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  1. #1

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    I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of these. Two surface cracks on the top definitely make you put your hands back but without looking in person, it could be only superficial. I bet it’s a honey to play and rare, to boot.
    Epiphone Byrdland Elitist 2006 Spruce/Maple
    Epiphone Byrdland Elitist 2006 Spruce/Maple | Tomstuff | Reverb

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  3. #2

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    I had a sunburst version of this guitar many years ago, and can say it is an excellent model. With my large hands, I found the short scale annoying, so sold it, with regrets. For someone with smaller hands, or large hands with a love of large intervals (!) this is an amazing guitar for the asking price.

  4. #3

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    I had my eye on this one. Can anyone give me more insight as to whether those cracks are purely cosmetic? They look pretty bad to me, but damn do I wanna get this axe.

  5. #4

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    They wouldn't worry me, given the price.

  6. #5

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    The cracks look like they were caused by an impact. They aren't superficial. If you check out one close up, both sides of the crack are misaligned. Even the binding is broken along the crackline.

    Guitar isn't that old and it's laminated (I believe), with similar cracks on both sides. All these indicate that the likely cause is a drop or something, not aging, humidity etc.

    If they are repaired properly, they should have no effect on the tone or the structure.

  7. #6

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    The cracks are right thru the wood, not just the finish. I believe these are pressed solid. The cracks are totally repairable (just glue them and some cleats on the inside, but hard to make invisible with a poly finish, which is what I believe these have. With a nitro finish, they could be made invisible (since new nitro melts and blends with the old layers).

  8. #7

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    Funny how the reverb seller states that the cracks are surface finish cracks only.... to me they are definitely not!

    Notice how the crack even splits the binding, something a finish only crack would never do:




    Btw, this article even mentions that the top is solid carved: Epiphone Elitist Byrdland Guitar Review @TopGuitars.info

    But I doubt that, solid pressed seems more likely.

    Anyway, the cracks can be repaired to make the guitar 100% structurally sound again, but the same articel mentions also polyurethane finish, so it will be difficult making them completely invisible.

    But for such a badly damaged instrument, the price is way more than what I’d be willing to pay.... (especially if you need to pay a luthier to do the repair).

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    or large hands with a love of large intervals (!) this is an amazing guitar for the asking price.
    I'm thinking that was the point of this and the Gibson edition? I had the chance to
    purchase a Gibson last year at a favorable price but after playing the guitar at
    home for a day I could not get used to its thin and narrow neck. So picky, huh?

    Lovey guitars though! Esport, I'd give it a shot if I hadn't had the Gibson opportunity.
    You may love it and... you know, life is too short not to try things.

  10. #9

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    Just saying;
    The seller is accepting offers. I would contact them and point out the cracks are not surface cracks.
    Then come up with a number to repair them while waiting for a response from the seller. If they seem open to the reality of the cracks in their response I would hit them with the luthier estimate and go from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Funny how the reverb seller states that the cracks are surface finish cracks only.... to me they are definitely not!

    Notice how the crack even splits the binding, something a finish only crack would never do:




    Btw, this article even mentions that the top is solid carved: Epiphone Elitist Byrdland Guitar Review @TopGuitars.info

    But I doubt that, solid pressed seems more likely.

    Anyway, the cracks can be repaired to make the guitar 100% structurally sound again, but the same articel mentions also polyurethane finish, so it will be difficult making them completely invisible.

    But for such a badly damaged instrument, the price is way more than what I’d be willing to pay.... (especially if you need to pay a luthier to do the repair).
    Last edited by Wildcat; 11-23-2020 at 06:59 PM.

  11. #10

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    Those cracks have nearly gone right through to the other side. They are pretty deep. And long. It is a stretch to call them surface cracks. I really would not want to buy anything from the seller. I smell trouble.

