6

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    How much in duties would you have to pay on that if coming from the US?
    I'd only buy one w/ a repair that bad if I was certain I'd never sell it, you'll likely never get your $ back.

  8. #7

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    I realised a long time ago that I actually preferred used guitars, and didn't mind a bit of cosmetic damage. That enabled me to pick up a few old gibsons at prices that I couldn't have otherwise afforded, and I have never regretted it, including an old L4 with worse damage than than this 350. BUT that was decades ago, when old guitars were just old guitars..and priced accordingly. But I do realise that many here prefer pristine specimens. For me, the only total dealbreaker is a dodgy truss-rod - I've even bought heavily discounted neck-break 60s 335s in the past.

    It would be interesting to know what unmolested 350 asking prices are these days. No doubt DB has done his research.

  9. #8

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    hi Dutch ,for me it would come down to which one plays and sounds best ....the 350 seems very good nick apart from the jack socket area i would love either a 300 or350 !!do you like/need the cutaway ?they’re both fantastic guitars anyway

  10. #9

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    one day i’d like to owna nice old Es

  11. #10

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    I'd be less worried about the "canoe" around the jack than the two parallel cracks outside it. Those can probably be addressed from the inside. Any repair reduces the collector value tremendously, and you could try to use this as a bargaining argument. Nobody knows what an archtop's future value will be anyway, once the current crop of collectors is gone. I'm sure a professional luthier could replace this repair with less conspicuous work. Whether the instrument's value will go up by at least his fee is another question. I think I detect some brush marks and cracqueling around the repair; how's the finish on the rest of the guitar?

    A completely different approach: sand the repaired/damaged area smooth and cover it with a thin sheet - e.g. aircraft plywood or offset aluminum. Anything tidy that reinforces the damaged area is better than the present state.

  12. #11

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  13. #12

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    With EU 5400 being $6000. US, they've got it priced as though the repair adds value. They've already reduced the price by EU 500., and I'd say they have another 1500 EU to go......

    For me that's just too close to L-5 money - - -and an L-5 without a repair that significant

    Good luck DB, just MHO...

  14. #13

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    I must be in the minority to but me this is not in a place a person sees it playing the guitar. Certainly it can be fixed and repaired to actually be stronger than the original. The outside just does not look all that bad to me at all. The best repair would be to match the curve of the sides and glue in a piece of maple. In fact I have sides for guitars already bent that would simply fit perfect. Then apply glue all over the piece and pull it up from the inside. Then using an bolt and 2 large washers on each side as clamps, glue in the reinforcement. This has zero effect on the outside appearance of the guitar and would then in effect give you double the thickness of the sides.

    I just don't see a huge issue get it for a great price. Finally DB, if you cannot get a good sound of this box then no one else is going to either.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon View Post
    How much in duties would you have to pay on that if coming from the US?
    I'd only buy one w/ a repair that bad if I was certain I'd never sell it, you'll likely never get your $ back.
    Import duties would add 25% tot the asking price if I imported from the US.

    DB

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D View Post
    With EU 5400 being $6000. US, they've got it priced as though the repair adds value. They've already reduced the price by EU 500., and I'd say they have another 1500 EU to go......

    For me that's just too close to L-5 money - - -and an L-5 without a repair that significant

    Good luck DB, just MHO...
    Sure, but an L5 will not sound like an ES 350. For me a P90 on a 17" vintage ES guitar is the holy grail. Fortunately my ES 300 has that covered too ... It's just that it does not have that cutaway.

    DB

  17. #16

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    Wow, that one would be mine if it were for sale here for that price. Thanks.

    DB

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franz 1997 View Post
    It would be interesting to know what unmolested 350 asking prices are these days. No doubt DB has done his research.
    Think 8-10K in Europe.

