Real M69 ring???

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by RockinRoge, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. j2tgw

    j2tgw Junior Member

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    Oh and just to add to that I never said I thought the ring was fake try reading my post again properly !!!
     
  2. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    From GuitarHQ:


    [FONT=verdana,arial,helv,helvetica][SIZE=-1] PAF Pickup Rings.
    The rings used for PAF pickups are unique too. Often call M-69 (or MR490 or MR491 which identifies the neck or bridge ring), because of the mold markings underneath the pickup ring. All PAF pickups should have a black or cream M-69 pickup ring. Neck pickup rings (thinner) are MR491, as molded on the underside. Bridge pickup rings (thicker) are MR490. Note there is no physical difference between cream and black rings (other than the color) - they are exactly the same (though black is far more common as cream rings were only used on Les Pauls and ES-295 guitars and some lapsteels). Pictures and info thanks to BurstMeUp. [​IMG]

    1959 neck pickup MR491 ring pictures by BurstMeUp.
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    1959 bridge pickup MR490 ring pictures by BurstMeUp.
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    M-69 Pickup Ring Forgeries.
    Some resourceful people in the U.K. have been making reproduction pickup rings. These often get sold as the "real thing". So keep an eye out for these. There are some things that do identify these reproduction rings. First it's best to understand how reproduction rings are made using new Urethane plastic.
    Urethane cast parts are made using a RTV silicone rubber mold. This is created by putting a silicone mold around an original part. Once the silicone has cured, the mold is opened and the original part removed. The mold cavity can now be filled with a liquid urethane resin which cures to make the reproduction pickup ring. This is a great process for reproduction because the mold duplicates the exact features of the part, even down to scratches on the surfaces of the part.
    The M-69 rings have certain features that would be very difficult to create in a machined steel mold. For example the one "funneled" screw boss mount on the tall lead pickup M-69 rings. The reason that one particular screw boss on the tall ring is "funnel-shaped" is probably due to a repair to the original steel mold. Every original M-69 has the same feature, so the repair was made when the mold was new. Most likely the toolmaker screwed up the machining of the boss feature in the mold cavity and then repaired it by welding the cavity steel and hand-grinding the hole.
    When the suspect (new) rings are made, the silicone mold that was used was either not well made to start, or else it was used multiple times. This can be seen by the fine webs of silicone that create the crevices around the bosses eventually broke down. RTV silcone molds are typically good for about 10-20 parts at which point the silicone becomes brittle and new molds must be made.
    Using this knowledge and a blacklight (new rings don't glow the same under blacklight as old original rings), it shouldn't be too difficult to tell a new reproduction M69 ring from an original. Often to hide the mounting boss reproduction issues, the bottom of the M69 may be sanded on a belt sander. Gibson would do this sometimes too by the way, to made "medium height" rings for many of the ES guitar models. The sanding process fills the gap between the screw boss and where it meets the ring. This makes identifying the ring forgery more difficult as the screw boss shape is distorted (and becomes attached to the ring's sidewall) because of the sanding and the friction heat.
    [SIZE=-1]Pictures by DanElectro:
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    [SIZE=-1] [SIZE=-1]Picture by KtheSheep:
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  3. RockinRoge

    RockinRoge Junior Member

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    Thank you all for the helpful info! the pictures never do this thing any justice, probably because all i have is a iPhone to use. i myself believe it to be a damn good chance for it to be real, now I'm just trying to find a reputable vintage guitar shop to confirm it. Any ideas? I live in the Lancaster area of PA. Any good ones in the Philly or New Jersey area?
    Anyway heres some more pics!
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  4. RockinRoge

    RockinRoge Junior Member

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    And just another quick question, what years did Gibson use the "black beauty" tone caps?
     
  5. Brewdude

    Brewdude Senior Member

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    I'd recommend Greg at BCR Music, he's a great Luthier and has seen a ton of vintage guitars. He's over in Lemoyne, at least from where I am in Lancaster its about a 40 minute drive up 283, though it sounds like its the opposite direction of you...

    http://www.bcrmusic.com/
     
  6. idnotbe

    idnotbe Senior Member

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    if you want an appraisal "paper"
    => contact Eric Ernest.

    if you just want to know what it is
    => get a set of late 50's original black pup rings from eBay.
    then, watch and smell.
     
  7. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    '60-early 70's, up to about early '73.
    An early '72:
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  8. sws1

    sws1 V.I.P. Member

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    Eric Ernest is typically at the Philly guitar shows, as well as other people who can help. I think the next show is May or June in Oaks PA. That's probably your easiest access to experts (and potentially easy sell if that's what you want.)
     
  9. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Get a firm value range and DON'T let anyone screw you...expect vultures to swoop in.
     
  10. RockinRoge

    RockinRoge Junior Member

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    Hi all, just got back from BCR music and had a great time playing vintage, some really nice new and geeking out to vintage parts with Greg! He was really helpful with everything! Greg compared it to a real M69 ring and confirmed my ring is REAL! I'm very excited! He is in the process of taken pictures and writing up a letter of authentication. Thank you all for the help!
     
  11. d1m1

    d1m1 Senior Member

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    Thats awesome! Great news! in the beginning i was skeptical but when you cleaned them and removed the dirt i was pretty sure they are real.
     
  12. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Thought so!

    Congrats!
     
  13. decoy205

    decoy205 Senior Member

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    That's cool! It's hard to tell with just photos. I think smelling them actually helps as the smell is distinct.
    Glad you got to go to BCR. Somewhere someone with a burst is missing that part.
     
  14. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    It does..I have always said CAB smells like cheesy puke!
     
  15. decoy205

    decoy205 Senior Member

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    That's a good description! :laugh2:
     
  16. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    I once got my old lady with a bag of old CAB knobs (Gold reflectors and speeds)

    Me: "Hun, smell these.."
    Her: "EWWW..did they go bad?"

    Real CAB does that!!:naughty: (brand new, maybe just faint, it needs time to gas off some)


    I get whiffs from my tool box at work too..certain handles are still CAB.

    Old tackleboxes are a good source of that fine aroma as well.

    I like it myself.:D
     
  17. RockinRoge

    RockinRoge Junior Member

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    Hahaha, I always just thought my guitar stank! I used put fabric softener sheets in the pick pocket!
     
  18. ajory72

    ajory72 Senior Member

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    For those in the know, do the True Historic Les Paul pickup rings show the same level of detail - to the endth degree as what we've seen with say for arguments sake = OTPG and other repro rings?
    Do they black light the same way too?

    Just interested if they do - or if there will eventually be a burst copy that has those levels of detail.

    Or are we creating problems for future guitar lovers in 30 years or so? [keeping in mind some of us may well be senile by then and dont give to dead rats butts about guitars and are focused more on the old persons home nurse giving us our daily scrub-down :D]
     
  19. sws1

    sws1 V.I.P. Member

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    Level of detail is not the same. Similar, but not exact. Haven't seen all repro rings, but those that I have seen aren't exact either.

    Gibson rings don't blacklight the same either. Maybe in 20 years, they will black light the same, but they don't out of the gate. Maybe some repro rings light correctly, but not the ones I've seen.
     

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