A Norlin era vs Historic LP shootout.....

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Timmo, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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    The other night a bunch of us got together to jam at a studio one guy owns and with a nice collection of various amps, we proceeded to have a blast making some "serious noise" and out of the 6 of us most brought their favorite Les Paul.
    I brought a Norlin era 1974 LP Custom 20th Anniversay and the rest were various years of the Gibson Historic line and all were beautiful and all sounded like good Les Pauls.
    I will say however that my "Norlin Les Paul" has a vibe to it the others just didn't have. Mine is much more open sounding and just "bigger sounding" if that makes any sense than any of the Historics on hand that night.
    Oh, and my Norlin crushed the competion in the sustain department.
    I have personally owned 3 Historic Les Pauls and everyone of them a fine guitar in their own right but I have to tell you, Norlin Gibsons are getting a bad rap and it just IS NOT TRUE!
    The "split/sandwich body" on the Norlins are everybit as toneful and soulful as any one-piece body Gibson I've ever played. We have been "lied too" by the powers that be. :NUTS
    I am sure has been discussed in detail here at one time or another but I just felt compelled to write about my experience the other night.
    Norlin Gibsons just plain KICK ASS ! :dude

    I sold all of my Historics for various reasons .........I'll be keeping my Norlins thank you very much.
    Some of the guys at the jam are now on the hunt for a Norlin Les Paul and some are not. Some like fancy flamey tops and some of us like tone and vibe. Go figure.
    I do know now that I am not alone in my love of Norlin Gibsons.
     
  2. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Too different to compare IMO.

    I have an R7, R4 and an 82 Custom.
    The 82 is 11 pounds, has a maple/ebony neck, short tenon, shallow headstock angle, blah blah blah.

    They are all great guitars but it's apples and oranges.

    I do love the 82 though, fat SOLID thick sound, very different from the R7.
     
  3. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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    There's good and bad of everything I guess. But the only Les Paul I've ever really missed is my 77 custom. Norlins, when good, are extremely badass guitars. IMO.:BEER
     
  4. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    I'll bet they all sound like Les Pauls; the differences apparent only under the microscopic investigation of TGP gearheads.:messedup
     
  5. whitehall

    whitehall Member

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    Yes, when I'm with my friends I always have the best penis. Theirs may look similar, but mine is best. :)
     
  6. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

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    :messedup :messedup :messedup
    Now THAT'S Funny!!!
     
  7. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I'm going with the penis analogy, that is perfect.

    Mine has a long tenon, fat neck and huge headstock!
     
  8. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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    So some here are "dickheads"........what else is new. :Spank
    My LP probably is BETTER than your LP. :D
    As for the "penis" analogy.......same holds true I bet. :moon
     
  9. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    +1 for the Norlin.
    I had an '81 Deluxe that was awesome in every way.

    Don't believe the internet (or other) hype, kids.
     
  10. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    I don't even have a Les Paul but my headstock makes a pre CBS Strat look like an anemic Tele headstock! :)
     
  11. OldSchool

    OldSchool Senior Member

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    Yep.........the best Les Paul is a used Les Paul...........The older the better. :AOK
     
  12. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    There's good ones in every era, but no one invented the negative stigma associated with the Norlin era gibson's on the internet. Hell, before I ever bought a Gibson, I was told by a bunch of different players around town to avoid Gibson's made in the 70's because the good ones were few and far between.

    Now, to a kid who didn't know any better, that was probably some good advice. As I've become more aware of what makes a guitar good or bad for me, I've come to realize that not all Norlin's are created equal. I played a late 70s custom earlier this year that killed.

    All I'm saying is, the line on Norlins has been out there way before the advent of the internet. They earned their spotty reputation. Of course now that the vintage craze has been in full swing for the last 7 or 8 years, some dealers try to pass off junk as if it were the holy grail. Only the player can decide...but to suggest that the Norlin's are just as good as any other era of Gibson output I think would be taking it a bit too far.
     
