1985 PRS value?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CamP, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. CamP

    CamP New Member

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    Hello all. I have a mahogany pre standard made in 1985. It's an early guitar with a 2 digit serial number. I dont want to sell it, but was wondering what the insurance value it should have? The guitar has a Floyd installed, which obviously lowers the value, but it is otherwise in excellent condition. Only one tiny ding in the body.

    All help determine the value is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. CamP

    CamP New Member

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  3. veinbuster

    veinbuster Zombie Three, DFZ

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    I’m not qualified to comment on value.
    Nice piece of history to have though.
     
  4. CamP

    CamP New Member

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    Thank you
     
  5. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    There are a couple of ‘86 Pre Standards on Revreb right now. Both are in the $3,500 range. I’d say north of that.
     
  6. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc “Evil” Sergio. You can tell by the goatee

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    It’s a “players” guitar now, there’s not really much or any collectible value in it anymore with the Floyd, sorry to say.

    But for insurance purposes.... I’d claim $2500 maybe? I mean, I’d be looking at what the replacement value would be for the T&B pickups and what any used Standard would cost.
     
  7. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    I wonder if the PTC would put it back, (or at least closer), to original? That might set it back on a path to collectability. If it were a Custom it would be more easily justifiable, but it's worth asking.
     
  8. CamP

    CamP New Member

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    I've considered that, but assumed it would be very expensive.

    I guess that begs the question, what would it be worth if it was unmodified?
     
    #8 CamP, Nov 17, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  9. Collywobbles

    Collywobbles New Member

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    Hi CamP

    I love the old guitars and have owned four ‘85 PRS, including two double-digit Customs. My sense of the value of your guitar is similar to Sergio’s, as the mods take almost all the collector interest out of the guitar. I also don’t think it’s worth trying to restore the guitar to improve the sales value, as no matter what you do the originality is gone.

    The old pre-Standards are generally much less sought after than similar aged Customs, so even in perfect unmolested condition it’d probably be worth less than you’d hope - I can think of one early pre-Standard that has remained unsold for a very long time due to (in my opinion) a ridiculous asking price. So just because somebody is asking a lot of money for an ostensibly similar guitar doesn’t mean the market will pay that.

    As an aside, if your guitar is very early (say under 40 serial) I’d love to know what pickups are in it - 7 and 8s as a guess. Photos would be nice if you have time:)

    The other thing I can see is your guitar (like most early ‘85s) has the strap button much further around the upper horn than on later guitars.

    When I met PRSh a while ago I took one of my early Customs along (circa serial 50) and the first thing he said on seeing the case was the original cases were all made with the pockets too big (leaving no room for the guitar's upper horn) and that he had had to personally modify them all to make the guitars fit. So, if your case is original to the guitar my guess is it will have a bit of the pocket wall cut away to make space for the strap pin to fit.

    Having owned and pulled apart a couple of Customs around the 50 serial (one above one below) a few things are different to even slightly later '85 guitars - pickups (7 and 8s then T and Bs that are different to later T and Bs), the trem block and trem arm finishing, the plastic used for the truss rod cover plus the cases as mentioned. The first guitars also had S-branded machine heads and copper-topped sweet-switches, which again have a value. Ditto the 1985 dated volume pot (as a guess Centralab, marked 19th week of 1985). So the parts will have some value to anyone looking to restore another very early guitar with correct bits.
     
    #9 Collywobbles, Nov 18, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
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  10. CamP

    CamP New Member

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    Here are a couple more pics.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. CamP

    CamP New Member

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  12. CamP

    CamP New Member

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  13. CamP

    CamP New Member

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  14. CamP

    CamP New Member

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  15. Collywobbles

    Collywobbles New Member

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    Looks nice - the case is what I'd expect to see (they change a bit over time but that's the one I'd expect with a low serial guitar with either a black or a blue lining - blue is most valuable if you wanted to sell the case on its own). The board looks nice too - the early guitars I've owned / seen have all had very high quality BRW fitted. Looking at the serial (if I've read it correctly) I'd expect the pickups to be the very first version of T and Bs, fitted from around serial 50 up to around serial 200. Possible it'll have 7 or 8 pickups (the same as very first T and Bs, but just stamped differently). I'd leave it as it is and enjoy what you have.
     
  16. CamP

    CamP New Member

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    Thanks collywobbles. I have some old Fenders that are more collectible, but when it comes to playing, this PRS blows them away with tone. It's my best player by a long shot and the rig I always go to when I play.

    An interesting side note. When I bought this guitar it shipped via ups from Massachusetts to Texas. After unboxing it, I pulled it out of the case and it was in perfect tune. It's always maintained rock solid tuning like no other guitar I've ever owned.
     
    #16 CamP, Nov 18, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  17. Collywobbles

    Collywobbles New Member

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    My favourite of the four 1985 PRS was a well-used (but not abused) pre-Standard like your guitar, albeit with a painted finish. I like the sound of the all mahogany guitar better than the Custom plus prefer the simplicity - no fancy tops or birds. I sold it back to the person I bought it from as they wanted it back. I'd buy it back if it ever became available again. My pre-Standard didn't hold tune quite as well as your guitar (I think the tuners were a bit worn) but I have another old PRS that's the same and hold tune very, very well - it even sounds in tune when my electronic tuner says it's out - bizarre.
     
  18. CamP

    CamP New Member

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    It sounds like you have a lot of experience with these early guitars. What value would you place on my guitar if it was unmodified?
     
  19. Collywobbles

    Collywobbles New Member

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    Hi CamP - I'm in the UK so it's hard to have a real sense of the US market as I've not bough anything for a little while. Over here I'd say the market is flat based on a friend selling off a lot of old PRSi. Re your guitar, I'd say around $4,000 to $5,000 is probably about right if it was all original and in decent condition. I've always used a rule of thumb they're worth around a 1/3 of a similar condition / age Custom with moons, which would probably go for around $12K US in the right colour. So much depends though - you'd have to pay more if a Banana Yellow 1985 was for sale, for example. Serial number and originality all count too. There was Pearl White pre-Standard for sale with a low 20s serial number a little while ago for $7,500 US, which I though was a bit high but not too far off given how early it was (I was tempted...). On the other hand I know of a tatty 1985 Custom with birds but swapped out pickups and non-original case that sold for not very much here in the UK. I'm also aware of a '85 pre-Standard with issues that sold for very little. It's resurfaced again with a higher price but it previously sold for much less. Looking in one of the price guides will help - I initially though they valued old PRS too low but experience has shown me there is a very small market for them and it's easy to buy, but much harder to sell if you pay too much and want your money back.
     
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  20. CamP

    CamP New Member

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    Thanks for the response, collywobbles. From my Fender experience, it seems like modified guitars bring about 1/2 of what similar stock guitars bring. I'd assume it would be similar with the 1985 prs, but the market is so small that its probably difficult to put a real value on these things. I guess like anything, its basic economics and worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
     
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