    DB

  19. #18

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  20. #19

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    DB if you buy just get a luthier to do the reinforcement based on the method I suggest. The cool thing is the hole where the jack is becomes the point where you insert the bolt and then pull it up. Apply a liberal amount of glue to the back of the piece you are gluing. Slip the piece inside the f hole, use a piece of small wire threaded from existing jack hole, attached with a suitable size bolt ( in the glue in piece). Make sure you have a very large washer or something similar to keep a large footprint for the glue surface. Then pull it up taking a nut apply pressure then let it sit 24 hours. I would use titebond and I bet when I was done that the jack area would be the strongest part of the guitar. The piece of maple you use to glue from the inside does not need to be real thick either to get a good reinforcement. Think of like plywood laminations.

    BD you probably could do this your self if you can visualize what I am describing. Granted I write this stuff out it probably sounds complicate, but it is not since I cannot do complicated things.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post
    Import duties would add 25% tot the asking price if I imported from the US.

    DB
    well, that would make the one @ Lark St just over 6K which is what the one you're looking at is priced, no?

  22. #21

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    Hi DB,

    Just my opinion but your ES-300 is just stunning. There is little you can do with an ES-350 that you wouldn’t do with an ES-300.

    Personaly, I would keep this phenomenal ES-300.

    OTOH, I know what it means when you are after a guitar...

    Best to you.
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon View Post
    well, that would make the one @ Lark St just over 6K which is what the one you're looking at is priced, no?
    ....And while it has one less p/u, it just has those monograms decals but not that repair.....or ??

  24. #23

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    This instrument is a good argument for right-angled cable ends! Certainly the cost of a decent repair needs to be factored in your decision. I've shelled out for many restorative repairs in my time and never regretted it. Then again, I'm sometimes a little hazy on cost/benefit ratios....

    No question that the resale value is going to take a hit (I rarely sell guitars).
    Best regards, k

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D View Post
    ....And while it has one less p/u, it just has those monograms decals but not that repair.....or ??
    that wouldn't bother me as much as a destroyed side but ymmv...

  26. #25

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  27. #26

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    My first two thoughts seeing this guitar were:

    - The finish almost looks too good, although that may just be the pictures. Are you sure it hasn't been refinished sometime in the 70s or 80s?
    - How does the repair look from the inside? It should give you further information about how bad the damage really is. After all the description says that the repair is stable. If true, that stability could be achieved by some crude woodwork from the inside that would lower the value even more.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Archtop View Post
    Hi DB,

    Just my opinion but your ES-300 is just stunning. There is little you can do with an ES-350 that you wouldn’t do with an ES-300.

    Personaly, I would keep this phenomenal ES-300.

    OTOH, I know what it means when you are after a guitar...

    Best to you.
    Yes it is Fred. My ES 300 is in amazing mint condition with all parts original (even the frets show little wear). It's a time capsule instrument. And it sounds fantastic. And it's a flamey blonde to boot. So maybe you are right.

    You own a 300 too next to your 350?

    DB

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    My first two thoughts seeing this guitar were:

    - The finish almost looks too good, although that may just be the pictures. Are you sure it hasn't been refinished sometime in the 70s or 80s?
    - How does the repair look from the inside? It should give you further information about how bad the damage really is. After all the description says that the repair is stable. If true, that stability could be achieved by some crude woodwork from the inside that would lower the value even more.
    I wonder what you might mean by crude woodworking from the inside? I suppose crude work working from the inside could lower the value of a guitar but I am wondering how? I guess what I am asking is what would you define as crude woodworking from inside the guitar? Since I repair guitars for a living this has me wondering.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    I wonder what you might mean by crude woodworking from the inside? I suppose crude work working from the inside could lower the value of a guitar but I am wondering how? I guess what I am asking is what would you define as crude woodworking from inside the guitar? Since I repair guitars for a living this has me wondering.
    I thought of that ' crude inside ' too ! Does it look like a cobbled up mess inside, does it scream ' Mister Fix-It ', with glue dripping everywhere, or screws on top of screws, stripped threads, too many braces, etc etc ??

    That teardrop shaped piece looks like a knowledgeable repair, but the box-shaped crack looks exactly like it's along a backing piece they may have used.

