why are 1958 bursts worth so much less than 1959's?

Discussion in 'Vintage Les Pauls' started by pepedede, Nov 17, 2014.

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  1. pepedede

    pepedede Junior Member

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    Hi,

    I've been wondering and I can't find a real answer as to why 1958 bursts are worth so much less than 1959's, at the moment there is a 1958 burst on gbase for $185,000 and on reverb a 1959 burst for $475,000. They are both flame top guitars. I understand that 1959's have a slightly slimmer neck and bigger frets but frets can and possibly have been changed from new anyway.

    I am a happy owner of a 2006 R8 in iced tea and even R9 prices are usually higher.
     
  2. LPPILOT

    LPPILOT Senior Member

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    Features.

    Every great "most wanted " feature is on 59 LP. The only year it had it all .
    Light wood
    Humbuckers PAFS
    ABR
    Burst finish available
    And the perfect ...neck shape.

    58 and 60 necks don't suit everybody ....I compromise
    The 59 is the ideal shape for most people.

    Players appreciate the features that make a good axe. The 59 had them all . And collectors and those artist that can afford them want the BEST model ....I noticed people who really play will pay the price to have the most comfortable , best playing and sounding guitar .

    The best features don't come cheap . Just look at price of a 52 LP compared to a 58 .....the 58 has more desirable wanted features by artist ...people who understand .

    :wave:
     
  3. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    FWIW, I would disregard the price on the '59 you are quoting. That is not the norm IMHO.

    Most Bursts I have seen over the last 12 months range from just over $100,000 up to just over $200,000..............'58, '59 & '60. Of course, this all depends on the Top, the Condition & the History etc.

    Some on this Forum have said that the really great Bursts are not advertised & pass through people's hands by word of mouth, which I can believe (great way to keep the mystique in the boy's club going IMHO).

    '59's are, to many people, more desirable because they are the so called Holy Grail Lester, have larger Frets & are more coveted due to their use by numerous well known, famous musicians.

    For me, I'd rather have a '58 (or a '57 GT for that matter)...............Mark Knopfler's '58 would be cool...............& probably expensive. :D

    Lastly, I personally know of a very collectible '58 Burst that sold in 2014 for a price > $300,000 (sorry can't quote the exact number because it is not my place to do so) but that was a special Guitar.

    My 3c FWIW.

    :cheers:
     
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  4. Fiftywattmafia

    Fiftywattmafia Senior Member

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    Ummmm, well plenty of '58's had relatively light wood, humbuckers were standard, ABR too, burst...check, and the neck shapes varied in each year of the 'burst.

    It certainly wasn't like the Custom Shop Reissues where the R8's have fat necks and the R9's are just right and r0's are thin taper.

    Those stereotypes are just not exactly vintage accurate.
     
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  5. questionman

    questionman Senior Member

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    Slash didnt play a 58
     
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  6. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    + 1 Mark. :thumb:

    Neck shapes, weights etc. were all over the place between 1958 & early 1960.

    Early 1960 Bursts had '59 Neck Profiles.

    I would also think the Wood used for 1957 - 1960 would have all been the same, within the usual variances.

    There is some great reference information around re Wights & Neck Measurements to confirm this.

    Cheers, Rudi
     
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  7. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    59 is iconic and emblematic. The end.

    As a player, I prefer the 57s (gt or refin).
     
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  8. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    Who said they were worth less? I saw one two weeks ago that was going for $350k.

    There are plenty of '58s with necks smaller than some '59s, and some '59s that are chunky. '58s tend to be bigger, but not always.

    You can't substantiate any differences in weight between the three years. It's all over. Fret size was thinner through early '59, but that's a matter of taste, as to whether that's good or bad.

    I'm finding that the top is the #1 determining factor of price, followed by condition, when it comes to '58s and '59s. Flame is king.
     
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  9. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    Flame is king, can't argue with that. Didn't the 59s also have a tendency to fade more than other vintages?
     
  10. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    OK, I looked at the guitars you're talking about, and you can't use these examples as a metric for price differences.

    First off, the '58 going for $185 is not as flamey as the '59, and it has some condition issues. I believe the back has a good deal of wear, from what I was told, and there's a crack in the front, between the knobs. Changed tuner tips, etc. If you look at RS's website, they are selling a mint '60, with the less desirable tomato soup finish, and not much flame, for $245. The condition is the factor.

    The Cowtown guitar is not an uber top, but it's pretty damn flamey. Condition is pretty damned good. They are also on crack, with their pricing. A better topic would be, "How much crack is Cowtown smoking?" rather than "Why are '58s so much less?" I've seen much nicer guitars that their '59 go for $350-400k recently.
     
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  11. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    Not quite. '58s fade plenty, and so do early '60s. The thing is that some '59s tend to fade to brown, on the way to lemon top. They were doing something different with the dye that year, at times. I've been trying to find a brand of cherry aniline that browns like that. I'm in the middle of testing a batch right now, but since it's winter, even in LA, it's gonna take longer to get there.
     
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  12. Stealthtastic

    Stealthtastic Senior Member

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    Most iconic artists used a 59 didnt they? I might be wrong, err probably am wrong, but that was my impression of things.
     
  13. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    Beano was a '60, by all accounts. You don't get more iconic than that!
     
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  14. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks for the clarity, I remember there being something different and desirable about the 59 finish...
     
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  15. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    Or a 57,59 or 60..
     
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  16. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    I dunno. Clapton's 60 is probably less iconic than Page's 59.
     
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  17. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    Or even an actual Gibson...
     
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  18. JJ Blair

    JJ Blair Senior Member

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    I thought that we don't really know what year that guitar is, since it had its neck reshaped and refinished, with the serial number lost.
     
  19. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    But just about every detail Page's is known and it hasn't been MIA for the last 47 years.
     
  20. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    My bad, I thought it was definitively established that #1 and #2 were 58 and 59, respectively.
     
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