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  1. #1

    Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    I have a complete harness out of a Barney K. All in tact and works. I did remove a cover to see if they were T Tops and they are not. Anyone know about what the value of something like this is? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    The Barney Kessel Patent Number pickups have a narrow-spaced neck pickup. Last time I purchased a set like that I used the normal spaced bridge for a single pickup guitar. I still have the narrow-spaced neck pickup because no one was interested in buying it, though I still think it would work nicely as a neck pickup. Are yours nickel plated or gold? Most were gold, but a select few were nickel. As to the value of your set, most of it is going to be the value of the bridge pickup. Those would go for around $1500.00. Add the narrow-spaced pickup in and you're maybe talking $1750. A set of normal spaced Patent numbers would be north of $3000.00. These values are based on my own purchases, and that was a few years ago, so prices are likely different now. Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    Quote Originally Posted by Cream Fan View Post
    The Barney Kessel Patent Number pickups have a narrow-spaced neck pickup. Last time I purchased a set like that I used the normal spaced bridge for a single pickup guitar. I still have the narrow-spaced neck pickup because no one was interested in buying it, though I still think it would work nicely as a neck pickup. Are yours nickel plated or gold? Most were gold, but a select few were nickel. As to the value of your set, most of it is going to be the value of the bridge pickup. Those would go for around $1500.00. Add the narrow-spaced pickup in and you're maybe talking $1750. A set of normal spaced Patent numbers would be north of $3000.00. These values are based on my own purchases, and that was a few years ago, so prices are likely different now. Hope this helps.
    These are spaced the same. Both have chrome covers as I believe them to be later in the 60's. There is zero indication that any soldier joint was disturbed except the front pup cover that I removed to make sure they were not T Tops and to look at the wire which is orange poly. I did also of course had to remove the bridge grounding wire from the harness. I have not yet opened up the pot covers to see what the date codes are.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    Quote Originally Posted by Cream Fan View Post
    The Barney Kessel Patent Number pickups have a narrow-spaced neck pickup. Last time I purchased a set like that I used the normal spaced bridge for a single pickup guitar. I still have the narrow-spaced neck pickup because no one was interested in buying it, though I still think it would work nicely as a neck pickup. Are yours nickel plated or gold? Most were gold, but a select few were nickel. As to the value of your set, most of it is going to be the value of the bridge pickup. Those would go for around $1500.00. Add the narrow-spaced pickup in and you're maybe talking $1750. A set of normal spaced Patent numbers would be north of $3000.00. These values are based on my own purchases, and that was a few years ago, so prices are likely different now. Hope this helps.
    Going by the value you posted , what do you think early Patent Sticker T-Tops would be worth (gold with covers ) ?

  5. #5

    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    I have no idea, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say $500 per pickup. The harness might be worth something as well, but I'm assuming they are CTS pots. From that era they'll be better than the ones you can buy today, but not as valuable as they would be if they were Centralab pots. Sorry I can't be more help. Perhaps someone else can chime in about T-top pickup value.

  6. #6

    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    Quote Originally Posted by Cream Fan View Post
    ...A set of normal spaced Patent numbers would be north of $3000.00. These values are based on my own purchases, and that was a few years ago, so prices are likely different now. Hope this helps.
    My 2˘: $3K might be a ceiling for the pair of (nickel, normal spaced, PAT#) pickups only. $2.5K - $3K ??
    With nickel and an intact harness, then $3K sounds like a sensible price. $2.75K - $3.25K+ ??
    Chrome and an intact harness, then $3K sounds like a slightly high price. $2K - $2.5K ??


    Quote Originally Posted by El Gringo View Post
    Going by the value you posted , what do you think early Patent Sticker T-Tops would be worth (gold with covers ) ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cream Fan View Post
    I have no idea, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would say $500 per pickup. The harness might be worth something as well, but I'm assuming they are CTS pots. From that era they'll be better than the ones you can buy today, but not as valuable as they would be if they were Centralab pots. Sorry I can't be more help. Perhaps someone else can chime in about T-top pickup value.
    I think this is just about the right price.

    In the end, they're worth whatever someone will pay for them.

  7. #7
    In the Zone/Backstage Pass
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    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    My observation of the market is that the prices mentioned in these posts are somewhat optimistic--YMMV

  8. #8

    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    I think right now is not the time to even test the waters. Too many out of work right now.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    If they sound good/great they're priceless, IMO.

    I think there's a difference in wire on what some consider Pre-T's versus Pat# PAF's, might be some other differences too as I'm not well versed.

    BUT, I also think a good pre-T is more valuable to hold on to if you ever want an SG or 335 etc from that era given the discounts you often see when the guitars don't have original pots/pickups.

  10. #10

    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich R View Post
    My observation of the market is that the prices mentioned in these posts are somewhat optimistic--YMMV
    +1 My estimates are probably (definitely) on the high side. My low-end estimates might be closer to reality, if not even lower by $500.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Anje's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    +1 with Rich R; I've had and sold a few pre-Ttop Patent#, last batch I can remember was 2008 when I sold several '62-'65 between $400-900ish at that time (depending on the particular generation of each pickup; $900+ would have been for the earlier type w/ dark purple/maroon windings identical to PAF beside the sticker; later red winding one would have been $400+).
    Even taking into account natural inflation I would be very surprised those have more than double in price since then, especially looking at how "soft" the market has been for the last few years for most of the gear?

  12. #12

    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    Here's a current listing for a 1961/1962 Gibson Barney Kessel Custom:

    https://reverb.com/item/29906537-gib...lamazoo-bigsby

    There are two pickup photos. Assuming that they are original, I would peg their price at $700 apiece. Having the entire harness does pose a problem, due to the number of guitars you could slot it into. It would not work its way into an ES-335 due to the neck pickup. So many Kessels and Byrdlands have been forever tainted by jazz musicians cannibalizing one of the pickups before they sold it. Don't people realize that a pickup may sound heavenly in one guitar, and not another, due to wood resonance?
    Last edited by Aloha_Ark; 04-03-20 at 04:15 AM. Reason: add thought

  13. #13

    Re: Gibson Pat. Pickups Value

    Late patent number, pre t top pickups with poly coated wire aren’t as desirable or valuable typically as the early patent numbers with red, enamel coated wire. Add to that the pickup in the photo has a replaced lead (plastic outer coating), and it makes one wonder what else may have potentially been done to that pickup which affects the value as well. If the tape black lights properly on the coils of the one with the changed lead that will help reduce the loss in value some. And if the other pickup has the original lead and intact original solder you’re in good shape with that one. Plan on maybe $750-1000 for the one that is still sealed (if it is) and maybe $500-700 for the other with the changed lead. You may still have to sit on them for a while at those prices, but asking more will only increase the sell time and decrease your likelihood of selling them at all. If you include the wiring, pots, caps, etc that will get you a little more if you sell all as a package.

    You may find someone willing to pay more, so feel free to ask what you want for them. Good luck.

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