Tom Petty Scrambled to Replace Stolen Guitars Before Tour

4/18/2012 12:15 AM PDT

Tom Petty
desperately tried to replace his stolen vintage guitars before his upcoming tour -- dropping big money on near-identical replicas last Thursday ... the same day they were swiped from an L.A. soundstage.

The tour kicks off today -- and we're told Tom was freaked he wouldn't have suitable guitars in time ... so he got in touch with a rare guitar shop in L.A. as soon as he discovered his prized instruments were missing.

According to sources, Petty purchased a white Gibson SG and a blonde Rickenbacker -- the same models as two of the guitars that were stolen.

Luckily, the guitar catastrophe has narrowly been averted -- because as we first reported ... law enforcement recovered the stolen guitars yesterday.

So far, we're told there are no plans to return the extra guitars.