Is The Tone of a '59 Les Paul Tones Really That Unique?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Soyuz, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. J.Eric B

    J.Eric B Member

    Messages:
    1,754
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2016
    Location:
    Palm Beach Gardens
    No, I was just trying to have a conversation. If you’re interested look at the posts, I admitted when I was wrong, and acknowledged that I had assumed. Definitely sounds like I’m just trying to argue, right?
    No matter what point I tried to make, however general in nature it was, somebody always has to post the exception. I’m not taking my toys home, I’m stopping the pissing contest. I’ve nothing to prove to you, or anyone else here. Do you? I ignored the guy I was going back and forth with because, I was over the conversation. I really don’t give a **** why a company made a decision 60yrs ago. Not that I owe you any kind of explanation.
    Btw, you’re last post was doing nothing but trying to perpetuate the argument. If I’m wrong, what’s with that post?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  2. Cody

    Cody Well, look who’s undead!

    Messages:
    5,542
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2007
    Location:
    Beyond Thunderdome
    That post was me hoping that you have contributions to make, and that you wouldn’t storm off in a huff after that somewhat hysterical post that I was responding to. It kinda read as if you might do just that.

    At the end of the day, that’s going to be your call. No skin off my back.
     
  3. J.Eric B

    J.Eric B Member

    Messages:
    1,754
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2016
    Location:
    Palm Beach Gardens
    Contributions? Why do you care? I’ve made several posts on this thread prior to the tangent another member and I went off on. That didn’t concern you.
    What was hysterical? My frustration? Speaks volumes bro!
     
  4. misterturtlehead

    misterturtlehead Member

    Messages:
    4,714
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    All guitars made in 1959 are now fifty nine years old.
     
  5. eddie101

    eddie101 Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,525
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
  6. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,928
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    According to A. R. Duchossoir in his book "Gibson Electrics" (taken from my 1983 edition):

    "As paradoxical as it may seem today, the popularity of the Les Paul guitars had not ceased to wane over the 1950's. The shipping statistics clearly show a drop beginning in 1956, somewhat countered by the arrival of guitars between 1958 and 1959 so as to curb the fall.

    This fall absolutely unbelievable for any one today, was due, at the time, to an "internal" competition from new models introduced by Gibson since 1952 - particularly the semi-solid or the thin-line guitars - but also to the rivalry of a few Californian manufacturers (Fender or Rickenbacker) ...

    One can equally imagine that the Les Paul Standard or Custom, in spite of the modifications they underwent, were no longer, as far as the aesthetics or the sound were concerned in gear with the aspirations of the guitarists of the early sixties.

    At the end of 1960, Gibson took the decision to proceed with a complete overhauling of its Les Paul line which lead to the introduction in early 1961, of the new sharp double cutaway versions which took the SG name by the end of 1963.

    Theoretically, all the "original" Les Paul line was still available at the beginning of 1961, either with serial numbers applied with a rubber stamp (e.g. Les Paul Custom, number 1-1055) or with serial numbers imprinted in the wood on the back of the headstock (e.g. Les Paul Custom, number 6508). However, we have never found, to this day, an old style "Sunburst" Les Paul Standard with a 1961 serial number, whereas Customs, Juniors and Specials of this same year can easily be found.

    According to the Gibson's books in Kalamazoo, the very last original Les Paul guitars were registered as late as October 1961 (Les Paul Special "3/ 4"). At this time the first SG/ Les Paul guitars had already been introduced, and· the change in the Les Paul line announced. As a matter of fact, during a couple of months in the early part of 1961, the "old" and the "new" models were both available."

    hunter
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
    27sauce and MKB like this.
  7. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,929
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Perhaps the LP's dropped in popularity in the late 50's because they went out of fashion, and was never quite in fashion in the first place. In a sense, back then LP's were kind of specialized guitars without a clear optimum music style to fit into. They really didn't come into their own until Bloomfield and Clapton got ahold of them and cranked them up. Now this is a vague generality, there were exceptions with the blues players, but most tones back then were clean and clean Gibson tones were better suited by the guitars with lots of air in them (ES mainly).

    To Fender's credit, they were never really out of fashion for very long. They went from the country players of the 50s\60s to Hendrix, and then saturated rock in the 70s. Van Halen stuck a whammy and humbucker in a Strat and gave the shape a new lease on life with the metal crowd. Frankly I haven't seen LP's show that wide versatility over the years that was present in modern music with Fenders. Now pardon me please... :hide

    I've done my fair share of cracking on Henry J over the years, but he was at the helm when Gibson did some amazing things; if you wanted a new Burst close to the original ones, Henry's company got very close to the originals, much closer than Norlin ever did. He got so close that some notable original Burst owners like new builds more than the originals. Them's some big words. So we should give Henry credit where credit is due.
     
    modavis99, jazzbludgeon and 27sauce like this.
  8. Jamie_Mitchell

    Jamie_Mitchell Member

    Messages:
    2,035
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Location:
    south of no north
    same producer on all those records?
     
