1977 Les Paul Custom

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by daveS, Nov 16, 2005.


  1. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    Guys I need help here. The owner of this guitar wants to sell it to me but I have no idea what it is worth. It is in ok shape and needs a fretjob. Also has all the hardware, nut and control plates have all been replaced with non-original brass ones. . . in need of replacement IMHO.

    How tough is a refret on this thing ?


    Any opinions on the value ?


    Thanks in advance !

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  2. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Dave the problem with refretting bound-neck LPs is the binding. The problem is the fret shape continues into the binding, if you know what I mean. When you refret one, you typically (I've not seen otherwise) lose this 'feature'.

    And honestly...LPs from that era were not that desirable, IMHO. Of course, there are always exceptions. One problem is that on many Les Pauls around then, the body was a multipart laminate job (I'm no authoritiy on the exact years that this was the case) and they often weighed a friggin ton. The tops didn't have a nice bowl type carve in the center with a flat permitter. Instead the carve was just sort of convex shaped and went all the way the edge of the top. Not that attractive. Anyway...not my favorite era for LPs.

    Man...brass? It didn't weigh enough with plastic?

    Don't know what it's worth...but wouldn't be worth that much to me. Of course it could be an exceptional guitar, only you'd know that, assuming you've been able to try it out...
     
  3. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    Leon, thanks a ton for the feedback dude !


    Yeah I know what you mean . . excellent point ! I am guessing that a quality refret would be at least $400-$500 but then I would lose this "bound fret" feature. Crap :(

    Xactly ! The dude who did it must have been a weightlifter.

    Naa .. I can't try it out . . its across the country so I would be taking a leap of faith




    Geez, come to think of it maybe I should just give Ron a call and get on the SC waiting list. Ron ? :D

    Cheers
    -d
     
  4. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    You didn't ask but here's my Les Paul buying philosophy :)

    1. Buy used...but not necessarily "vintage" unless you want to spend serious dough.
    2. Be prepared to buy a few.
    3. Keep the best one.
     
  5. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey wait a minute . . . I think that's my Strat buying philosophy too ! ;)
     
  6. jda

    jda Member

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    That's how I buy everything. Especially the "buy a few" part.:D
     
  7. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    I love Norlin-era Les Pauls. Just traded away the best one I ever had - a 77 Custom, complete with 3-piece maple neck and a maple fingerboard. The maple necks on these guitars just makes them sound so much ... better ... than 'normal' Les Pauls :D Seriously.

    I'm not aware of them making any 3-pickup models during '77, but that doesn't mean they didn't. It could be an add-on though. Just kind of a FYI.

    A refret on that shouldn't cost $400 unless you ship it. I had mine refretted for $250, by a reputable dealer, and that included re-nitro'ing the fingerboard afterwards (maple board, remember). You *will* lose the binding tips though... but so what? A pro refret doesn't drop the value of a guitar IMHO and somewhat limited experience.

    If the frets need replacing and you DON'T do it, how much are you really going to play the guitar? Kiss the binding nibs goodbye, have it refretted, and enjoy the guitar!!

    Prices for late-70s Les Pauls are getting a bit stupid recently, but I'd still say under $2000 for that guitar, even as a lefty. If I was thinking about getting into it, knowing it needs refretted and has no original hardware, could possibly have a non-factory 3rd pickup, etc., I'd be trying to bring the price down to the $1600-1800 range - but that's just me :)

    --chiba
     
  8. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    I too love those heavy 70's Les Pauls. I have had many and although they are not that desirable, they always are my favorites. If the price is right, I might give it a go.

    Larry

    btw, a decent fret jop shouldn't be more than $200.00 to $250.00, maybe less. (as long as you don't mind the frets over the binding)
     
  9. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks to all of you, feedback much appreciated !

    I don’t know much about Les Pauls and this is the first one I have looked at picking up in years. I had one many years ago and foolishly let it go.. . kinda have regretted it ever since. I’m pretty much a strat guy but this guitar was offered to me so it got me thinking about Les Pauls.

    Nolin-era Les Pauls ??. . what is meant by Norlin era ?

    Cool. Thanks for the tip. I’ll ask the dude about it. I’m cool with the extra p’up if it was added in correctly (no way to know until it arrives) . . .it kind of has that Robert Fripp/Peter Frampton thing. The seller describes the pickups as “ DiMarzio’s with the sun emblem on the covers”

    Well, I live in the S.F Bay Area and everything costs more here and good guitar can be a little tough to find. A couple of reputable places I have found start at about $400 for a refret. I also would want them to take out the brass nut and put a regular one back in. Thanks for the tip though and I will shop around a little.

    Well, there is no doubt I will have a refret done. I don’t think it is even playable as is . . even the seller admitted that the frets were worn down.

    Yeah I have seen some high prices on these . . some 70s I have seen have been in the mid $3k range. Silly. Based on the prices you mentioned, he is letting me have it for a good price. That being said, a refret and new hardware is a must to get it up and running. Have to think about it more.

