The Sexy Hexy Burst: 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar owned by Alex Conti of Lake, Atlantis +

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by eric ernest, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. mrfett

    mrfett Hello, my name is mrfett and I'm a guitaraholic. Premium Member

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    ok... so because it turns out that the serial number is fictional, we think it is an original sunburst Les Paul from 1958 whose original serial number was higher than the one on it now. took me a minute but i finally get it lol.

    also, it turns out Detlef was right about it and really should've just gotten the dumb plastics issue sorted with the buyer.

    sweet guitar!
     
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  2. eric ernest

    eric ernest V.I.P. Member

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    The "sin of omission" turned out to be that the shop did not tell the owner the serial number was obviously too low to fall in the range of a Burst."

    Now, the caveat (if there is one) is that was the first "Burst" Detlef ever bought.....although, he did have 4 years to sort the serial number issue out prior to selling it.
     
  3. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    ...and then turns out to be a Burst within several months of Eric Ernest looking at it a little closer, am I getting this right?

    No offense guys, but......
     
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  4. eric ernest

    eric ernest V.I.P. Member

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    What conclusion would you come to if you saw brown pore filler in the cavities...and a Goldtop range serial number? Hum?

    It took several months to get the serial number cross referenced with the factory ledgers.

    Is Germanic nepotism in play here? :rofl::rofl:
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  5. mrfett

    mrfett Hello, my name is mrfett and I'm a guitaraholic. Premium Member

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    wow that's crazy, that it can take months to properly vet some of these clues when a guitar's origins are murky. thanks for sharing all this Eric it's really interesting.
     
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  6. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    yeah, you got me there. :fingersx:
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  7. BadMojo

    BadMojo Senior Member

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    Great pics!
     
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  8. skydog

    skydog Senior Member

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    2293AF5B-FB9D-4DE6-B1E7-D356506ABB52.jpeg Abalone Guitars is now trying to sell it as a 1959?
     
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  9. eric ernest

    eric ernest V.I.P. Member

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    Odds are much more likely that it is actually a '59.

    Since in the earliest photos from 1974/1975 it had a double cream and Zebra pickups and you also have the now debunked serial number...

    I should have put 1959 in the title.
     
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  10. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Isn't that a bit much conjecture? You know as well as anybody that swapping PAFs was rampant among Gibson players back in the 70s?
     
  11. eric ernest

    eric ernest V.I.P. Member

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    In 1974? In Germany? Not really....this pretty much pre-dates that ethos.

    DiMarzio was barely off the ground (1972) and they didn't even make a Zebra then. Probably not even distributed in Germany for years.

    The "brass hardware" upgrade wasn't even in bloom.....and German trends followed what was going on in the US...so you guys were even further behind.

    Much of the gear during that era entered Germany via US servicemen...
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  12. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    My buddy traded the PAFs of his '61 ES-335 with those of another ES when he got it used in 1970 or so. he tells me that stuff was common practice back then. And while guitars came to Germany via US service men, there were also regular Gibson dealers. I know of several Bursts that were bought new in the late 50s, early 60s at german music stores.
    DiMarzio had nothing to do with any of this, as a matter of fact the absence of an aftermarket pickup sector probably increased the trading of genuine Gibson Pickups because that's all there was to trade, buy or sell , genuine parts and cheap knock-offs. By the mid to late 70s german players might have installed DiMarzios and kept their genuine PAFs and put them in a drawer, since by then everybody and their brother knew about the old pickups being special.
    Anyway, to use the presence of Zebra or DW PAFs as evidence of this guitar being a '59 is not convincing, especially considering the fact it didn't convince you when you identified it as a Goldtop to begin with.
     
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  13. Sharky

    Sharky Senior Member

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    I saw masses of PAFs beeing replaced by after market PUPs in the late 70s here in Frankfurt/Main, because nobody appreciated the PAFs back then. Many of them were kept by the techs/were traded for the expensive new ones. Most players even hated PAFs and were happily handing them over for small money
     
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  14. eric ernest

    eric ernest V.I.P. Member

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    Yes, LATE 70's. That is 100% correct. They were pulling them and putting DiMarzio Super Distortions in their guitars!!!!

