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  1. #41
    Les Paul Forum Member AXE752's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Never was a big fan of the Deluxes (although I have a '72), but that one sure does look good.
    "Be the ball."

  2. #42
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    This one's for Big Al.

    Occasionally, a guitar would come through that was hard to let go of. This was one of those.

    LP Deluxe with a nice 2 piece top, in Tobacco Brown Sunburst.

    Built mid '85.

    Where is she now?


    [IMG][/IMG]
    damn..
    THAT'S HOT!
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  3. #43
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    How about this one?

    2 piece natural flame top with a vibrola and vine inlay fingerboard.

    Would the owner of this gem please raise your hand?


    [IMG][/IMG]

  4. #44

    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    How about this one?

    2 piece natural flame top with a vibrola and vine inlay fingerboard.

    Would the owner of this gem please raise your hand?


    [IMG][/IMG]
    Was the all the bling on the fretboard done by Gibson in-house?
    Is that fretboard unique or are there other Gibson fretboards just like it from around the same time?

  5. #45
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    Was the all the bling on the fretboard done by Gibson in-house? Is that fretboard unique or are there other Gibson fretboards just like it from around the same time?
    Pretty sure the inlay work was outsourced. I remember seeing plenty of Hearts and Flowers fingerboards and a few others with custom work, but this is the only full vine I remember.

  6. #46
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    How about this one?

    2 piece natural flame top with a vibrola and vine inlay fingerboard.

    Would the owner of this gem please raise your hand?


    [IMG][/IMG]
    Did that guitar leave the factory with that natural finish, or is it off to the paint shop to be 'bursted? Either way, with that Kahler-style whammy bar and all that tree-of-life inlay work, that's an incredibly distinctive guitar. I hope whoever currently owns it is a member here -- or sees this thread while Googling and identifies himself!

  7. #47
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    Where's the love for my synth guitars?

    I was the sole builder of all the LP's and Explorer's that came with the Roland kits until they finally let me train one other guy.
    How many Les Pauls left with synth pickups? I play my Fender Roland Ready Strat way too much, simply as a tool to access my Roland 13-pin gear.

  8. #48

    Re: Where are they now...

    Great thread, really cool stuff!!!

  9. #49
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
    Did that guitar leave the factory with that natural finish, or is it off to the paint shop to be 'bursted? Either way, with that Kahler-style whammy bar and all that tree-of-life inlay work, that's an incredibly distinctive guitar. I hope whoever currently owns it is a member here -- or sees this thread while Googling and identifies himself!
    Yes sir. Right after this pic she got a set of back-plates and a TRC, and out the door with the pickguard in the case.


    And yes again, I started this thread not only to share these instruments with the forum, but to try and find out "Where are they now..."

    Thanks,

    RL

  10. #50
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
    How many Les Pauls left with synth pickups? I play my Fender Roland Ready Strat way too much, simply as a tool to access my Roland 13-pin gear.
    I have serial numbers in my personal ledger for 51 Les Pauls and 18 Explorers.

    I would say my buddy built 10 or less Les Pauls and zero Explorers.

    If you ever get a chance to try one, I would love to get your feedback.

    After Tim Shaw and myself built the first one (which was a black Explorer), one of the Roland reps came in to train us on how to use the GR-700.
    He couldn't believe how much better our guitar "tracked" than theirs. It took a long time before we understood what a "glitch" was.

  11. #51
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    I have serial numbers in my personal ledger for 51 Les Pauls and 18 Explorers.

    I would say my buddy built 10 or less Les Pauls and zero Explorers.

    If you ever get a chance to try one, I would love to get your feedback.

    After Tim Shaw and myself built the first one (which was a black Explorer), one of the Roland reps came in to train us on how to use the GR-700.
    He couldn't believe how much better our guitar "tracked" than theirs. It took a long time before we understood what a "glitch" was.
    If it was the GR-700, was it accompanied by the pointy Roland guitar with the goofy stabilizer bar above the neck? Roland seemed to take quite a large step backwards after the GR-300 and its accompanying Les Paul-ish G-303.

  12. #52
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
    If it was the GR-700, was it accompanied by the pointy Roland guitar with the goofy stabilizer bar above the neck? Roland seemed to take quite a large step backwards after the GR-300 and its accompanying Les Paul-ish G-303.
    Yes, that was the Roland version. They sold us the kit consisting of the same pickup and electronics used on that guitar.

