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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:30 am 
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Before getting to an answer, first realize that this is one of the most-asked questions at any guitar site. All too often the person asking is a newcomer whose brusque manners shows that their interests are mostly selfish, they want to know what they can get for what they have. I wish it were not so, I wish that more often these questioners had the grace to show respect for the fact that we are not pawnbrokers here, just people who love these guitars and who are sometimes willing (and occasionally even able) to share knowledge on a topic we love.

Mostly it's important not to get too excited about that treasure found under the bed- it's not going to make you rich (unless it's old and says Fender, Gibson, or Harley on it) It is a treasure, yes, but most of all it is a treasure of quality workmanship that offers rich value to the musician who plays it, who can unlock the mysteries of its beauty. One of the greatest values of vintage imported guitars is the high quality and low cost they offer to the player.

The other reason for asking this question is suppose you saw a nice guitar for sale somewhere, but you're not sure if the price is reasonable. Would that we could all afford to be incautious, but it pays to do your research all the while passion for that beautiful guitar is building in your gut. What you need is the OK to go ahead, it isn't junk, the price isn't inflated... is it?

The real answer is this: A thing is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it.

In any case, the best answer is one you can get yourself. Like it or not, ebay has become the major driving force in vintage guitar prices. Do a keyword search for Electra and see what turns up. There are usually a handful of them for sale at any given time. Realize though, that just because somebody is selling something for a high price doesn't mean they'll get the price.

It's best to go to ebay Advanced Search and look for the checkbox that says 'completed listings only'. This will show you for the past 90 days what prices actually got paid at auction close.

Remember to factor in the ebay insanity clause- some buyers will pay a hugely inflated price because they were desperate, or crazy, or misguided, or just because the other fish were biting that day. Meanwhile the denizens of the local forums are scratching their heads. Likewise sellers will post items for a ridiculously low Buy It Now for quick cash, and somebody gets a bargain. So a certain amount of insanity that has nothing to do with actual pricing is normal too.

Any time you can examine a guitar in person, that's worth anywhere from 50$ to 25% of its value, depending what it is. The guitar in the shop will always cost more than the one listed on ebay, but you get to hold it in your hands, and play it, and know what you're getting rather than waiting for the UPS truck and hoping for the best.

That should be enough to get you going- frankly it's as much as any of us probably know anyhow.

BTW, if you are a seller with a guitar you want to sell, please feel free to post in the Guitars & Parts for sale forum. The best thing any seller can do to get top dollar for a guitar is to include a lot of large, high quality picutres, preferably taken in the sunlight, and tell us honestly as much detail as you can see.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:48 pm 
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Excellent post Mr. X!

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:52 pm 
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Location: Longview, Wa. by way of Houston, Texas
Thanks X189 player for your post on the worth of the guitar :up: I am not a musician but I have had my X930 for 28 years. I was never skilled enough to make a living in music, but there is no way I could put a monetary value on my Electra. That guitar has given me so much joy, pleasure, frustration, comfort, etc: :D all of these years that to even think about what it is worth is senseless to me :o My Electra has been a friend, a pain reliever, therapist and a challenge :loon: and I consider it a prized possession and will never part with it :) Besides, no matter what mood I'm in Phase, Fuzz, Tank, Overdrive, Expander this guitar can do it all with a vengeance or a whisper, What more could a person want :huh: and I even make it sound pretty good sometimes :oops: This is one kick ass guitar and I know how lucky I am to have it :love: However: There is a flip side to the (How much is it worth?) question. If you inherited something totally opposite to your taste and hobbies you would more than likely be asking that question.

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I bought the X930 Vulcan guitar serial # 11404, C200 guitar case and 6 modules on October 3, 1978. In Houston for $785.00+$39.25 tax.