    The US-specified Elitist Broadway and Byrdland were cleared out for $1650 in 2008 or so. I got a NOS E Broadway from Ishibashi Gakki in Japan for under ¥185000 in 2010. Ishibashi had 3 E Byrdlands with the openbook headstock for sale at the time for the same asking price.

    It is a player's grade guitar worth, in my estimation, about $500.

    Them's the breaks.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    Those cracks have nearly gone right through to the other side. They are pretty deep. And long. It is a stretch to call them surface cracks. I really would not want to buy anything from the seller. I smell trouble.

    The US-specified Elitist Broadway and Byrdland were cleared out for $1650 in 2008 or so. I got a NOS E Broadway from Ishibashi Gakki in Japan for under ¥185000 in 2010. Ishibashi had 3 E Byrdlands with the openbook headstock for sale at the time for the same asking price.

    It is a player's grade guitar worth, in my estimation, about $500.

    Them's the breaks.
    I messaged the seller last night and expressed serious concern over the cracks. He immediately agreed to being open to negotiation on the price. I don’t think he’d bite at $500 though, just yet. Maybe if it sits for awhile with no offers. Who knows. Could be worth a gamble to the right person.

  13. #12

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    I don't like it when sellers are boldly dishonest in the ad. Those aren't surface splits. He may come down the price quite a bit or he may think if he waits long enough, he might be able to fool an inexperienced buyer.

    On the other hand, to his credit, he did provide clear close-up shots of the cracks. But he is not forthcoming about the true cause of the damage.

  14. #13
    I threw out an offer and explanation of what could be potentially be involved in repairing the top. He’ll probably reject the price but there’s no way I’d pay what he’s asking. Curious to see his response.

  15. #14

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    There's a Sunburst version for sale at Lavonne Music Savage Mn. at the moment as well. Ask for Peter Wagonner !

  16. #15

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    Well done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Esport
    I messaged the seller last night and expressed serious concern over the cracks. He immediately agreed to being open to negotiation on the price. I don’t think he’d bite at $500 though, just yet. Maybe if it sits for awhile with no offers. Who knows. Could be worth a gamble to the right person.

  17. #16
    He politely declined my offer.

  18. #17
    This was my offer:

    After speaking with my tech and some other luthiers online, it looks as if the cracks are more than likely in need of repair and are beyond the superficial. These Epis have a pressed spruce top with a poly finish. Any repairs made to the splits would be near impossible to be made invisible. If it were a nitro coat, it would be easier because the nitro would “melt” into the surface on the repair. Being an archtop, the top being able to sustain the pressure from the floating bridge is paramount to giving the guitar its tone and structural integrity. It’s a relatively new guitar, as well, so the chances that the top split due to age, humidity or weather changes is unlikely. This looks like impact damage of some kind. I like the guitar model and besides the top damage I think it appears to be in good shape. However, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to the asking price without letting a local luthier here in Nashville give it a good inspection. Don’t mean to insult you at all but this guitar, with the potential problems it has, without being able to see it in person, would be something I’d possibly take a gamble on for $500. It might cost $300 to fix properly, making it $800 all in. These models were cleared out a few years ago for $1650 and with the repairs it would have about half the resale value down the road. Again, not trying to offend you...just what I would be comfortable with based on what a few professional friends have suggested.

  19. #18

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    You did well!

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    You did well!
    Not well enough...it isn’t on its way to my house.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esport
    Not well enough...it isn’t on its way to my house.
    Okay, yeah, I feel ya.....

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esport
    Not well enough...it isn’t on its way to my house.
    No loss. More headache than it is worth. What do you think a pawnshop would offer for it if you walked into a pawnshop with it? $50, is my guess.

    As a bag of parts it may be worth about $500. The broken husk is really worth nothing.

  23. #22

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    I have no doubt that someone who is not as knowledgeable and discriminating as the gentlemen in this posting will come along and purchase it. Like myself, about 15-20 years ago. I guess you can say that the JGF has made me a better person?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    No loss. More headache than it is worth. What do you think a pawnshop would offer for it if you walked into a pawnshop with it? $50, is my guess.