    The stabilizer bar on the Roland did little or nothing to improve tracking.

    The Roland rep thought that our ebony fingerboards helped more than anything.

  13. #53
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    This handsome duo (the guitars) was going to Dire Straits.

    Note the artwork we added to the pic on the wall behind us.



    [IMG][/IMG]

  14. #54

    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Whoa! Super!
    The guitar on the left has the Shaw "PAF" stickers on the pickup rings and the other doesn't. Is there anything to be said about that?

    What can you share with us about Shaw PAFs in general?

    ...and where are the pick guards and truss rod covers?

  15. #55
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    Whoa! Super!
    The guitar on the left has the Shaw "PAF" stickers on the pickup rings and the other doesn't. Is there anything to be said about that?

    What can you share with us about Shaw PAFs in general?

    ...and where are the pick guards and truss rod covers?
    The PAF stickers were applied to the pickup rings once the guitar passed the first sound booth inspection.
    The one on the right simply had not been inspected yet.

    Backplates, TRC, and pickguards were installed after they passed this inspection.
    Most of the time, guitars with tops like these had the pickguard shipped in the case to give the customer the option of installing it or not.

    What can I say about the Shaws that everyone doesn't already know? They were fantastic pickups! Great sound, dependability.
    Everything you need, nothing you don't.

  16. #56
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Backplates, TRC, and pickguards were installed after they passed this inspection.
    Most of the time, guitars with tops like these had the pickguard shipped in the case to give the customer the option of installing it or not.
    Were they drilled for the pickguard if it wasn't installed?

  17. #57
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
    Were they drilled for the pickguard if it wasn't installed?
    No sir. That was the whole point.

    Why have a hole in the top if you never plan to use the pickguard?

  18. #58
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    No sir. That was the whole point.

    Why have a hole in the top if you never plan to use the pickguard?
    Gotcha. I know that's SOP now for lots of Les Pauls with monster tops; I didn't know how far back that rule went.

  19. #59
    Les Paul Forum Member clearmudd's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Mr Strings Jr, have you ever worked on any of the pre historic Leo's Music '59 creations back in the early 80's? I know that the early ones were built in Kalamazoo and later ones where in Nashville. I had one of the early ones sn# L1 009.

  20. #60
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by clearmudd View Post
    Mr Strings Jr, have you ever worked on any of the pre historic Leo's Music '59 creations back in the early 80's? I know that the early ones were built in Kalamazoo and later ones where in Nashville. I had one of the early ones sn# L1 009.
    Oh, I loved my Leo's. Thanks for bringing them up. It gives me an excuse to look back through my ledger to check serial numbers and dates. Each time I do I find something I missed before, like "hey there's another Spotlight I missed, or there's another Korina Explorer I missed".

    Your Leo WAS an early one. Built in Kalamazoo. The Nashville built Leo's started with serial number L1 0300. I built that one on December 22nd, 1982.
    The highest serial number I built was L1 0461 on October 10th, 1983. So maybe safe to say around 200 were built in Nashville?? I have 48 serial numbers recorded that I built, including L1 0414 which is the only one I have listed as having an Antique Sunburst finish. Where is she now...

    Thanks!

    RL

  21. #61
    Les Paul Forum Member clearmudd's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Thank you for the reply, I purchased mine used in early 81 or 82, my memory is a little off. It was my main guitar for several years and had to sell it 89. That Leo was the only guitar that truly broke my heart to sell, and I wish I never did.

  22. #62
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    RL, I was asked to ask you if you knew anything about this beautiful 1985 Les Paul Standard.


    SN#80595556

    Mainly, was 2 piece is semi rare for then? The Dire Straits picture is '85ish? ..might this have been the birth of the "Prehistoric"?

    And someone wants to know what "LBO" initials might in a 1980 LP Pro? Ebony w/P90s.

    Thanks bud!
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  23. #63
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Ford View Post
    RL, I was asked to ask you if you knew anything about this beautiful 1985 Les Paul Standard.


    SN#80595556

    Mainly, was 2 piece is semi rare for then? The Dire Straits picture is '85ish? ..might this have been the birth of the "Prehistoric"?

    And someone wants to know what "LBO" initials might in a 1980 LP Pro? Ebony w/P90s.

