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  1. #1

    Just got my first Les Paul

    I play ecelctic genres of music... everything from classic rock to clean ambient and black metal. When it comes to guitars, I am incredibly picky and am willing to spend what it takes to get what I want. My Les Paul budget was $15,000.

    After playing over 100 Les Pauls of all eras and configurations, the best guitar (for me) that I found was a 1979 Les Paul Custom. I purchased it this evening after spending about five hours putting it through its paces and comparing to other guitars (Les Pauls, PRS, ESP Custom Shop). Nothing sounded as big, heavy, rich, and alive as this particular 1979. It's a heavy one (haven't weighed it yet, but it's between 11 and 13 pounds for sure), but it is an endless cavern of resonance and tone. No matter how hard one tries, one cannot pull all the tone that this thing's got out of it. It has gorgeous crisp cleans (not muddy at all like some of the lighter mahogany-necked Les Pauls I played) and an absolutely massive wall-of-sound response when played with any amount of gain. Harmonics fly off the fingerboard. The strings are looser feeling than usual as well... With 9-42 strings some of the Les Pauls I tried had a tighter feeling and some were looser. This one feels like it has 8's on it when it has 9's. So comfortable to play. The neck is narrow/compact and not too thick (though thicker than a 60 RI). In a high gain setting (for example, through a Mesa F50 or Engl Fireball) it sounds identical to Euronymous's Les Paul on Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas… absolutely brutal and huge while not being too dark or muddy. Even on lower gain amps this particular Les Paul sounds more metal than rock, unlike the others I tried. The pickups and hardware are original but chrome plated- not gold. The pickups respond as if they are higher output than a typical PAF even though they have the same sort of tone... Don't really know how to describe it. Anyway, I've attached some photos and can't wait to record with this one! Shame that it doesn't have a black or sunburst finish, but the tone is more important than the looks.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    You could order the chrome hardware as an option. Your description is spot on. The simple truth is these very solid guitars ring like a bell. In honest head to head comparison the heavy, Norlin era Les Pauls always surprise those who have low expectations, and discover the huge tone & performance value these guitars possess.

    Welcome to the club. BTW I've found 78/79 Les Pauls float my tone boat.

    Beautiful guitar.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    Love the guitar!
    My back would hate the weight tho.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Trans-Am's Avatar
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    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    That is a beauty one there you got! Lotsa wood in show. A'la Ronson appeal yeah!!

    Although quite heavy for that period nevertheless the wood have dried quite a bit contributing to that what might hear as ringing tone perhaps.

    A fresh new bling hardware can make it shine a bit more if that's your fancy, it looks fine to me the way it is and all you have to do is give it some of your mojo flakes with a bit of scar and character to really make it your own.

    Congrats and welcome inside the lair of the forum.
    Old WOOD Is Good WOOD !!!

  5. #5

    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    I misspoke about the weight... The seller overestimated. I weighed it today and it is 10 pounds six ounces.


    I swapped the pickups for Bare Knuckle Cold Sweats but am not sold on them. They sound smaller and less alive than the T Tops.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Trans-Am's Avatar
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    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    Weight is not bad at all, over the 9 lbs. which is the most norm for the Standards depending on the year and make/model.
    Old WOOD Is Good WOOD !!!

  7. #7

    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    ...The simple truth is these very solid guitars ring like a bell. In honest head to head comparison the heavy, Norlin era Les Pauls always surprise those who have low expectations, and discover the huge tone & performance value these guitars possess.

    ...

    Beautiful guitar.
    +1 So long as you've a strong back, these late '70s customs are great guitars!

    The 14 degree angle at the nut contributes to the slinky feel. The height of the tailpiece looks normal to a tiny bit high also contributes.

    How are the frets? Can you get under the strings?

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    +1 So long as you've a strong back, these late '70s customs are great guitars!

    The 14 degree angle at the nut contributes to the slinky feel. The height of the tailpiece looks normal to a tiny bit high also contributes.

    How are the frets? Can you get under the strings?
    The 70's & 80's were my most intensive playing span, being very active and engaged full time as a working, blue collar musician. 3-5 nites a week, 4 sets a nite, clubs, festivals and outdoor gigs,ski resorts in winter, summer blowouts at lakes & parks, oh man!! A good band could stay busy and earn a great living. We were booked 6 months in advance and though it was hard work, demanding professionalism, good people skills and musical proficiency, it also meant having a clear understanding of gear. High quality, road dependable equipment. Our livelihood depended upon it.

    Back then we typically used our own PA, lights, drum riser and had a single "Roady", [a word that fails to describe the role of our 6'10" 375lb truck driver, doorman, security, equipment wrangler and indespensible member of Rambunctious], and carried everything that we needed to put on a show.

    Which is why I so often find myself champion the much, [ ignorantly ], maligned Norlin Era Gibson Les Pauls. This has been much discussed over multiple posts but the point I wish to make is that these guitars deliver. In stock form the play beautifully, with the tone that delighte and satisfied so many, night after nite after nite. They maintain their functionality of setup integrity and tuning, nite after nite after nite, with a dependablity that endures, nite after nite, year after year, decade after decade.

    They are heavy. But so are bass guitars and I never met a bassist or have seen hoards of them crying about it. I did/do what my bass players did. I ditched the skinny straps for comfortable wide padded ones, raised the guitar to human levels instead of the ape stance of a hunched over, low slung guitar trying to look so cool and stood tall and straight to find weight not an issue and judging from photos, still looking cool enough. Weight can be sensiblly dealt with.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  9. #9

    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    +1 So long as you've a strong back, these late '70s customs are great guitars!

    The 14 degree angle at the nut contributes to the slinky feel. The height of the tailpiece looks normal to a tiny bit high also contributes.

    How are the frets? Can you get under the strings?
    Yep, the frets are in great shape.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    Congrats on your very first Les Paul and welcome to the club . My favorite guitar of all time -the Gibson Les Paul , as I have a Norlin era Les Paul Custom @ 9lbs and she rocks and I love her tone and she was and is my very first ever electric as a kid from so long ago . Congrats once again !

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member ej.'s Avatar
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    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    Looks great! Nice first Les Paul. I like the older Customs.

  12. #12

    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    Oh yes,that's nice. I too am an unabashed Norlin fanboy!!

    Good deal man!


    ( EDIT ---- I'm not implying that anyone posting in this here thread is a Norlin Fanboy. Except me.)
    ​We Are The People We Have Been Waiting For

  13. #13

    Re: Just got my first Les Paul

    Very nice! Quite Ronsonesque! Congrats, HNGD and play her in good health!
    Midnight Blues

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