    This is also why I mentioned DiMarzio in my comments....to illustrate the pickups in that Burst could not have been aftermarket pickups in 1974/75. :cheers:
     
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  15. eric ernest

    eric ernest V.I.P. Member

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    That's not first hand information....and there were scarce opportunities to get a wiring schematic, or someone to swap pickups back then. This pre-dates the do-it-yourself ethos of the late 70's. Not commonplace as you suggest....particularly in Germany.

    We didn't even have a luthier here, in my state's capitol, until around 1982.

    Did I imply they weren't? No. I researched and hit all of the major music stores in Germany back in the mid 90's.

    IMG_0846.JPG

    I mentioned DiMarzio to illustrate the Zebra pickup in that Burst could not have been a DiMarzio in 1974/75.

    I can assure you, people were not pulling their "special" PAF pickups out and storing them for safe keeping. :rofl:

    They were pulling PAF's out and replacing them with Super Distortion pickups because they were having to dime their amp out to get high gain distortion.

    You should be criticizing Detlef Alder of Guitar Point, not me.

    The double cream and Zebra pickups were GONE when I initially saw the guitar.

    Detlef saw the guitar when it was refinished only once. (Actually twice...but he thinks THIS is the original finish. :rofl:)

    Alex_Burst.jpg

    The guitar was already refinished FOUR times when I saw it.

    I'm the one who found all of the vintage photos of this Burst, not Detlef Alder.

    I'm the one who crossed referenced the serial number with the original Gibson factory ledgers, not Detlef Alder.

    I'm the one who told his customer the the guitar had brown pore filler in it, not Detlef Alder.

    I'm the one who told his customer the guitar had a serial number out of the range for a Burst, not Detlef Alder.

    All of this angst lies at the feet of Detlef Alder of Guitar Point, because he either did not do his homework, or he did not even know enough to know what the homework was.

    Given this guitar is the first Burst Detlef ever bought....I'll go with the latter.

    Detlef chose to dismiss his customers concerns and the negative fallout. That is on him.


    Curiously, you criticize me....
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  16. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    What's not first hand information? The comments and first hand account of my friend? You seem to know the german vintage scene better than guys 20 years your senior who actually lived there their entire lives. I'll take my friend's account over yours which is based in what again?
    I've heard similar stories from German and US vintage dealers/ collectors recounting the "early days" . The DIY ethos you're referring to might be the aftermarket parts craze that started in the late 70's, it has nothing to do with what we're discussing here.
    At the time (early to mid 70s) there was only a small number of german players (among them top players like Conti, Frank Dietz, Thomas Kretschmer, Karl Allaut, Paul Vincent, etc) who were playing "vintage" and when you study old pictures you'll see Kretschmer with a Vee, then Conti with a Vee, then Vincent with a Vee, etc. I doubt they each had one at the same time. My guess is that they all owned the same guitars over a couple of year period, same with Bursts, Dot-necks, etc. probably bought and sold through the small number of vintage dealers at the time like Willi Becker music center ( later No1 Guitar Center). Who's to say someone didn't keep the pickups when trading the guitar back , that wouldn't have been a big deal since other donor guitars were probably available. I wouldn't count on these guitars being traded around with all parts intact. Doing so is conjecture, doing so if it suits you is something else entirely.

    Which proves what again?

    I just responded to your statement that vintage guitars came to Germany via US servicemen. Those servicemen were only stationed in the south (American sector), hardly a source for all 50s Gibsons floating around in Germany.

    The DiMarzio issue only confuses the matter, nobody said that the Conti Burst had DiMarzios put on.

    No, Eric you can't assure me of that, you have no way of knowing and I get very skeptical when someone "can assure me" of anything.

    I am not interested in Detlef's dealings, to me he's another Johnny-come-lately trying to convince the world that he's an expert in this stuff. I welcomed RDs calling him out, allthought I came to regret that as that train wreck of multiple threads went on.

    Anyway, I'm not talking to Detlef, I'm talking to you. You posted pictures of the guitar dating back to the mid 70s showing an odd looking sunburst refinished Gibson Les Paul Standard with what not only must be genuine Zebra and DW PAFs (according to your reasoning which I don't doubt) but which also must be original to this guitar since your inside knowledge of German vintage Customs from 45 years ago tells you that PAFs weren't swapped back then ( that reasoning I doubt very much) so here's my question:
    Why didn't the presence of DW/Zebra PAFs in those old pictures (that were not hard to find online) imediately prove that the guitar was indeed a Burst? Why do they prove it now?
     
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  17. eric ernest

    eric ernest V.I.P. Member

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    You cant be serious. Whenever you refer to an observation of someone else's observation, it's called "second hand information." :hmm:


    The guitar was most likely Painted and Govered (and potential pickup swapped by your argument) at the same time.....since there are no photos of it in any other state.

    So that would mean the luthier had access to a Zebra and Double Cream humbuckers, but didn't have another Burst or even a photo of a Burst to paint it anywhere near what one actually looks like in reality.

    So he paints the guitar with a ridiculously silly finish, but somehow manages to put the coolest looking pickups in it.


    It's called "process of elimination," and it's how you methodically draw conclusions.


    Because you have to look at all of the supporting evidence to draw a conclusion.

    The more you know, the more reliable your conclusion.

    I'm also not saying the pickups indicate the guitar is a Burst over a Goldtop. I am saving the pickups point to the fact the guitar was most likely a "59, not a "58.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  18. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    You really lost me there. I'm not referring to an observation of someone else's observation. If my friend shows me the PAFs on his 335 and tells me that they were not original to the guitar but were traded/ swapped (by him) when he got the guitar in 1970, what's not first hand about his account? Him telling me that this happened all the time may be 2nd hand information or observation, but that only matters if it's not supported / accompanied by his first hand account. I am quoting/ referring to a firsthand account I witnessed. Would it make a difference if he posted instead of me? Newspapers refer to first hand accounts all the time, doesn't make it second hand information, does it? If my referrals are second hand information, what would you call your accounts on what happened in german vintage circles almost half a century ago?

    I have no clue whether the Pus were swapped, I said their presence is not an indicator of what the guitar is since they could have been swapped. If I would have barged into the original thread proclaiming that the guitar is definitely a Burst (a '59 no less, RD got himself a deal here) because the Pus are likely original to the guitar and there are no 50's Goldtops with DW or Zebras you would have called me a fool and would have made exactly the argument I'm making now.

    Furthermore your scenario of an ignorant luthier is pointless, nobody suggested a luthier swapped Pus before, during or after the refin, anyone with access to a soldering iron and these PAFs could've done it at any time before the earliest Conti-with-Burst pic was taken, Karl Allaut or Alex Conti himself could've done it for all we know.

    Well, I'm more than a little rusty on my Les Paul Standard facts but IIRC there presumably are no 59 Gold Tops ( except maybe 1??) , and DW/ Zebras didn't appear until '59, ergo, isn't saying that the pickups are original to this guitar synonymous with saying it's a '59 Burst? You say the PU's "point to the fact that the guitar was most likely a '59" (Burst, what else??) but fail to explain why they didn't point to it being a '59 (Burst, what else??) earlier.

    If I was owning that guitar I'd be less inclined to call it a Burst, a '59 or whatnot, instead I'd call it a refinished late 50's Les Paul Standard. But I don't have a nickel invested in it so go ahead, call it whatever you want, it's up to each of us to decide whether we believe you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  19. eric ernest

    eric ernest V.I.P. Member

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    First hand.

    If I tell you and you reiterate the information it is "second hand" information. You did not experience the the account.


    The guitar was presented to RD as a Burst.



    The very first post, #25, and #40, explain how I arrived at my conclusions. "Parts" are usually the last indicator I draw conclusions from....so an awful lot had to be sorted out beforehand.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  20. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Did you live in Germany at age 10 and witness the dawn of the do-it-yourself-ethos in person?

    from the free dictionary:
    Adj. 1. firsthand - received directly from a source; "firsthand information"
    Adv. 1. firsthand - from the original source; directly; "I heard this story firsthand"


    Merriam-Webster:
    "coming right from the original source ,firsthand information
    I got the story firsthand."


    I received firsthand information regarding the swapping of PAFs on vintage Gibsons from a friend I've know for 35 years. What's the problem here?

    Yes, and you didn't believe it despite the presence of the Pus. What am I missing here? If I had said what you now say you would have not accepted that reasoning, why should anyone accept yours now?

    What does that explain other than you changed your mind after further research. You have no actual evidence of it being a '59, just conjecture.....

    "con·jec·ture kənˈjekCHər/ noun
    1. an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information.

    .....which is my original point. You haven't answered the relevant questions in my view. I'm going in circles and I'm tired of it, enjoy yer geetar, cheers.




     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018

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