NGD - 59/60 Les Paul Special (not for the squeamish)

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by none2low, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    Picked this one up over the weekend from a pawn shop in West Hollywood.

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    Yes, in a former life this was a late 1959 - early 1960's TV yellow Les Paul Special that someone thought they could turn it into a Les Paul Custom with a few mods. :shock:

    Doesn't look too bad (I suppose) Has lots of honest play wear and vibe. No obvious breaks. Original frets, inlays, binding, nut, etc.

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  2. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    And this is why you shouldn't let the 7th grade shop class route your guitar for humbuckers... :wow:Oh the HORROR!!!

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  3. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    The good news is that it came with all this fun stuff too. :applause:
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    And the best for last. :D

    Date codes read the 33rd week 1959

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    And these beauties

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  4. bossaddict

    bossaddict Premium Member

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    Very cool! Nice find!

    Did they intentionally scrape faux binding around the headstock or is that just natural wear?

    Congrats!
     
  5. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    Thanks!!

    Yes, the faux binding was intentional. Just scraped down to expose the holly headstock veneer.
     
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  6. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Senior Member

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    What did the pawn shop think it was.
     
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  7. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    It was advertised on craigslist as a late 50's or early 60's Les Paul Special.

    When I emailed them, they said two dealers had come in to look at it and confirmed it was either a '61 or '62.

    After looking a little closer at the pictures they posted, I was pretty sure I could see two old screw holes peeking through just below the fretboard, but with the obvious humbucker routing I couldn't be sure.

    I blew it off for the week, but it kept bugging me. Went out on Saturday, did a quick inspection while my wife and daughter waited, confirmed that those were indeed two old screw holes like a late '59 early '60 would have and negotiated a deal.
     
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  8. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    Now the real question is what to do with it???

    With the old refin. and routing damage done it's never going to be original and has little collector value. Sadly the sum of it's parts is probably worth more parted out then complete, but I can't do that.

    At the end of the day it's still an old wood 1959/1960 players grade Les Paul Special.

    Part of me wants to clean it up a bit, throw it back together, and play it until the cows come home.

    The other part of me wants to go all in, send it off to someone like BCR, Historic Makeovers, et al, have the humbucker routes filled, re-routed for P90's and the original TV yellow finish redone.

    Decisions, decisions...
     
  9. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Senior Member

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    Have you played it in anger yet or is it all in bits? I would see how it sounds.
     
  10. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    I played it for about an hour straight when I got it home. It sounded great!! Those Pat#'s are very nice sounding.

    But I needed to clean this mess up.

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    The mini toggle and speaker wire was used to rewire the bridge pup.
     
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  11. RevWillie

    RevWillie Senior Member

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    IMO, YMMV

    I will never understand the internet tendency to think that nearly all heavily modified guitars must be returned to all original factory condition.

    I would clean up the wiring and then play the hell out of it AS-IS. :dude:

    Or sell it to me. :D
     
  12. jeggz

    jeggz Senior Member

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    Nice!
     
  13. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    I agree with the premise of your statement. I also don't see a reason to try to restore everything to factory original specs.

    In fact, I have a 50's Jr. which incidentally was also picked up from a pawn shop and advertised as a '62 which is far from original. I basically cleaned that one up, put strings on it and left it as is.

    This one though with the drill press routing job is a little further gone. If the routing was done correctly I wouldn't mind so much, but this job has left what is known to be an already weak joint, even weaker.
     
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  14. IGRocker

    IGRocker Senior Member

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    I like. I would leave it and rawk that sucka :dude:
     
  15. maverick08

    maverick08 Senior Member

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    I agree with this. Maybe just clean up that awful routing job :wow:, play it, enjoy it! :thumb:
     
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  16. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    Unless you know someone with magic fairy dust? :fingersx: I'm afraid the only way I can see to clean that hack job up is to remove more material, plug, and re- route. Which brings me right back to my original conundrum.

    If I'm going to go to that route (no pun intended) shouldn't I do her proper and spring for the full makeover?

    Btw - leaning towards leaving her as is, but if anyone has a compelling reason not too I'd love to hear it. :thumb:
     
  17. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    That's a cool find. :dude: I wouldn't worry about restoring it unless it's something you really wanted to do for your own enjoyment. It's hard to break even doing something like that, and even with re-routing the pickups it won't add much more strength than when it originally had the p90 there. The neck route seems to start in about the same place.

    I would have a look at the body crack(?) to the treble side of the fretboard near the screw hole and at least run some glue in there if it's open.

    I'm curious about what you said about the 2 screw hole thing? They all had 2 screw holes in the bottom of the p90 route to mount the soapbar. I say you lucked in with parts if you needed to sell them to fund any work you wanted to do.
     
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  18. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    Thanks, you've basically reinforced what I've been thinking. Truth be told I'm not into it for much more then a USA 2015 double cut special would cost me, BUT with the cost of a proper restoration I'm guessing I MIGHT break even, should I ever decide to sell it. Funny thing is I didn't go out looking for a vintage Special. I was actually looking for a CS Reissue DC Special to replace my faded version when I happened upon it by dumb luck.

    The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking I'll live with it as found. There's nothing stopping me (other then the wife) from restoring it in the future should I decide to go that direction. Unfortunately, there's just no telling where the vintage market will go and also no guarantees that once restored I won't decide I liked it better with the pat#s it has now.

    To clarify about the screw holes. I was referring to the 2 screw holes in the top, where it originally would have had the pickguard filler piece on a '59/early '60s Special. If you look carefully you can still see the outline of the holes.

    The spot on the treble side is actually a deep scrape. Initially I thought it could be a crack (there are finish cracks from the weakened neck joint) however upon careful examination it doesn't go much deeper then just below the surface. Based upon the play wear I can only imagine the stories it could tell, but something tells me the drummer was probably involved. j/k

    Sorry, don't want to upset any drummers out there. :laugh2:
     
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  19. none2low

    none2low Senior Member

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    While I'm on here, let me also take the time to say thank you to all that have commented thus far.
     
  20. RevWillie

    RevWillie Senior Member

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