When the instrument arrived, I could tell it was a real “player’s guitar.” It had a fair share of small dings, which didn’t bother me, but there was also some water damage on the lower bout near the control plate and jack. It didn’t affect the electronics or the neck, but the silver-sparkle finish had buckled in a few places and it was starting to flake off. On the other hand, I discovered a set of brand new ASAT pickups tucked away inside the case.
I contacted the seller about the flaking problem, and we mutually agreed on a $50 refund. Moral: Nothing is carved in stone on eBay. If you feel the seller’s description of the condition of an instrument isn’t accurate, you can try to return it for a full refund, or keep it and negotiate a partial refund. It is also worth mentioning that someone had installed a second string tree, because some G&Ls from this era were built with less headstock pitch, causing the third and fourth strings to buzz at the nut. Unfortunately, the tree went right over the top of John’s second signature. A lesson for autograph seekers is to have the artist sign the back of the headstock.
On balance, I love this guitar. I figured I got a pretty good deal for $550—especially considering the extra pickups. The neck is super fast, and it feels just right for my hands. It also has the same killer tones and spank as other ASAT Specials from the mid-’90s era. I’ll be hanging on to this one!