I’ve got a feeling… This guitar looks weird!

by Rik Mercaldi on August 28, 2012

1965 Gibson Melody MakerHave you ever looked at an instrument and just had that feeling that something just wasn’t quite right? In my case, years of authenticating instruments has given me a pretty solid basis of things to look for but I always find that first instincts are not something to be ignored. Before digging in and opening things up, it’s really important to look the guitar over slowly and take in the whole picture. What’s the first thing that hits you? Are there any glaring inconsistencies?

Typical scenarios can include a part such as a bridge that seems out of place for that particular make or model or a color that you’ve never seen the manufacturer use before. Is everything just too shiny and clean to be this old?

Obviously, there are exceptions, one offs, custom orders, etc. You could be looking a valuable rarity, so I wouldn’t rule out anything completely.

I once looked at a bass that was supposed to be a vintage Gibson from the early seventies. The first thing that I noticed was the logo. It was a type of pearloid with a pattern that I’d never seen before on an instrument from this period. This, combined with a finish that looked brand new, raised an eyebrow. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the pickups were of Japanese origin and the alignment of the pickguard and some of the hardware was just slightly off. My eventual conclusion was that this was a Japanese made copy that was redone completely to make the guitar appear to be a vintage Gibson Bass.

Whether it was done maliciously to try and pass off as real, or as a hobbyists personal restoration project, we’ll never know, but the lesson here is, if you get a feeling, don’t ignore it… explore it.

Have you had a similar experience?

  • Lip

    Always learn something around these parts… Juano Lippi

  • Cheers! Thanks for checking in!

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