    Thanks bud!
    Kris,
    I don't have that number in my ledger, but while I was looking I saw 80665512 with a note saying "Nice Top", so possibly something out of the ordinary happening around that time. It was rare for a normal LP Standard to have a two piece flame top. I've seen "re-issue" bodies that accidentally got drilled for a Nashville bridge, and had to be built as a normal Standard. Could be any number of reasons, but always a plus for the customer.

    The LBO initials doesn't ring a bell. At that time, initials were used by operators and inspectors at several places in the process. For example, the initials you see under the TRC would be the guy who filed the frets.

    IMO, the birth of the "Prehistoric" would be the 59/80. They were the first "re-issue" type LP's I ever saw.

    If I remember correctly this beautiful Elite was the first one built in Nashville.

    Thanks.

    RL


    [IMG][/IMG]

  24. #64
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    COOL!
    Again, thanks for the awesome info Randy!
    Really appreciate it!

    Keep 'em coming brother!
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  25. #65
    Les Paul Forum Member Texsunburst59's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    [QUOTE=AXE752;2711360]
    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    Yes sir!

    Here's the first one I have listed in my book (or maybe I should start calling it my "ledger". That word seems to get a lot of attention around here.)

    Build #6 for me on September 15th, 1983.





    Very cool! I have one I bought brand new in Corpus Christi, TX in 1984. Ser # "1 0025" inked on. I still own it. It is one of the ones with the "tulip" type tuners and black knobs, natural Korina, and Shaw pickups. It is a great guitar.

    George

    Where did you buy the guitar?

    Sound Vibrations, or Clawson's music. I

    I bought my very 1st Gibson at Sound Vibrations in '80.

    I still have my '80 Cream Gibson Explorer.

  26. #66
    Les Paul Forum Member Breakrite's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post

    The LBO initials doesn't ring a bell. At that time, initials were used by operators and inspectors at several places in the process. For example, the initials you see under the TRC would be the guy who filed the frets.


    Thanks.

    RL
    Strings Jr.

    Thanks for updates anyway. (I guess it would be hard to keep track of every initial of the employees who worked on them!)

    The information and pictures you are providing is the ultimate in cool Gibson history and much appreciated. (and Kris Ford, thanks for asking brother)

    Here is the "LBO" just in case someone else runs across it. 1980 Les Paul Pro, #81080551


  27. #67
    Les Paul Forum Member AXE752's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Texsunburst59 View Post


    Where did you buy the guitar?

    Sound Vibrations, or Clawson's music. I

    I bought my very 1st Gibson at Sound Vibrations in '80.

    I still have my '80 Cream Gibson Explorer.

    Bought it at Sound Vibrations from a guy (I believe the owner) named Robert. Paid top dollar for it. He wouldn't come off the price any at all and I wanted it. I think I paid around $1100.00 for it in '84. That was a lot of cash at that time and probably WAY too much.
    Last edited by AXE752; 07-12-16 at 05:56 AM.
    "Be the ball."

  28. #68
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Another one of my favorites, the Super Custom.

    There has to be some Super Custom owners around here.

    Here's a couple of nice ones, including one I believe to be
    a "one-of-a-kind" three pickup.

    Where are they now?



    [IMG][/IMG]

  29. #69
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    This one is on eBay right now:

    Any idea what the sticker on the bottom of the headstock is? Too bad SN# is obscured, but you can probably figure it out.

    I think they're beautiful!

    Your handywork on this one Randy?
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  30. #70
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Ford View Post
    This one is on eBay right now:

    Any idea what the sticker on the bottom of the headstock is? Too bad SN# is obscured, but you can probably figure it out.

    I think they're beautiful!

    Your handywork on this one Randy?
    That sticker is not a factory sticker. Possibly something
    to do with this guitar being in Japan??

    I did a quick scan through my ledger for that date code.
    Found six possible matches with the same date code and
    003X number. (Four shown here, two on other pages)

    So yes, very good chance this was one of mine.

    Thanks for sharing Kris


    [IMG][/IMG]

  31. #71

    Re: Where are they now...

    Hey Randy when did Gibson stop making L5s guitars in Kalamazoo? I have a '75 and a '78, any chance you had a hand in either?

  32. #72
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    That sticker is not a factory sticker. Possibly something
    to do with this guitar being in Japan??

