Other Guitars

Not sure if Used Les Paul has been Water Damaged


Hi guys, need your invaluable input!

I've been gassing for a new guitar and been thinking about adding a Les Paul to my arsenal. I just went into the local guitar shop and found a 2013 used Les Paul Standard priced a few hundred dollars below what I would expect to pay on the used market.

I played it, checked to ensure there was no fret buzz, and plugged it into a few different amps – it sounded great. I decided to put a deposit on it and figured I would sleep on it, and come back to pick it up in the morning.

When I went to the til to pay, I asked to see the case. This is what's tripped me up! When he opened the case up, it was seriously water damaged. Had spider webs still inside it, and the paper work & case candy was destroyed by water. The inside of the case looks as though the finish from the guitar had wore off onto it. The white plush insides have brown stains where the guitar would rest against the side.

The guitar itself shows no obvious signs of wear... finish is good, the frets look a little dirty, and the thing could use a bit of a wipe down, but otherwise good.

The case also has a flat top – no beveled arch in the top. My previous Les Paul case had such an arch, but this one is flat... that also tripped me up.

I know how to spot a fake, so I looked it over for signs that it might even be a fake, but I see none. It looks legit.

Currently selling for about $400 - $500 CDN less than street value.


A lot of guys keep their guitars out of the case. So it's possible that the case is either the original but water damaged, or the original owner kept the good case and off-loaded the crappy case when he sold his Les Paul.


Ya that is what the sales clerk was saying. But that doesn't explain the brown stains inside the case. The dark spots were hardened as though the finish was wore off and now on the plush interior of the case.

Another smaller detail that is a bit off – I'm in Canada, and the Les Paul cases here are made in Canada, and have a sticker indicating such on the top of the case next to the Gibson Logo. This one had no such sticker.


Maybe the shop will throw in a decent case or gig bag to help make the deal.


Ya they are willing to throw in a better used case. Just worried that something has happened to this guitar that they either don't know or are unaware of.

The Standard should come with the chrome locking tuners, but this one comes with the older spec plastic tuners that originally came on the 2008 standard, and current Traditional model.


If you see no evidence of water damage and the guitar's electronics works just fine, then get a new case and close the deal.


If there was a moisture issue then look at the pickup screws for electrolysis. Dissimilar metals and water will show signs of corrosion.

The owner probably kept the good case and that's the old pair of shoes.


If there's no damage on the guitar, then have them get a better case for you. It sounds like someone was just trying to dump a damaged case in the deal. For the price it does seem like a great deal as is.


Take a watchmaker's screwdriver set with you when you go to pick it up.

1) Watch the sales clerk's face as you insist upon checking out the electronics when you remove the control cavity plate.

2) Remove the plate and check it out.

You are spending $1500 or so of your hard earned cash; you wouldn't buy a car without opening the hood. No difference here. You are in the drivers seat; lotsa LP's out there.


Agree with lx above...

Remove the panels and take a look. Shop should be cool with it... they may think you are that weird customer, but wtf, its you who are dropping the money on it. Ask them if they would do any different?

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