1952 Goldtop Neck Set Issues

Mike Irvin

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Hey guys,

I'm starting a search for a 50's goldtop, and It seems that some, maybe a lot, of 52 GT's have neck set issues.

I prefer to find a good players 56, but failing that, will consider an earlier one that I can convert to a 56 TOM bridge, or one already converted.

My concern is that if I find a 52 at a good price, will the neck be an issue, especially for the purpose of converting to a TOM bridge and tailpiece?

Thanks in advance guys!

Mike
 

Pete M

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Most 52s and 53s (I think) have a neck angle that is too shallow for an ABR-1 and would need a neck reset. It was the spec at the time, because of the strings wrapping under the trapeze tailpiece. The issue is if you just put an ABR bridge on them the strings will be a foot off the fretboard with it decked. Some people have ground down ABR bridges to fit. Trapeze tails are about half the price of 56s usually.
 
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Mike Irvin

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Great info Pete. Thanks.

So I've noticed on the prices.

That's why I want to do this right, and spend the "right" money for the "right" Goldtop, and have as much knowledge going in as I can.

Thanks Pete.
 

Bottleneck

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You can get a conversion bridge that fits on the existing trapeze tailpiece. Glaser and Mojoxe make one. The neck angle on mine is probably 1°. I have no playability or tuning issues. I would not even consider converting mine.
FB_IMG_1575383565451.jpg
 
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Mike Irvin

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Bottlenwck, that looks really nice and seems to be set up quite well from what you can see. Hows the action with that bridge of Joes, if that's the one you got?


So I presume the shallow neck angles changed when the trapeze was dropped for the stop tail?

And that was some time in 53 I'm guessing?

Sorry just trying to pin this down a little more as I can play over wrapped, it's just not my preference. And under wrapped won't get played.
 

mdubya

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You can get a conversion bridge that fits on the existing trapeze tailpiece. Glaser and Mojotone make one. The neck angle on mine is probably 1°. I have no playability or tuning issues. I would not even consider converting mine.View attachment 424226

:dude::dude::dude:

And yours is about one million times more cool and more original than any conversion on the the planet.

:bowdown:bowdown:bowdown
 

Bottleneck

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Bottlenwck, that looks really nice and seems to be set up quite well from what you can see. Hows the action with that bridge of Joes, if that's the one you got?


So I presume the shallow neck angles changed when the trapeze was dropped for the stop tail?

And that was some time in 53 I'm guessing?

Sorry just trying to pin this down a little more as I can play over wrapped, it's just not my preference. And under wrapped won't get played.
Mine is an early '53. Later in the year they started using a wraparound bridge with thin ears to accommodate the shallow neck angle. There are probably some late '53s that have the steeper angle.

To me, it boiled down to the trap tail not being an issue and saving several thousand dollars on an equal condition '54. It is the cheapes was to get into a no issue 50's goldtop. Same wood, same pickups, same controls.

The height of the Glaser is adjusted by placing double sided rubber tape Joe supplies with purchase.

The Mojoaxe has adjustable feet on it. Several guys on here have both. They may chime in.

I can't tell any difference in feel between the bridge setup on this and a tune o matic. At least not enough to make a difference. I actually think it may have better sustain than my reissues.


Here's a link to a video of me demoing it with a '66 Super Reverb. Shitty playing, but you'll get the idea...LOL. No issues playing it as is.
 
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Mike Irvin

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Bottleneck, That is a gorgeous 53!

Thanks so much for posting that clip. And don't sell yourself short on the playing either!

My goal was to find a 56, since I'm a 56 model myself, and TOM bridges are all I've owned. I've played wrap tails a few times, and TOM bridges feel more at home to me.

I can assure some folks that I'm not trying to be Fashionable, nor Ignorant.

Before I drop 25 K on a guitar, which for a retired guy on a fixed income ain't easy, I want to do my due diligence.

A conversion is the last thing I would want to do, but I was under the assumption that most people did that due to intonation and play-ability issues. Now I see there are non evasive options, and I'm pleased to see it.

Thanks! For the Most part, I'm learning what I came here to learn.
 

charlie chitlins

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A properly set up 52 plays as well as anything.
You'll never hear someone with a 50s Strat or Tele moaning about their guitar playing poorly because of the neck angle.
 

eric ernest

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Word.
Fashion and ignorance..
Oh really....:laugh2:

I put a tune-o-matic and stop tail on my "52 Les Paul in 1985....one of the smartest things Ive ever done.....that would include etching comments on both backplates...

I use this guitar as my main "go to" instrument.....even over any Burst that has passed though my hands.

The shallow neck angle is perfect to me.


1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

But wait. there's more!!!!!


1952 Gibson Les Paul Model guitar.
 
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eric ernest

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Wraptails are magic, not sure why anyone would buy a '52 to convert it to TOM.
I've had MANY wraptails...I would not say they are magic....I would say most early Goldtops are magic...if you know how to maximize the potential.


1954 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1954 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1954 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.
1954_Gibson_les_paul_standard_refin_a.jpg

1954 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar.
1953_gibson_les_paul_standard_guitar_goldtop_weather_checking_finish_small.jpg

1953 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar.
 
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charlie chitlins

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Oh really....:laugh2:

I put a tune-o-matic and stop tail on my "52 Les Paul in 1985....one of the smartest things Ive ever done.....that would include etching comments on both backplates...

I use this guitar as my main "go to" instrument.....even over any Burst that has passed though my hands.

The shallow neck angle is perfect to me.


1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

But wait. there's more!!!!!


1952 Gibson Les Paul Model guitar.
We did a lot of silly stuff in 1985.
I think that's about the time a buddy put a strat pickup in the middle of his 54 Lester.
52's were considered almost too weird to even play, then.
If you'd have been lucky enough to have seen/heard John Garcia playing his with John Lee Hooker around 1983, you might have left it unmolested.
 

Mike Irvin

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Eric, once again you've pushed the Drool factor waaaay past 10!

Your guitars never cease to amaze me.

That 52 with the trap and TOM is quite unique!

Thanks for sharing!
 

zombiwoof

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I put a Tune-o-Matic on my other '52 a few years ago....I would do that again too!

I'll eventually get around to putting a stoptail on it.


1952 Gibson Les Paul guitar.
Are those TP studs just the heads of the studs stuck on for looks?. I can't figure how studs would go through the ends of the trap that also go through the TP.
Al
 

judson

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Oh really....:laugh2:

I put a tune-o-matic and stop tail on my "52 Les Paul in 1985....one of the smartest things Ive ever done.....that would include etching comments on both backplates...

I use this guitar as my main "go to" instrument.....even over any Burst that has passed though my hands.

The shallow neck angle is perfect to me.


1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

1952 Gibson Les Paul Model Guitar.

But wait. there's more!!!!!


1952 Gibson Les Paul Model guitar.


Eric......was there no neck reset needed for that 1952?
 




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