70's Norlin Les Paul vs 2013/2014 Historic

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gallery, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

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    Yeah when I bought my 1st in 87 a 72 gold top deluxe routed for T-tops and refined to a tangerine burst it was a god dam muther lovin les paul!and sounded every inch of it and then my 74 standard,.Got a computer and baamm they were crap
     
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  2. sliberty

    sliberty Member

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    Historic over Norlin every day of the week. I owned a 73-74 LP Custom. Lots to complain about. Histories are usually stellar guitars.
     
  3. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Member

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    My 2 cents...

    I had a G0 with Lollars that I really liked. Great weight, amazing sound. Just did things I'd never had a LP do before.

    I scored a CL deal on an early/mid-70's LP with Mini-hums and felt like I shouldn't keep both. I did lots of back and forth and the older LP had a lot of character, so I decided to sell the G0.

    I sold the wrong guitar. I've actually gone through years of Paypal receipts to find the buyer to let him know that if he ever wanted to sell the G0 back, I'd take it.

    The 70's LP was great, but it just didn't do the range of things the G0 did and also just didn't feel and play as well. I should have kept the better guitar. I totally got it wrong.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
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  4. misterturtlehead

    misterturtlehead Member

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    A story about me buying a Les Paul let me tell it to you.

    In the late 1990s a friend bought a new Historic Les Paul. It was red and had two humbuckers and a Bigsby. It was at the time the nicest guitar I had ever played. I decided or realized that I wouldn't buy a Les Paul until I found one that I liked as much as or more than that one. It wasn't until about 2007 when I finally had enough money set aside that I could go to my favorite guitar store, try out some nice Les Pauls, and actually buy one. So I went. They had a row of new Custom Shop Les Pauls. They had goldtops and sunbursts, some with P-90s and some with humbuckers. I played them all thinking that I would probably buy one of them. I thought they all were nice. But I just was not compelled to buy any one of them. Since I was there and had money on me I decided to look around the store to see what else they had. After I looked around the main room I went into their special room where they kept their archtops, acoustics, mandolins, and lap steels. They had a Les Paul in there. I tried it out. Within a minute or two of playing it I knew this was the Les Paul I wanted. I examined it to make sure it was in good shape and that everything was working properly. Everything checked out. I bought it. It is my favorite solidbody guitar. I play it regularly. It feels and sounds awesome. It is a 1974 goldtop Les Paul Deluxe.
     
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  5. groovington

    groovington Member

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    If you get to play the 70's Norlin and it feels special to you, I'd buy it! But I'd certainly try to bargain a little bit and get it for under $3k. My favorite playing LP is an '84 Studio Standard, and I haven't heard or read very much about the awesomeness of the 80's Les Pauls, most likely because they are not internet favorites, but I wouldn't trade mine for anything. I know that the Historics are considered the best, or at least are the most consistent of what Gibson's been making for the last 20 years, but the only couple times I've gotten to compare a used R# to some standards and traditionals, I was never impressed enough feel it was worth the extra scratch.

    Amen...
     
  6. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

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    '
    Funny I have the opposite story I had a norlin 74 standard that was the best LP I had owned. But after 15 years of my owning it and 30 years old it needed a refret. So went out searching for guitars and after playing a bunch 20-30 I found a 2002 R8 that was the 2nd best LP I've played the first being a 58 burst. after 6 years I got 74 refreted and now have 2 steller LP's. Went hunting for a 3rd in the R series but most left me go ok but nothing special would up with a norlin firebird which I love,
     
  7. saf_1

    saf_1 Member

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    Generally speaking, there is no way in hell, would I take a Norlin era LP, over a Historic! Owned a '71 sunburst Deluxe, and a late 70's transparent burgundy Standard. Both ok guitars, but nothing special. There were some good guitars built during that period, but for the most part, the quality, construction, and design, was some of the worst of any period in Gibson history. I have owned a butt-load of LP's since - mostly Historics - and I have NEVER missed either of the two Norlin LP's I owned. And I am continually flabbergasted at the ridiculous prices those early 70's guitars are commanding (especially the Deluxe's)!

