Your Greatest Deals of a Lifetime

Uncle Joe

Squier-holic
Dec 18, 2015
2,678
Jersey
This PAS phenomenon got me thinking. What are your greatest guitar deals of your lifetime? Pictures would be awesome. Here's what jumps to mind for me.

This Pro Audio Squier Classic Vibe '60s Stratocaster is up there. $223.90 out of pocket.

Overstock.com's Gretsch Americana Sundown Serenade was another Christmas deal from years ago that jumps to mind. It was $29.00. Crazy. I take it everywhere when I'm traveling by car.

My favorite may be my CIJ '62 Reissue Telecaster that I found used, in a guitar shop in Japan, the one and only time I visited. USD $500.

The winner, for me, when push comes to shove, is the open box deal from Musicians Friend a week or two after I missed (didn't pull the trigger) on their Martin 000-15 blow out. I got it for less than $700 and got it professionally set up for $100. It needed the set up, badly, and Mark Simon of Bedminster, NJ transformed it into a beautiful player.

So what's your deal of a lifetime?

20221204_163822.jpg
Johnny West and Gretsch Americana.JPG CIJ 62 RI Tele & Squire Sparkle Bullet Tele.jpg

Edit: PAS
 
Last edited:

Eddie

My Squier is on Fire !!!
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 5, 2016
20,661
New York
Great deal of my lifetime was my first guitar. Dad brought me an alpine white Gibson Les Paul Custom on 48th Street in NYC for $600 back in 1984.

That would be worth about $1720 today. That's a steal for a Gibby PLC.
 

Ralph124C41

Dr. Squier
Feb 10, 2016
6,436
I'm also thinking of a reverse post ... what were your worst deals, buying or selling? Before I knew the little I know now about guitars and amps I made quite a few blunders. It's good to know what you've got before you decide to get rid of it. But my stupid deal may have been somebody's else's best deal.
 

Paruwi

Squier-holic
Apr 28, 2019
2,052
Kraut-Territory
I had a few GREAT deals in the past years...

#1
Mesa-Boogie Express 5:25+ 1x12" Combo got it for less than € 800.- @ eBay
like new condition, probably less than 5 hours playing-time
currently hard to find at all, used ones are mostly in the € 1200-1500.- range
MB-Express 5-25+ -1.jpg

#2
Squier 51 incl. SKB FS-6 hardcase paid € 240.- for it
the like new case is up to € 180 now and I sold the SQ51 for € 200.- and kept the case
z3.16 SQ VM Pawnshop 51.jpg

#3
€pi ES-175-Premium, got a NOS at thomann for € 550.- 3 years ago
the few ones that are offered are in the €900-1200 pricerange over here
ES175Prium_EB_Splash.jpg

#4
FGN Boundary Odyssey paid € 330.- for it incl. a Fender GigBag, Gotoh locking tuners and a Multi-Pack of 10-46 D'addario strings worth ~ € 100.-
so basicly I've got a MiJ Strat-style for € 200.-
the FGN MiJ guitar is offered new here in the €600-700 range
fgn-boundary-II-odyssey-hss-bk.jpg

I've got a few more great deals, they do happen if you're patient and you're lucky if the war-chest is filled to hit the BIN-button at the right time....
 

Paruwi

Squier-holic
Apr 28, 2019
2,052
Kraut-Territory
I've got a few more great deals, they do happen if you're patient and you're lucky if the war-chest is filled to hit the BIN-button at the right time....

Got both of my FGN Masterfields for less than € 2800
now they sell around € 2600-2900 each
the Masterfield bass prototype for € 700 counts as a deal, too
1.1  FGN MF Trio 4-19.JPG

another great deal was my €pi LesPaul ES, got it for ~ €300
sold it and regret it now
2.13 Epi LP-ES Std.JPG

another one I really regret selling is the €pi Tak Matsumoto
got it new for € 450 - sold it for € 650
TakDCCustm_Splash.jpg
 
Last edited:

