• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

A '52 for ME!!

ckouba

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
23
Hi all,

I've played guitar casually for ~forty years now and long, long ago became enamored with Les Pauls. I bought my first one while in college and over time have acquired a few more, but had never thought much about a truly vintage one until a couple years ago. As an LP fan, I thought it would be coolest to have a first run guitar, but I wasn't looking for a museum piece because I'm on a budget too. All things considered, I decided that I still really wanted a '52.

******* PURISTS- AT THIS POINT, PLEASE MOVE ON TO THE NEXT THREAD. NOTHING MORE TO READ OR WORRY ABOUT HERE. ********

Learning more about 52's, they started to be a little less appealing due to the whole neck angle/wrap under bridge thing. So I started getting conflicted about wanting a first year Les Paul and also wanting a stable bridge set up... so I started paying attention to the '56 conversion guitars out there. Never having modified a guitar in any way (or paying to have it done either), I embraced the idea that it was possible to have a trapeze swapped out for the much more stable hardware and get the best of both worlds- at the price of sacrificing originality. In this manner, a non-original '52 set up in this manner might be just the guitar I was looking for- and also could possibly afford! Started to feel like a win-win...

After an irresponsible amount of time scrubbing a certain forum's classifieds and Craigslist and Reverb and Gbase and ebay and, well, you get the picture, last week I stumbled across something which looked promising. Even more spectacular- it was pseudo-local to me (~3h drive), because I didn't really want to give away thousands of dollars without touching and hearing a guitar. I think this crowd can understand that.

So what did I find? The ad effectively listed a piece of wood from '52 with no breaks or cracks. Apart from that though it wasn't terribly original. It's been refinished (a LONG time ago), re-wired and re-potted, the original fretboard was worn out(???) and replaced with an ebony board, pickups have been replaced, the trapeze tail was swapped for a machined down tune-o-matic, and the tuners are replaced. No neck re-set. So yeah, not a lot left over from 1952, but it was good enough to interest me.

I did some calling around, including to the dealer that sold it to the seller and had the claim of it being a '52 validated. A couple of other phone calls got me to a number where I was comfortable making an offer and feeling like I'm not being screwed, so I contacted the seller and arranged a time to check it out.

Picking it up, it felt fantaaaastic! Despite the stock shallow angle of the neck, the machined down TOM let it play wonderfully. Acoustically, it sounded bright and full, and when I plugged it in, I fell in love. It has Chandler mini-humbuckers in it and it is the sweetest combination of wood and pickups I have heard. I could go deaf playing this guitar.

After a bit of making noise, we made a deal right where I was thinking we'd end up, and on Saturday, I drove home as the new custodian of my own piece of Gibson history. It'll never win a beauty contest at this point, but that's not what it's about and it's not what I was after. It sounds fantastic, plays like it should, looks the part, and best of all- it's MINE!!

At home:
ZRSqP8r9J5_lD58aPjH2C-ZHjYAjrN4WG2jXuFkETRkc6zDon86ceEXLpbTB731F0j48-kf66tgpYRZ3pEgZ9Ea8r6rRwIr1HnGsZ_dBrfG8qJdtDl8GrhKiBghrg9vCweNXrlDzmVsg1HtwVRtVu5g66YNCNGN5J1_JXBMi5pn87WQF3pUrbUVc5QhOeTeANFHsnkZW6bC1W1ewnSr0emEWyh2py5wK3Z16AWutToMoOiQEJzbin1Xwt_OMgZCfVAk0xUHROw1PWz1Da1G8LKHUzOrP5546j1P3FZznrqxZqaxiZLbtxaJw-xg4sEWSc7wTJF-pYKhG4iZ-YcgcQA6kwhL_cSc0ps2DmOpMPB4pchO0R5AH-9AEDVpmziega6qP1aWZvixOUR2c1wdKH0goBD0-tXmVQAHhTyBoSbCZT7GR0y1JGnYSdIL8OGaj48gi-lruwCnDskmUc77t1YBx-0gnoHRr4zeT23ZOEFy7MLp7_-5cAWOaWVb6bpbqMPAO0yZ9tEX4lei6qfewu5-2JoHaaoZAczCXdoTKj-e7mcG6nZtiHLxN1NDnAKqJKRkFzsmKJZ5N5jQsVFw4ZtptDtp4GAgezhCjgwVYB6CMv8c8fDP0vGgBaBfiA07-D5thTAydrj-ialEnws4tiL4kZLHUbTEPN8MBZYBtoJkKZT7YXVuxri2ChKkv9_dXhJKg4JQmZgEfrpDds7DpV1UTUw=w528-h937-no



