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I don't understand why people dislike Norlin era Gibson products so much...

Enlarscom

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Joined
Jan 21, 2022
Messages
58
I've posted before abut my '74 Kalamazoo Small-Script Standard. I have played so many sessions and gigs with it at this point that it is full of memories and sort of an extension of my arm. No it isn't a golden age LP but it is a lovely instrument in its own right and is valuable to me.

lptop.jpg


lpincasetouched.jpg


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By the way, the weight is in the same range as that of a non-weight relieved LP of most eras - 9.8 lbs.

Bob
So beautiful :love:
 

RTGoldtop

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Dec 16, 2021
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"I don't understand why people dislike Norlin era Gibson products so much..." Most feel they took a huge step backwards from what they had been producing. Less quality woods and construction. More multi-piece bodies and necks. Were there some good one...sure. But coming from where they were there was a step down because of cost cuts
 

Keefoman

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Nov 4, 2009
Messages
549
"I don't understand why people dislike Norlin era Gibson products so much..." Most feel they took a huge step backwards from what they had been producing. Less quality woods and construction. More multi-piece bodies and necks. Were there some good one...sure. But coming from where they were there was a step down because of cost cuts
This. Surely there are great and good Norlin Gibsons, but they did major cost cutting measures during their ownership. Why did customers eventually want Gibson to return to the "old formula"? Because the guitars simply weren't good enough in general. Why the '70s Gibsons are reaching the prices they do, is beyond me. A misunderstanding of the term "vintage" must be the the major cause. You could say the same thing about Fenders of the same period.
 

corpse

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Jun 9, 2007
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4,494
'70's Norlins have their own cool thing- but the craftsmanship or lack was all over the place. I prefer earlier and later stuff.
It is so vital folks who are naturally curious spend time with other gear- make and treasure and change your own opinion- not somethign you read by a knucklehead- like me.
 

RTGoldtop

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Dec 16, 2021
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My first LP was a late 70's custom...I actually loved the guitar. Tobacco burst but kinda greenish. At the time I wasn't in a position to keep multiple guitars so I traded it for a Heritage Elite in Honey burst with a wild quilty top. The custom played great and sounded great and certainly wasn't fugly.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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This. Surely there are great and good Norlin Gibsons, but they did major cost cutting measures during their ownership. Why did customers eventually want Gibson to return to the "old formula"? Because the guitars simply weren't good enough in general. Why the '70s Gibsons are reaching the prices they do, is beyond me. A misunderstanding of the term "vintage" must be the the major cause. You could say the same thing about Fenders of the same period.
I think it's simply supply and demand . Plus the 50's stuff has reached into the stratosphere as far as prices go and the mid to late 60's into the 70's for Fender and Gibson is where people that want an older non Golden era Fender or Gibson are gravitating towards and the prices reflect the demand . As it's the in demand and dare I say affordable prices think 5 figures versus 6 .
 

DutchRay

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Mar 15, 2015
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569
I think it's simply supply and demand . Plus the 50's stuff has reached into the stratosphere as far as prices go and the mid to late 60's into the 70's for Fender and Gibson is where people that want an older non Golden era Fender or Gibson are gravitating towards and the prices reflect the demand . As it's the in demand and dare I say affordable prices think 5 figures versus 6 .
A vintage Strat or Les Paul was just as out of reach for a normal person 30 years ago. Granted, prices weren't as ridiculous as they are right now but still. I was offered a '58 Sunburst in the early 90's and at $12500,- it was still way out of reach.
But even then I wasn't tempted to go the Norlin route, they were much too weigthy and overall they just weren't that great and while the Heritage Std. 80 I owned was a big step up it wasn't anywhere near the current or 50's quality.
 

