Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Buying a 70s LP Standard. Tips?


tom sart

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

Im buying a 70s standard LP. Someone got tips?

 

Im going to buy a LP Standard but thought that if adding a bit more of money and getting a 70s LP Standard could be better for the second hand value. LPs keep a quite good second hand value in general but I thought that if I get a 70s LP Standard, I would def get the money back the day I sell it (if so!) in the future.

Ive read as much as tech specs as possible online on different LP models but most "vintage-talk" is about 50s or 60s LPs.

When looking on eBay, I dont find too many 70s LP Standards out there which maybe could be that people dont want to sell them, right?

My main concern is, I havent been able to find any "general" spec "rules" for 70s LP Standards, as for example, 50s ones got thicker necks than the 60s taper neck. What Ive found out that many of the vintage ones has bigger/longer tenons which must be better for sustain.

My friend has a LP Standard 2004 and he said that from 2004 and onwards, LP went back to using more of the "old style" original components.

Just not sure what to buy, my main concern is that it has a thin taper neck and as small frets as possible so its easy to play.

 

Any input would be ace.

 

Thanks

 

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

Im buying a 70s standard LP. Someone got tips?

 

Im going to buy a LP Standard but thought that if adding a bit more of money and getting a 70s LP Standard could be better for the second hand value. LPs keep a quite good second hand value in general but I thought that if I get a 70s LP Standard, I would def get the money back the day I sell it (if so!) in the future.

Ive read as much as tech specs as possible online on different LP models but most "vintage-talk" is about 50s or 60s LPs.

When looking on eBay, I dont find too many 70s LP Standards out there which maybe could be that people dont want to sell them, right?

My main concern is, I havent been able to find any "general" spec "rules" for 70s LP Standards, as for example, 50s ones got thicker necks than the 60s taper neck. What Ive found out that many of the vintage ones has bigger/longer tenons which must be better for sustain.

My friend has a LP Standard 2004 and he said that from 2004 and onwards, LP went back to using more of the "old style" original components.

Just not sure what to buy, my main concern is that it has a thin taper neck and as small frets as possible so its easy to play.

 

Any input would be ace.

 

Thanks

 

Tom

 

Small frets as possible would be a Custom, and it will be as hard to play as possible. Spend your money on a new guitar. While 70's Les Pauls weren't as dreadful as many would have you believe, they were also pretty good not-so-hot and you had to look through a bunch to find a good one, same as today. Good luck with it.

 

rct

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent info! Really useful information in the buying process. Might go to a shop in denmark street to try some different models.

Just one thing, on the 70s LP Standards, isit Burstbucker pickups as on the latest Standards or did they have better electronics back then on those models?

I guess that the wood is not as good today as it was then but how about the electronics, maybe better today?

 

Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think todays 57 Classics are the pickups we really would like to have had back then. No burstbuckers, nothing like that, just 490R and 496T and such. There really isn't a comparison between woods. Lots of folks will tell you awful stories of the 70's sandwiches and stuff, it really isn't worth sifting through them to get a great one. I was happy with all of my 70's les pauls, but we didn't have anything else to compare them to. Today, I'd spend a thousand more on a new one, my opinion is that most of what is out there is someone elses trash.

 

rct

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One main reason there aren't many early '70s Standards being sold is that they were, to all intents and purposes, unavailable from when they were dropped from the range in 1960 until they were re-introduced to the production line in around 1975 - and even after their eventual re-introduction they were far less numerous than the Les Paul DeLuxe model.

 

There were some special order 'Standards' built in the early '70s but these were really exactly the same (TRC excepted) as a stock DeLuxe with factory-installed humbuckers. The important bit here is the 'factory-installed' part. Any D-L could, of course, be 'Standardised' in this way by an owner wanting the full-bucker sound/look.

 

The early '70s factory Standards were, it would seem, almost always Tobacco Sunburst finish.

 

One of the forumites has, I believe, a '74 and he absolutely loves it.

 

One of the former forumites has another which I've played and it's very nice. Not really as nice, however, as a good modern Standard re-issue (IMHO).

 

YMMV or whatever the FLA is...

 

P.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

im not partial to the 70's Norlin era, and would highly recommend playing as many different les pauls until you find one that suits you. My first Gibson was a bad purchase that i vowed would never happen again so I will travel anywhere to play the guitar and love it before I buy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One main reason there aren't many early '70s Standards being sold is that they were, to all intents and purposes, unavailable from when they were dropped from the range in 1960 until they were re-introduced to the production line in around 1975 - and even after their eventual re-introduction they were far less numerous than the Les Paul DeLuxe model.

 

I thought the Standard returned in 1968. Did they drop the Standard, or was it just less common?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great info all of u! I might actually do the smart thing of goin to a shop and actually try one before I buy..actually lol.

