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Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

garywright

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20140706004921-73142676_zpsvtf74q1e.jpg


20140706004907-b76956fa_zpsstwvj9af.jpg

.

just been looking back at this thread and gotta say..

that’s ah real nicccee !
 

zhivago

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That photo set really sent me over the top to try and get an old 50s Custom. Just love the detail! :salude :jim
 

irishbog

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Hi all, I've just read every page in this thread over the past week and I feel like Neo in the Matrix being disconnected from the training machine "Now I know Les Paul Customs!"

I have some questions about 50s Les Paul Customs and some pictures I would like feedback on if that's OK.
(please be shall we say diplomatic in your responses - I'm a long time customer of some of the stores where these guitars/photos were taken and I assume the best - so please be certain of anything you imply if you know what I mean - don't want to burn any bridges).

Always had a few guitars but in 2017 got bitten by the vintage bug and have slowly replaced everything with vintage gear. Currently have around 15 guitars.
I had a 75 LP Deluxe that sounded great but heavy - sold it when I found a 1974 Black LP Custom 20th Anniversary. Great guitar.

Then around Feb this year I saw an ad on Reverb (surprised no one posted about it here) for a 50s LP Custom with some kind of headstock repair. Other than Sperzel tuners all original. Started messaging with the owner who got it back in 1969 when he was 15 (traded in a 50s LP Jr). Got the price down considerably and it's now waiting for me in Chicago (I'm in Europe). I am beyond excited and cannot wait to check it out. Not sure of the year - I'm thinking maybe 55 - based on the Cornell Dubilier caps - but would love to hear feedback from all of you as to what you think I bought.

I sold the 74 Anniversary to a guy in Spain before you ask....

In the meantime I've recently had the chance to play two 50s LPCs in stores nearby. One is a 1954 refinish and felt amazing - but after reading this thread I'm suspicious because of the the last three inlays (I'll post pics) - the other one is 1956 and has a narrow nut width - which the store thinks was a special order(they make the argument it's original due to the lack of evidence of full or partial refinish as well as untouched solder joints)

I'll post the pics and see what you think ??

B
 
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irishbog

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My Les Paul Custom - haven't seen it yet though

ATj7pKp.jpg

98q4ZrW.jpg


yWlUHxi.jpg

JGj38hB.jpg

Hoping the photo uploads work - this is what I have so far.
 

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irishbog

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Thin nut 1956

Removed - I'll let someone else start the discussion on this guitar
 
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irishbog

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This is the second one I checked out - played wonderfully - really blown away.
Supposedly a refinished 1954 - it's got the speed knobs at least.

But what's bugging me is those last inlays - they don't seem to be the same size - kinda like the reissues.... what do you all think? IMG_6726.jpg IMG_6727.jpg IMG_6728.jpg IMG_6729.jpg
 

zhivago

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Re: My Les Paul Custom - haven't seen it yet though


From these pics the guitar looks ok to me, would be great to get more close-ups...obviously we know the changed tuners and the switch tip is changed and the poker chip is missing...what's the deal with the missing serial number? Strange checking on the back of the headstock.

Is this the one with the supposed narrow nut?

Never heard of one having a narrow nut, but I guess with Gibson anything is possible...it is very hard to verify, for sure.
 

zhivago

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This is the second one I checked out - played wonderfully - really blown away.
Supposedly a refinished 1954 - it's got the speed knobs at least.

But what's bugging me is those last inlays - they don't seem to be the same size - kinda like the reissues.... what do you all think? View attachment 11552 View attachment 11553 View attachment 11554 View attachment 11555

Some guitars didn't have all three inlays the same size (although most did), changed tuners on this one? :hmm
 

irishbog

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Feb 14, 2018
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Re: My Les Paul Custom - haven't seen it yet though

From these pics the guitar looks ok to me, would be great to get more close-ups...obviously we know the changed tuners and the switch tip is changed and the poker chip is missing...what's the deal with the missing serial number? Strange checking on the back of the headstock.

Is this the one with the supposed narrow nut?

Never heard of one having a narrow nut, but I guess with Gibson anything is possible...it is very hard to verify, for sure.


