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Thread: Your average $150,000 guitar

  1. #1
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Your average $150,000 guitar

    Well it's a Gibson so sure it's worth it. Still....
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Hey, doesn't antoniotsai put instruments on eBay with similar ornamentation -- but significantly lower prices?
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    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Hideous... IMHO
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    It’s a “guitar”, how does it sound, or is it a wall hanger? If I had $149,999.00 to spend on something to hang on the wall ...........

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Well one thing that can be said is that its a very well inlaid and carved instrument-one can't deny the very intricate work that was done but for that price I'd rather have a 22-24 Loar signed F-5 or multiple high dollar mandolins/guitars from the "Golden Era/Age" from Martin or Gibson that will indeed go up in price in the future and will always be desired by musicians, collectors, as they were all built in a short time span and there sure isn't anymore being made today, there are only so many say Loar signed mandolins, so many pre 1941 Martin Herringbone D-28's etc. Also there is something to be said for playing-owning/being steward of any old/vintage instrument. They will out live us as most have already out lived previous original owners and that's just talking about the great instruments of the 20's and 30's, start thinking about the "REAL" golden age instruments from Srad, Maggini and the like they've been around for multiple generations and command way higher prices than the stringed instruments we love from our own golden age of the 20's and 30's! I see Loars and the like fetching prices of Strads and such in a 100+ years, it will happen eventually.

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    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    It’s a “guitar”, how does it sound, or is it a wall hanger? If I had $149,999.00 to spend on something to hang on the wall ...........
    If I were a betting man, I would almost not hesitate to lay down a months salary and bet that this guitar will never see any real 'play' time. A few chords may get strummed here and there, or perhaps a lick or two will pass over the fretboard - but it would not surprise me in the least to find out this this guitar will spend an overwhelming percentage of it's life in some 'investor/collectors' closet (who doesn't even play the guitar) or maybe in an acrylic display case in some basement 'Guitar Room'.

    The craftsmanship seems to be excellent, and the artwork itself (as always) is subjective, although not my style. Is this an interesting and even historical guitar? Okay, sure. $150,000? I'll pass, thank you. If I was ever going to spend that kind of money, I would much rather own something that was highly significant to me personally - maybe my favorite mandolin player's most used mandolin, perhaps a guitar that one of my music idols played on his TV show or even the exact electric bass that the rock personality used in the 70's that inspired me to become a musician. Those would capture my imagination much more!

    Just my humble opinion . . . .

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    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    I believe that this is just one more example of probably maybe 20 - 25 (that I know of at least) of special commissioned Gibson J-200s. L-5s and S-400 guitars that are uber laden with bling and were sold to some individuals with a lot of money. Several of these collectors seem to be located in the Utah area of the USA? There might well be more than 30 of these curiosities built?

    They were built by Ren Ferguson and others at the Gibson Montana facility. It is my understanding that one or two have been retained by Gibson and are supposedly "worth" over $500,000. I doubt they most of them were ever meant to actually play? Don't know.

    You can go on eBay almost any time and find some of the special J-200s selling in the $20 - 30K range -- or at least you used to be able to anyway.

    No doubt there is someone on this forum who knows a lot more than I do about these special guitars. Calling Ren Ferguson!
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Yep, one of those "instant" collectables................yawn.........

    And, like Allen said, anyone working with a dragon theme would immediately invite comparison to Antoniosai and Bruce Wei -- probably not the best idea, unless you really like dragons........

    And THEN there is the price...............

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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    I just checked the seller's other listings and he also has a PRS double neck with a dragon theme for $40K....................

    seller claims only 75 were ever made and they change hands less frequently than a Ferrari.........seems to be a certain mindset at work, but I am not a psychiatrist, so........

    like I say "instant collectable" type stuff, IMHO.

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    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Yep, one of those "instant" collectables................yawn.........

    And, like Allen said, anyone working with a dragon theme would immediately invite comparison to Antoniosai and Bruce Wei -- probably not the best idea, unless you really like dragons........

    And THEN there is the price...............

    Of course you can compare a Pontiac Fiero to a La Ferrari too but..........yeah there is the price.

    BTW most of those other custom/designer Gibson guitars were not based on dragon themes but other themes like places, events and wildlife etc.

    Here is a J-200 example.