Last edited by Victor Johnston on Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Guitar show
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 12:47 pm 
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I don’t know if this means anything, but I recently attended a Guitar show in Dallas. Cool show. They had SRV’s guitar, Eric’s Blackie and the first electric ever-made etc. Any way I did notice what I think was an 810 (MPC) model for $990. I did not have a lot of time to talk with the dealer, since my friend was in a hurry to see a show. But in talking to him, I did discover that Electra is considered a vintage guitar and the price is going up. Especially the MPC’s


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 Post subject: To Add
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 1:09 pm 
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Sorry I keep posting my message before I have typed every thing. To add to what I posted.

I don’t really think it is disrespectful to ask the value of your guitar. One reason for this forum is the exchange of information. The reason I joined this sight in the first place. The people on this site know a lot more about these guitars than I do and have spent some thime researching them. Value is information I have an X150 and one of the first questions I asked was value along with history etc., Because, I wanted to know everything about my guitar. I will never sell it, but it is still good info to know, just to know. I have a Strat I bought in a pawnshop for $400, after research I discovered it is worth $900. This makes me feel good. Not trying to make anybody upset at this site and I understand that you may not be experts however I don't think it is disrespectful at all to ask any question about this subject since sharing information is the reason for this forum to begin with...


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 8:57 pm 
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I think the disrespectful idea comes from "some" people that join the forum for the sole reason of getting info to get the most for their guitar and giving nothing in return (and I've seen PLENTY of that here over the years).

I have personally never gone to an Internet forum to ask what the value of something, it's just too easy to use the internet to research that info yourself rather than to ask someone's "opinion" on the price. Step one, search eBay sold items and you'll get a great idea for what your item is selling for. Step two, google it. To me, coming to a forum and asking strangers to tell you the value is A) Kind of lazy, and B) No guarantee of getting an accurate value.

Yes, Electra's are starting to gain acceptance as viable vintage guitars...partly because they are great guitars, but in my opinion, mostly because the mainline vintage is pretty much out of reach for anyone who isn't a multi-millionaire. Prices will differ depending on the venue. Best prices will be private used deals, followed by tripping on the guitar you want in a pawn or used guitar shop. Some deals can still be had on eBay, but there's a ton of people scouring the bay for Electra's every hour. The highest prices will be in guitar stores and guitar shows.
Just my 2 cents.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 10:10 pm 
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it's certainly not disrepsectful to ask what your guitar's worth, so long as you are courteous about it, as you certainly were.


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 Post subject: I Disagree
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 2:38 pm 
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I disagree with electrasrus, have you ever tried to research Electra’s not much is known. As I stated in my first post at this site, I thought I had some off the wall guitar until I found this site. Which by the way, I found cool. One reason was that I could find out value. There must me a thousand sites on Fender or Gibson. On such an unknown Guitar there is not much and a lot of the information is wrong. One site just stated they made copies and got sued and went out of business. I think it’s good to put the spotlight on these guitars. It is a good guitar and should be worth more. We all have personal reasons for joining the site even if it’s just to BS about a rare guitar because no one else shares the same interests. One thing this site could do is add an estimated value in the section that describes each one of the guitars models. I think that would end a lot of the questions about value. If that is even possible?

OK I’m being a pain in the as% about the same subject… I’ll move on.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 3:25 pm 
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No, you make a good point. And the reason for this site is exactly as you say- to help people learn about and appreciate what they have.

The real reason for this thread was jsut to say "be polite" because many people need the reminder, and to give people a starting point for their research on prices.


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 Post subject: Re: I Disagree
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 5:25 pm 
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jhodge wrote:
I disagree with electrasrus, have you ever tried to research Electra’s not much is known.


