Conversion Candidate

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by axehandler, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. axehandler

    axehandler Senior Member

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    This is a 1953 GT, re-necked and refinished by Gibson in 1961. I love the finish, but I'm thinking of converting it to an abr with a stop bar. Can the existing finish be salvaged if the neck is reset? Can it just be shimmed? I might have it routed for humbuckers too. All of the electronics were updated to 1961 electronics so the pots are already 500K.

    Any luthiers in California that could do it?
    The entire guitar black lights to an awesome green.

    If I have to refinish it, this is the look I want.
    59 les paul.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  2. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

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    Yes, yes and yes. I wholeheartedly approve!
     
  3. bossaddict

    bossaddict @david.beason on IG Premium Member

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    I think it looks killer as is. Good luck with whatever you decide, though.
     
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  4. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    Just my opinion, but since it's already a refin, etc., I would go for all the alterations you want and consider them improvements, not detriments. I don't like winey-red guitars at all and love that burst top you picture, so I'd do that in an instant. And since I dislike those trapeze tailpieces, I would consider a switch to a stopbar/ABR or wraptail a big plus. Ruting for HBs rather than P90's? Yup. Others will totally disagree, for equally good reasons. So do what you want. If the guitar were all original, I think it would be different. But it isn't.
     
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  5. axehandler

    axehandler Senior Member

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    who in CA?
     
  6. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    I'd suggest you try a Mojoaxe bridge first.

    And I'm a fan of original P90s.
     
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  7. The Refugee

    The Refugee Senior Member

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    I'd say keep the P90s. I think the wine red finish is cool and adds to the guitar's history, but it is understandably not everyone's cup of tea.

    Roman Rist is always the name that comes to mind when I think of CA, but he's usually a pretty busy guy, from what I remember.
     
  8. axehandler

    axehandler Senior Member

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    Thx, I too like the P90s. I have the Mojoaxe on it now, but the picture I posted is from before I put it on. It works well, but I think I'm ready to make the guitar a little better. I would like to keep the finish if I have the neck reset though. Also, looking for some advice on who in CA could do the work?
     
  9. axehandler

    axehandler Senior Member

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    Thanks, I will check with him and see if he's interested. Is he a member here?
     
  10. The Refugee

    The Refugee Senior Member

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    He is, but I just checked and it looks like he hasn't been active for a long while now. Hopefully someone else will be able to chime in with some sort of contact info for him.
     
  11. TheZ

    TheZ Senior Member

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    That guitar has some neat history. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
     
  12. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Jumping@shadows likes this.
  13. mapleflame

    mapleflame Senior Member

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    I haven't posted in a while, but many know I have done conversions, many salvage projects, and restorations ect... This is your guitar to do as you please, but with my experience, there are so few factory refins that come up and that are out there, especially 52-54 Standards. The provenance of this, cool factor up the roof, and with a trap bar replacement, this guitar can and would Stand on its own merits. I personally would leave it alone. If your looking for a Burst Conversion, but one as is. You cannot recreate 50 plus years of Gibson factor work no matter who does the work. There are so many guitars out there available. Leave History alone
     
  14. axehandler

    axehandler Senior Member

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    You're right. I have struggled a little with the idea of modifying this guitar. The glaser bridge works well, but you can't always bend the strings without it cutting out a little. The frets are original and still in good shape. I might try having the fretboard plek'd to see if that makes a difference. I appreciate your input.
     
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  15. scmavl

    scmavl Senior Member

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    I'd change as little as possible. I LOVE that finish and thinks it pops even more with the P90s. I'd go for a wraptail and whatever neck work you've got to do to make it play right. Awesome guitar!
     
  16. jwinger

    jwinger Senior Member

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    I'd just wraptail it then leave it as is. You can't beat the old p90s, you really can't
     
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  17. Sharky

    Sharky Senior Member

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    I really don't have the slightest clue on conversions, but I love Humbucker guitars and don't like those tailpieces like shown. Other than that, that's an amazingly beautiful guitar and if it can be converted without losing this old refin, I'd do it.

    OTOH Mapleflame is right with the provenance of the refin and if the guitar can be converted into a great player without major surgery, it could be the best option.

    However you decide, show us more of this fantastic guitar
     
  18. tiller2

    tiller2 Junior Member

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    A beautiful and striking color that I've never seen in combination with the trap tailpiece.
     
  19. Slick

    Slick Senior Member

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    Not my guitar but if it was I would only mod it enough to be playable as I love it just like it is.

    But it's not mine............... unfortunately
     

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