  9. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

    Messages:
    11,343
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Location:
    On a chair, behind a desk
    But it's hardly the same sound on all the records. Nor is the setup or the recording environment the same.
    Case in point: Which of these are the "true" burst tone? I suppose they both are, since it's the same guitar and amp. But they sure are different. So, if want to use records as the basis for recreating classic Les Paul sounds, which of them should we go for?

     
  10. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

    Messages:
    2,290
    Joined:
    May 14, 2017
    I've heard a lot of '59 LPs both live, back in the day, and on record (and later, on CD or, heaven help us, MP3). While I love the tones (plural -- there is no single "59 tone") it is completely obvious that much of the now-classic rock recorded on those instruments has a tone that was unusual at the time (mostly in terms of volume and distortion, not subtleties of pickup tone) but rather easy to replicate using entirely different guitars, amps, etc. You don't need a '59! I love those old guitars and find them fascinating, but in terms of guitarists making music on stage or on recordings, the notion that there is some essential special magic to a '59 is, IMO, a fantasy exercise in psychoacoustics. '59 bursts are gorgeous and rare, and they sound great. My rebuilt '96 Orville MIJ LP is pretty attractive, not rare at all -- and it sounds great.
     
  11. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,279
    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    NW NJ
    There’s no doubt Gibson has made some great Burst replicas over the years, but somewhere along the way, Henry lost sight of the guitar business. And that has cost him his job and his company. He will be history by this time next year.
     
    MKB likes this.
  12. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

    Messages:
    34,722
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio
    If you take out the guitar hero element, rediscovery...there's some Henry J-ness going on in the "golden era".

    The rollout of the LP in the first place, with the barely playable tailpiece.
    the lazy attempt at competing with the strat,just throw a third pickup in the high end model
    the Flying V, Explorer, Futura, Moderne...
    The sideways vibrola, pap[er thin neck joint on the SG
    The butter knife Vibrola, Stock on all solid body models with the tune o matic bridge.
     
    Sam Sherry likes this.
  13. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,928
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2002
    If development of the Les Paul had stopped at the 1952 design, I am not sure we'd be talking about them much at all.

    hunter
     
    27sauce likes this.
  14. 27sauce

    27sauce Member

    Messages:
    34,722
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Regardless of who's at the helm, theres always some sort of cockiness, ego involved when Gibson rolls out a new model. Even when they tried to be innovative they were out of touch. "The kids want wild shapes?" "Here's a V with the same pickups and hardware as our old fuddy duddy model. Happy?"
     
  15. 3940bigdaddy

    3940bigdaddy Supporting Member

    Messages:
    699
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2016
    Location:
    seattle
    After going thru all the post. Im still confused what a 59 Burst sounds like.:D:D:D.Anyway I prefer my modern sounding LP Standard. I like my guitars trebly and hot.
     
  16. eddie101

    eddie101 Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,525
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Vintage LP is not for you then. I like vintage gear for their non-trebly/hot tone which I happen to despise, if you will.
     
  17. InkStained

    InkStained Member

    Messages:
    3,534
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    There's a reason 144,000 members liked this post.
     
  18. InkStained

    InkStained Member

    Messages:
    3,534
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    He just nudged that volume knob clockwise, right?
     
  19. The EQ

    The EQ Supporting Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Location:
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Gibson dropped the name because Les Paul was waning in popularity by 1960 and Gibson was not selling a ton of LPs. They only sold 670 or so in the seminal year of 1959. Gibson did not renew the deal with Lester Polsfuss. That proved to be a mistake that GIbson rectified in 1968.
     
    eddie101 likes this.
  20. Eveningtheme

    Eveningtheme Member

    Messages:
    362
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2019
    Please do not post this on mylespaul.com or show JB - a lot of elderly gentlemen are about to have an even worse day on the golf course.

    It's the same thing as any hobby. For gods sake, there's a MASSIVE online community of guys who spend thousands and thousands on mechanical keyboards and think you're absolutely insane to type on anything else.

    Collecting is just fun, and if you're making really good money, you're going to want to show it off and substantiate your purchase.

    Corvettes come in bright colors for a reason.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice