Seeking Opinions on This 1951/1952 Les Paul Oddity

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by BodhiSM, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. BodhiSM

    BodhiSM Junior Member

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    Hi,

    This is my first time on this forum. I am seeking opinions on this strange guitar. This is a 1952 Les Paul that may actually be a very early prototype made in 1951. It is early enough that it was made before they started putting serial numbers on. This guitar has been in the closet for about 15 years. Took it out and have been contemplating what to do with it- keep and refurbish or sell.

    As you can hopefully see from the pics, the guitar has had significant work done to it- mostly, i would assume to deal with that weird '52 tailpiece that everyone hated. The fretboard has been shortened to compensate for the replacement tailpiece. an abr was added. according to my guitar tech, the neck appears to have been shaved down/slimmed. So, yes....a frankenstein job. But, the guitar sounds transcendent to me. All the electronics are original and working fine. It is one of the nicest sounding guitars I have ever played. And even with the weird fretboard and the thin neck, it plays like butter (at least with .9s). Gold 4.png Gold 1.png Gold 3.png

    Its an odd guitar, to be sure. But it has its charms. So, its been in the closet for many years and i have been really loving playing and recording with it for the last few months. But I'm not sure if I want to keep it or sell. This is why I have posted here. I have absolutely zero idea how much a fair price for this guitar is. On the one hand its a million miles from museum quality, but on the other hand it is most likely one of the very first LPs ever made and plays nice and sounds out of this world. So, if anyone has any ballpark idea of what a fair price for this guitar would be I would be very happy to hear your opinions/ideas. Please forgive the dust on the guitar in the pics. Thank you.
     

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  2. Left Paw

    Left Paw Senior Member

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    I can't give you a price, but there are a lot more funky things going on with that guitar than just the ones you mention.
     
  3. NorlinBlackBeauty

    NorlinBlackBeauty Senior Member

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    BodhiSM - welcome to the MLP!

    There is a lot wrong with the features on that guitar. I'll let others add their observations / opinions.
     
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  4. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    Funky fretboard aside. I say it looks like the real deal. You could get a fair bit for it if you sold it. Although the neck shave looks a bit funky too. Post some cavity shots.
     
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  5. sws1

    sws1 V.I.P. Member

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    My first question...

    Why are you posting screenshots of actual photos, rather than actual photos?
     
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  6. mipstoo

    mipstoo Member

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    Because the guitar is timid?
     
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  7. BodhiSM

    BodhiSM Junior Member

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    Jumping@Shadows....if you see this, i got your private message but can't respond to it because i don't have enough posts on this forum to qualify for being able to respond privately. So, please EM me at dgordon9898@gmail.com. If anyone can let jumping@shadows that this post is here i would appreciate it. Thank you.
     
  8. Sharky

    Sharky Senior Member

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    place an @ sign right before jumping@shadows and he'll get a notice when entering the page @Jumping@shadows
     
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  9. Jumping@shadows

    Jumping@shadows V.I.P. Member

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    Sent you an email dude :)
     
  10. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Yep, Double Rings / Tuners etc., Nut Width / Shape, Knobs by the look of it.

    Need more pics.

    We'll wait for Yuuki's comments in due course. :p ;) :)

    :cheers2:
     
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  11. Greco

    Greco Senior Member

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    The tuners and parts are easily changed. Rudi, The guy who "fixed" this replaced and shortened the fretboard away from the headstock, making it shorter scale. (Crazy!) Then resprayed the heastock black where there would've been a gap, which makes it look so funky. Seeing as they could've put the bridge anywhere to accommodate the original scale, it is a completely bat-shit-crazy waste of time and effort to replace the fretboard with a short scaled one. Maybe it is a case of some sort of neck smash and this is "all they had" to fix it. But still, here we are...I still say this was an original 52-ish LP at some point.
     
  12. jimi55lp

    jimi55lp Senior Member

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    The logo for 1951 had the I dot touching the G and yours is mid to later 1952 in every world. The fretboard was added and the prototypes I've seen had dot marker on the fretboard, isn't your fretboard ebony? The P90 at bridge would have been diaginal screw mounts and if you pull the bridge pup the wire route should be in the center unless it's a later early model as that was one of the first things changed on the unbounds. Control cavity should be routed in a rectangle shape as the clover shape was introduced around same time as the neck pup I mentioned. I'm not sure what other things are wrong as I can't see any more than the 3 photos posted in your thread but I'm not thinking this is anyway a prototype 1951/52 LP. The bridge wasn't invented until 1955? you should measure the pickgaurd screw mount next to the fretboard to see distance between the center of the screw and edge of the neck, as that is different on ALL 1952 models. Does your ground go to the tailpiece mounting plate? Can you see a wedge of maple below the binding in the cutaway? Look at all of these things to start and or post more photos showing them for help with verification.
     
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  13. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

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    It's worth between eight and 10 grand, depending how badly the neck has been shaved down.
     
  14. 58 special

    58 special Senior Member

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    Block inlays
     
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  15. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Oxblood Addict V.I.P. Member

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    That's wrong in so many ways it's not even funny. I think 8-10k would be wishful thinking.
     
  16. judson

    judson Senior Member

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    u guys are good...if i ever run across a 50's deal, im posting here....there are huge benefits being here

    :yesway: :)
     
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  17. nuance97

    nuance97 Premium Member

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    Yeah I’m thinking like $6,000
     
  18. nuance97

    nuance97 Premium Member

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    Well...if all the electronics are circa 1952, and not all replaced then maybe $7-$7,500:hmm:
     
  19. vintageguitarz

    vintageguitarz Senior Member

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    51's and 52 Les Pauls NEVER had that tail piece, they ALL had either "Trapeze" (long) or a Stop Tailpiece. What's on that is from a Gibson from the early 60's, a Jazz model.

    Here, have a lookie at a real '51 - thru '54.
    https://reverb.com/news/a-les-paul-from-every-year-1952-1960
     
  20. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    Not a prototype. There is only one known to exist, and it looks nothing like the final version.

    Here's the real deal:
    [​IMG]
     
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