A partial family portrait:
F-6APPdmuaNzP3HGNUfsDqSuoxperIXs7rmoby_qV0OD7JjvzKLDIFUV9rqT7ghi2VneBf6qaHTrox_2ytfEsLKCBKUodJ4Z3RupdNB6P8JmY4cwIwUnclpzKTq5pFv1-QtzvZPaqESq3Ii0PJM4Np2B8fbS1Qu0E7bAb_Iq9_7TWavumt3kWF6-8-SUkOSLp4vY9grwFWb2Yedzm_kMcJKrRFCpuCTnGse0IJaD-2YiLNwwP5xyEB9hJg0sYcxU9wGvsXnsu8pSTFcB6gmebv6XPDOS8w6tM9GkjvByEgUrEybkPExtS4EMkHZPu5h_qRpN_JoQsM3Ik8poF2a268kplJO944RCNgEUjmMdsw-zDQZHOy5qRtFaocPdie8rQipc-JHHNFFacNdiUkROYtYXPawIJwou1NsIMO04PCsPSmCn6aAzMcW7D5bZTPA9vse3LHnC2s4qPYSJsI8u_FFWO8eX3_ZRS9CzWyf5sK8f28_bKmNTJceK-nTNuxHqkP7kkNsGL8zub0ayiRgJUsfYf3NYq178bfJ6QzqAlhONCw51gIuIwC61M7E5c7HCt30WBE03-mGeTHRTK_ZhmYE2Vf6s2-_LLul9i-rdnRW6iz1ohQI309Qz-ATRfvrMoJhpNtWFMMmqL_-rLjYv7Wc5UMdeWaTYJIaTTgjEuB589E8abKB6Lh9JsuVP_COcKC1maDDCjl0VfoOAX11Wzz6Vow=w1081-h937-no



Chris
 
Last edited:

ckouba

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
23
Thanks guys, I am stoked beyond belief! Very happy to be here and share- although I don't have much knowledge to toss in the pot. Never imagined my first post to be that I picked up a 52.

Chris
 

MapleFlame

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
14,034
Congrats on some new old wood. I find no matter whats done to these, they all sound good with a little tweaking.
 

Daytripper67

Member
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
161
Hi all,

I've played guitar casually for ~forty years now and long, long ago became enamored with Les Pauls. I bought my first one while in college and over time have acquired a few more, but had never thought much about a truly vintage one until a couple years ago. As an LP fan, I thought it would be coolest to have a first run guitar, but I wasn't looking for a museum piece because I'm on a budget too. All things considered, I decided that I still really wanted a '52.

******* PURISTS- AT THIS POINT, PLEASE MOVE ON TO THE NEXT THREAD. NOTHING MORE TO READ OR WORRY ABOUT HERE. ********

Learning more about 52's, they started to be a little less appealing due to the whole neck angle/wrap under bridge thing. So I started getting conflicted about wanting a first year Les Paul and also wanting a stable bridge set up... so I started paying attention to the '56 conversion guitars out there. Never having modified a guitar in any way (or paying to have it done either), I embraced the idea that it was possible to have a trapeze swapped out for the much more stable hardware and get the best of both worlds- at the price of sacrificing originality. In this manner, a non-original '52 set up in this manner might be just the guitar I was looking for- and also could possibly afford! Started to feel like a win-win...

After an irresponsible amount of time scrubbing a certain forum's classifieds and Craigslist and Reverb and Gbase and ebay and, well, you get the picture, last week I stumbled across something which looked promising. Even more spectacular- it was pseudo-local to me (~3h drive), because I didn't really want to give away thousands of dollars without touching and hearing a guitar. I think this crowd can understand that.

So what did I find? The ad effectively listed a piece of wood from '52 with no breaks or cracks. Apart from that though it wasn't terribly original. It's been refinished (a LONG time ago), re-wired and re-potted, the original fretboard was worn out(???) and replaced with an ebony board, pickups have been replaced, the trapeze tail was swapped for a machined down tune-o-matic, and the tuners are replaced. No neck re-set. So yeah, not a lot left over from 1952, but it was good enough to interest me.

I did some calling around, including to the dealer that sold it to the seller and had the claim of it being a '52 validated. A couple of other phone calls got me to a number where I was comfortable making an offer and feeling like I'm not being screwed, so I contacted the seller and arranged a time to check it out.

Picking it up, it felt fantaaaastic! Despite the stock shallow angle of the neck, the machined down TOM let it play wonderfully. Acoustically, it sounded bright and full, and when I plugged it in, I fell in love. It has Chandler mini-humbuckers in it and it is the sweetest combination of wood and pickups I have heard. I could go deaf playing this guitar.