 

All my previous guitars Ive bought Ive done the same mistake, not try before buy n unhappy with all of them.

 

Its just that Im not too happy with paying 20-3o% of the price to the shop itself, more value for guitar on eBay

 

 

Thanks guys!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great info all of u! I might actually do the smart thing of goin to a shop and actually try one before I buy..actually lol.

 

All my previous guitars Ive bought Ive done the same mistake, not try before buy n unhappy with all of them.

 

Its just that Im not too happy with paying 20-3o% of the price to the shop itself, more value for guitar on eBay

 

 

Thanks guys!

Be very careful on EBAY, especially if you don't know your guitars very well. There are a lot of scams, and that could be a fake Gibson being sold as a real one, or a genuine Gibson being misrepresented.

 

Something to keep in mind is that values for used Gibsons are all over the place. There are many different models of the Les Paul worth different amounts, and that goes for different years too. So it is easy to think you are getting a bargain and find out later you can't sell for what you bought it for if that is your intention.

 

EBAY problably has more overpriced guitars on it than what you might find from dealers. Don't expect a value unless you are sure of what it is and what it is worth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought the Standard returned in 1968. Did they drop the Standard, or was it just less common?

Well, sort-of. It depends on what you mean by 'Standard'.

 

The Les Paul Custom as we know it was re-introduced in '68 in a form that was almost Identical to the one discontinued in 1960.

 

The carved-top 'Standard' DID return in '68 but it was fitted with cream-coloured P-90s and was closer in spec to the '56/7 (pre-PAF) Gold-top 'Standard' than the '58 - '60 version.

This instrument, in 1969, became the DeLuxe - with a pair of Epi-style Mini-humbuckers - and it was only in about '75 that full-size 'buckers were offered as a regular factory option on the newly re-released 'Standard'.

 

As mentioned previously (I think) it was possible for a customer to order a 'DeLuxe' with full-buckers so there are some earlier examples which could be classified as a Standard. Also some sources state there being a tiny number of 'Standards' (maximum of around 4) being made in '74, but '75/6-on is when it really started to become generally available.

 

There was also a small-run of G-T's made with the McCarty (one-piece) bridge-stoptail and Gibson logo'd P-90s made in '71/'72. Confusingly these are commonly referred to as being 'Standard 58' guitars despite they being, in effect, the same as the '54 model!

 

In Tony Bacon's book on the Les Paul he cites production of the '68 - '69 (P-90) G-T Standard as; 1968 - 1,224; 1969 - 2,751.

DeLuxe production numbers after it's introduction; 1971 - 4,466; '72 - 5,194; '73 - 10,484; '74 - 7,367...

For the 'Standard' after the introduction with full 'buckers; 1975 - 1(!); 1976 - 24; 1977 - 586....

The accuracy of the number of early '70s Standards has been discussed ad nauseam but one thing is clear; the 'Standard' on it's re-introduction was still a fairly rare animal.

 

...Im going to buy a LP Standard but thought that if adding a bit more of money and getting a 70s LP Standard could be better for the second hand value. LPs keep a quite good second hand value in general but I thought that if I get a 70s LP Standard, I would def get the money back the day I sell it (if so!) in the future.

 

...my main concern is that it has a thin taper neck and as small frets as possible so its easy to play.

As stated above, the number of Standards made during the mid- '70s was, relatively speaking, very small; therefore they are hardly likely to be cheap to start with. Between '71 and '74 there were almost 30,000 LP DeLuxe instruments made. In the period '75 - '77 (according to T.B.'s figures) there were a mere 611 Standards made in Kalamazoo. From the early-mid '70's there are, therefore, approx 29,000 more DeLuxes potentially available than Standards!

After '77 Standards finally became far more numerous although production figures are unavailable for the newly-opened Nashville plant - but it's still a fraction when compared with the D-L production.

 

Touching on what rct said about frets; smaller, narrower, lower frets does not always equal easier playing! The low-fretted LP Customs were known as 'Fretless Wonders' but remember these were more suited to jazz-type playing styles. String bends, hammer-ons and various other techniques are easier to achieve with later-style frets.

 

Just for fun and as a point of pure pedantry; Gibson themselves never called the '52 - '59 carved-top LP a 'Standard'. Inside the factory it was always referred to as the 'regular' model to differentiate between it and the rest of the line. The first time the word 'Standard' appeard in official Gibson literature was in the promotional brochure for the 1960 model range.

 

P.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

im not partial to the 70's Norlin era, and would highly recommend playing as many different les pauls until you find one that suits you. My first Gibson was a bad purchase that i vowed would never happen again so I will travel anywhere to play the guitar and love it before I buy

I had exactly the same experience with a Norlin-era LP Custom. It put me off 'Norlins' for 20 years. I know there are good ones, though. I was very probably just unfortunate with the one I bought.