    As a bag of parts it may be worth about $500. The broken husk is really worth nothing.

  24. #23

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    Any ideas about what an Epiphone Elitist Byrdland in excellent condition with no issues would go for these days? I have one in sunburst and am not ready to sell it, but am curious given that I don't see many come up for sale.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Eisele
    Any ideas about what an Epiphone Elitist Byrdland in excellent condition with no issues would go for these days? I have one in sunburst and am not ready to sell it, but am curious given that I don't see many come up for sale.
    Ive seen them posted for over 3k, and then disappear... so assuming they sold!

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by MHoranzy
    Ive seen them posted for over 3k, and then disappear... so assuming they sold!
    I recall paying a little under 3k for it a few years ago, but I couldn't really tell what the fair market price was because I couldn't find any others for sale.

  27. #26

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    I have owned three of these over the years. They are superb. I mean absolutely superb.

    They were a “blowout” at the end of their life-cycle at something like $1900 (Maybe $1999, I forget) via the usual vendors.

    The top is a veneered pressed top.

    This means that it is a thin layer or reasonably nice looking spruce over a more substantial top (in the same grain direction), that is formed into the arch top shape.

    Looks great, sounds great.

    As mentioned by others, the cracks are overwhelmingly likely very repairable, but at a cost that makes the selling price notably too high.

    Wonderful guitar, but get one that does not have a major defect (or pair of them).

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by MHoranzy
    Ive seen them posted for over 3k, and then disappear... so assuming they sold!
    They do seem to command a solid, and ever increasing, premium in the used market.

    So while you could get them for well under 2K years ago, an issue-free one should indeed grab more like 3K now.

    That is arguably un-crazy compared to other very well made “gig ready” guitars (Sadowsky, etc.).

    For someone who knows what this axe is, they could reasonably compare it to the cost of a Gibson Byrdland and find 3K to be a bargain.

    I suspect this is the main driver of the price.

    The bursts were very very nicely done and relatively rare compared to the blondes.

    I think the scale is the polarizing aspect. Some find it a complete non-issue immediately, others fret over it.

    Both reactions make sense to me.

    I am in the non-issue group. For comping, if you are a 3 note (Freddie Green) player then the tighter real estate up the neck is a non issue. If you are a devout barre chorder, then things can get cramped if you insist on your usual forms.

    For solos, the speed and access to your note is great.

    Check out Anthony Wilson in “All or Nothing at All” from “Live in Paris”.

    Anyway, considering that a gig-ready Gibson Byrdland starts at about $6500 and heads quickly north from there, the $3K idea for the superb Epi Byrd makes sense.

  29. #28

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    i always fancied one of these ....
    they’ve got the short scale a la gibson birdland ,
    but i believe they don’t have the narrow nut .... hurrah
    (and if they sound anything like Anthony Wilsons BL that would be wonderful)

  30. #29

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    The Epi and modern Gibson Byrdlands all have a standard 1 11/16 nut width.

    The Epi has fret binding nibs, which could be an unfortunate nod to the parent company. But they are well done, with no fret rounding before you get to the nibs. So no loss of practical real estate.

    In my opinion, the sound difference is mostly that the Epi’s all sound exactly the same. Staggering consistency. While Gibson Byrdlands can vary a remarkable amount - with the more widely spaced grain tops being noticeably more full sounding without losing any articulation (I mean ability to respond to different types of finger and pick work).

    I have absolutely no idea how much the price tops on the Epiphone vary, since they are veneered with a consistently tight and even grained decorative layer.

    Actually, ‘decorative’ is likely a jerk term for me to use since the glued layer could substantially contribute to the stability of the formed top.

    Sorry to go on and on, but these (the Epi Terada-built Byrds) are superb guitars. As fine as any production guitar made.