• 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!

Hidden treasure! Tale of the ‘72/‘58/‘53’ Les Paul Goldtop, Burst conversion..

lhric

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2007
Messages
195
Hi all, here’s the tale of my latest Burst conversion, which I was very pleased to have landed at an excellent price, sat in plain site yet hidden due to some remarkable twists and turns in its past!

I spend a great deal of my time hunting suitably compromised ‘50s project guitars to restore and ‘Resto mod’, with a particular passion for Burst conversions, but it’s nigh on impossible to find ANYTHING of late, and I was long convinced my luck had run out.

A few weeks ago I was sweeping Reverb as usual when I came across a listing for a refin 1972 ‘58 RI’, wraptail Goldtop, with typical ‘70s features of ‘Gibson’ embossed P90s, squared off ‘70s pantograph logo etc, plus evidence of a previous humbucker conversion and other issues under the very thick gold, and didn’t think much of it:



What did instantly catch my eye however, was the control cavity, which was unmistakably an early ‘50s, specifically mid ‘53 post trapeze tail with the distinctive small drilled out put jack hole!

Great eye on catching this guitar. I looked up the guitar on Reverb and noticed the case had “OASIS” stenciled on the top lid. Did you inquire about the guitar’s history by chance? Could it have belonged to one of the guys in that band or was it placed there from an original owner long before? Just curious on that. Would be cool though if one of the guys actually owned it at one point.
 

sweiger

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
1,262
To "gold it" would be restoring it to its former, proper glory.
I beg to differ. No matter how correct/authentic gold paint used & even with convincing lacquer checking, it will always be a refin.
And the top in question begs for a burst finish IMNSHO.
To restore a finish to its former, proper glory would be to carefully remove a non-original overspray from a guitar (if possible), to reveal it's original finish. And that's not an option here, since the LP was already refin'ed and the original gold finish long gone.
YMMV...
 

Wally

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
3,492
With a 2-piece almost center seam maple top, even sporting some flame?
Of course you are. :censored:(y)
To gold it would be sacrilege.

It appears to me that this is a three piece top…
with a section of the lower bass bout being the third piece. Also, the rest of that bass half has a reddish tI it to it that doesn’t
Lend itself to the transparency of a burst. Ommv…..
 

Jumping@Shadows

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2003
Messages
1,319
It appears to me that this is a three piece top…
with a section of the lower bass bout being the third piece. Also, the rest of that bass half has a reddish tI it to it that doesn’t
Lend itself to the transparency of a burst. Ommv…..
I’ve done a few dozen of these, and the yellow basecoat serves to unify any discrepancies in wood colour ime, and a correct analine sunburst will look extremely handsome!
 

garywright

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
14,791
I’ve done a few dozen of these, and the yellow basecoat serves to unify any discrepancies in wood colour ime, and a correct analine sunburst will look extremely handsome!
you’ve done like 36 goldtop to sunburst conversions ? …some pictures of picks of the litter would be very nice to see.
 

charliechitlins

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
557
I beg to differ. No matter how correct/authentic gold paint used & even with convincing lacquer checking, it will always be a refin.
And the top in question begs for a burst finish IMNSHO.
To restore a finish to its former, proper glory would be to carefully remove a non-original overspray from a guitar (if possible), to reveal it's original finish. And that's not an option here, since the LP was already refin'ed and the original gold finish long gone.
YMMV...
It's not all about the finish.'
That guitar should have a trapeze or stop tailpiece (depending on the year) and may already have an original serial number and/or electronics that would be proper for its vintage.
I know I'm a bit of a broken record, but...if a guitar is a '52 (or whatever) it deserves to be restored as a '52.
 

sweiger

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
1,262
It's not all about the finish.'
That guitar should have a trapeze or stop tailpiece (depending on the year) and may already have an original serial number and/or electronics that would be proper for its vintage.
I know I'm a bit of a broken record, but...if a guitar is a '52 (or whatever) it deserves to be restored as a '52.
IMO It's mostly about the the finish in this case anyway.. but you're entitled to your opinion like everyone else o.c.
I'm just glad J@S does not share that opinion with this guitar.
(Or the other extraordinary beautiful bursts he has done, for that matter) :)
 
Last edited:

J.D.

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
9,930
While the work is probably high quality and any owner can do whatever they want with their guitars, I'd prefer to see these guitars restored to their respective model specs and not burst conversions.
 

Wally

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
3,492
IMHO, @Jumping@Shadows has taken an already compromised 1952 Les Paul body and is in the process of making it into a much more playable instrument. Based on the quality of his work, I would venture to say that he will have increased the value of what he purchased while making it into a much more valuable asset as regards making music.
 

J.D.

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
9,930
There's clearly 2 camps; those of us who like restorations and those of us who like conversions.

Personally I like both, meaning any quality effort to ressurect any basket case guitar is applauded, but just prefer restorations.
 
Top