DougMen

Dr. Squier
Jun 8, 2017
9,574
Honolulu, HI
Mine is definitely my 1969 Brazilian RW 12 fret Martin D12-35, that I bought in '82 for $350. In these photos I have it strung as a 6 string. After that, it would probably be a very early PRS Custom 24 with a quilt top in wine red and with moon inlays, that i got for $1650, when they were usually about $2300. That was about the 1st or 2nd year of PRS production, and my local guitar store where I got everything, Gelb Music in Redwood City, CA., was one of the first PRS dealers in the country, and they were gifted that guitar for being the number 1 dealer that year.
The owner, now retired (he sold Gelb to the owner of Haight Ashbury Music in SF, who closed it and concentrated on Gelb), named Kevin Jarvis, has one of the very first PRS guitars ever made. When PRS was looking for dealers, they brought that guitar to show Kevin, and he said "Let me keep it for a while, and use it on a gig, and I'll let you know what I think". When Paul went to get the guitar back Kevin told him "I'm keeping it, you aren't getting it back"! Gelb was the first store I ever saw that offered discounts, when everyone else was charging list price for everything. Kevin told me that the only way he coud afford to do that was because when he bought the business from Mr. Gelb he got the land and the building too. Gelb was one of the first Fender dealers in the Bay Area, and when Mr. Gelb owned it, it was all Fender and nothing else. We would ride our bikes down there in the mid 60s and drool over all the Fender guitars and BF amps, and then go to Mickey Hart's Drum City in the next town San Carlos to see all the Gretsches and Riickenbakers. Mickey of course later became a member of the Grateful Dead. I got my first electric from Gelb, a Daphne Blue Mustang, and a BF Vibro Champ, that my parents got me for Christmas in '65.
Kevin used to let me put a down payment on something and take it home that day, and he told me "Doug, you're the only one I still do this for, because you're the only one who always pays the balance when you promise to".
Across the street from Gelb was a place called Goetz Bros., which, in the 60s, was the Gibson dealer. They sold musical instruments, office equipment, and sporting goods. We would get our Little League uniforms, baseball gloves, typewriters, and clarinet reeds there, but you could also buy a Gibson guitar or amp. Before I got the Mustang, I also looked at the Kalamazoo guitar there, but the Mustang looked cooler. However, I've always wanted a Kalamazoo ever since. lol. Kalamazoo was Gibson's lower priced line of Fender styled guitars intended to compete with the Musicmaster, Duo Sonic, and Mustang. The KG2 shown here was the same price as a Mustang, and came in red, white, and blue, just like the Mustang. Later Kalamazoo models adopted the SG shape.
RSCN0522.JPG RSCN0521.JPG
1966_Kalamazoo_KG2A_1.jpg
I also had a late 60s burgundy Grestch Tennessean that I got for $250 in the early 70s. I loaned it to my jam buddy at the time, a great singer, songwriter, and rhythm guitar player, and he traded it for drugs, and wouldn't take me to the dealer to try and buy it back. I met him when he was hitchhiking one day. He and another singer, songwriter, and rhythm player lived in a log cabin in Memorial Park, under the redwoods, west of La Honda. They were from New Bedford, and they were a lot older than me, about 22, and I was 16 or 17. They couldn't play lead, and I couldn't sing or write, so we were a good match, and I became their lead player. Unfortunately, they cared as much or more about drugs and alcohol as they did about music, so we never really went anywhere, or had any gigs, but we jammed a lot and made and even recorded a lot of good music.
 
Last edited:

incognito

Squier-Meister
Aug 25, 2014
120
Coolorado
Back in the day around 1978:
German upright bass $350 from fellow Berklee Student
Gibson ES-175 $350 from fellow Berklee Student

About 1985:
1975 or 76 Fender Strat $350 from a music store in Phila.

Around 2010-2015:
Fender MIM Squier $80 pawn shop
Squier VM 70's strat $120 online
Epiphone Cherry burst Les Paul $180 Colorado Springs Music store

A few months ago:
Epiphone SG 400 1996 $138 MGR
 

duceditor

Squier-Axpert
May 29, 2014
16,234
The Monadnocks, NH USA
If dollars saved on a truly loved guitar is what counts most then I'd have to be my Supro Black Holiday. I think that I paid about $275 for that, including a hard case. (Originaly it sold for about three times that without the case.) Then, when the neck had an issue and Supro replaced it with one of the original, hand-made, prototype necks it became an irreplaceable, truly unique, guitar.

