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First year for ‘57 Classics

Dave71

Member
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
290
I’m pretty sure it was around the mid ‘90s. Am I correct on this one?
 

goldtop0

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Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
8,954
It'd be good to get the order of introduction of the pickups from the '80s to present day.
Here's what I think so far, correct me if I'm wrong.

Shaws-'57 Classics-Burstbuckers-Custombuckers and prior to the Shaws were Tarbucks?? or whatever they were called.
 

Big Al

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Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,547
Weren't they the first Historic product, '93? Tom Holmes' baby.
 

Dave71

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May 8, 2005
Messages
290
Weren't they the first Historic product, '93? Tom Holmes' baby.

I too believe about ‘93. When I purchased a few different new Gibson guitars in early-mid ‘92, they all seemed to have either the 490R/498T or 496R/500T combos.
 

El Gringo

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Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,675
I got my first set in August of 1994 , so they probably came out summer or fall 1993 ?
 

65Firebird

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Joined
Oct 14, 2019
Messages
110
3Wa9D-zJmwWZSfuHyz7WoqXeGbTPdsRMDyZEJtTEpFAbIGk7WfUdgdIHzmFxNXax-6mi0H8nROlVJO5vOpI7EjveRfJ9kfrm-oKQyPwNaRUJZKFeHrzEy_Ifw9MfkoUV4VuDljKQyFv3ibGpXtewl4sD4bUJ_AmcIEpp1RDy8HstMMtG6xbFd11oWxCHoJv5LOs2r9tazkpnFSw9IzMLCAKdzeUCfPLq_afodjOoWoaFIv3lcVsThgevrGRJUXWk6SrdtBpK7jWDBV3zyDBYkQZUxyNwg4kymQ-WRAl95Ipg4Pf0GERv7oQCtRfIch1GSzvEHUdhvT8wncrLkveebEYTodpZCLwvBhiEqJFUc6s_qXcf1OiYHUCDP39t7vw9TLPHmcrXDCM33MHYZsYrInV5z1gpBXdHuZaRDECNhzG0d6BkF3G0eobKO6cNlcjHZBRvoNIqtsZIwIEvaa7FKuAG2tsXg7tdtA95UBsCrnJCE5mvJOb32YtoJgPjhUuipkUHtZyqebmOOnn1EC81xJ2euxtjuw6Qv8y932sK1v3j7MDdG1whuNmLpwSwkiyk5w_CJIFdfXgAqajcDWYPRydVFLkFa3CocWaroN-Fm3DE0WApQ9x8_gQKJSEJPM9m49xh1F-k4Vlue25eFL96aqOHuiR4ZgL4hxFafG2nr460LmEscioun5s3=w703-h937-no

I owned a 1991 Gibson 30th Anniversary 61 Les Paul Custom Limited Edition and was under the impression that the pickups where 57 classics.
 

Big Al

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Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,547
It'd be good to get the order of introduction of the pickups from the '80s to present day.
Here's what I think so far, correct me if I'm wrong.

Shaws-'57 Classics-Burstbuckers-Custombuckers and prior to the Shaws were Tarbucks?? or whatever they were called.

Tarbacks were not a paf type and not part of a paf lineage. Ttops replaced pat # pups which replaced pafs. Patent Applied For, (Shaws), then 1959 Reissue Pickup, or '59 Reissue Humbucker until Custom Shop's Historic Division's first official product, 57 Classic. Designed and built by Tom Holmes at first, later at Gibson in Nashville.

There were all kinds of humbuckers made around Ttop and 57 Classic time span that were not in the paf lineage. From memory some are; Dirty Fingers, a few Super Humbuckers, True Blues, Velvet Brick, Bill Larwence Marauder Humbucker, L? & R?, (Circuit Back), and some memory fails to recall.

The Patent Applied For, (Shaws), used on reissue models of early 80's and was short lived. First attempt at making a paf it is a cool and unique sounding pup that was popular and showed there was a market for Gibson to pursue.
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
Messages
8,954
Thanks for that Al...........fills in the gaps that we knew virtually nothing about here in NZ:2cool
 

wulfthar

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
36
As far as I remember the 57 Classics appeared in the mid 80s as and they were originally called P.A.F., Dimarzio complained and they were renamed 59 reissue and then 57 Classic, this is a screenshot of a 1987 catalogue I found on another forum where the Les Paul reissue is described to have 59 reissue pickups:

page-2-3-jpg.50402


Tarbacks were not a paf type and not part of a paf lineage. Ttops replaced pat # pups which replaced pafs. Patent Applied For, (Shaws), then 1959 Reissue Pickup, or '59 Reissue Humbucker until Custom Shop's Historic Division's first official product, 57 Classic. Designed and built by Tom Holmes at first, later at Gibson in Nashville.