LOL, and everything that we now know is pretty much because of 4 people in the world...Michael Wright, Mike Cantrell, Neal Keyser, and ME, the co creator of this website :lol: So I'd have to say, I get it. When I first started researching Electra's, less than a tenth of the info now available was around. Sure you're sincere but talk to any webmaster of these guitars (I had the job for 6 years, the site's been around 9 years), most people asking "what's my guitar worth" are in to get info on the price so they can extract the most possible dough from you and your forum members in an eBay auction. These people will in most cases, offer nothing to your site or these guitars. People like yourself who ask this question and have no hidden agenda are the rare ones.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:19 pm 
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I amcoming to this site, hopefuly as a rare one of those buyers.sellers you talked about. I've played guitar for 3 years now, im in my late teens and happened to walk into a guitar shop and was very enthused with a Electra Phoenix X189 (I figured this out only by coming to this site, there is info NO where else) and had never heard of it. I still have not been able to fins a price anywhere for it. They are asking $100, i think i can get them down to $75.
1.) Is it worth it? Are they really vintage
2.) About how much are they worth?
No matter what the answer to number 2, i'm going to keep it if its even worth 3 or 4 hundred. I would just like to know everything i could about this guitar. It looks exactly like the pic on the website for the X189, if that helps at all. I love the idea of the push pull knobs, and i got to play with it a little, but not enough to understand how it works.
Thanks for any info i can get.
Kris P


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:00 pm 
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Great price, nab it! If you can get them to drop it, cool, if not, grab it anyway.

X189's are not uncommon, they show up on ebay every few weeks. Usually they sell for $125-$225 or so depending on condition, color, that stuff.

REalize this too- that the chance to see, feel, and play a guitar in person is easily worth $100 or more. On ebay you take your chances.

But make no mistake, this is one of the best guitars made- superb quality, great action and feel, and superb tone. I assure you, if anything seemed not right about it, most likely all it needs is a good setup- and a fresh pair of strings (very important!)

I got my first one when I was in my first year of college- I paid $400 for it brand new (double that number toady as far as spending power), and to this day I judges the quality correctly- it was easily the equivalent of guitars costing twice the price and more. Ironically, while other brands like Ibanez and even Univox have become cult favorites, the humble Electra Phoenix X189 (and X185, which is what mine really was- six-screw-mounted bridge rather than the two-post bridge on the X189) remains largely overlooked, underappreciated. Cheap. Yet superb.

And this sets them up once again for the age old drama- aspiring musician gets great deal on guitar, discovers it's excellent quality, makes great music. Congratulations, you're acting out the classic history once again, you've become part of the myth.

What color is it? Red? Green? If it says Electra Phoenix on the headstock, it's probably an 83, if Electra Westone it's an 84, if it says Westone Spectrum LX then it's 85-6. And actually the first digit of the serial number is the last digit of the year.

I'll move this thread into its own thread pretty soon, because once you get it we're all going to want to see pictures of it so we canvicariously re-live our own thrill at getting our hands on one of these babies for teh first time.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:35 am 
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The serial number starts with 3, its the red version, pretty much exactly the picture on the website of the 189. Ive been back twice to play it and am going to buy it today! thank you so much for helping me. Me and my friend looked at it and immediatly knew it was dif but didnt know how much it was worth. I now dont care because after playing this awesome guitar , i have to buy it.
Thanks so much
Kris P


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 Post subject: Model x135P #0075
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:57 pm 
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I too was wondering what my guitar is worth. I am not a collector but bought this guitar new in the early 80's. It is in very good condition, the paint is flawless. It says that it is commemorating the 60th Anniversary of SLM 1922-1982, so I figure it is a 1982 model....probably about the time I bought it.

One of the brass knobs is a little shaky but thats the only thing I can see wrong with it. Is this baby worth keeping for my kids? Should I try and sell it to a electra enthusiast such as yourselves? Money isn't everything.....but it does help pay the bills.

Besides, if someone buys it that really loves these guitars then I think that both buyer and seller can get some satisfaction and the guitar gets played.....which is more than I am doing with it now. Anyway, thanks for any general info. you can give me on my electra.

I might even be able to find the original bill of sale.....I think is was around $300......does this sound correct?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:04 pm 
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In case you didn't see it on my subject heading, it is a Model x135 purple #0075. All original parts. Still plays great.

I havn't seen much about this model, even on this site. Did they make alot of these?


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