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Old 01-01-2017, 09:56 AM   #1
d1m1
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NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Here it is folks,

"The Red-Bellied Black Snake" aka "Pseudechis porphyriacus"

I chose that name because both the guitar and the snake are blacktops with natural belly and have two venomous teeth/studs. The red on the snakes belly is actually just binding bleeding

To the guitar. It is/was in fact a 1955 Les Paul Goldtop with wraptail. The first owner (im the second one) decided to mod the guitar in the late 60s. He added a third pup, a second jack, stripped off the finish and routed the edges all around from the body and the neck to the headstock to install i guess multi ply binding. He than realized the he cant do the job so he bought a new guitar and put the GT in a carton with the parts. The guitar was stored all those years till he passed away. The relatives then sold the guitar incl. parts. The good think is it has no broken neck etc..

The restorasion is done by Igor Keller, a great talented luthier from slovakia. He did an awesome job! My intention was to keep it as original as possible which was very difficult since the guitar was a mess. It would be easier to replace the top, the fingerboard etc but he did so much fine detailed work and saved everything! He also used right materials, glues, measurements (Bartlett) etc.. Most of the parts are original to the guitar, PAFs and harness are from 1959 and a couple are repros (pics). The Weight is 8.06 lbs. The measuraments of the neck are according to the beauty of the burst average for a 1959 neck.

When i bought it i wasnt sure if that thing will be worth it to do, but it turned out to be the best guitar i ever owned and pretty sure one of the best, if not the best, i had in my hands. It sounds, plays and feels like a dream. Im so glad i could save that piece of history from decay.

Im going to post more pics of the before and after condition, the parts and also from the restoration it self.

Here you have for now a few:









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Old 01-01-2017, 10:00 AM   #2
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

That is one amazing guitar, thank you for sharing the story and images!
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:02 AM   #3
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Love it.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:04 AM   #4
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

The Before condition











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Old 01-01-2017, 10:10 AM   #5
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Parts original to the guitar


















This is how 50s plastics look like when holding against the sun
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:23 AM   #6
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

50`s parts are a 1959 harness and 1959 long magnet PAFs. The current pole screws on the PAFs are WIZZ. The readings of the pots are between 600K and 670K!











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Old 01-01-2017, 10:26 AM   #7
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

WOW!
Hats off to Igor!!
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:27 AM   #8
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Repro parts are:

- OTPG rings
- MojoAxe pickguard
- WIZZ PAF covers
- WIZZ poker chip
- WIZZ jack plate





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Old 01-01-2017, 10:39 AM   #9
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Here some pics of the result of Kellers work


can you see the added braz on the sides?





and from inside



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Old 01-01-2017, 10:58 AM   #10
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake




Next to a 1958 ES-335 (also restoration - by Historic Makeovers)


Next to a 2010 R5 BB


2010 R5 GT, 2010 R5 BB, 1955 Blacktop (yep i like wraptails)
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:04 AM   #11
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Ford View Post
WOW!
Hats off to Igor!!
Yes he did a KILLER job!!!
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:19 PM   #12
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

I'll tell you what, isn't it refreshing for once on one of these conversion threads where you actually see the pictures of the alleged "basket case" before conversion? 99% of the time they are strangely absent???

Great job, nice looking guitar!
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:52 PM   #13
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Simply outstanding!
Well done indeed
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:55 PM   #14
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

The top carve is awesome!
Nice save.
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:02 PM   #15
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Cheers to someone who restores a classic to it's former glory instead of trying to make it something it never was.
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:52 PM   #16
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

thats a freaking phenomenal restoration
literally picking my jaw up off the floor
enjoy in good health!
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Old 01-01-2017, 01:53 PM   #17
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

OUTSTANDING save on that one,that guy is great.
Congrats on the guitar!
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Old 01-01-2017, 02:13 PM   #18
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

What a great save... plain and simply, just amazing
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:03 PM   #19
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Thanks a lot guys! Really appreciate!
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:08 PM   #20
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cookie-boy View Post
I'll tell you what, isn't it refreshing for once on one of these conversion threads where you actually see the pictures of the alleged "basket case" before conversion? 99% of the time they are strangely absent???

Great job, nice looking guitar!
I know why theyre absent
I was looking long time for a really abused lp for restoration/conversion because i just couldnt touch a undamaged working original lp.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:09 PM   #21
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

How does that Jim Kelley amp sound with this guitar? I've been wanting to get a Kelley amp for my LPs for quite some time.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:10 PM   #22
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bottleneck View Post
The top carve is awesome!
Nice save.
Yes the top carve is really different from what comes todays from the custom shop. Its very impressing
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:13 PM   #23
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

talk about a basket case. that is a damn fine restoration.
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Old 01-01-2017, 03:25 PM   #24
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
How does that Jim Kelley amp sound with this guitar? I've been wanting to get a Kelley amp for my LPs for quite some time.
That Jim Kelley is my all time favorite amp. It is very versatile because of the push/pull knobs and because of the taper of the pots is very active...actually i think this has more to do with the circuit.
Basically it sounds very tweed-like. Pulling the bright boost, the mid boost or/and the presence boost it can sound like a tweed deluxe on steroids, like a twin, like marshall or like a Dumble. Joe Bonamassa calls it "the poor mans Dumble". Of course with this guitar it sounds killer but it sounds with every guitar great. I had a chinise strat copy with crapy pups and even this sounded great.
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Old 01-01-2017, 05:51 PM   #25
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

A damn fine job. Elegant and awesome.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:03 PM   #26
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

One of the best things I've seen in a long time. Outstanding!!
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Old 01-01-2017, 07:25 PM   #27
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Just an awesome save!
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:43 PM   #28
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

No doubt , the right thing was done. Great job to you and the guy who did the work , very ,very nice.

Looks killer. Love the black finish on the top.
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:04 PM   #29
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

That is just fantastic. Love it!
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:44 PM   #30
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Re: NVGD - 1955 Restoration/Conversion - The Red Bellied Black Snake

Igor is a master wizard! That came out beautifully-congrats!
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