 

P.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all that Pippy. I found it odd at the start of this thread that I only remembered Customs and Deluxes in them days, and all I had to do was refresh my memory with the same books you have that I have at home! "Standard" wasn't a word we used back then, not even for the 50's Les Pauls that weren't all that rare back then, at least not around here.

 

Many have gone the way of the Custom fretwire, I don't recall the number of that particular wire. Many have been disappointed. Unless yer Ingvay J Malmschteen and arpeggiating lightly about the scalloped fret board it ain't so great.

 

rct

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all that Pippy. I found it odd at the start of this thread that I only remembered Customs and Deluxes in them days, and all I had to do was refresh my memory with the same books you have that I have at home! "Standard" wasn't a word we used back then, not even for the 50's Les Pauls that weren't all that rare back then, at least not around here.

 

Many have gone the way of the Custom fretwire, I don't recall the number of that particular wire. Many have been disappointed. Unless yer Ingvay J Malmschteen and arpeggiating lightly about the scalloped fret board it ain't so great.

 

rct

LOL!

 

Absolutely, rct.

 

I remember getting some very good advice from a knowledgeable fellow forumite after I stated a couple of years ago that "no Standards were made between '60 and '75" (or something to that end) and decided I really should read up a bit (i.e. a LOT) more about them before making the same mistakes again!

 

Tony Bacon's book is excellent and although he seems far more 'up' on things than other authors I've read there's still a lot which is disputed and that I'm unsure of. Perhaps the truth is we'll never know everything about the production of those Les Pauls with 100% certainty.

 

P.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A guy name Duchossoir or something like that has an excellent reference for pre-68 Les Pauls. For Gibson electrics in general. All of which is great, except I don't have it in front of me and can't tell you the name of it. Those numbers, as I remember it, all lost in either fires or "We didn't know they'd ever be worth anything" management decisions, take yer pick based on who is telling the story.

 

rct

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Pip, good information. Just a couple of clarifications, and additional info:

 

DeLuxe - with a pair of Epi-style Mini-humbuckers

 

They weren't just "Epi-style", they were in fact an Epiphone product acquired in the buyout. The Deluxe model was only developed to use up the "free" Epi pickups that they found (they must have found a boat-load). By fitting the mini-hums in the plastic "adapter", they were also able to use existing tooling that originally routed out the body for the mid-50's P-90 equipped LP's. This was a win-win for the Norlin/Gibson accounting department in all respects. This became a very popular model, mostly due to the fact that for a few years it was the ONLY carved-top non-"Custom" production model available. Due to the "odd" mini-hums, the Deluxe had a big hand in creating the market, and eternal search, for the '57-60 "standards". During the run of the Deluxe, there were many "purists" (myself included), that would not buy and LP with those funny little pickups. All of which led to the "reintroduction" of the Standard as a production model around '75.

 

For the 'Standard' after the introduction with full 'buckers; 1975 - 1(!); 1976 - 24

 

It is quite possible (and totally unprovable) that I own the 1. My Standard has a '75 serial number, although purchased in '76. At worst, it is one of the first 25 (easily verifiable, I have the original sales receipt).

 

As for the quality of my "Norlin Era" '75 Les Paul Standard, it's the only LP I've ever owned, or needed. It's a beautiful, well built, great sounding instrument that has been doing a fine job for 37 years. As has been stated above, each instrument should be measured on it's own merit, but DO NOT discount an instrument just because it's from the "Norlin Era".

 

611 Standards made in Kalamazoo.... After '77 .... the newly-opened Nashville plant

 

I've always wondered where my '75 was built, for it clearly has the "Nashville" bridge, and the new (for 1975) dated code prefix serial number ("99" + 6 digits on a decal). I have also seen a couple of early examples of Standards from this era that have the six digit number of the previous serial number system. My assumption, was the "six-digits" were built in Kalamazoo, and the "decals" were built in the new (at the time) Nashville plant. I have never researched this in detail, it just seemed logical.

 

 

Gibson themselves never called the '52 - '59 carved-top LP a 'Standard'. Inside the factory it was always referred to as the 'regular' model to differentiate between it and the rest of the line.

 

One of my personal pet-peeves is '70's Standard being referred to as a "Deluxe with full size humbuckers". While this statement is technically correct, the fact of the matter is that the "regular", Standard and Deluxe models were/are built on the same chassis, and have always been the same guitar with different pickups. It IS the pickups, whether they be P-90's, mini-hums, or full size humbuckers, that DEFINE the model designation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is quite possible (and totally unprovable) that I own the 1. My Standard has a '75 serial number, although purchased in '76. At worst, it is one of the first 25 (easily verifiable, I have the original sales receipt).

