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Plastic Inlays on 68 Flametop RI????

LesterP

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May 13, 2003
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I've been reading about 68' Flametop RI's as I've recently purchased a 2002 (See avatar). The guitar sounds fantastic, and plays like butter.
I was looking at the Gibson catalog from 2001, it states that the inlay material is "Pearloid Blocks". Since when has Gibson used plastic inlays on a Custom???

The current GibsonCustom website states that the 68' Flametop RI is now only available on a limited basis. It describes the inlay as "Pearl Block".

Pearl Block and Pearloid Block are two different things in my book. Any comments on what's going on with this. I'm not sure, but I think my guitar might have plastic inlays.... well atleast it's now more like a 59 :)
 

sandfly

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Mar 12, 2005
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I have 2 Les Paul standards(01 & 03) and a 2003 68 custom R.I. and the inlays on the 68 are different than the inlays on the standards . I don't know about the 2001 68 custom R.I. but my 2003 68 custom R.I. looks like it has real pearl inlays when compared to my standards .
 

milan

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Jul 24, 2001
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177
Les Paul Customs have always had real mother of pearl block inlays, to my knowledge. Goldtops & 'Bursts had pearloid inlays.

A '68 LP Custom RI will have real mother of pearl.

I'm not aware of any other '68 RIs in the Gibson lineup. :salude
 

ninermatt

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Jun 19, 2004
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Sixstringhotshot said:
Because your inlay material makes the guitar feel and sound so much different. :wha
:lol :lol :lol :lol :lol :lol !
 

Undercat

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Sixstringhotshot said:
Because your inlay material makes the guitar feel and sound so much different. :wha
Clearly that's not what's being discussed. It's an aesthetics issue. DUH.

How about I come to your place and spraypaint all your guitars pink? Hey, it doesn't affect the sound or feel, so what's the harm?

He wants to know what's up with his inlays.

So shut up.
 

moonpie

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May 24, 2003
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Undercat said:
Clearly that's not what's being discussed. It's an aesthetics issue. DUH.

How about I come to your place and spraypaint all your guitars pink? Hey, it doesn't affect the sound or feel, so what's the harm?

He wants to know what's up with his inlays.

So shut up.

How about you shut up? This is one the most childish outbursts I've seen in awhile.
 

Sixstringhotshot

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Undercat said:
Clearly that's not what's being discussed. It's an aesthetics issue. DUH.

How about I come to your place and spraypaint all your guitars pink? Hey, it doesn't affect the sound or feel, so what's the harm?

He wants to know what's up with his inlays.

So shut up.


I guess if it was really THAT different, he'd have noticed immediately when he bought it, not a few weeks later. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure they're not plastic.

EDIT: I'm also pretty sure that spraypaint might make my guitars sound different, but they'd definately feel different. So uh....it WOULD ...nevermind.
 

LesterP

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I can take a joke just like the next guy, so it's all cool Undercat.

Yeah, Sixstringhotshot, you mean my guitar wouldn't feel and sound different with plastic inlays?? Ohh.. I didn't know that :):):) LOL. Thanks for offering us your specific Les Paul wisdom here at the forum. Actually, I'll bet Eric Johnson could probably tell the difference between inlay materials!!!
If you read my original post again, the main question on aesthetics is still valid... that of a Gibson catalog stating 'Pearloid' vs their website stating 'Pearl'. I personally don't care if my guitar has either, as it's a keeper. My concern is that of Gibson changing something that has been a standard for so long, that of having real pearl blocks on Customs. (A few others have posed this same question on other forums, some feel they are plastic, including a few 68' RI owners. Others say no way.)

Remember everyone, Gibson never told us about holes being drilled in guitar bodies. Sometimes things change, usually to save Gibson a few bucks. Just curious as to a definitive answer on this inlay question. (and without poking my inlays with a soldering iron.)
 

dtw576

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I had three of those '68 Custom Flametops (Butterscotch, Antique Natural, Vintage Sunburst) and they are killer guitars. Also, pearloid to my knowledge. Mine were all '02's IIRC.
 

murkat

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Dec 5, 2003
Messages
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Too funny~ undercat's avatar is a cool lookin cat, and moonpie's avatar is a dog... and there going at it like cats and dogs. Sorry, I had to point that out, I cant stop laughing. too funny.
 

