Help identifying possible 1970 Les Paul Custom/restore project!

Discussion in 'Norlin Years' started by RCB75, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. RCB75

    RCB75 Junior Member

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    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]Hi, Im new to the forum. I always thought it was a great source of info and a great community. i really need help about a guitar I came across.

    I own several Norlin guitars (73 custom, 77 custom, 78 custom, 71 deluxe, 71 standard 58) and a couple of recent ones (R9 and Standard Premim Plus quilted top).

    I have 2 of the norlins restored, and I'm aware of the basic identifying methods (pots, years with volute, years with pancake body, etc)

    Still the guitar I came across puzzles me. It looks original in some regards, but it has been repainted and abused to a stunning degree. Badly (worse than amateur job) repainted at least once. Oroginal puckups and hardware missing, non original pickups and hardware was also painted (this just sad). the current owner has the old waffleback tuners (one is missing). Serial number is gone.

    Looks like a 1970-72 guitar because of the wafflebacks.

    The current owner bought it as it is but has no means to restore it. I have a mint musicman axis tribute 5A quilted top and he wants trade it. Normally this would be a good deal, but this particular guitar has gone through hell.

    Si, here comes the weird stuff. Headstock and fretboard looks original (original frets), closed b and o, no dot in the i. Neck has a volute. So far so good.

    weird stuff starts here:

    neck should be 1 piece if it is a 69 or 3 piece if its 70-72. From the pictures it looks 2 piece. or it broke cleanly in half wich is statistically impossible. it also has a strange marking in the volute. But the gibsons I saw that featured a golute and had a broken neck, dont break at that point.

    The body should be pancake, but it doesnt seem to be.

    Both this things and he missing serial could be attributed to it being poorly repainted. Hence the dofficulty assesing the guitar.

    I only have the pics he (cuurent owner) sent.

    I bought a couple of 1970 pafs dirt cheap, and can get a a t-top for a decent price (or just use a 490 or 498 I have laying around).

    I can get a 70s abr1 fairly cheap. And a single waffleback will set me back about 100USD.

    So, in principle, I could restore the guitar to mostly year correct hardware easily. I wouod also have it professionally restored.

    It is in desperate need of some love and care. It has been neglected and abused and I would love to see it reborn.

    what do you make of the pictures? what year is it? Has the neck been repaired? what do you make of the oddities?[​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  2. RCB75

    RCB75 Junior Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    pics did not upload before, and I cant seem to lost more than 2 at a time. I must ve doing something wrong. As soon as I figure it out I ll upload them
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  3. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    If I could see good pics, I could help.

    For one, 70 has a unique Gibson inlay in headstock..
     
  4. RCB75

    RCB75 Junior Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I have more pics but I think those illustrate the point.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    HMM. I see that central line..

    But tthe headstock inlay is post '72 for sure..
    [​IMG]
    Something off here maybe?
    [​IMG]
    Now..I ALMOST wonder if it is MIJ with a Gibson overlay??
    Got a control cavity shot?
     
  6. RCB75

    RCB75 Junior Member

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  7. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Guts are 100% MIJ...
     
  8. RCB75

    RCB75 Junior Member

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    what makes you say so? electronics are obviously not original.

    I do have doubts about it being an original, the fact that it is so beat up and none of the hardware is original actually makes it harder.

    I havent bought it yet. I think I ll pass.
     
  9. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    Kris, I thought that as soon as I saw the screw heads in the NAshville Bridge? My first thought, of course, was Epiphone..
     
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  10. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    OP! for the record, Kris is one of our master Norlin experts.
    He's too modest to say so, and that's cool too! But he lives and breathes old Norlins like he worked for Gibson!
    He also has a couple MIJ Lesters that I have seen, so he knows them too...

    The screws in the bridge posts are usually giveaways of overseas made.

    And the pots and wiring aren't the standard issue from Gibson at that time.
     
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  11. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    It could also explain the odd center line in the neck... They may have used a 2 piece neck overseas...
     
  12. RCB75

    RCB75 Junior Member

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    Thats great to know. I dont think any of the hardware is original. It could very well be that it is a MIJ replica of tha era. some of the stuff is a bit too accurate though (nibs, wafflebacks, nut). Im currently living and working in Mexico though I am from Argetina and most of my guitar collection is in my homeland, so I only havr the 71 Standard 58 with me, which is a very different guitar from all the other Norlins.

    Ibhad a couple of MIJ Les Pauls from that era and all of them featured 3 piece necks, and by the time they got close in the replicas (circa 76-77), most of them were maple necks like the Norlin counterparts.

    the 2 piece neck ia definately wrong though
     
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  13. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    IIRC some of the MIJ stuff was pretty darn good.

    But as far as I know, Gibson never used slotted screws in the bridge posts, and I'm surprised it's not an ABR bridge.

    example...
    This is a 1970 Custom from Guitarpoint in Denmark...
    [​IMG]
    This is the 70 headstock Kris was talking about. The Gibson script is different.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  14. DarrellV

    DarrellV Almost 1 Year old this month! Premium Member

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    So we have a possible Gibby re-fitted with MIJ parts and guts, or a MIJ refitted with a Gibson Headstock overlay?

    Any chance the guy can pull the neck pickup and get us a shot of the neck tenon joint in there?
     
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  15. RCB75

    RCB75 Junior Member

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    I ll ask him to do so. it could take a day or two.

    Anybother informed opinions? This has been very helpfull
     
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  16. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    Wacky 7 layer binding?

    Captureude.JPG
     
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  17. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    It looks like wood binding to me too.

    The cavity routs and the electrics channel don't look like anything Gibson to me.

    Then there is the 5-ply binding on the front of the guitar instead of 7-ply.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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  18. RCB75

    RCB75 Junior Member

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    thanks to all for your help. I ve decided to pass on this one.

    The pafs I bought and the rest of the hardware I intend to get (because of it is an oportunity) will surely become handy down the road as I keep looking for opotunities in early 70's Les Paul.

    there s just too many weird things about this one and there is a significant chance that it is a forgery. It may not be, it might be repaired, but honestly I d rather pass than rsik it.
     
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  19. capnjim

    capnjim Senior Member

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    Good idea to pass. A real Gibson can have many things changed, but that Wacky Binding is a dead giveaway. No way that's a real Gibson. I don't think anyone in the history of electric guitars has changed out headstock binding.

    "Check out my '74 Les Paul, I had a luthier upgrade the 5 ply binding to 7 ply!!!!!!!"
     
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  20. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    Meh, I've seen plenty of beat-to-hell LPCs where the headstock binding has fallen/broken off in sections, so that doesn't throw me. I don't think that wood binding is factory work from Japan, either -- I do think it's somebody's amateur work. That having been said, things that stand out to me here, other than the obvious neck seam, are the truss rod adjust cavity and the fretboard. A lot of the wrong parts/weird binding kind of red flags can be explained away by amateur hour repairs/mods. I've seen it all before -- some truly tragic stuff out there. What can't be explained away so easily are underlying structural stuff -- the shape of cavities, wood itself, etc. There looks like an awful lot of shadow showing underneath the lip of the truss rod adjust cutout, which would make sense if somebody put a new overlay over something with a larger hole underneath it. Also, that fretboard looks way too porous for ebony. It looks like the black-stained rosewood most MIJ LPCs sported. I think heavily molested '70s MIJ is about the best guess on this thing. You did right to stay away.
     
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