    Basically by ' crude woodworking ' it'd be like a perfectly good looking drywall repair at your home that starts to show a small water leak a year later, and you finally open the wall and get the surprise, which is never pleasant.
    Last edited by Dennis D; 10-21-2019 at 09:39 PM.

  31. #30

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    There was a plate on there @ some point, you can see the filled screw holes.
    I like that single pickup one @ Lark St. It might be possible to reduce the old stick on initials, but it wouldn't be a deal killer for me.
    I have a '47 single pu blonde that's seen its share of gigs, cool guitars they are.
    That said if you put your 300 next to the 350 w the big repair I'd keep the 300 personally. At least until I found something I liked better.

  32. #31

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    Well, for what it's worth, that repair really doesn't particularly bother me that much. These are old instruments, the wood is often fragile, and good playing instruments often lead a hard life because they get, well, played. My guess is that the guitar got dropped, possibly when a strap let go, with the jack plugged into the guitar. That caved in the wood around the jack. Short of replacing the entire side, there was going to be no way to make that repair look good- a new side would've meant a refinish. By doing a small limited repair around the jack, the rest of the finish was allowed to remain in place. To me that is just an honest part of the history of the instrument.

    If I thought that the price was reasonable, I would check the guitar out and play it. If I liked it, I would buy it. Plus, I think you have to see this sort of repair in person rather than from photographs. An ES-350 is a remarkable instrument and is one of the most classic sounds of jazz guitar to my ears. And, geez, the sunburst on that thing is just gorgeous.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  33. #32

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    That can be structurally repaired. The dark sunburst shading can be extended to cover the repair. I had Candelario Delgado do an expert repair on a guitar years ago in the same area. You can't tell easily and the guitar sounds the same.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post
    You own a 300 too next to your 350?

    DB
    Yes, but my ES-300 is not original. The P90 was ripped off at some point, before I got it. It is equipped with a Pete Biltoft CC PU. My ES-350 is all original, from 1955 (3rd model with toggle switch).

    Gibon ES-350-es-350-jpgGibon ES-350-es-300-jpg

    Cheers.
    Archtop YT Channel: www.youtube.com/+FredArchtop

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D View Post
    I thought of that ' crude inside ' too ! Does it look like a cobbled up mess inside, does it scream ' Mister Fix-It ', with glue dripping everywhere, or screws on top of screws, stripped threads, too many braces, etc etc ??

    That teardrop shaped piece looks like a knowledgeable repair, but the box-shaped crack looks exactly like it's along a backing piece they may have used.

    Basically by ' crude woodworking ' it'd be like a perfectly good looking drywall repair at your home that starts to show a small water leak a year later, and you finally open the wall and get the surprise, which is never pleasant.
    This. Thanks Dennis for clearing that up before I could reply to deacon Mark.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    This. Thanks Dennis for clearing that up before I could reply to deacon Mark.
    Call me stupid but I still don’t get the analogy?
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  37. #36

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    Some things that appear to be seriously made at first sight May have hidden imperfections that can cause troubles as time goes.It's what I understand as a non-english-speaker.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    Call me stupid but I still don’t get the analogy?
    No, I won't call you stupid. But being a guitar repair man yourself, you will have encountered some badly scamped repairs yourself, especially at places that one usually doesn't see, like the inside of a hollow body guitar.

    That oval part around the jack looks like a professional repair to me, with paint job and all. The flanking cracks must be younger than that as I suspect that the repairman that has done the oval part wouldn't have left those cracks like this. A later accident with the plug may have caused those two cracks as well as the small ones around the jack. Quite typical that the cracks have appeared outside the repaired area as the new oval wood piece and the glued seams are sturdier than the old wood. Now those flanking cracks don't look stable to me. Yet the shop says in the description that they are stable. Therefore I suspect that some repairwork could have been made from the inside that may or may not have been done professionally. And if not done professionally, it should devalue the guitar even more. That's all that I was saying. Take a look at the jack area from the inside and you will know more. If the flanking cracks haven't been dealt with yet, i wouldn't call that area stable.

  39. #38

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    You think that input looks really bad?!?