    If the one you are loooking at really floats your boat, in tone, feel, playability - then yeah... maybe I'd consider it. But not at $3k, or anywhere close. And only if you've actually played it, and you really think you love it MORE than a Historic. But if you haven't even played it, and you are just making a head to head comparison - then it doesn't match up... get the Historic. There's vintage, and then there's "old". And "old" does not equal "good". Just cause it's 40 years old, doesn't automatically make it a great instrument, like a lot of the 50's and 60's guitars. If the quality was suspect in the 70's, it hasn't improved any, just because it's aged 40 years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
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  8. fjblair

    fjblair Silver Supporting Member

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    This is the TGP sanctioned and internet approved response.
     
  9. sears

    sears Member

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    /thread

    /tgp
     
  10. robbinsteele

    robbinsteele Member

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  11. Alister

    Alister Member

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    This is just purely my own (half-assed) theory, but it seems to me that Norlin-era LP's (and also SG's) declined badly as the decade progressed. I think the company just declined on a slope, not just all at once, and not just in one fell swoop of "The Norlin Era."
    My theory is that a core of the "old guys" were still making guitars in Kalamazoo in the late 60's-early-70's, but then phased out.

    In my personal experience, then, there was a vast difference b/w, e.g, a 69-71 type LP and the mid to later 70's. Some of my buddies/fellow players so lusted over my '71 that they just "had" to have a Custom just like it, but when I played their 75-76's, they were just leaden POS's, nothing like my guitar at all.
     
  12. saf_1

    saf_1 Member

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    '68's were pre-Norlin. Which is one reason they command such high prices, currently. Plus it was the first year that Gibson actually started producing the Les Paul - as we know it (single cutaway, mahogany body, maple top), again, after having discontinued it in '61 for the SG (or SG shaped LP). Norlin didn't buy Gibson (actually Gibson's parent company at the time - Chicago Musical Instruments), until very late 1969. No Norlin era LP's bring the kind of prices that the '68 Goldtops and Customs get.
     
  13. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

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    I thought the old guys stuck around to make those amazing Heritage guitars? ;)
     
  14. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

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    That is true, although, I don't see that as having a big impact on the price. Moreso, the features, build, and reintroduction. I think the 3 years between McCarty leaving and selling of Gibson(wasnt Norlin in the mid 70's?)may as well be included. The change in quality associated with Norlin started before them, unfairly.

    It's not like '68 ES-335's and SG's are sought after, you know what I mean?

    And on the other end, Norlin began to undo the Norlinisms towards the end. '83 was a big step in the right direction, and HJ took it and ran.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  15. Deed_Poll

    Deed_Poll Member

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    I've been checking out the '81-'83 'Heritage' series '58 Flying V RIs. They look great - by this time the Shaw pickups were bringing more of a vintage sound and the bodies & necks were solid Korina like the originals. Some refer to these as the original ' Custom Shop' guitars, apparently they were the product of a pissing contest between the old Kalamazoo factory and the new Nashville factory. I've been wanting to get one whilst the market still brands them as 'Norlin Crap' ;)
     
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  16. saf_1

    saf_1 Member

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    The 68's were closer (not identical - no "VOS" instruments then) to the 1950's models they replicated. So the Custom and the Goldtop were more like the 50's Gibsons in design and construction, than they were the later Norlin instruments that followed them. No pancake bodies, no neck volutes. That short, less than two year period in '68/'69 - when Gibson reintroduced/produced those two LP models, and before Norlin took over in Dec. of '69 - sticks out in the minds of Les Paul afficionados, as a timeframe when Les Pauls were again being briefly built (arguably) like the "originals", and before Norlin's cost cutting "improvements" had yet taken effect. I'd personally classify them as "semi-vintage". A notch or two below the 50's era guitars, but closer than anything that was produced again, until after Norlin had divested themselves of the company. Also, Gibson had continued to produce the SG and 335 all the way through the decade of the 60's (actually the SG was introduced in the 60's) - but not the Les Paul. All of these factors, IMO, account for the desireability of those two LP models, produced shortly before the Norlin takeover.
     
  17. sleshnyc

    sleshnyc Member

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    I have a 77 standard that has been my number 1 for 25 years. I put 6100 frets and duncans in it back then and haven't touched it since. It screams and stays in tune for days. I recently bought a 2014 59 reissue. Different guitar. Fatter neck, lower output, super lightweight. Great guitar. I don't think a mid 70s is worth over 3k, but I do think you can buy a beautiful guitar from the era.
     
  18. JohnnyK

    JohnnyK Member

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    I'm a little late to this party, nevertheless :munch
     

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