But if the excitement of an unexpected deal and purchase is paramount then it would have to be my 1988 Les Paul Standard.

Briefly told the story is this: My son had just started college at RIT in Rochester NY. He'd long wanted to get Jan and I back into making rock music and so upon our first visit to him at college he planned to lure us into Rochester's famed "House of Guitars."


Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.13.07 PM.png


I took that bait (as did Jan) and when, upon our walking in a man I thought was a sales rep asked me if there was anything I'd particularly like to see I said, "yes, a good quality Les Paul replica."

They had a bunch of them -- nice looking Japanese made instruments. But when I played them they just weren't "right" in my hands (My Les Paul experience was based on my fellow Abstract's late fifties 'Paul.) When I told this to the "sales rep" (for such is what I thought the man to be) and he said "No. You asked to play a replica. To get the real Les Paul feel you have to play a real Gibson." Then he offered to let me try one of those.

I told him yes, I'd love to play one, but that that there was no way I could at that point afford to buy it.

He asked what color I wanted and then went to a special area where such were displayed behind glass. (Most guitars a HOG are out to be played.) Handing it to me I immediately recognized the feel. THIS is what I remembered! And I told him so.

"How much is it?" I rather timidly asked.

"I don't know" he answered, "I'll need to ask a sales rep."

I said "I thought you were a sales rep." "No" he said. "Today is Gibson day here at the House of Guitars. I am the area Gibson representative."


At this point my wife, Jan, briefly interrupted us telling me to please join her in the keyboard area when I was free.

After Jan had left we talked a bit more about the 'Paul and then the man said to me, "Pardon me for asking... but is your wife Jan Vadala?"

If a guy in Boston recognized Jan that wasn't surprising -- many did from her days in "IV Kings & a Queen." But still, for the Gibson rep in upstate NY to do so was rather a surprise.

It turned out that he originally was from Boston. In fact he had actually known her a bit when he was in grade school.

He paused for a moment, obviously thinkiing, and then he truly surprised me -- asking if I'd like to buy the Gibson if he could give it to me for cost. ( I.e., what the store paid for it

I didn't have to think about that at all! "Oh yes!” said I. And that guitar, in its case, plus a mid-sized Peavey "Back Stage" amp went home with me that day.

I do not remember exactly what I paid for the 'Paul, but it was considerably less than what I'd have expected.

Yes, I still have it. And it really is, still today, everything I could wish it to be. The to-me "ultimate" classic Les Paul.

But as wonderful as the guitar is in itself, it was the wonder of how I got it that will make it forever special to me.

Truly one of life's many little, joyful, surprises.

:)

-don



Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.08.54 PM.png
 
Last edited:

65refinyellow

Squier-holic
Jun 29, 2015
2,136
norcal
K
If dollars saved on a truly loved guitar is what counts most then I'd have to be my Supro Black Holiday. I think that I paid about $275 for that, including a hard case. (Originaly it sold for about three times that without the case.) Then, when the neck had an issue and Supro replaced it with one of the original, hand-made, prototype necks it became an irreplaceable, truly unique, guitar.

But if the excitement of an unexpected deal and purchase is paramount then it would have to be my 1988 Les Paul Standard.

Briefly told the story s this: My son had just started college at RIT in Rochester NY. He'd long wanted to get Jan and I back into making rock music and so upon our first visit to him at college he planned to lure us into Rochester's famed "House of Guitars."


View attachment 247061


I took that bait (as did Jan) and when, upon our walking in a man I thought was a sales rep asked me if there was anything I'd particularly like to I said, "yes, a good quality Les Paul replica."
They had a bunch of them -- nice looking Japanese made instruments. But when I played them they just weren't "right" in my hands (My Les Paul experience was based on my fellow Abstract's late fifties 'Paul.) When I told this to the "sales rep" (for such is what I thought the man to be) and he said "No. You asked to play a replica. To get the real Les Paul feel you have to play a real Gibson." Then he offered to let me try one of those.