After a bit of making noise, we made a deal right where I was thinking we'd end up, and on Saturday, I drove home as the new custodian of my own piece of Gibson history. It'll never win a beauty contest at this point, but that's not what it's about and it's not what I was after. It sounds fantastic, plays like it should, looks the part, and best of all- it's MINE!!

At home:
ZRSqP8r9J5_lD58aPjH2C-ZHjYAjrN4WG2jXuFkETRkc6zDon86ceEXLpbTB731F0j48-kf66tgpYRZ3pEgZ9Ea8r6rRwIr1HnGsZ_dBrfG8qJdtDl8GrhKiBghrg9vCweNXrlDzmVsg1HtwVRtVu5g66YNCNGN5J1_JXBMi5pn87WQF3pUrbUVc5QhOeTeANFHsnkZW6bC1W1ewnSr0emEWyh2py5wK3Z16AWutToMoOiQEJzbin1Xwt_OMgZCfVAk0xUHROw1PWz1Da1G8LKHUzOrP5546j1P3FZznrqxZqaxiZLbtxaJw-xg4sEWSc7wTJF-pYKhG4iZ-YcgcQA6kwhL_cSc0ps2DmOpMPB4pchO0R5AH-9AEDVpmziega6qP1aWZvixOUR2c1wdKH0goBD0-tXmVQAHhTyBoSbCZT7GR0y1JGnYSdIL8OGaj48gi-lruwCnDskmUc77t1YBx-0gnoHRr4zeT23ZOEFy7MLp7_-5cAWOaWVb6bpbqMPAO0yZ9tEX4lei6qfewu5-2JoHaaoZAczCXdoTKj-e7mcG6nZtiHLxN1NDnAKqJKRkFzsmKJZ5N5jQsVFw4ZtptDtp4GAgezhCjgwVYB6CMv8c8fDP0vGgBaBfiA07-D5thTAydrj-ialEnws4tiL4kZLHUbTEPN8MBZYBtoJkKZT7YXVuxri2ChKkv9_dXhJKg4JQmZgEfrpDds7DpV1UTUw=w528-h937-no



A partial family portrait:
F-6APPdmuaNzP3HGNUfsDqSuoxperIXs7rmoby_qV0OD7JjvzKLDIFUV9rqT7ghi2VneBf6qaHTrox_2ytfEsLKCBKUodJ4Z3RupdNB6P8JmY4cwIwUnclpzKTq5pFv1-QtzvZPaqESq3Ii0PJM4Np2B8fbS1Qu0E7bAb_Iq9_7TWavumt3kWF6-8-SUkOSLp4vY9grwFWb2Yedzm_kMcJKrRFCpuCTnGse0IJaD-2YiLNwwP5xyEB9hJg0sYcxU9wGvsXnsu8pSTFcB6gmebv6XPDOS8w6tM9GkjvByEgUrEybkPExtS4EMkHZPu5h_qRpN_JoQsM3Ik8poF2a268kplJO944RCNgEUjmMdsw-zDQZHOy5qRtFaocPdie8rQipc-JHHNFFacNdiUkROYtYXPawIJwou1NsIMO04PCsPSmCn6aAzMcW7D5bZTPA9vse3LHnC2s4qPYSJsI8u_FFWO8eX3_ZRS9CzWyf5sK8f28_bKmNTJceK-nTNuxHqkP7kkNsGL8zub0ayiRgJUsfYf3NYq178bfJ6QzqAlhONCw51gIuIwC61M7E5c7HCt30WBE03-mGeTHRTK_ZhmYE2Vf6s2-_LLul9i-rdnRW6iz1ohQI309Qz-ATRfvrMoJhpNtWFMMmqL_-rLjYv7Wc5UMdeWaTYJIaTTgjEuB589E8abKB6Lh9JsuVP_COcKC1maDDCjl0VfoOAX11Wzz6Vow=w1081-h937-no



Chris

I guess you are not a fan of pickgards......Great lookin gagle of gibbys:dude:
 

BSeneca

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
128
CONGRATULATIONS! I too have a 52. Great guitars. Seeing your family portrait I noticed you have a Deluxe which already covers the mini sound. You may want to check into some vintage P-90’s or a boutique modern pair. The real magic in my mind is the old wood/ pickups in these guitars. Whatever you do ENJOY! It will bring you many happy hours of playing. Congrats again, Brian
 

KS 5150

Active member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
126
Congrats on a beauty! Nice to know they can still be out there at a reasonable price :salude
 

mdubya

Active member
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
913
Super cool guitar, full of character. :dude:

Would love to see more detailed photos!
 

agogetr

Active member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
451
congrats! your LP has a cool look with those chandlers, i wouldnt change a thing just rock it !
 
Top