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  1. #81
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by tooold View Post
    This is a great idea, many thanks for all the work. I have a 1995 R4 (4 5784), not sure when they started.

    R4 GT or R4 Custom? Pictures? I have seen Customs from the 93-95 period that did NOT have the Y yxxx SN format where Y=year represented y=year of manufacture, but rather a y xxxx format like Classics and preHistorics where y= year of manufacture. That is I have seen 1957 style Custom Reissue with a 3,4 or 5 as the first digit in the SN. This has been VERY confusing and I can't get a consistant, straight answer from Gibson on this. I also asked for pictures (they were on Ebay) of the tenon, and they were NOT long tenons.

  2. #82
    Les Paul Forum Member tooold's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by kink56 View Post
    R4 GT or R4 Custom? Pictures? I have seen Customs from the 93-95 period that did NOT have the Y yxxx SN format where Y=year represented y=year of manufacture, but rather a y xxxx format like Classics and preHistorics where y= year of manufacture. That is I have seen 1957 style Custom Reissue with a 3,4 or 5 as the first digit in the SN. This has been VERY confusing and I can't get a consistant, straight answer from Gibson on this. I also asked for pictures (they were on Ebay) of the tenon, and they were NOT long tenons.
    Hey, Kink -

    Goldtop:



    Rounded inlays, so I'm assuming it's not a 2005. I might have a tenon shot somewhere if that would be helpful, but it sounds like you're interested in Customs.

  3. #83
    Les Paul Forum Member hanknc's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Should we include the G0 series beginning in 2003?

  4. #84
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    I am not interested in Customs but only to solve the mystery and lack of info on these. There seems to be a LOT of inconsistancy on these! One person told me they did not have the long tenon until 1999!!

    Yours is a rare bird. It shows that there are Les Paul RIs that were not in the catalog, but obviously either special ordered or made but not yet part of the official lineup. Much like the Standard was not in the catalog until 1976, but part of regular production in 1974, and special order since at least 1972.

  5. #85
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by hanknc View Post
    Should we include the G0 series beginning in 2003?
    Five were actually made in 2002, as a preview and promotion of the 50 made in 2003.

  6. #86

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by DucRyder View Post
    So in other words you could have a soft maple top or a hard maple top depending on the supplier of wood!
    Reliable information is hard to come by, and somewhat cryptic.
    The way I read this is; In 1991,’92,’93, and the start of ‘94, the
    only flame Maple used was Eastern Hard Rock Maple.
    In mid 1994, after the formation of the wood buying team, any
    Maple with great flame; Eastern, Western, Hard, Soft, could and
    would have been used. If it was flamed Maple, they used it.
    Maple use continued this way until 2003, when the specification
    was changed back to Eastern Maple.

    [EDIT] It is reported that Quilted Maple is always Western, regardless of the year.
    ******* Birdseye, and Burl Maple are always Eastern, regardless of the year.
    Last edited by delawaregold; 01-05-08 at 12:41 PM.
    The original Idiot Savant

  7. #87
    Les Paul Forum Member alexanderja's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Danelectro, this is turning out to be one of the most useful interesting threads yet to appear on this Forum.

    RESPECT SIR !!!

  8. #88

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Does anyone have any idea of production numbers for the early 59 historics in particular? Specifically the 93 thru 98 years, obviously Gibson boosted production massively in 99 due to the 40th anniversary and I think probably made about 250 Murphy 59's in 99 + 1500 or so regular 59's, but I'm guessing average 400 pa for the previous years?

  9. #89
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Under 400 for 93 and 94 500-800 would be my guess for 95-98. About 2500 for 99 and over 2000 for 2000, 500 for 01 and 300 for 02. 03 and up 1500+ (these are ESTIMATES)

  10. #90
    Les Paul Forum Member Modtourman's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by 6L6 View Post
    2001 R9's were the first to have the lightweight aluminum tailpiece and tortoise side dot markers among other changes that year.
    I can confirm this - the 2001 R8's also had these changes that year.

    Great thread DANELECTRO!

  11. #91

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    My 93 59 is #9 3100, ie the 100th made and the Warranty card is stamped 11/3/93 which I take to mean November 3rd, here in the UK we would normally read that as 11th March but I'm assuming the usual US convention applies. So if an early November guitar is only number 100 they can't have made that many more in 93? I believe they didn't start full production of the Historic R9 until mid/late 93. Many thanks for the help.

  12. #92
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    The first two GC R-0's were hand carried by plane to the Hollywood GC on 28th of Sept. 2002. The remaining 3 went by FedEx truck that same week. They is listed as "LPR0PTKBNH1 LP 60 Plaintop"
    Both the first two had Birdseye tops. The other three were plaintops.