    Thanks again !
    Cheers
    -d
     
  10. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Gibson was once owned by a company called Norlin, much like CBS owned Fender and AMC owned Harley-Davidson. Guitars produced during that time period are often referred to as "Norlins". I don't know the years specifically, maybe 1970-1982 is a good guesstimate. Norlin, like many corporate parent companies, was very much into cost-cutting, and the instruments are often disparaged because of some of the things done in the name of cost reduction.

    --chiba
     
  11. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I picked up this 1978 Deluxe for around $1500...

    It needed a refret, set up, and new bone nut ($400 total). I replaced the bridge, tailpiece, straplocks, and tuners - roughly $150. It's definitely worth what I have into it and has become my main guitar.

    In that condition, I'd think anything under $2000 is doing okay.

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  12. joolzriff

    joolzriff Member

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    i just bought a 74 white custom off a guy for $500,it was a bargain,only problem was it had 2 small holes drilled by the volume knobs(once coil tap switches)....it needs a refret and that'll cost $200 roughly and a bone nut(extra$) but its well worth it and to put some time and money into it and have it come out an absolute champ...........
    it would cost you more to buy a new leslie and i think older ones sound nicer(been played in) and i aint worried about scratching it all up either,only way to go bro......BUY IT
     
  13. samwheat

    samwheat Member

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    I bought a 71 LP custom for 450

    it was sanded and coated with some kind of shellac

    sperzel tuners also

    i sanded that off and got a refret for 225

    its heavy, keeps in tune and plays great

    it needs a paint job tho
     
  14. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Seems like all the Norlin era stuff is heavy, but they were still using high quality woods. My Deluxe has a beautiful one-piece Mahogany back and a really nice slab of Rosewood for the fretboard. The Maple neck is pretty sweet too...

    I've looked at a few recent LPs and noticed a huge difference in the quality of the Mahogany - looks very cheap IMO. The pores are huge - must take a quart of filler to finish those things!
     
  15. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    Ok I did it. Just seems like too good of a deal to pass up. I should have it after the Thanksgiving Holiday :D THis puppy is gonna a little TLC though . . . maybe a fun project to play with.

    So this bat has brass all over it with a pretty worn looking brass tailpiece + bridge. . . brass nut, coverplates, truss rod cover, switchknob and even one of those brass "fathead" plates that goes on the back of the headstock :rolleyes: Anyway, I think all that stuff is going to get replaced with gold hardware. It also has non-stock Dimarzios in it. I already know it likely needs a fretjob, So the new questions of the day are . . .

    1. What kind of pickups should I put in this guitar to get it back to where it came from (or better) ? Gibsons or . . ?

    2. Should I go with a stock, gold Gibosn bridge and tailpiece or try a TonePros setup ? I have heard a lot about TonePros but never tried one (always use trem equipped guitars). Is there a difference between left and right handed on a bridge/tailpiece of this style ?

    Thanks guys for all your help and advice here are some more pictures

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  16. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Here's what I did on my lefty '78 Deluxe -

    New Kluson Deluxe tuners (came with '70s Grovers)
    Tone Pros TP-6 bridge (lefty/righty - no difference)
    RS lightweight aluminum tailpiece
    Tone Pros locking studs
    New cow bone nut
    Schaller Strap Locks (cheap insurance IMO)
    Refret w/DiMarzio Jumbo frets

    The difference in tone was pretty dramatic - so much more clarity, unplugged volume, and overall sustain. The Tone Pros and RS stuff is very much worth it IMO.

    I bet you've got 2lbs worth of brass on there...

    Pickups are totally personal, you'd be better off giving some examples of tones you're after so we have a better idea what you're going for.

    And lastly, if you want to give that LP a deep cleaning try Virtuoso Guitar Polish and Cleaner - amazing stuff.
     
  17. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

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    The nubs look good.
    I like my frets to extend to edge of the fretboard for additional spacing at the nut or bridge if needed. So a refret on a LP would be no big deal, it actually leans to my favor.
     
  18. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I completely agree with that - if you're not normally a 24 3/4 scale guy, having the extra fret surface is nice for vibrato bends with the lower string tension...
     
  19. daveS

    daveS lefty dude on hiatus Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, FWIW . . . I like the classic rock les paul tones (broad statement). Heavy and thick with good sustain works for me. I do mostly rock stuff with a fair amount of gain (cant always do that with some of the songs we play) but also like to tap into some clean sparkly tones. I have some PRS custom 22s but don't really care for those humbuckers too much. My '91 Hamer sunburst has 2 buckers that sound pretty good. I've never been much of a p-90 player. I am mainly used to strats and I leave them stock but put a Duncan hot rails at the bridge. Not having a lot of experience with Les Pauls, I think I am just looking to get the guitar as close to stock as possible. If there are some p'ups out there that get that original sound, that could be cool. Just looking for ideas. Thanks !
    -d
     
  20. joolzriff

    joolzriff Member

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    get rid of the brass~aluminum tail piece is nice and a gibson bridge...........i just got a set of Dimarzio virtual vintage PAFs w/ gold covers, i havnt fitted them yet but i'll post a review when i do,supposed to have that CLASSIC gibson tone...
    oh! and u will need a lovely BONE nut,they are nice,i had brass and i RID IT~
    BY THE WAY THAT LESLIE LOOKS AWSOME,3 pickups rock,look cool as hell.well done
     

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