535faultless

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Remember everyone, Gibson never told us about holes being drilled in guitar bodies. Sometimes things change, usually to save Gibson a few bucks.

Here we go again. FYI: Drilling these holes adds time to the production thus costing a little more than NOT drilling the holes. BTW: Norlin started this practice and it's continued today because it's a good idea. The mid 70's early 80's LP's are friggin boat anchors and many players were turned off by it. Gibson had to make a decision, and they are damned if they do and damned if they dont.

BTW: I am on your side about the non-Mother of pearl inlay. If I buy a Custom, I want the upgraded, more expensive inlay material.
 

dortiz

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Dec 1, 2004
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Its funny but they refer to the Standards as inlays and the others as Pearl blocks. The only difference is the shape. Its all plastic. A prized item in 1954
 

LesterP

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Not to go too far off topic, but... I do agree that drilling holes is an extra step that costs money. But, was this done because lighter weight mahogany also costs a lot more? You could setup a jig to drill 10 holes at once. It wouldn't take that long to do.

My reasoning is that a guitar using a perceived higher quality, lighter weight mahogany would still cost more than drilling holes in regular/heavy mahogany. As much as we all love Gibsons, they are still a production instrument, and are typically treated as such.

I wonder if they drilled weight relief holes in my plastic inlays? :)
 

535faultless

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LesterP, to be honest...I don't know the exact answer to your questions, but I don't think lighter mahogany costs less than heavier mahaogany. Wood is mainly priced by it's appearance. Furniture makers are probably the largest consumer of wood, especially mahogany. I dont think a furniture maker cares if the wood weighs a little more or not because thier furniture will still on a floor not strapped around a customers neck. so weight is not an issue to them but the appearance is a big concern to them. They like pretty wood too.
 

darkwave

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Sep 17, 2001
Messages
346
It's not so much that lighter mahogany would cost more than heavy mahogany - but when you make a production run of instruments that people want to be lighter, turning away a good chunk of your resources costs a fortune. They buy the wood and then have to decide which makes the grade, if they can make it all make the grade by modifying it with holes they've just improved their situation dramatically. And don't forget - one of the features that Gibson enthusiastically charges US more for on the Historics is lighter mahogany.

The pearloid issue is an issue in my mind. Advertising pearl and giving plastic is misrepresentation. And the 50's Customs were most definitely not plastic (unlike the Standards of the time).

-Douglas C.
 

hoss

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My 2001 68CA (should have the same neck as the Flametop) has real mother of pearl.
 

535faultless

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Searching through Large Piles of wood for the lightest mahogany everyday does take time and thus costs money though.

pt1.jpg
 

Sixstringhotshot

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Sep 17, 2004
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LesterP said:
I can take a joke just like the next guy, so it's all cool Undercat.

Yeah, Sixstringhotshot, you mean my guitar wouldn't feel and sound different with plastic inlays?? Ohh.. I didn't know that :):):) LOL. Thanks for offering us your specific Les Paul wisdom here at the forum. Actually, I'll bet Eric Johnson could probably tell the difference between inlay materials!!!
If you read my original post again, the main question on aesthetics is still valid... that of a Gibson catalog stating 'Pearloid' vs their website stating 'Pearl'. I personally don't care if my guitar has either, as it's a keeper. My concern is that of Gibson changing something that has been a standard for so long, that of having real pearl blocks on Customs. (A few others have posed this same question on other forums, some feel they are plastic, including a few 68' RI owners. Others say no way.)

Remember everyone, Gibson never told us about holes being drilled in guitar bodies. Sometimes things change, usually to save Gibson a few bucks. Just curious as to a definitive answer on this inlay question. (and without poking my inlays with a soldering iron.)

Ah, I didn't realize this was a case of potential false advertising. You know....Mr. Johnson says he can hear the difference between a lot of things, but I have to draw the line. Maybe he can, but I call BS on that. Anywho, if you ever need more of my infinite wisdom (it's not limited to just LPs!), give me a holler! :biggrin:
 
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