  13. #93
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by delawaregold View Post
    Reliable information is hard to come by, and somewhat cryptic.
    The way I read this is; In 1991,’92,’93, and the start of ‘94, the
    only flame Maple used was Eastern Hard Rock Maple.
    In mid 1994, after the formation of the wood buying team, any
    Maple with great flame; Eastern, Western, Hard, Soft, could and
    would have been used. If it was flamed Maple, they used it.
    Maple use continued this way until 2003, when the specification
    was changed back to Eastern Maple.

    [EDIT] It is reported that Quilted Maple is always Western, regardless of the year.
    ******* Birdseye, and Burl Maple are always Eastern, regardless of the year.
    This is an early '93 pre-Historic; does that look like Eastern Maple to you? It has no mineral flecks, and looked too perfect to me to think it was Eastern, but I'm curious what you guys think.

    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

    * "So many Gibsons to love, so little time..."

  14. #94
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Just because it has no mineral streaks, does not mean it is NOT Eastern. And we are not used to seeing 1/4 sawn tops on the original bursts, just because it is perfectly 1/4 sawn does not mean it is NOT Eastern either.

  15. #95
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    I understand the best way to tell Eastern from Western is the size of the pores. Western has pores, Eastern really doesn't. (in pictures it is hard to tell) Most people assume a perfectly 1/4 sawn top is Western.

  16. #96

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    I have lost count of the hours I have spent doing research on Maple,
    Mahogany, and Rosewood. Well over 200, probably 300 hours or
    more of reading and comparing. About cut, and grain, and cell structure,
    and color, and growing conditions, and on, and on. After all that, to learn
    all I could about the different species of wood. The only thing I am
    sure of is: I can’t tell from a photograph, definitively what any piece of
    wood is, and someone who says they can is delusional. The issues of
    photography are too complex. Angle, contrast, lighting, filters, exposure,
    digital manipulation, can make any photo “the Money Shot”.
    Have you ever meet any of the playboy models that were not quite what
    you saw in the magazine? With enough wood to choose from a Luthier
    can select wood with all the characteristics of another species.
    Time and time again Madagascar Rosewood has been passed off as Brazilian.
    I can only say that I have to rely on the accepted information, and the
    word of people that were there at the time. In spite of what my eyes might
    tell me.
    A magician loves people that trust what they see, over what their intellect
    tells them.
    The original Idiot Savant

  17. #97

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    I can't tell you anything definitively from a photo,
    but, I don't see anything in that photo that would preclude
    that guitar from having an Eastern Maple top.
    I believe it was Browneyes that showed a very similar top
    he had made from Maple he cut on his own property.
    The original Idiot Savant

  18. #98
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by delawaregold View Post
    Have you ever meet any of the playboy models that were not quite what you saw in the magazine?
    ...Unfortunately, can't say that I have.....
    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

    * "So many Gibsons to love, so little time..."

  19. #99

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Not to hijack this thread, because it has been very useful,
    but obviously Mike you feel that the guitar you posted is
    not Eastern Maple. What is your opinion of the 1952
    pictured below?






    How does the flame on this guitar differ significantly from the guitar you posted?
    Other than it is book matched.
    The original Idiot Savant

  20. #100
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by delawaregold View Post
    Not to hijack this thread, because it has been very useful,
    but obviously Mike you feel that the guitar you posted is
    not Eastern Maple.
    I don't really know what it is; as you mention, it is sometimes almost impossible to tell. I am also not sure that that Eastern maple was used exclusively during the early 90's.
    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

    * "So many Gibsons to love, so little time..."

  21. #101
    Les Paul Forum Member MIKE20's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSlub View Post
    This is an early '93 pre-Historic; does that look like Eastern Maple to you? It has no mineral flecks, and looked too perfect to me to think it was Eastern, but I'm curious what you guys think.

    ...should be.I have 3 1413 and have no doubt it is.

  22. #102
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    2003 Brazilian count.

    Of 4 3001-4 3150 35 of these were R4 Custom Black Beauties=115 BRW R4s
    Of 7 3001-7 3707 220 of these were R7 Customs, 4 GTs were 02 specs, 28 were Juniors=455 BRW R7s
    Of 8 3001-8 3256 31 of these were Juniors=225 BRW R8s
    Of 0 3001-0 3163 50 were G0s, 20 were Specials=93 BRW R0s

    R6s and R9s Do not share with other models, so all 148 R6s and all 674 R9s are BRW.