I told him yes, I'd love to play one, but that that there was no way I could at that point afford to buy it.
He asked what color I wanted and then went to a special area where such were displayed behind glass. (Most guitars a HOG are out to be played.) Handing it to me I immediately recognized the feel. THIS is what I remembered! And I told him so.

"How much is it?" I rather timidly asked.

"I don't know" he answered, "I'll need to ask a sales rep."

I said "I thought you were a sales rep." "No" he said. "Today is Gibson day here at the House of Guitars. I am the area Gibson representative."


At this point my wife, Jan, briefly interrupted us telling me to please join her in the keyboard area when I was free.
After Jan had left we talked a bit more about the 'Paul and then the man said to me, "Pardon me for asking... but is your wife Jan Vadala?"


If a guy in Boston recognized Jan that wasn't surprising -- many did from her days in "IV Kings & a Queen." But still, for the Gibson rep in upstate NY to do so was rather a surprise.

It turned out that he originally was from Boston. In fact he had actually known her a bit when he was in grade school.

He paused for a moment, obviously thinkiing, and then he truly surprised me -- asking if I'd like to buy theGibson if he could give it to me for cost. ( I.e., what the store paid for it

I didn't have to think about that at all! "Oh yes" said I. And that guitar, in its case, plus a mid-sized Peavey "Back Stage" amp went home with me that day.

I do not remember exactly what I paid for the 'Paul, but it was considerably less than what I'd have expected.
Yes, I still have it. And it really is, still today, everything I could wish it to be. The to-me "ultimate" classic Les Paul.

But as wonderful as the guitar is in itself, it was the wonder of how I got it that will make it forever special to me.

Truly one of life's many little, joyful, surprises.

:)

-don



View attachment 247060
That’s a beauty and though I have tried with many many Gibson solidbody electrics, none “bonded” with me even if I put it in the bed next to me anywhere like Ibanez, Squier, or Fender. But just the straight ahead black Les Paul or SG has always been a Gibson I could like.

I just don’t bond with a red SG like you often see and sunburst on a Gibson does nothing either. But a black Les Paul is like, “See, there’s two humbuckers and three positions and I’m here!”

A telecaster has that vibe, too.
 
Last edited:

radiotech

Squier-Axpert
Apr 23, 2014
12,134
Freedonia
I’ve got a number of guitars for free, or as payment for computer services, not going to include those, going with a strait out best deal swap I’ve had.

Got this Aria Pro II Steve Bailey signature Bass used (broken double concentric P/P pot) for $125:
88B2CC1E-0210-4BA6-B4B7-AA969C77B4F5.jpeg

held on to it for four years, fixed it, and traded it straight for this MIM DX1AE Martin (for all purposes new) w/HSC.
9B87A38B-A127-460D-A14E-BBC9E5A0D782.jpeg
 

Uncle Joe

Squier-holic
Dec 18, 2015
2,678
Jersey
1965 Telecaster, $440, maple cap from GC in 1985.

I did see a Hendrix mim reissue for $599 at GC a few years ago and they’re $1099 now if you can find new old stock.

I had one of those. I bought it as a Musician's Friend Stupid Deal of the Day. Kept it for a while. Didn't play it much. Sold it on Ebay for a profit.

Found a picture that I must've posted when I was selling it... I think the one you are talking about is a much earlier version though. Mine must've been about twenty years ago, maybe less...

Fender MIM Hendrix reverse headstock.JPG
 

Uncle Joe

Squier-holic
Dec 18, 2015
2,678
Jersey
I'm also thinking of a reverse post ... what were your worst deals, buying or selling? Before I knew the little I know now about guitars and amps I made quite a few blunders. It's good to know what you've got before you decide to get rid of it. But my stupid deal may have been somebody's else's best deal.
That's easy for me. It was my Fender MIM Cabronita. It came with a wonky bridge that was not suitable for the guitar. Inherent problem, I believe. I corrected it with an expensive replacement bridge, but lost money when I sold it. Not happy about that one.
 


Latest posts

Top