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Jimi Mac

The axe I now covet

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I have become smitten with the original Fretless wonder 1954 - 1956 model (production beginning in 1953 and ending sometime into 1957) Gibson Les Paul Custom

 

HB140C-Finish-Shot-jpg.aspx?width=750&height=285

 

There's just something about a custom headstock that I must have and the dark rich tone of an all Mahogany body, with a carved top, without a maple cap; like the standards, and most other Les Paul models, that makes for such a unique tone...

 

From the Ebony fretboard to the P90 pickup in the bridge position with a unique combination of a AlNiCo-V single-coil in the rhythm position that makes these axes truly special and spectacular...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNEPdSECmtU

 

 

At this moment they (reissues) are only available used or as a special order from Gibson's custom shop.

 

They have been reissued a handful of times throughout the 1970's, 1990's, and into the 2000's...

 

While there are volumes written about the Seth Lover brainchild PAF humbucker, and P90 single coils for that matter, there's not alot about the AlNiCo-V single-coils. And the number of vids on YouTube is quite limited in comparison to there models and styles...

 

I think their tone is sublime in combination with this configuration.

 

I believe if I'm not mistaken, in this 1973 video of The Edgar Winter Group on The Old Grey Whistle Test; Ronnie Montrose Rick Derringer is playing one on; "Frankenstein."

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZgHPjia4pI

 

 

I see alot of folks talk about these "Fretless Wonders" as not good for Blues because Les Paul was a jazz player that like heavy flat-wound strings including a wound G-string and he (and the jazz players it was generally designed-for) didn't bend notes... But I have my suspicions a passion for playing would find a way to over-come that potential issue as nothing I've seen by players that used them have been able to accomplish; such as Phil-X above and Ronnie Montrose Rick Derringer for that matter...

 

I'VE GOT GAS!

 

This is the axe I feel I must have one day...

 

If I get it in a '56 (reissue) vintage I'll even be able to somewhat incorporate my Danny Kirwan discipleship into the mix... He did, after all, play both a Soap-Bar clad '56 (GoldTop) and then later a (humbucker clad) Custom Black Beauty Les Paul... With just a little stretch of the imagination he fits as a key influence for me with this guitar... msp_biggrin.gif

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Bless me father, for I have sinned...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_ICVrB1u-I

 

 

I still say I could successfully bend to my hearts content on a Fretless Wonder. I'd find a way...

 

Any demo's I've seen the players don't seem to be having an issue bending or with vibrato...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXiMSnSUeY0

 

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I highly suggest you find a similar instrument to play before making a purchase. I had a similar experience with a custom shop Clapton in daphne blue. I saw him play one in concert and I had do have one. It took me a year to find one. I've had it for about 1 1/2 years and I'm getting ready to make it the first guitar I've ever sold. I'm just not bonding with the vintage fret wire. I keep telling myself that Clapton manages quite nicely but my fingers aren't buying it.

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I have become smitten with the original Fretless wonder 1954 - 1956 model (production beginning in 1953 and ending sometime into 1957) Gibson Les Paul Custom

 

HB140C-Finish-Shot-jpg.aspx?width=750&height=285

 

 

 

My Local Guitar center has one hanging on the wall, Vintage, all finish checked and everything, I think it was marked at 28,000...

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I highly suggest you find a similar instrument to play before making a purchase. I had a similar experience with a custom shop Clapton in daphne blue. I saw him play one in concert and I had do have one. It took me a year to find one. I've had it for about 1 1/2 years and I'm getting ready to make it the first guitar I've ever sold. I'm just not bonding with the vintage fret wire. I keep telling myself that Clapton manages quite nicely but my fingers aren't buying it.

 

Understood...

 

But I'd like to take one home and see about beginning a relationship with it and not just diddle on one a time or two...

 


I also wish to thank Zenzen for correcting my error above. That is not Ronnie Montrose it is Rick Derringer!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdHnGyU1yJQ

 

 

Accurate trivia is important in my encyclopedic OCD... It took me a very long time to figure the person out and I was unsure from my research. Zenzen helped me figure it out!

 

I don't see Rick havin' any trouble playing one in an R&B/Rock style!

 


And yes; pwrmac7600, the real deal is going for anywhere from approx. $20K to $40K and beyond... That's why I've been mentioning a reissue. Unless I win the lottery I ain't got a chance at an original!

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I thought I'd bring this one in here from the other thread...

 


My experience with my Les Pauls in my life has been that the ultra low frets are not at all easy to play. The two "fretless wonders" I had in the mid-70's were actually quite difficult to get around on for a Gibson.

 

rct

 

I will keep that in mind...

 

When I covet something, it's not always the best thing for me to want. I could end up disappointing myself...

 

I get a notion in my head and my brain seems to turn it into what is perfect and that's not always the real case...

 

My better bet would be to see about some P90 reissue and find one of those AlNiCo-5 single coils to try out in it to see if I like it...

 

I also covet an LP Custom and I think the combination spoke to me covering the bases of my many guitar desires...

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