What 'bout LP burst convertions?!

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by Xrun Morzov, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Xrun Morzov

    Xrun Morzov Senior Member

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    There are some LP 52 to 59 convertions on the market... What do you think of 'em?

    Ex:
    http://www.garysguitars.com/catalog/1952-gibson-les-paul-standard-%E2%80%9Cburst%E2%80%9D-conversion

    Here's some more info on the guitar from the seller:
    This is a guitar that is a real 52’ Goldtop that was modified to be set up as a burst with a stop tail piece, tune-o-matic & humbuckers. It of course has replaced parts and a laminate veneer over the original top. The neck was reset to the proper modern neck angle. It has tone of the original woods and the dazzle & flare offered by the flamed Maple veneer. The guitar weighs 8 lbs 15 oz and sounds amazing.
    We do not know the Luthier's name but the work is superb.
    Has the original pots, capacitors, tuners, etc., still in the guitar.
    We believe the pickups are Dimarzio's.

    :slash:
     
  2. amused

    amused Senior Member

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    Have you played the guitar? Do you know how long ago was the conversion done?

    The price is definitely not bad if the work is well done but i would let expert say that, because only a few very talented luthier are able to make a real conversion, with real burst specifications... a lot of conversion are done with incorrect measurements, so they only are routing for humbuckers, do you get the difference? Personaly I am not a fan of adding flammed laminated top to an old guitar so I would not go for that kind of conversion.
     
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  3. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    How do you spell Minefield?

    I'd want to know exactly who did this.

    :cheers2:
     
    4 people like this.
  4. Ducati

    Ducati V.I.P. Member

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  5. 2manyGuitars

    2manyGuitars Senior Member

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    Something about a veneer rubs me the wrong way. Either go with the old wood or if you must have flame, re-top it.
     
  6. Jimmi

    Jimmi Senior Member

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    No to retop. There are enough conversions around with original flame tops. I wanted a second one a few years back and it literally took me about 6 months to find one and it was near center seam to boot. I saw 2 for sale this year alone. All were converted in the distant past also.

    You don't need to do a new conversion or do a retop just be patient.
     
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  7. 2manyGuitars

    2manyGuitars Senior Member

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    Don't get me wrong. I wasn't advocating for a re-top. To me, having the original "old wood" is one of the reasons people look for conversions. To replace the top just to have flame seems like a waste (issues with the original maple cap are another matter). There's nothing wrong with a plain top. If you really need the flame, keep looking. This is just my opinion, but having a veneer on my "burst" would feel like cheating.
     
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  8. Jimmi

    Jimmi Senior Member

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    One of the best conversions I saw was a three peice top painted cherry red. Great looking guitar...easily as nice as a burst top.
     
  9. Jimmi

    Jimmi Senior Member

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    I wonder how the original top looks. I have seen a few of the 68s that Knight did with the veneer taken off and they were great.
     
  10. dwagar

    dwagar V.I.P. Member

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    I agree, I'm not a fan either.

    As far as I'm concerned a conversion is a butchered vintage LP, and should be discounted as such. Hopefully the original guitar had issues before it was converted. Also deduct for the missing vintage hardware.

    And I also think vintage P-90s are far better pickups than any new humbucker.
     
  11. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    Conversions can be great guitars. Ask Don Felder or Denny Laine, who recorded some serious rock radio staples with them. My 53/59 conversion kicks the crap out of any modern LP I've owned or played, even my one with vintage makeover and real PAFs.

    I don't mind a good veneer, but a retop is my last choice. Dave Johnson has been doing beautiful veneers for years. When done right, you'd never know.
     
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  12. sws1

    sws1 V.I.P. Member

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    I think if I were to buy a conversion, it would have to be the original maple. Probably makes it very hard to find one that would speak to me, but I've seen some great ones.
     
  13. Jimmi

    Jimmi Senior Member

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    They are not actually that hard to find. Even the ones veneered and retopped, most of the original tops have character. People just don't like the multiple peices or off center or expect book matched tops. Only ones I would cover up would be the few 5 peice tops.
     
  14. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    I love my conversion. Here's how it came, and how it wound up.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Petergrifindor

    Petergrifindor Senior Member

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    Wow, that is amazing
     
  16. Progear

    Progear Premium Member

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    I also love my 56/59 conversion.. IMHO, nothing beats old wood... :dude:

    Before and after pics
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. jimi55lp

    jimi55lp Senior Member

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    I understand why people convert trapeze model LPs, and when you factor the prices of original Bursts it's very believable that folks would have to go that route. I don't think it's hard to find a trapeze 52/53 with issues from folks trying to make them playable before conversion tail bars came about. I agree that a conversion is a trick or counterfiet piece but people want what they want. If you look at the shipping totals of 1952 thru 53 traptails produced, it's over 2835 trapeze GTs which makes me think we're safe that some will be preseved original? As far as retops, if it had routing or oversanding issues I understand the retop thought since I don't believe Maple has as much to do with tone verses the older growth that was original to the guitar. I could never warm up to any multiple piece or off center top with a burst finish. Each to their own, just do it right if it's being done. Removing a veneer top is impossible since the edges had to be sanded way down to allow for the veneer to fit next to the binding and would require veneering or retopping to convert back to a GT anyway. If you want one just be sure you like what has been done with it and play it first before purchasing unless there is a return policy with no penalty. I don't have negative feelings on conversions to Bursts if it was done professionally, and there are many that do this work well!
     
  18. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    JJ is that Joel's handywork?

    Awesome. :wow: :wow: :wow: :thumb: :applause:

    Cheers, Rudi
     
  19. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    Yeah, Joel did that. Did the top carve by hand, too. He's a real jedi.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    Who have you seen employ that method? Just curious.
     

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