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Questions on an 1978 Artisan

Gitarrensammler

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
14
Hello, my name is Michael and i am a guitar collector from Austria.

My latest purchase leaves me with a lot of questions, so i need all your knowledge and expertise.

It has a correct Artisan neck and a 1978 serial number.

BUT: the body is sleeker, about 4,5 cm instead of 5 cm, it has all chrome hardware und Sperzel locking tuners.

Everything looks in place and does not seem to be changed, no extra holes, everything clean.

85 Gibson Les Paul Artisan 25.jpg

85 Gibson Les Paul Artisan 26.jpg



85 Gibson Les Paul Artisan 07.jpg

Here you can see the body compared to a 1979 25/50 Anniversary and a 2008 Custom.

Artisan small.jpg

Do you know, what pickups these are?

85 Gibson Les Paul Artisan 20.jpg

85 Gibson Les Paul Artisan 12.jpg

I am really not sure, what i have here. Was this a possible customer order these days? Maybe a special model for a show?

Your help is really highly appreciated.

I really like the guitar. it sounds and plays perfect, looks killer und the weight is very good for an Artisan.
 

MikeSlub

Administrator
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
15,050
Curious guitar. Several things not standard to Artisans, including chrome hardware, Sperzel tuners, thinner body, no pick guard, two pickups (they didn't start offering two pickups for a few more years if I recall). My guess is that it was a special order. But who knows? Thanks for sharing!
 

Gitarrensammler

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
14
Thank you Mike - your post is very appreciated. I feel honoured to be commented by the "godfather of Les Paul collectors".:)

Do you really think this was a possible custom order?
Some think, it may be a Gibson neck an a Burny body, that was available in the thin form.

It´s possible, but it does not make sense to me. Why would one put an very expensive Gibson neck on a Burny?
Artisans were heavy guitars and many players did not like the 3 pickups and the gold hardware.

So it would make sense, to custom order a lighter body and nickel hardware.
The pickups seem to be from the 490 range, that have not been available in 1978.

It make a huge difference in value, if the guitar was a custom order or a parts guitar built by a talented luthier.
The craftmanship is flawless.

I have to decide, if i cancel the deal and get my money back or i try to keep the guitar and get a remarkable discount.
 
Last edited:

MikeSlub

Administrator
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
15,050
Thank you Mike - your post is very appreciated. I feel honoured to be commented by the "godfather of Les Paul collectors".:)

Do you really think this was a possible custom order?
Some think, it may be a Gibson neck an a Burny body, that was available in the thin form.

It´s possible, but it does not make sense to me. Why would one put an very expensive Gibson neck on an Burny?
Artisans were heavy guitars and many players did not like the 3 pickups and the gold hardware.

So it would make sense, to custom order an lighter body and nickel hardware.
The pickups seem to be from the 490 range, that have not been available in 1978.

It make a huge difference in value, if the guitar was a custom oder or a parts guitar built by a talented luthier.
The craftmanship is flawless.

I have to decide, if i cancel the deal and get my money back or i try to keep the guitar and get a remarkable discount.
Hard to advise, as there aren't any shipping records for Les Pauls available during that timeframe. The other weird thing is that the lacquer on the binding hasn't yellowed. Otherwise looks like a cool guitar.
 

clearmudd

Member
Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
495
I have seen this on the other forum..... the issue i have with this is the cavity route doesn't match anything from that time period. It looks like a Burny route large round and wavy. In 1978 this should be more diamond shape to accommodate the large aluminum shielding can.

Burny route
IMG_2807.jpg

OP's guitars route

IMG_2808.JPG

I haven't seen a late '70s Norlin route like this.


Here is a route from 1978 Artisan 3 pup design,... allowing for the shielding can and plate,

images.jpg

I'm suspecting it's a original Gibson neck on a Burny copy body,... which would also explain the heel creeping onto the back binding,... which is something i have never seen on a Gibson guitar.

IMG_2806.jpg
 
Last edited:

MikeSlub

Administrator
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
15,050
I have seen this on the other forum..... the issue i have with this is the cavity route doesn't match anything from that time period. It looks like a Burny route large round and wavy. In 1978 this should be more diamond shape to accommodate the large aluminum shielding can.

Burny route
View attachment 18557

OP's guitars route

View attachment 18558

I haven't seen a late '70s Norlin route like this.


Here is a route from 1978 Artisan 3 pup design,... allowing for the shielding can and plate,

View attachment 18559

I'm suspecting it's a original Gibson neck on a Burny copy body,... which would also explain the heel creeping onto the back binding,... which is something i have never seen on a Gibson guitar.

View attachment 18560
Good eyes!
 

Gitarrensammler

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
14
Thank you for this very interesting statement. Make sense for me.
The only question is - why would one put a high end Gibson neck on a Burny?

I think, we will never know.

No one answered my question on the Pickups. Are these 490s?
 

Gitarrensammler

New member
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
14
What do you think of the pickup routing?

85 Gibson Les Paul Artisan 18.jpg
Is it correct, that the Burny body was all mahogany?

i cannot see the line of a maple top, that a Gibson body should have.
 
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