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Year-by-Year History of the Historic Les Paul Collection

77CUSTOM

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2003
Messages
476
Hey, just throwing this out there. Are these changes for all historic guitars or for the Les Paul only?

I have a 65ri Pelham blue Firebird that has the rounded inlays and the small orange ceramic caps of a 2002, the serial # is 020385. (original solder on pots). So I would believe it to be a 2002. I do not have the C.O.A.

Gibson has done some weird things with the F.birds. I have found a 2010 and 2012 with the serial numbers starting with 010xxx and 020xxx. Both with the black book C.O.A. So that is why I ask about the changes.

Thanks,

Ed
 

Morgan24

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
80
At a time when Custom Shop Les Paul guitars are constructed as well as ever, and the proof is in tone that I have never heard as good (and I've tried many over the years), I'm surprised the information of these monumental changes has not been updated here since 2014 when hide glue was used on fretboards. Danelectro did a fantastic job of updating the changes up to a point the original post would no longer take characters, but no one continued the narrative.

So there were those mixed up years where short tenons were made on something called Historic. What years were those made, and when did they stop doing that (IMO never should have done that)?

What year did they start using hide glue on the tops?

I have to say that my 2018 '59 reissue Murphy finished monster flametop Factory Burst Les Paul is the best chunk of reissue Les Paul I have ever heard. Resonance is outstanding, and that is evident by the touch dynamics from soft strumming / picking to hard strumming / picking. Note definition is also miles ahead of everything else. And out of about 13 2018 and 2019 examples I played (into my own amp setup), they all had similar characteristics...especially acoustically. The Alnico 3 magnets have that harmonic growl and excitation that I have experienced in old PAF pickups. Some of the wood had a bit more top/mids/bottom variation, but nothing too different. But compared to 2011 and back, which I always thought sounded dull with shrill pickups used to try and brighten them (Burstbuckers), the hide glue changed everything to sound truely open and transparent. The glue, along with the correct truss rod change made these Les Paul guitars worth having. I'm just sad they wasted all the tone wood over the years on tone turds due to bad glue that dulled the sound. Sure, some of them "made the cut" with a solid connection, but many didn't. That is why finding a bad one today is almost impossible, while finding a good one before the major change to hide glue was almost impossible (for me anyway).

Something else I noticed was a change for the better on USA Les Paul guitars, as well. Did they start using hide glue? If so, when? I have a 2012 Trad Pro II with Classic 57 and Super 57 pickups that just nails golden era LP tone. Not quite as resonant as my 2018 Custom Shop LP, but tone is similar with a bit more (good) mids. It's a keeper! But I wonder if it was constructed with that new Traditional tenon that was introduced back around 2012. I really want to know when they started that, what they used it on, and if they still use it. I also want to know if any USA models are using hide glue, and when that may have started. And since I heard the harmonic improvement in A3 magnets, I'm looking to score a '57 A3T and A3R pickup set to try in either LP. That may be the perfect balance for me with the best of both worlds of woody mids and harmonic highs.

One thing I would like to add is recognition to a certain tone capacitor Gibson used around 2012 (maybe before) up to 2016 (maybe shortly after) in some USA Les Paul guitars (no circuit board models). The little blue epoxy dipped teardrop caps absolutely nail the golden era Les Paul tone. I am looking to get some in my my Custom Shop '59 (If anyone has some source information, please let me know). No "orange drop" or "Lux Bees" (or Gibson "fake bees"...God help us) do what these little blue buggers do. The frequency and cutoff slope are perfect for old LP tone. Hearing is believing!

I wish I had more to offer, but I am no expert on year to year changes. We need Dano back! I miss ya, brother. :eek:la

Phil
Petty sure they began to use hide glue in 2013 on fretboard and neck joint. Not sure if the top was hide glued too?
 

