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Real 59 Les Paul compared to 59 reissue

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by PinoyBoy, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. PinoyBoy

    PinoyBoy Member

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    I've seen three original 59 Les Pauls (two through pictures, and one in person) and all three were not flamed. Are there original 59 Les Pauls that are flamed? If not, why are most of the reissues flamed?
     
  2. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    I am here as you are here as you are me and we are
  3. PinoyBoy

    PinoyBoy Member

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    wow... that's the mothership!

    but i still find this reissue bug to be strange. on that collection you showed me, i didn't see any guitar with flames as pronounced as what you see in today's reissues. i understand that most buyers want that (hell, i want one too!), but if you get a reissue that may not really be too close to the original, then what's the point in getting a reissue?
     
  4. WordMan

    WordMan Member

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    Q: Why do way too many women dye their hair blonde and get implants?
    A: It's an exaggeration of the fantasy...

    No difference hear - go to the LP Forum and look up photos of guitars like the BrockBurst and the African - those are examples of legit '59's flamed to heck. They are the Pam Andersen-level flaminess that we all wish we could have now...
     
  5. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    The vintage Les Pauls were constructed using whatever wood was available, some of it was flamed some of it was not, at the time it was a non-issue when it came to value or aesthetic appeal. Tastes have evolved to the point that flame tops are more desirable and sell for a premium price.
     
  6. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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    The point about the "historical correctness" of the reissue line has been discussed quite a bit over on the LPF. The watered down version is that you're gonna get the long tennon, better wood, and a little better electronics.

    You're NOT going to get an exact replica because Gibson now uses truss rod condoms, they don't use hide glue anymore, and they don't put Braz boards on the LP's.

    And those are just the big differences. Each one of the real 59's for instance is somewhat different in spec within the year, so recreating a perfect 59 would be problematic at best...what would you use as your template?

    Anyway, to answer your question as to what's the point of buying one. Overally the reissues are of a higher quality than the USA line, with vintage appointments.
     
  7. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    What's a truss rod condom?
     
  8. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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    It's a sheath of plastic that Gibson is putting around the truss rod since they've switched from using hide glue. The consensus between "Old Wood" owners is that stuffing a piece of plastic in the neck is a tone robber.

    Joe Ganzler on the LPF did a project guitar where he pretty much had a historic ripped down by Terry Mueller and restored to completely vintage specs. He's firmly convinced it's a big deal, and the neck vibrates better without the "shock absorber" effect. Don't know how thick the plastic is, but Joe said it was "substantial".
     
  9. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    neck vibration is a big part of the lester equation. the anemic quality of mahogany that gibson uses these days is a major issue.
     
  10. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I'd think that this is far more important than a plastic sheath over the truss rod. The absorbtion coefficient of that sheath is negligible. I am certain that it has some effect, but if anyone can hear it, they have magic ears.
     
  11. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    a number of my crew sell lester ris. very few of them are ever asked what the back is like (on a potential sale). mahogany is the predominant material in lesters, no?
     
  12. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    A lot of original bursts are highly flamed, if you look at them from the right angle. Take a look at the guitars featured in the book "Beauty of the Burst"; most of them have significant flame, but at some angles it's almost invisible and at other it jumps out. That's generally the nature of the flame on the old guitars; it "flickers". That's also where, I believe, the notion that the old guitars weren't that flamey comes from; they were, if you saw them in person.

    Nowadays, there are methods to chemically enhance the grain on maple tops, but at the cost of flicker. The flame stands out, but it's always there, like it was painted on. I assume Gibson does this to their tops on the Historic re-issues.

    /rick
     
  13. HHB

    HHB Member

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    I'd settle for putting the knobs in the right spot on the reissues. New R9 is approaching 5k as a street price, too much for what they're offering IMO, better deals elswhere in the line if ya need a new lester
     
  14. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

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    Many of the 90s historics where western maple and had the chemical enhancement applied to them. Some of these tops are highly prized and they sometimes sell for over $10K due to their "killer" flame.

    Here's a great collection with real 50s tops and some of the 90s historics as well. Go to guitars and click Mike Slubowski's or Nil McFadden's name.
    http://www.lespaulforum.com/finalframes/frameset.htm


    Gibson switched back to eastern maple around 2003, maybe earlier, on their historics and they no longer treat the tops to enhance the flame.

    I have an '03 R9 and how much flame it has depends very much on the angle you view it as well as the lighting.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These shots are all the same guitar, my 03 R9.

    :YinYang
     
  15. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    Question - which sounds better, the $250k original '59 with old growth wood, hide glue, PAF pickups, etc. or the $2.5K reissue with inferior materials and construction?

    Answer - the one with the better player playing it :rotflmao
     
  16. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

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    So true.

    :D
     
  17. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Note to self, buy sundaypunch a beer!

    My R4 and R7 sound great!!
     
  18. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

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    Here's another. How can you dramatically improve the sound of your Les Paul R9?

    Answer: Practice.

    I think that would make more of a difference than removing the truss rod condom, getting better pickups, etc. Of course, lots of practice AND a condomless truss rod and better pickups would be even better. :D
     
  19. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I think the inlays make the biggest difference, but that is another thread in another forum. ;)
     
  20. Thwap

    Thwap Silver Supporting Member

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    Couldn't believe that thread.
     

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