Hi there L5Larry. Glad you added the info. It was you and your LP (which I mistakenly remembered as being a '74) to which I alluded in post #5 when I said a forumite has one and absolutely loves it. At least I got that last bit right!

 

As for the quality of my "Norlin Era" '75 Les Paul Standard, it's the only LP I've ever owned, or needed. It's a beautiful, well built, great sounding instrument that has been doing a fine job for 37 years. As has been stated above, each instrument should be measured on it's own merit, but DO NOT discount an instrument just because it's from the "Norlin Era".

The very reason I looked for a LP Custom in the first instance (around ''82) was that I'd played a good friend's mid-'70s Custom and it was absolutely stunning! Unfortunately the one I bought wasn't - even although it was, visually, the twin of the other. As I've posted before; I had the chance, after I'd had 'mine' a week or so, to 'back-to-back' our two guitars (through my friends Mesa Boogie, WOW!... but that's another story) and there was no doubting it; I'd bought a Dog. My friend was almost as disappointed as I was with my purchase. I took it back to the shop (I was a "weel 'kent face" in there) and swapped it (for something even worse...)

 

I've always wondered where my '75 was built, for it clearly has the "Nashville" bridge, and the new (for 1975) dated code prefix serial number ("99" + 6 digits on a decal). I have also seen a couple of early examples of Standards from this era that have the six digit number of the previous serial number system. My assumption, was the "six-digits" were built in Kalamazoo, and the "decals" were built in the new (at the time) Nashville plant. I have never researched this in detail, it just seemed logical.

I, too, think you're right with that train of thought. Although the original intention was (according to Stan Rendell, President of Gibson between '68 and Nov '76) for the new plant to produce only acoustic guitars, by the time it opened Nashville was earmarked as the ideal place to produce the highest-volume models. Clearly they were made in both plants but it would seem logical for the newer hardware to be fitted at the newer factory.

 

And thanks for posting the snaps of your beauty!

 

P.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Between this thread and the one about the 'color', we will have reprinted at least one of the books.

 

One thing I haven't read and would find interesting would be the differences between Kalamazoo LP's and Nashville LP's. Besides a lot of the obvious Norlin features like the volute and the bigger headstock, or the pancake, there are others like the body carve of the top, and on many the horn on the cutaway is a different shape being more pointed and sometimes much smaller.

 

I might get crap for this, but I get the impression that the early Nashville production seems a grade above the later Kalamazzo "reissues" of the 68-75 or so period.

 

Having said that, with all the differences of a true Norlin LP compared to a "normal" LP, it is easy to point to all the differences and equate that to what makes a dog of a guitar. But oddly for me, the few Norlin ones (actually, more than a few) that felt "right" and good, those SEEMED to feel good BECAUSE of the Norlin features.

 

Maybe it's me being sentimental. At my age (44) when I was old enough to get out and play with others, those that had beloved LP's were Norlins. And some years later, when it was time for me to start looking for my own LP, it was scads of used Norlins. So my impression of what a GOOD Lp was came from the period where that was all there was.

 

I still have a soft spot for a pancake bodied GOLDTOP with a mahogony neck. The thought of owning one gives me chills.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Between this thread and the one about the 'color', we will have reprinted at least one of the books...

[laugh]

 

I've credited both Yas Iwanade and Tony Bacon so hopefully readers will be keen to find out more and they'll go out and buy the books for themselves!

 

P.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last three digits of the serial number 5xx and above = Nashville

 

The last three digits of the serial number 4xx and below = Kalamazoo

 

I believe that's how you were able to distinguish where the Norlin era guitars were made..... [confused]

 

 

I have three Norlin era guitars and two of them needed fret jobs, and the fret-board planed to get that awful hump out of it. Whomever was the fret-dresser back then, someone should have hid his or her file set... They sure seemed to like low flat frets [thumbdn]

 

Now my 72 SG250 has a great fret-board, and the frets are still nice and tall after all these years... The neck angle is strange but so is the looks of it [biggrin]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last three digits of the serial number 5xx and above = Nashville

 

The last three digits of the serial number 4xx and below = Kalamazoo

 

I believe that's how you were able to distinguish where the Norlin era guitars were made..... [confused]

 

I think you're offering way too much logic for a company that was being run WITHOUT any logic at the time!

 

But.... IF the above is correct, then my '75 was made in Kalamazoo (440).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure when the Nashville Plant went in to production.... maybe 1975??? So the chance your guitar was built in the Kalamazoo plant is very probable. Considering the Kalamazoo plant was the "Custom Shop" during the 70's.... and my 78 EDS-1275 last three digits are 121. My hunch is that my guitar was made in Kalamazoo as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...