    Ha, this is how the input of my 125 was repaired:



    It doesn't bother me the least! (But okay, it cost me only around 1/5th of that 350....).

    My personal opinion: I think you're just having G.A.S. and I don't think that 350 has anything more to offer than your 300, besides maybe easier acces to the upper frets. But hey, I get it, it looks great and you only live once, so if you lose sleep for not having the 350 go for it!
    Last edited by Little Jay; 10-22-2019 at 09:05 AM.
    Jazz, Funk, Soul & Boogaloo: My group | Listen to Hip Jazz a Go Go! | Jazz, Soul, Blues: Eva La Voix

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D View Post
    With EU 5400 being $6000. US, they've got it priced as though the repair adds value. They've already reduced the price by EU 500., and I'd say they have another 1500 EU to go......

    For me that's just too close to L-5 money - - -and an L-5 without a repair that significant

    Good luck DB, just MHO...
    But an L5 and an ES-350 are totally different animals. Yes an L5 *should* cost more from a build perspective (carved, bling), but if you want the ES-350/P90 sound and vibe, well....

    If I could handle a 17" guitar, the ES-350 would be my choice.

  41. #40

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    By the way guys, late 40s blonde ES 300s in good condition are cheaper but not THAT much cheaper than ES 350s from that era. The blonde ES 300s are simply very rare. Here's a screen shot from a few months ago on reverb. Prices are in euros!

    DB

    Gibon ES-350-reverb-16-june-2019-jpg

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay View Post
    My personal opinion: I think you’re just having G.A.S. and I don’t think that 350 has anything more to offer than your 300, besides maybe easier acces to the upper frets.
    You are probably right. A clear case of GAS. It's already less today.

    DB

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post
    You are probably right. A clear case of GAS. It's already less today.

    DB
    Funny how that happens. It's a good thing.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by DB's Jazz Guitar Blog View Post
    By the way guys, late 40s blonde ES 300s in good condition are cheaper but not THAT much cheaper than ES 350s from that era. The blonde ES 300s are simply very rare. Here's a screen shot from a few months ago on reverb. Prices are in euros!

    DB

    Gibon ES-350-reverb-16-june-2019-jpg
    Don't forget that asking prices are just that, those won't actually sell @ those prices.

  45. #44

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    And here's one that appeared for sale a while back in Europe -- not sure, maybe Paris ??......." The stuff that dreams are made of - -"
    Gibon ES-350-es-250-1-640x480-jpg

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D View Post
    And here's one that appeared for sale a while back in Europe -- not sure, maybe Paris ??......." The stuff that dreams are made of - -"
    Gibon ES-350-es-250-1-640x480-jpg
    That's an ES- 250 Dennis

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon View Post
    That's an ES- 250 Dennis

    Sorry, just dreamin'........

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post
    It appears to have been repaired at least two times...

    FWIW, my beloved 1966 ES-125 CD has very similar damage, with two imbricated symmetrical pairs of cracks around the output jack. I never really investigated how it was repaired, but there is one thing that I know: since I bought it in late 2008, it has been 100% stable. Within this period of time, my guitar has moved from living in a very damp house in northern England to the south of France and to the desertic shores of the Persian Gulf where it's been gigged both indoors and outdoors. Actually one of the most stable guitars I own.

    Now of course, I did not pay 5.4k EUR for it...

  49. #48

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    The repair does not bother me as a guitar player; I just won't pay the asking for it. I see six pins drilled around the rim. They appear to be pins for a reinforcement plate.

    I get it that sellers try their luck with an unrealistic, for its condition, asking price but a repair is a repair. Take a rational cold appraisal of its market value, not as a lovelorn guitar player, but as a speculator who considers resale value. In an intact condition, I would safely say it might be worth $4500, same as a similar vintage ES-175 with P90s. In its repaired state, 50% of $4500 i.e. $2750. $3000 when I am feeling generous.

    $3750 ~ €3400. Plus €250 in shipping. €3650.

    Make him this offer or else walk away and be happy with what you have got.

    PS I don't like the tone of cutaways.