Gibson didn't have tight flames on the original 50s Les Pauls .....

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Dr. Tweedbucket, Feb 14, 2009.


  1. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    ..... like the reissues .........


    .... or did they? [​IMG]

    It seems all the pictures I've seen of the 59s are more plaintops or mildly flamed. None of this tiger stripe or chevron stuff going on. :dunno
     
  2. surfshack

    surfshack Member

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    the wood was so good back then it didn't need the flame to sell.
     
  3. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    Take a look at the "Beauty of the Burst" book by Yasuhiko Iwanade. The book has a number of excellent full-color photos of 1958 to 1960 Bursts, plus a lot of information about late '50s Les Paul construction. There was a great deal of variation in the tops in the original Les Paul's, from plaintops to guitars with a lot of flame. You see figured patterns like Tiger stripe, Curly, Fiddleback, Pin stripe, Ribbon curl, Blister and Bird's eye. The flame you see on many reissues is a lot more prominent than what you see on the originals. They do not look authentic to me. In my opinion Gibson is using highly flamed wood in a lot of the Historic guitars in order to appeal to the same buyers who would be interested in PRS 10 Tops, or the highly figured wood offered by many boutique builders. There's nothing wrong with that -- Gibson is in business to make money, and they're producing Historic guitars that appeal to many buyers with sufficient disposable income to purchase higher-end instruments.

    FVB
     
  4. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    There were a few, but not many.

    After all, there weren't that many LPs made, in the first place!
     
  5. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

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    I've seen and played a half dozen in person, and of course seen many pictures of the original bursts as has everyone else. The reissues are way over the top, in most cases, and the species of maple used now is not the same as used then. So, in effect, VOS means nothing. Don't yell at me--yell at Gibson.
     
  6. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    I won't yell at you. Page's #2 guitar which was a 59 had a very mild flame ..... that seems to be mostly what I see. I'll have to get that book, 'The Beauty of the Bust' ..... I mean, ...... Burst........ burst! :hiP
     
  7. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    photo were posted by TW59 in his BOTW posts on the les paul forum
    [​IMG]

    photo posted by joe ganzler on the LPF
    [​IMG]

    not all were as flamey as these, but there are a lot of nice flamed ones out there


    the reissues seem to be more flamey than most of the old ones in general though
     
  8. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

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  9. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    IIRC the number was around 1750 or so.
    I had a '59 that was a Vintage (Tobacco) finish and was pretty plain.
    I've never liked fancy too much.
     
  10. muddyshoes

    muddyshoes Member

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    i saw years ago? georgeous and plain both. i also think there are ways to embellish the flame by the way wood is sawn, which is now deliberately done. birdseye and fiddleback are a sort of defect as far as grain goes, but the tigerstripe can come out of the flatgrain.
     
  11. treeofpain

    treeofpain Supporting Member

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    A lot of the flametops are not the same specied of maple. They are usually western maple, which is easier to find flamed, but it has a different character.

    The finishing techniques today are also optimized to bring out the contrast of the flame a lot more than the original 50's finishes, which also gives the newer guitars a different look.
     
  12. BettyFjord

    BettyFjord Member

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  13. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    where did you see that? burst serial has the following information.

    1958: 092 logged / 434 shipped = 21%
    (some Goldtops, some Bursts)
    1959: 324 logged / 643 shipped = 50%
    (all Bursts)
    1960: 143 logged / 635 shipped = 23%
    (some Bursts, some SG/LP's at the end not logged)

    i think there are a few that are known but in collections where the serial hasnt been shared, but nowhere near 100% of the serials
     
  14. Darkburst

    Darkburst Member

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    All 'Bursts were Eastern Maple, almost all 59 Reissues after 2003 are as well.
     
  15. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

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    Wow, Betty! There are some spectacular bursts there. I'm liking 1959 #2074. I'll take that one, thank you. Thanks for the link.
     
  16. JPF

    JPF Member

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    Some, if not many of the holy grail late '50s LPs would probably be spurned by modern-day top fetishists if looks were the only consideration.
     
  17. pcovers

    pcovers Member

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    So, which is it?
     
  18. bynt

    bynt Member

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    Touche' Dr. Orban. Touche'.
     
  19. \DARKMETL/

    \DARKMETL/ Member

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    Yeah, that Beauty of the Burst is a must have for Gibby/LP/guitar fans. Absolutely an awe inspiring book. Page after page of jaw dropping guitars.
     
  20. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Ah, but is it true that the un-pretty, most played examples sound better?

    That doesn't seem to matter these days, unfortunately.

    Best, Pete
     

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