There were all kinds of humbuckers made around Ttop and 57 Classic time span that were not in the paf lineage. From memory some are; Dirty Fingers, a few Super Humbuckers, True Blues, Velvet Brick, Bill Larwence Marauder Humbucker, L? & R?, (Circuit Back), and some memory fails to recall.

The Patent Applied For, (Shaws), used on reissue models of early 80's and was short lived. First attempt at making a paf it is a cool and unique sounding pup that was popular and showed there was a market for Gibson to pursue.

My understanding is that Tim Shaw, 59 reissue and 57 classic belong to the same "bloodline", the first attempt to recreate a PAF, more or less accurate...historicity improved through the years.
 

Strings Jr.

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
679
As far as I remember the 57 Classics appeared in the mid 80s as and they were originally called P.A.F., Dimarzio complained and they were renamed 59 reissue and then 57 Classic, this is a screenshot of a 1987 catalogue I found on another forum where the Les Paul reissue is described to have 59 reissue pickups:

My understanding is that Tim Shaw, 59 reissue and 57 classic belong to the same "bloodline", the first attempt to recreate a PAF, more or less accurate...historicity improved through the years.
Nope. Big Al is correct (as usual). After the Shaw PAF's, the normal production humbuckers were a derivative of the Shaws, such as the Bill Lawrence HB's. When I left Gibson in 1990, the guitar they gave me was a flame top Classic. It was outfitted with a set of "experimental prototype" pickups that were what became 57 Classics. They were very different from the regular humbuckers that were being used at that time.
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,380
I never understood why Gibson or Fender had to change the pickup specs when they were great the first go-round.
 

wulfthar

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Joined
Jan 16, 2020
Messages
36
I never understood why Gibson or Fender had to change the pickup specs when they were great the first go-round.

For Gibson there weren´t any pickup specs in the 50s, specs arrived with the patent numbers.

Regarding Fender, the first sound wasn´t great at all, the pickups were very bright because the amps of the time lacked high end (admitted by Tavarez himself), it sounded fine with that gear for country and western but is horrible with anything more modern, that is the reason most Fender fans prefers the sound of the early 60s Strats that have a much mellower tone.

Then of course, music changed dramatically from the early 50s to the early 90s and especially the need of high output pickups for overdrive/distortion sounds started all the aftermarket craze led by Dimarzio and Bill Lawrence with the Super Distortion and the L90 and later the L500.
 

LtKojak

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Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
208
I never understood why Gibson or Fender had to change the pickup specs when they were great the first go-round.
Really?

Bankruptcies and corporate take-overs with the ensuing factory dismantlement and personnel turnover surely had no effect whatsoever; moreover, they probably did it on purpose just to piss you off!

J/K :##
 

Sol

Active member
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
775
Nope. Big Al is correct (as usual). After the Shaw PAF's, the normal production humbuckers were a derivative of the Shaws, such as the Bill Lawrence HB's. When I left Gibson in 1990, the guitar they gave me was a flame top Classic. It was outfitted with a set of "experimental prototype" pickups that were what became 57 Classics. They were very different from the regular humbuckers that were being used at that time.

Thanks for your post, do you recall the base plate ? Did it have the plain base plate of later 57 classics,
or the one with extra holes and stamped with Gibson USA ?
Cheers
 

Strings Jr.

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Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
679
Thanks for your post, do you recall the base plate ? Did it have the plain base plate of later 57 classics,
or the one with extra holes and stamped with Gibson USA ?
Cheers
Here's a pic of the baseplate on mine. Anyone recognize the stamped "L" at the bottom? Both pickups have it. I don't remember it.


 

TM1

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Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,380
Really?

Bankruptcies and corporate take-overs with the ensuing factory dismantlement and personnel turnover surely had no effect whatsoever; moreover, they probably did it on purpose just to piss you off!

J/K :##
I’ve using Gibson’s since the mid/late Sixties, I don’t think they really did much to produce them cheaper. Faster yeah but still uses the same materials.. maybe the formvar wire is cheaper than the plain enamel..or the abs bobbins are cheaper than the Butryte...
 
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