When I get my hands on it I will definitely take and post plenty of photos !!!!
 

irishbog

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Feb 14, 2018
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Last 3 Inlays - Here's my theory

Hi all,

OK so blame the virus and the lockdown but I've gone down the rabbit hole of looking at the last 3 inlays on Gibson ebony boards - ES-355s and Les Paul / SG Customs.

My hypothesis is the following and I'm happy to have it blown apart but I've looked at dozens of guitars and haven't seen one that doesn't follow it

1953-1960 Last three inlays are pretty similar - in fact the last one often looks longer and wider (maybe illusion due to thinner fret)
1960-1971 The 17th and 19th are in the same ballpark (maybe not exactly the same) but the last one 21st definitely smaller than previous two.
1972 - Present Each of the last 3 inlays gets progressively and clearly smaller.

TYPE 1

qyF52hq.png



TYPE 2

7NZh8Em.png



TYPE 3

p2klvj3.png
 

Midnight Blues

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Feb 20, 2011
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Thanks for the work you did on that Ib and posting it!

I know that the angle and lighting can be deceiving, but here's Frampton's '54:

dCJ00RR.jpg


2wjAms6.jpg


The 21st fret definitely looks thinner to me than Les Paul's '54.


cheers.gif
 

irishbog

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Feb 14, 2018
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Thanks for the work you did on that Ib and posting it!

I know that the angle and lighting can be deceiving, but here's Frampton's '54:





The 21st fret definitely looks thinner to me than Les Paul's '54.


cheers.gif
Yes that definitely is not the inlays I thought were 50s only - seems more like the 70s type where it gets smaller. But as you said the lighting can make it seem different.... here are some that I found of his guitar back then...which makes it seem like the 60s type of inlay.

Fgqq7bN.jpg


and another

N5NcXsg.jpg


but the recent shots clearly look like the 1972+ style with decreasing sizes...

hfJLlYs.jpg


I give up !!!
 

darkwave

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Sep 17, 2001
Messages
348
Thanks for the work you did on that Ib and posting it!

I know that the angle and lighting can be deceiving, but here's Frampton's '54:

dCJ00RR.jpg


2wjAms6.jpg


The 21st fret definitely looks thinner to me than Les Paul's '54.


cheers.gif


Frampton's guitar has been confirmed to have had the fretboard replaced before it originally disappeared. What you see today is not an original 1954 board and inlays.

-Douglas C.
 

Midnight Blues

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Yes that definitely is not the inlays I thought were 50s only - seems more like the 70s type where it gets smaller. But as you said the lighting can make it seem different.... here are some that I found of his guitar back then...which makes it seem like the 60s type of inlay.

Fgqq7bN.jpg


and another

N5NcXsg.jpg


but the recent shots clearly look like the 1972+ style with decreasing sizes...

hfJLlYs.jpg


I give up !!!

I agree with you, it does look more like a '70s style. I have tons of old photos ('70s) where it looks both ways though, so I give up too.
 
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Midnight Blues

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Frampton's guitar has been confirmed to have had the fretboard replaced before it originally disappeared. What you see today is not an original 1954 board and inlays.

-Douglas C.

I have not read anywhere, that I can recall, that the fretboard was ever replaced? It certainly has been refretted, likely multiple times. The MOP on the first fret of "The Phenix" is exactly the same as it was back in the '70s, so if it was replaced, whomever did the work must have saved the MOP?

This is a fairly early (latter Humble Pie/early Frampton) picture of it. The marker is nowhere near the size of Les Paul's '54 or any of the '50s for that matter, but Frampton's was confirmed to be a '54.

mTXBc5I.jpg



cheers.gif
 

irishbog

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OK then that makes it a real head scratcher. But clearly a guitar that had had a lot of work done on it so not unthinkable that the fretboard is not original. A lot of stuff could have happened between 1954 and 1970 as seen with the extra pickup.

I have not read anywhere, that I can recall, that the fretboard was ever replaced? It certainly has been refretted, likely multiple times. The MOP on the first fret of "The Phenix" is exactly the same as it was back in the '70s, so if it was replaced, whomever did the work must have saved the MOP?

This is a fairly early (latter Humble Pie/early Frampton) picture of it. The marker is nowhere near the size of Les Paul's '54 or any of the '50s for that matter, but Frampton's was confirmed to be a '54.
cheers.gif
 
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