    I did a quick scan through my ledger for that date code.
    Found six possible matches with the same date code and
    003X number. (Four shown here, two on other pages)

    So yes, very good chance this was one of mine.

    Thanks for sharing Kris


    [IMG][/IMG]
    No brother, THANK YOU!
    This is the coolest thread ever!

    Those were beauties!
    Any go out with black plastic?
    Did this model morph into the LP Supreme (or something like that?)

    I blew up the headstock pic, and DAMNED if it doesn't look like the 80824566, #0036...
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  33. #73
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly69 View Post
    Hey Randy when did Gibson stop making L5s guitars in Kalamazoo? I have a '75 and a '78, any chance you had a hand in either?
    I really can't speak to things that happened in Kalamazoo with much certainty.
    I've seen L5s models as late as '80 or '81, so I would assume they were made
    right up until the plant closed.

    I only remember seeing one L5s in Nashville, and I'm thinking it came down
    from K-zoo when they closed, along with all the other "leftovers".
    So, pretty much no chance I had a hand in yours.

    They were great guitars. I wish Nashville would have
    continued to make them.

    Thanks!

    RL

  34. #74
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Ford View Post
    No brother, THANK YOU!
    This is the coolest thread ever!

    Those were beauties!
    Any go out with black plastic?
    Did this model morph into the LP Supreme (or something like that?)

    I blew up the headstock pic, and DAMNED if it doesn't look like the 80824566, #0036...
    No, they were all spec'd with cream plastic.

    Glad you mentioned the Supreme. My Dad had a hand in the design of the Supreme.
    In particular, the carved back without backplates was his idea.
    The Supreme had a few similarities with the Super Customs, such as
    the split-block inlays and gold speed knobs, but that was about it.

    When the Supreme was launched, Gibson was very appreciative to
    my Dad for his input. So much so that they gave him the first one.
    I wish I had better pics, but then pics doesn't do it justice anyway.
    This is one of the most beautiful Gibson's I've ever seen in my life.



    [IMG][/IMG]


    And the back is just as nice.


    [IMG][/IMG]

  35. #75

    Re: Where are they now...

    Holy cow, amazing wood!

    "...this thing is a destroyer of planets, a tonal doom-bringer, a wooden warrior from another dimension." Frutiger

  36. #76
    Les Paul Forum Member Kris Ford's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    No, they were all spec'd with cream plastic.

    Glad you mentioned the Supreme. My Dad had a hand in the design of the Supreme.
    In particular, the carved back without backplates was his idea.
    The Supreme had a few similarities with the Super Customs, such as
    the split-block inlays and gold speed knobs, but that was about it.

    When the Supreme was launched, Gibson was very appreciative to
    my Dad for his input. So much so that they gave him the first one.
    I wish I had better pics, but then pics doesn't do it justice anyway.
    This is one of the most beautiful Gibson's I've ever seen in my life.



    [IMG][/IMG]


    And the back is just as nice.


    [IMG][/IMG]
    HOLY SHIT!!!
    Is that your Pops with that white Moderne earlier in the thread?
     photo norlin_logo.jpg

  37. #77
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    No, they were all spec'd with cream plastic.

    Glad you mentioned the Supreme. My Dad had a hand in the design of the Supreme.
    In particular, the carved back without backplates was his idea.
    Wow -- how do they drop in the electronics?

  38. #78
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Ford View Post
    HOLY SHIT!!!
    Is that your Pops with that white Moderne earlier in the thread?
    Yes it is. He started working at the Nashville plant in 1975.
    He did sound booth inspections in Final Assembly the majority of the time he was there.
    He retired from Gibson in 2002.

  39. #79
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Where are they now...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
    Wow -- how do they drop in the electronics?
    If you'll notice in the pic of the back, you can see the
    extra large jackplate. Everything was connected
    outside the body, then inserted through this opening.

  40. #80

    Re: Where are they now...

    This is absolutely the best thread in years!

    So, maybe you something about this one:
    It's my brother's. Its a '83 Studio. Must be one of the first or maybe some pre-production run orso. It features a 'Custom Shop Edition' decal above the s/n.
    It also features a thinner, Studio-esque body, but a bound fingerboard with trapezoid inlays. Headstock is Studio-correct.

    So here it is; any comments on this one?





    My Róisín Dubh is my one and only true love


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