1986 Custom - buying my first Gibson, need advice.

Discussion in 'Norlin Years' started by MoMo, Oct 30, 2017.

Buy for 2.000?

  1. Absolutely!

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. Nope.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Buy, but for less.

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  1. MoMo

    MoMo Junior Member

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    Hey guys,

    Long time reader, first time posting, as I finally have the cash to buy a real Gibson Les Paul and found a beautiful one near by.

    I read a lot on here about Norlin Era and guess 86 is on the back end of that, almost not Norlin anymore. What that exactly means for the guitar I am looking at, I am not sure.
    Anyways, here it goes...
    I will check this beauty out on Tuesday: https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/gibson-les-paul-custom-nashville-1986/734006167-74-4811

    From the info there, is it possible to have good guesses about its weight and thickness of neck? Or any possible issues?

    It's from my birth year, the exact style I like (red with some wood showing through) and it's the first guitar over 500 EUR I will own. So it's kind of big deal for me.

    Do you guys have any special advice on what I would need to check and look out for?
    Or maybe point me to a threat I haven't found yet talking about this year or in general what to look for when buying 30 year old guitars?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. MoMo

    MoMo Junior Member

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    Going there in a few hours.
    Any advice, anyone? Would be really appreciated... :)
     
  3. Becker34

    Becker34 Member

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    Play and inspect the hell out of it. If you like it, buy it. Don't be afraid to walk away if anything from the guitar to the seller give off bad vibes. The original pickups are most likely Shaws. It's a good thing that they're included in the sale. You might want to put them back in (a lot of guys love the way they sound) or sell them - they bring decent money. I'm a sucker for original stuff.

    For what it's worth, the guitar you're looking at looks like the bastard lovechild of my Wine Standard:
    [​IMG]
    And my Custom:
    [​IMG]
    Good luck!
     
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  4. bblooz

    bblooz Senior Member

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    In the auction description, the seller states "comes with original parts". He does mention the the original PUs (likely Shaw 'buckers, as stated earlier) were replaced with some SDs, but doesn't say whether the originals are included. I would want to know that up front. It's also already up to 2250 euros, so not a bargain (of course, I'm in the US, so maybe that's a good price on the continent). Anyways, good luck and let us know how it works out!
     
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  5. MoMo

    MoMo Junior Member

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    Thanks guys!
    Will watch for the Vibe and parts. But we got along great on the phone already. Am really excited. Have been saving for this for years and monitoring eBay for over a year for a model I'd like.
     
  6. MoMo

    MoMo Junior Member

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    Bought it!
    Love it!
    The neck is a little bowed and it has some dings and dongs. But it's absolutely beautiful and sounds gorgeous. Love the feel of the neck, not too wide not too thin. I also got the original pickups and the Chainsaw case as well as a new original Gibson bridge and tailpiece. All in all for 2150. I think that's fair.

    A tech I had look at it real quick said the whole guitar might need some humidity as the guitar was sitting in a case for 17 years. That's why the neck is bowed and the truss rod is fairly tight already... So we'll see.

    But for now I am very happy!

    Here's a quick snapshot:
    B9CE6E99-DC91-4900-99F5-7D223E61002E.jpeg
     
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  7. lemmy loud

    lemmy loud Senior Member

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    First real Les Paul always a great occasion!
    :cheers2:
     
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  8. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Congrats on the buy, I hope the neck situation works out.
     
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  9. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

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    Beautiful, HNGD!
     
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  10. jojo

    jojo Senior Member

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    Grats !!!
     
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  11. Becker34

    Becker34 Member

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    Awesome! Hopefully the neck can be taken care of. Happy NGD!
     
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  12. MoMo

    MoMo Junior Member

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    Thanks guys! After reading here for years, scouring the internet and saving money I feel like I have arrived somewhere. The cherry on top is that it's my birth year.
    I know how GAS works, but for now it's quiet. :p

    Is there a good thread on here (or article somewhere) about humidity and/or fixing a bowed neck with an already very tight truss rod anyone can recommend for me to read? Thanks!
     
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  13. HardCore Troubadour

    HardCore Troubadour Senior Member

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    take it to a luthier...good luck, you may need it.
     
  14. Who

    Who are you? Who who who who.... Premium Member

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    What does he mean when he says the TR is "very tight"?
     
  15. grumphh

    grumphh Senior Member

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    Sorry to be the one to rain on your parade :(

    ...as good as that guitar looks - if the neck is truly crooked and cannot be straightened with a slight turn of the truss rod you totally overpaid. Because a bent neck that has to be straightened by a luthier at european labour rates is going to add significant cost to the purchase...

    2000+ € Should get you a guitar that plays almost perfectly right away, or can be set up as close to your ideal of perfection as possible without having to involve tech work.

    Are you sure that your "tech" knows his business? It is not unusual for truss rods to be fairly hard to turn, and the wood might even creak a little (which sounds horrifying) even when turning it as little as 1/8 of a rotation, yet still work as intended...
     
  16. Who

    Who are you? Who who who who.... Premium Member

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    I agree with what grumphh posted.