El Gringo

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A vintage Strat or Les Paul was just as out of reach for a normal person 30 years ago. Granted, prices weren't as ridiculous as they are right now but still. I was offered a '58 Sunburst in the early 90's and at $12500,- it was still way out of reach.
But even then I wasn't tempted to go the Norlin route, they were much too weigthy and overall they just weren't that great and while the Heritage Std. 80 I owned was a big step up it wasn't anywhere near the current or 50's quality.
I agree and do remember prices in the early 90's . My childhood first electric which I still have is a Norlin era Les Paul Custom with Patent Sticker T-Tops and weighs in at a robust 9lbs. That's what I learned on when I was growing up in the 70's . I remember the ads in Guitar Player magazine in the 70's for vintage Bursts and would always have severe lust as I wanted a Burst so bad as Jimmy Page had and that is forever burned and seared into my brain . Way back I also remember the Heritage Std. 80 which the mom and pop shop had a few of them strung up from there necks off the ceiling on top where the register was when you walked in and it would hit me right in the face every single time I went in there . They had a quilted burst and a tiger stripe burst and they were so delicious looking .
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Messages
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This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but here goes: Norlin LPs were better than what's being put out by Gibson today.

Yes, of course there are good ones and not-so-good ones in every run. However, the quality of the wood back then was better overall. Even in laminated body construction, we're talking denser, old growth mahogany vs. the Fijian plantation wood of today that is grown too fast and lacks density (and color). Also, the nitro back then was significantly harder.

The spec differences that get touted today don't contribute nearly as much to the overall quality of the instrument as the wood itself does. Most of it is minutiae that you'd probably never even notice if it wasn't spelled out in promotional copy. For my money, the older (but not Golden Age) Gibsons - Norlins and especially 90s to early 00s - are superior to what the company has produced since.
 

Tollywood

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Mar 16, 2022
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257
This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but here goes: Norlin LPs were better than what's being put out by Gibson today.

Yes, of course there are good ones and not-so-good ones in every run. However, the quality of the wood back then was better overall. Even in laminated body construction, we're talking denser, old growth mahogany vs. the Fijian plantation wood of today that is grown too fast and lacks density (and color). Also, the nitro back then was significantly harder.

The spec differences that get touted today don't contribute nearly as much to the overall quality of the instrument as the wood itself does. Most of it is minutiae that you'd probably never even notice if it wasn't spelled out in promotional copy. For my money, the older (but not Golden Age) Gibsons - Norlins and especially 90s to early 00s - are superior to what the company has produced since.
I agree with you about the wood. Walk around your local music store and check out the fretboards of the new Gibsons as well as the other brands.

I have several Norlin era Gibsons: 1976, 1981, 1982, and 1985 and I absolutely love each one of them. The stock pickups are really good, too. Especially the neck pickups.
 

Progrocker111

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Dec 10, 2003
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4,005
However, the quality of the wood back then was better overall. Even in laminated body construction, we're talking denser, old growth mahogany vs. the Fijian plantation wood of today that is grown too fast and lacks density (and color). Also, the nitro back then was significantly harder.
This. Current mahogany is very light in weight and even in color compared to 70s mahogany. The acoustical tone is mostly resonant and bright on reissues, but to me it often lacks in bass fundament. Most early 70s Les Pauls i had simply have bigger and "heavier" tone than current reissues.
 

Wizard1183

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Jan 20, 2018
Messages
258
This. Current mahogany is very light in weight and even in color compared to 70s mahogany. The acoustical tone is mostly resonant and bright on reissues, but to me it often lacks in bass fundament. Most early 70s Les Pauls i had simply have bigger and "heavier" tone than current reissues.
How heavy is the tone?
 

clearmudd

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Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
495
My Norlin Customs

Cherry Sunburst 1978 (I have owned over 40 years) and a 1977 Ebony Custom.
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My first Gibson was a 1979 The Paul (similar to this one)... was a Christmas gift in 1979.
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I didn't know what a Norlin was back in the '70s... they were just Gibson guitars. Mine served me well and still do to this day. T-tops are my favorite Gibson Humbucker. That's just my experienced opinion. Your's may vary....
 
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