  13. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    The one thing nobody can build into a new reissue guitar, no matter how expensive, is OLD.

    I can't explain it in science but it definitely makes a difference.

    NORLIN!

    I owned an '83 custom that was heavy and 'not-so-good.' I have an '84 ES-347 that will probably get buried with me.

    NORLIN!!!!!
     
  14. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    At the time, around 1992, my 74 20th Anniv Custom was the best sounding LP I had. Looking back, I fondly remember that guitar sounding phenomenal, then again, that's in hindsight and I can't compare it to my Historics. However, that guitar weighed a ton. I don't think I'd be exaggerating too much to say that guitar must've been around 14 pounds. I don't miss that guitar at all. The only reason I miss any of my old Norlins is for sentimental reasons alone.

    If you dig Norlin guitars- cool. That's you. I've owned plenty of them when they were $500 guitars, and I don't think they're worth any more than that, even now, based on sound, feel and weight. Personally, if I had to (for whatever reason) buy a guitar unseen/unplayed- I'd take a Historic first, "recent" (post 01) production, production from the early 90s to "recent," Norlin then 80s.
    That's the truth.

    There's too much hype built into the age of a guitar. Yes, it makes a difference in the curing of the wood, the curing of the finish- but "old" doesn't polish a turd, it just makes an old turd.
     
  15. c_mac

    c_mac Member

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    +1,000,000,000
     
  16. 1959burst

    1959burst boogieman Silver Supporting Member

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    i'm spoiled by the historics, i won't own standard production pauls anymore................... i sure can tell the difference, not that there is anything wrong with the others just my preference.:AOK
     
  17. Timmo

    Timmo Member

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    Well said and I was just rather excited over the performance of my particular Norlin LP against these particular Historics. The quality of the workmanship of the Historics I played was fantastic by the way.
    In my defense however, in the last year or so I have had the opportunity to play a few Norlin era Les Pauls and 95% of them were simply great guitars ( a couple of maple necked ones were just plain awful I'll admit ) so 'Norlin bashing' isn't always reality based.


    Hard to believe it's been 5 years since the attack on 9-11-01.
     
  18. Robertito

    Robertito Member

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    About 1974 or '75 I was at a local guitar shop, and the salesman was showing me new LPs. Two of the new ones had sharp fret ends - the salesman was able to catch the high E strings at the ends of the frets. He was shocked and disappointed. By now, if the frets were replaced, you wouldn't even know about the problem.
     
  19. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    Nor is sayin "Norlin guitars are great 'vintage' guitars." IME, 95% seems like an excessively high percentage of "great" guitars by Norlin. By and large you'll find that the average Norlin guitar is going to outweigh a post 1990 production Standard, Classic or Custom Shop guitar. If that's not an issue to you, the plastic-y feeling finish is an issue to me. Also, I really don't like the big ol' gaudy paddle for a headstock. For the most part, it starts and ends with the wood. If Gibson was "cutting corners" enough to use smaller blanks to save money, change the tops to 3 pieces to save money, to not even have a solid maple block in a 335 to save money, to add a volute to save money on warranty repairs, to "flatten" the top carve to save money in time and machine wear...

    There's exceptions to everything. My 20th Anniv was one of, if not THE heaviest LP I've ever played- a friend had one that was one of the lightest LPs I've ever played. You mentioned that the maple necked ones you played were crappy- one of my favorite Norlins I've owned was a maple necked 81. To think that the Norlin era was considered a good era for guitars, in my experience, is looking through the filter of seriously heavily rose tinted glasses.
     
  20. Butterfly

    Butterfly Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a 79 LP double cut (with a limited edition stamp on back of headstock) with P90s and also own a 04 R8. Agree they are totally different animals. I will say my 79 is one funky guitar--the neck is Ibanez thin with what appears to be 25 inch scale. Its the guitar I learned on, played in my first band in, and in fact the neck broke off at the body during a gig in 79 or so. Good times. I still have it but rarely play it. I think I'll bust it out tonight.
     

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