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Discussion in 'Norlin Years' started by Burny FLG, Jan 21, 2018.
Whats not to like? Mainly for me its how the feel and play.
Where this helps, and this became one of the more interesting things to me, is identifying build and other characteristics that generally show up in various eras of a product's life cycle. It reminds me a lot of cars. I'm an old demolition derby guy, so I'll use this example: a '74 Buick 225 looks nearly identical to a '76, but there are a few little things/available options that are very different that can mean different things to different people. The one that comes to mind first is what a lot of drivers call a "tow package." The main difference for derby is it has an extra piece of steel welded to the rear frame humps from the factory. Adding such after the fact is usually illegal. The tow package was available mainly from '74-'75 with a few '73s. Kinda like the transition from t-tops to Shaws.
This is the most important piece of the puzzle.
I don't particularly "like" norlins and would be happy with any good LP/Gibson, no matter the era. In fact i do also own an '09 Explorer so it's not like i shun Juskiewicz era Gibsons.
Norlins just happened to be affordable when i started buying LP's (probably because of the stigma attached to them - which i didn't know about then), and furthermore quite a few of the modern LP's i have had in my hands just felt to unsubstantial compared to the norlins i have owned. Picking up a "featherweight" modern LPC in a store just feels wrong (did they make it from balsawood???) when you are used to a solid 12 pounder
Fun part is that i have a cheapish Japanese LP copy (set neck), that is a bit lighter than the Norlins i have owned, and the feel of that reminds me of the feel of modern LP's... So either the japanese got their copies really correct, or modern Gibson has sunk down to a quality level that is reminiscent of the early japanese copy era
So Norlins got the tow package!
I hear you, we live in a largely conformist society, they (them) seem quite happy to have the same car, house, garden, clothes etc. Me I pretend to be normal mostly it's easier to function on a day to day basis. I don't have the same interests as they do so I observe. Anyway good songwriting material.
I don't get the collectable thing, I mean I do but I don't buy into it. It make them a less attractive proposition and don't like new generally. Then I find these early 80s guitars - old but cheap. Play a few what's wrong with them, they sound fine, tune up, are solid, got good hardware, I'm buying one. I think the weight put off buyers of mine, the more I play it the more I learn how to find its sweet and chimy tone.
Must....have.... Heritage.... quilt top..... before i die..... On bucket list
If you're referring to the volute and 3 piece maple neck, Norlins got the tow package and a set of leaf springs!
I thought you meant the extra bit of steel welded to the frame.
I loved them when I didn't know they were Norlin's........I bought them and played them and didn't care who the parent company was.....didn't know what a "parent company" is........it could have been AMF, ......didn't care. As far as I knew they were Gibsons.
Yep. What is not to like?
I bought my 73 because I liked LPs, and I liked it in particular. I'm sure Norlin-era Pauls had their share of dogs -- like any era -- and like any guitar from any time in any manufacturer's history, I will play before I buy.
For me, I think T-Top humbucker Les Pauls are the THE sound of rock and roll, and represent the music and the bands from my formative years. So many great songs and artists of that era, and the Norlins are a bridge to that past.
For me it's simple, plus, ignorance is bliss. My first exposure was that Ace Frehley played a '74 LPC in KISS' heyday of the late '70s. Prior to that were some early/mid '70s tobacco bursts. I didn't know anything about Norlin, just that Ace's main was a '74 (at the time it wasn't know if a '73 or '74). So I bought a '73 LPC and it was glorious. At the time I gravitated towards customs so I didn't have any of the '50s burst stigma. Most of the '70s rock I like used guitars that were new to the day which were Norlins and there was good music made with them. Bottom line if it sounds good it is good. I never had a problem with heavy guitars. My '71 LPC Black Beauty is hefty but I really don't even notice. I drink milk and I have strong bones. lol
I'mma gonna steal that!
My 82 weighs 11 pounds.... I sit a lot when I play,
but seriously, not because of this Lester, I've been sitting for several years now..
But I still find very little difference in discomfort when I am done playing my Norlin compared to playing my Mexicaster.
For that I am grateful!
Don't have a Norlin. Have a Gibson. Norlin just owned Gibson when it was made.
Somehow I think that calling the current production Jerkawad or whatever the cats name is that owns em now would make as much sense as calling mine a Norlin.
For me I think it's because I learned to play on one. I got my first good guitar in 1977, a brand-new Les Paul Custom. At the time I could play a few songs and I had a joke of a guitar but I was committed to playing and my parents were hyper-cool and got me the LPC.
So, that's what I literally learned to play on. Y'know, play for real. I gigged with that guitar all through the '80's and put a lot of hard miles on it and eventually (and now, regrettably) let it go. Then I went through a bunch of other Les Pauls and different brands looking for something that felt and sounded "right" but I realized nothing came close to the tone of that '77, so I found another '77 LPC, same color and everything, and it got me closer but wasn't quite as good as my original. Kept searching and playing other guitars/other makes but nothing was a real substitute. Coming full-circle, I finally came across a '79 Custom that has the same feel and tone and will never let it out of my sight. Looking for another good one now.
To me it was alway a unique sound the pancakes had no matter mini buckers or full size. Always had that unique sound. Owned a 1960 sunburst and have been blessed to play both a 58 and 59, helps when your uncle was in Black Oak Arkansas lol and the 60 had the closest sound to any Norlin I owned or played. Funny thing is people either seem to love them or hate them, me I wouldn’t trade my 73 Gold top for anything but another 1960 and that won’t happen I don’t think lol
Pancake ended in '77. My first electric guitar was a routed '76 tobacco burst, still have it but it was a beater when I got it 25 yrs ago and it's kept now for nostalgia and basically wall art. When got older and less broke, I sought out what I consider "peak Norlin"....as in the characteristics I thought were unique or best of the run in the Norlin period. The culminated in a virtually mint, one-owner, closet queen '77 Goldtop Deluxe in original case w/receipt.
My thinking went like this:
- 3 piece maple neck was so prevalent and different, it's a must.
- Deluxe (mini-hbs) - almost all you could get for those middle years,
- Goldtop -because clownburst mis-matched 3piece tops are hideous, and if it's gonna be a Deluxe the goldtop is an iconic look
- '77 because the pancake construction had ended, but the swiss cheese hadn't begun.
- Goldtop w/ cream plastics is an extra bonus for me, it's my alma mater colors and that degree launched a career that allows me to buy these nice guitars in the first place. This was a gift to myself when I finally "made it" in my career.
I like em because they're different, I learned to play guitar on one, and I'm a child of the 70s.