Morgan24

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
80
2013: Hide glue on neck joint and fretboard. (Hide glue for the top only on True Historic) In 2013, Gibson Custom re-introduced the use of hide glue neck construction in its Historic Reissue guitars
2015: True Historic with hide glue neck, fretboard and “True Historic” Plastics, Double-Carved Top, Neck Carve: Like the new top carve process, the necks on all True Historic guitars are double carved, “Broken” Peghead Edges, Smoother Edges Throughout, Original thinner Holly Peghead Veneer: , A Complete Finish Overhaul: All True Historic guitars from Gibson Custom are sprayed with thinner finishes,dry and wet sanding by hand, Hide Glue Top Construction. The original fretwire on ’59s was about 0.046-0.050” tall and 0.094-0.096” wide. For many years, that’s the size that we used on reissues. But on True Historic, we changed the height.Now we start out with 0.036”-tall fretwire, then the guitars get Plekked and they get finished out, so some of them are 0.034”, some are 0.036”.
2016: Historic, Long Neck Tenon
2017: The Carmelita top carve profile, All ’54, ’56, ’57, and ’58 Historic Reissues have ’59 neck profiles, All hide-glue construction and nitrocellulose lacquer finishes with aniline dye, True Historic parts including pickguard, pickup rings, switch washer, tip, knobs, pickup covers, and jack plate.– Historic accurate serial numbers (no “R” at the beginning of the serial)
– Rolled Fretboard Binding
– Solid Indian rosewood fretboard
– Solid one-piece mahogany neck with Historic long neck tenon
– Holly Headstock Veneer
– Custombucker Pickups

<body id="cke_pastebin" style="position: absolute; top: 0px; width: 1px; height: 1px; overflow: hidden; left: -1000px;">– The Carmelita top carve profile
- All ’54, ’56, ’57, and ’58 Historic Reissues have ’59 neck profiles
– All hide-glue construction and nitrocellulose lacquer finishes with aniline dye
– True Historic parts including pickguard, pickup rings, switch washer, tip, knobs, pickup covers, and jack plate.
– Historic accurate serial numbers (no “R” at the beginning of the serial)
– Rolled Fretboard Binding
– Solid Indian rosewood fretboard
– Solid one-piece mahogany neck with Historic long neck tenon
– Holly Headstock Veneer
– Custombucker Pickups
– The Carmelita top carve profile
- All ’54, ’56, ’57, and ’58 Historic Reissues have ’59 neck profiles
– All hide-glue construction and nitrocellulose lacquer finishes with aniline dye
– True Historic parts including pickguard, pickup rings, switch washer, tip, knobs, pickup covers, and jack plate.
– Historic accurate serial numbers (no “R” at the beginning of the serial)
– Rolled Fretboard Binding
– Solid Indian rosewood fretboard
– Solid one-piece mahogany neck with Historic long neck tenon
– Holly Headstock Veneer
– Custombucker Pickups

– The Carmelita top carve profile
- All ’54, ’56, ’57, and ’58 Historic Reissues have ’59 neck profiles
– All hide-glue construction and nitrocellulose lacquer finishes with aniline dye
– True Historic parts including pickguard, pickup rings, switch washer, tip, knobs, pickup covers, and jack plate.
– Historic accurate serial numbers (no “R” at the beginning of the serial)
– Rolled Fretboard Binding
– Solid Indian rosewood fretboard
– Solid one-piece mahogany neck with Historic long neck tenon
– Holly Headstock Veneer
– Custombucker Pickups– The Carmelita top carve profile
- All ’54, ’56, ’57, and ’58 Historic Reissues have ’59 neck profiles
– All hide-glue construction and nitrocellulose lacquer finishes with aniline dye
– True Historic parts including pickguard, pickup rings, switch washer, tip, knobs, pickup covers, and jack plate.
– Historic accurate serial numbers (no “R” at the beginning of the serial)
– Rolled Fretboard Binding
– Solid Indian rosewood fretboard
– Solid one-piece mahogany neck with Historic long neck tenon
– Holly Headstock Veneer
– Custombucker Pickups
</body>
 

Todd Louis

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
14,442
did we ever fix this list? Gibson has played some more market games in recent years.
 
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