    And another S-400.
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    The L-7 is amazing,,,I have heard the Ren Ferguson master museum guitars actually sound and play better than they look..the guy who evaluated one on pawn stars said it was the finest sounding guitar he ever played..

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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    You can see this guitar on youtube,,pawn stars:Gibson master museum guitar...

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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie Daniel View Post
    Well it's a Gibson so sure it's worth it. Still....
    You would think for $150K they'd throw in free shipping, but even that is $500

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Better post some photos before it sells... This is in the same category with those anniversary Martins over-the top inlaid with all sorts of crap. Amazing works of art but seriously overdone.

    On a positive note, today I played a very nice simple brand-new Gibson J-45 that was a lovely guitar. Simple but sounded and played great.
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Looks to me that it would probably play better with a speed neck.

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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    I don't think Ren built the dragon guitar ,did he? It doesn't look like his style..it's pretty hideous,and the neck is almost dysfuntional...

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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Nydn View Post
    I don't think Ren built the dragon guitar ,did he? It doesn't look like his style..it's pretty hideous,and the neck is almost dysfuntional...
    You are correct not done by Ren.

    "This one-of-a-kind carved masterpiece was built by the great master luthier Bruce Kunkel at the Gibson Custom Shop in Nashville. It took hundreds of hours to complete and is one of the greatest treasures to ever come out of the Gibson Custom Shop. Bruce did all of the relief carvings himself, and designed the inlays."

    It would be interesting to hear what this S-400 sounds like? I'm thinking not so great because that dragon is carved into the spruce so that top board is probably a quarter of an inch thick in places?
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    I've got a birthday coming up; I know what I'm asking for!
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Here's a video all about this guitar. They also show some of the other custom shop "masterpieces." Actually the workmanship on the Dragon 400 is quite impressive and at least IMHO this guitar is aesthetically much more pleasing than the million dollar Twentieth Century guitar discussed toward the end of this video. That one is a SJ-200 with cartoons all over it. Strange.

    Bruce Kunkel talks about the guitar and plays it a bit starting at 7:25.



    Here is Bruce Kunkel's web site. I like the less showy of his designs and actually his banjo designs sound truly innovative.
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    Registered User Gunnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Wow, that'll be the hit of every Chinese new year's party....
    Mandolin: Kentucky KM150
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    The dragon theme was common on banjos esp those by Bacon and Vega in the early part of the last century. Here’s one: Bacon-professional.
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    That's a very interesting guitar, and the custom work is beautifully done, but I would reckon it would add perhaps 150% of the cost of a "regular" Super 400 (I don't know what an S400 sells for, so I'll guess about $10,000).

    So... perhaps $20-25k.

    Again, the inlay and carving work is beautiful, but it's not worth that much.

    Although... I wonder how the carving on the soundboard impacts the overall resonance of the top...?

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Buy a Loar as your $$$$ wil be safer!

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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Albert View Post
    That's a very interesting guitar, and the custom work is beautifully done, but I would reckon it would add perhaps 150% of the cost of a "regular" Super 400 (I don't know what an S400 sells for, so I'll guess about $10,000).

    So... perhaps $20-25k.

    Again, the inlay and carving work is beautiful, but it's not worth that much.

    Although... I wonder how the carving on the soundboard impacts the overall resonance of the top...?
    But its like a Gibson Loar -- you are not paying just for superior sound quality -- in fact there are some modern high end mandolins that might be as good or maybe better? Rather you are paying for the exclusivity of the guitar. You won't be able to say oh well someone else has one for $125K.

    IMO those 18" arch top guitars were the top of the heap for acoustic guitars. I still get upset with myself for not buying a damaged S-300 (S-400 with less bling) years ago. I could have turned that into the greatest mandocello the world has seen? LOL Or at least tried to!
    Last edited by Bernie Daniel; Oct-03-2019 at 9:40pm.
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    Default Re: Your average $150,000 guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    The dragon theme was common on banjos esp those by Bacon and Vega in the early part of the last century. Here’s one: Bacon-professional.
    True but dragons really are not much of an American or European thing? Oriental yes very much so. Allen brought up Antonio Tsai (or whatever his name is) in an earlier post on this thread.. He is from Taiwan right? I used to look at all the fancy inlay work he did wondered --if he wants to sell to Americans why not make inlays that Americans can relate to like eagles, bears, wolves, moose etc. In stead all of his early work as dragons or had an Oriental theme?
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