Friday, October 4, 2019

1990 Gibson J-30

When I travel, I am in the habit of scoping out local high-end guitar shops for any interesting used acoustic guitars. Staff at these places work there because they love guitars too, so it's easy to just walk in and ask if anything interesting has come in recently. They will be happy to tell you which guitars they are excited about.

While in Milwaukee last week, I stopped by my favorite guitar shop there: Wade's Guitar Shop. They pulled down for me a 1990 Gibson J-30 with Vintage Sunburst finish that had just come in two days prior from the original owner.

The Gibson J-30 was made from 1985-1998. It is a dreadnought model with a Spruce top and Mahogany back and sides. It was/is popular as a poor-man's Hummingbird as it shares the same specifications without the higher end appointments and pricier tag.

The guitar was in surprisingly excellent condition and, having benefitted from an in-shop set-up, it was a pleasure to play. I appreciated the slenderer neck profile than on other Gibson acoustics I've come across. The kicker was when the staff pulled out its beautiful original deluxe Gibson case in excellent condition as well. After Wade was willing to work with me on the asking price to include shipping it back home, I pulled the trigger on my very first Gibson guitar. This is going to be a lot of fun to play, and such a pleasing guitar should be easy to pass along to another happy owner eventually.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Yamaha FGX730SC acoustic electric

The asking price for this Yamaha FGX730SC guitar on Craigslist one town over had me intrigued. The FGX730SC was introduced in 2008. It is an acoustic electric guitar with a cutaway body, solid Sitka Spruce top, Rosewood back and sides, bound Rosewood fingerboard, and mother-of-pearl inlayed name and logo on the headstock. The A.R.T. one-way piezo/preamp system with three-band EQ, adjustable midrange frequency control, and built-in chromatic tuner, allows for easy plug-in amplification. Current MSRP is $815 with a street value price around $500. Blue Book value has it at $350-430 in excellent condition.

Turns out this had been a travel guitar (without a case or gig bag!) for ten years and, besides the usual minor scratches, had a couple dings, one in the lower and upper bout, respectively. It was also in need of a good cleaning. The electronics were in working order, with a brand new battery according to the seller. Other than the cosmetic issues, it was good to go. I negotiated another 33% down from the asking price and brought my prize home. Cleaned up and with a repurposed case, this FGX730SC will make an attractive and durable addition to someone's guitar arsenal without breaking the bank.