  23. #103

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSlub View Post
    I don't really know what it is; as you mention, it is sometimes almost impossible to tell.
    I am also not sure that that Eastern maple was used exclusively during the early 90's.
    …and such is, (and has been) my dilemma. Gene Nix, the wood buyer for Gibson
    who started in 1994, and reported to Walt Carter, that his team started buying
    Western Maple, for the Historic Program in 1994, before this the Custom Shop
    was using Eastern Maple.

    These precious few sentences in “Keeping the Flame Alive” are the only definitive
    statements I can find.

    Is Gene Nix correct?
    Was his meaning correctly conveyed by Walt Carter?

    Amazingly, after all this time, I have not found anyone that will refute or corroborate this.
    If indeed this is an accurate statement, then all the Flamed Maple tops in 1993 are
    Eastern Maple.

    There is not anyone on this Forum that would like further (accurate) clarification
    on the matter of Flamed Maple more than me.
    Last edited by delawaregold; 01-09-08 at 12:25 AM.
    The original Idiot Savant

  24. #104
    Les Paul Forum Member pinefd's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by delawaregold View Post

    There is not anyone on this Forum that would like further (accurate) clarification
    on the matter of Flamed Maple more than me.
    The Truth Is Out There!


  25. #105

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Wow, what a goldmine of information. Thank you, Danelectro, for a great idea.
    -Shane

  26. #106

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneMcCrae View Post
    Wow, what a goldmine of information. Thank you, Danelectro, for a great idea.
    -Shane
    Thank you, and thanks go out to all those who have contributed. I know the information is out there, I just thought I'd make an effort to collect it all in one place. Keep the info coming in!

  27. #107
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst_59 View Post
    My 93 59 is #9 3100, ie the 100th made and the Warranty card is stamped 11/3/93 which I take to mean November 3rd, here in the UK we would normally read that as 11th March but I'm assuming the usual US convention applies. So if an early November guitar is only number 100 they can't have made that many more in 93? I believe they didn't start full production of the Historic R9 until mid/late 93. Many thanks for the help.
    You recently won it on ebay, right?

  28. #108
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    The first two GC R-0's were hand carried by plane to the Hollywood GC on 28th of Sept. 2002. The remaining 3 went by FedEx truck that same week. They is listed as "LPR0PTKBNH1 LP 60 Plaintop"
    Both the first two had Birdseye tops. The other three were plaintops.
    And at least ONE of those was BRW....correct?

  29. #109

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Can I lobby for the inclusion of the 2001 Wildwood run of flametop R4s and R6s to be included?

    I know some people don't consider them to be Hitsorics, but they come with Historic certificates and are therefore Historics according to Gibson.
    "Why are we going to an airforce base?"

  30. #110
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
    Can I lobby for the inclusion of the 2001 Wildwood run of flametop R4s and R6s to be included?

    I know some people don't consider them to be Hitsorics, but they come with Historic certificates and are therefore Historics according to Gibson.
    The original Wildwood run was in 2000 and was only about 12 guitars then 25 or so in 2001. I have a Flame Top R6 from the 2000 run.

    I think that a dealer specials thread could be in order to cover those amongst others.

  31. #111
    Les Paul Forum Member alexanderja's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    QUOTE - Reliable
    Maple use continued this way until 2003, when the specification
    was changed back to Eastern Maple.


    Here we go again.......
    .... ok, now according to this....and the information we've gathered now in Danelectros chart, 2003's should all have Eastern Maple tops ????
    ......or am I reading it wrong ?

    but, my 2003 Braz has a very dramatic flametop, that most people here have agreed is too flamey to be Eastern.

    The two dont tally.

    Im only throwing this up to try to determine whether the information we've got is accurate.

    Here's my 2003 Braz -

  32. #112
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    I say it is EASTERN.



    What makes people think that wild flame or even flame or even 1/4 sawn tops with even flame (BBQ) CAN'T be Eastern? Where did we get this MYTH? I know!!! Lesser wood was used on the vintage Bursts. And the BEST Maple was used on the backs of Jazz guitars. Seldom did Les Pauls get perfect 1/4 sawn bookmatched tops, SO we assume that if a Historic has this it MUST be Western!!
    Yes is is EASIER to find fantastic flame with Western Maple, but that does not mean you can't find it with Eastern Maple. And now Gibson uses the BEST Eastern Maple for their Historic Les Pauls. According to Gibson ALL Historic Les Pauls have been Eastern Maple since 2003, EXCEPT for those ordered with quilt (Eastern does not produce quilt figuring)

    Eastern TENDS to be more irridescent, and 3-D. Western TENDS to look more stable, but that is just the rule, there are exceptions.