    I recently bought an '87 Custom with a "very tight" truss rod nut. It was a fairly simple fix.

    I'm not saying this applies to you, but it might.

    Check out my posts in this thread:
    http://www.mylespaul.com/threads/19...is-week-time-capsule-gonna-get-played.400032/

    You should be able to completely remove the TR nut, and inspect the threads of the nut and the rod.

    I didn't lube the nut when I put mine back on, but a dot of pure silicone lube on the threads would probably be a good idea.
     
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  17. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Member

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    MoMo,
    You said: "That's why the neck is bowed and the truss rod is fairly tight already." and that leads me to think of a "bowed neck" being a neck that has a reverse curvature, as in the middle part of the fingerboard is closer to the strings than the two ends. If this is the case and the truss rod is tightened too much, that is likely the problem and loosening it may well help the problem. Contrary to what some think, "tightening" the truss rod reduces relief until it gets to the point of creating a backwards bow to the neck. I guess my point here is that we need to understand what you are actually talking about before we can advise you. Given your recent expenditure, please help us help you before you end up doing something you may regret and not need to do.

    So realistically, you need to clarify to us whether you have a concave bow/relief or a convex hump/backbow according the diagrams below! Once we know what you are working with, we can help you with steps to make measurements and choose a course of action.
    2j5x21.jpg Neck.png

    Quite often a truss rod nut can "seem" very tight when it is simply "bound up" by glue, finish and/or other gunk in the threads. Many times, this can be alleviated by simply and carefully heating the socket wrench before placing it on the nut and allowing it to gently heat the nut to "release" said glue, etc, and then completely remove the nut to inspect/clean it and the rod threads, lube it and reinstall it.

    Just Hoping To Help Ya Out!
    Gene
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
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  18. MoMo

    MoMo Junior Member

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    Hey guys,
    Thanks for all the replies. Sorry for not being more detailed in the first place, just wanted to ask for some general resources.

    The luthier I was at took out the old and completely messed up nut, see picture, and put a new nut as well as a bunch (7?) of washers underneath, see pic.
    D303E59F-71FB-45B7-9ADD-3FE3B095C35D.jpeg
    34B2E01C-F966-46B5-A4C4-A2140AF378B3.jpeg
    C844281B-D0F6-4CF7-8454-B479E5C6E773.jpeg

    He then tightened the new nut and came to a point where he said, "there's a point where I get worried." So he wanted to keep the guitar. Had a gig that night where I wanted the guitar and so I said I wanted to quickly check it and see if I had to get a backup. The neck was almost straight and I saw no reason to leave the guitar. Also the guy said they take like 3-4 weeks for new projects. So I gave him 25 bucks for his troubles and took the guitar with me. Worked great at the gig, even if it was still a little bowed (concave!).

    So after the gig I released all the tension from the strings and just let it sit. It's pretty much perfectly straight now, I am controlling the humidity of my room regularly and tightened the truss rod a little myself. It wasn't super easy to do but also not super hard. No creaking sounds. When I tighten the strings a little bowing still happens, but it's not like I get fret buzz or something. Still would like to fix it perfectly or at least have a professional say "all good now!"

    What do you guys make of the pictures and the million washers under the nut? Is that bad?
    Cause I am thinking I just bring it to a different luthier with 3-5 days turnaround times. The last one seemed a little to eager to keep it and maybe do more than necessary with a slightly bowed old guitar that hadn't been adjusted in 17 years.

    Thanks for any thoughts - and thanks for all the input thus far!

    Regarding overpaying: LP Customs rarely go for under 2.600 EUR here in Germany. I received additional equipment totalling in value around 500-600 EUR. I feel I effectively paid like 1600-1700 for a Les Paul Custom the same age as me and with the paint job and exact characteristics I was looking for. If 80 EUR at a luthier fix it all (which it seems to me to be realistic), I am very happy. If it takes 200-300 EUR to fix i am still fine with it. If it's something more serious or unfixable I think I can get back to the guy. The contact was really nice and personal. Went to his house had coffee and chats about music and all.
    We'll see! Thanks again for all your input!
     
  19. grumphh

    grumphh Senior Member

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    Now you're talking :D

    that puts the price in perspective and into a more realistic range :)

    Also, on the topic of concave necks - i own a Kramer neckthrough where something about the truss rod is busted, so that it (despite adjustments) reverts to a more concave position than i like - which in the end means slightly higher action than it should have.
    I have the 010's on it tuned down to "D-standard" (a whole step down) to make the relief as low as possible.
    To someone who wants "low shredder action", this particular Kramer would be more or less worthless, because due to the defect it is simply impossible to bring down the strings to a uniformly low action.

    In the end personally i can live with it - because i do like a medium high action anyway - but it most certainly is a defective guitar, because on a properly working guitar you must be able to adjust the neck to perfect straightness even with medium sized strings on it.


    And now, congrats on your new guitar, and may you be happy with it :)
     
  20. Who

    Who are you? Who who who who.... Premium Member

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    Momo, at the bottom of your stack of washers, is there a barbed half moon washer?

    Using just round washers is a bad idea, the washer stack can compress right into the wood.

    [​IMG]
     
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