  33. #113

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    The “LINKS” section is fabulous. It has turned out to be
    a great reference. I would like to suggest the following link:


    Excerpts from the book “Gibson Electrics The Classic Years”
    by A.R.Duchossoir


    While all of the information is good, the information of particular
    interest begins on page 40.

    This information, while not specifically about Historics, is foundational
    to the development of the Les Paul Model. I thought it would be nice to
    have all this information in one place. Thanks.
    Last edited by delawaregold; 01-09-08 at 12:22 AM. Reason: GREAT JOB, DANO!
    The original Idiot Savant

  34. #114
    Les Paul Forum Member hanknc's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    The first two GC R-0's were hand carried by plane to the Hollywood GC on 28th of Sept. 2002. The remaining 3 went by FedEx truck that same week. They is listed as "LPR0PTKBNH1 LP 60 Plaintop"
    Both the first two had Birdseye tops. The other three were plaintops.
    Do these have the "G" serial number?

  35. #115
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    No, the 5 2002 and the 50 2003 do NOT have a "G"

  36. #116
    Les Paul Forum Member alexanderja's Avatar
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Without being a pain in the arse,......the wording 'until 2003, when the spec was change back to Eastern' ......could actually mean that the vast majority of the 2003's were not Eastern. Unless that spec change happened at the start of 2003 it doesnt actually mean that 2003's are all Eastern.
    The only thing this tells us for sure is that 2004's are Eastern .

    For those who are interested, I phoned Gibson today (waste of time as usual) they said that they have no records and cannot verify if Eastern or Western maple was used at 'ANY' time.....just that they have used both throughout.
    So fuck knows !!

  37. #117

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    and such is, (and has been) my dilemma. Gene Nix, the wood buyer for Gibson
    who started in 1994, and reported to Walt Carter, that his team started buying
    Western Maple, for the Historic Program in 1994, before this the Custom Shop
    was using Eastern Maple.
    I took a wood class from Gene Nix, last may, at Gibson. He said then that they buy from several sources and that nobody could tell just from looking where any given piece of wood came from.
    Interestingly he also rejected the use of the term "flame maple" saying was only accurate when describing wood that had been wrapped in fuel soaked cloth and actually burnt to enhance the appearance. What we commonly call flamed, he said was properly called figured.
    Anyhow, once again, this is an amazing thread.
    -Shane

  38. #118

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneMcCrae View Post
    I took a wood class from Gene Nix, last may, at Gibson. He said then that they buy from several sources and that nobody could tell just from looking where any given piece of wood came from.
    I find it amazing that in 2007 Mr. Nix says that no one can tell where
    the wood came from just by looking, but in 1994 he could tell that
    original bursts were both Hard and Soft Maple, just by looking.
    I have long suspected that the quote by Mr. Nix in
    “Keeping the Flame Alive” was very self serving, and allowed Gibson
    to go from about 35 Flame Maple Tops per month to a few hundred
    Flamed Maple Tops per month, by making it acceptable for the Custom
    Shop to substitute Soft Western Maple. Even though EVERYONE at Gibson
    knew that the Specification for the Maple Top, always was Hard Rock Maple.
    As far as Gibson not knowing where the wood comes from. Every Gibson
    Guitar is a “Smartwood” Guitar. Part of what that means is that every piece
    of wood used to make the guitar is documented, and can pass the scrutiny
    of the Rainforest Alliance’s Certification and Verification Service.
    Gibson, whether they admit it or not, knows where every piece of wood it
    uses comes from.
    The original Idiot Savant

  39. #119

    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    I also have a '95 R4, # 4 5***, goldtop.
    Last edited by Birdseye; 01-13-08 at 07:39 PM.

  40. #120
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    Re: Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

    Wow, those R4s do not show up in the catalog until 97. These must be pretty rare!! 780? They sure must have made a LOT of R4s between the GTs and the Customs in 1995? I really DOUBT they made that many R4s!! They probably did not even make that many R9s! (usually the most numerous in most years, except 2001 and 2002) Which raises the question....I know that since at LEAST 1999 each series R2, R4, R6, R7 etc had its own sequential SN. That is there could be a 4 9001, 6 9001, 7 9001, 9 9001, 0 9001 and so on. But is it possible that ALL Rs intermixed within the SAME sequence in the early/mid 90s? That is 4 5001, 6 5002, 7 5003, 8 5004, 9 5005, 0 5006, like this?

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