1984 The Paul - What is this really?

dpritchard

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Hi everyone! First post here. Long time LP fan, owned a couple copies, but this is the first "real" one I've had if you can call it that. I've done a lot of research, and found some great info on The Paul guitars here, but there's not a whole lot out there on the final years of production.

Serial number dates this to 1984. That makes it unique in that:

1) It's likely not a Firebrand (gold silk screen logo on headstock, The Paul truss rod cover)
2) It has a harmonica bridge
3) It's a mahogany body with a cherry burst type of finish (can't find any others like that)
4) The switching is different, with the 3-way selector moved up by the pickguard, and a separate other switch in the bottom hole

I've only found ONE other guitar like this (first one in the gallery here), and sure enough it is an 84. The finish is slightly different as well. But it was posted by a shop in France, so contacting them probably wouldn't do me much good.

Any information you could give me on this thing and why it's so different would be appreciated. I know the pickups aren't original, so I included a picture of one I was given with it. I thought probably the tuners weren't original either, but, there are no extra holes. And maybe it's a refinish? Or some Norlin employee's experiment? No idea :hmm:









 
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HardCore Troubadour

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I can not see the pics.....

however:

silkscreen will be The Paul

Harmonica bridges popped up all over the place during this time.

There were plenty Mahogany The Paul's....they were the "deluxe" model, the standard was Walnut.

They came in a few colors, burst was not one.

again, I can not see but the switch was most likely added later.

welcome aboard.
 

dpritchard

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Thanks! Not sure why you can't see the pics but here they are using the uploader.

Good to know about the harmonica bridge. Almost all of the ones I saw from the 80s had a TOM. Looked like it did in catalogs too. FWIW it's a Schaller.

I guess I knew that the Deluxe models were mahogany, but, everything I found online said that would've been a Firebrand.

I figured the switch was added later also, then found the one in the gallery I linked to which has the same configuration, and is also a burst. Seems too coincidental. Then again, that is the only one like that I could find. If it is a refinish it sure is a good job.

I'd love to know what the original pickups were, and if it could've come with Kluson style / Gibson Deluxe tuners like what's on it now.
 

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HardCore Troubadour

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most likely would have had Shaw's (which appears to be what you have pictured).

I do not seen any yellow overspray in the cavity, what does the bridge cavity look like?

Tuners would have been grovers, most likely.

Bad crack on the headstock!!
 

mudface

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I had a "Firebrand Deluxe" The Paul bought in 1979.... A bit different than this..... Hog body and neck, Ebony with dot fretboard, Grover keystone tuners, Nashville bridge, Dirty Fingers PUs, black speed knobs, no pickguard, and natural finish.

Later models would often have various parts.... Though basically the same slab beveled body and control layout. This was a stones throw from the Studio which had a maple cap and a more Les Paul type of lay out. I think Gibson wanted to give it different finish to make them more appealing to those who couldn't swing for the Studio.

This looks like they just wanted use up parts... like the Harmonica bridge. Those are not Dirty Fingers pickups just in case you wanted to know. More likely Shaws like HCT mentioned.
 

dpritchard

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most likely would have had Shaw's (which appears to be what you have pictured).

I do not seen any yellow overspray in the cavity, what does the bridge cavity look like?

Tuners would have been grovers, most likely.

Bad crack on the headstock!!
Good point, no overspray I can see in the bridge cavity either.

Next time I do a string change I'll take one of the tuners off and see if there are any extra holes. I forgot the hole for Grovers is on the bottom, not offset to the side, so it'd be covered up by Deluxes.

The crack is a weird thing...don't think it's actually a crack, unless it was broken during manufacturing and glued. It's entirely under the finish, and doesn't go all the way through the headstock. Not visible from the top. Really hard to show that in a picture though.

(In case you're wondering, in the second picture I was trying to measure bridge post spacing. Not a big fan of the look or feel of the harmonica.)
 

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HardCore Troubadour

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stands for Vintage cherry sunburst....that is a factory finish.

either they came in that finish or it was a one off.....are both pups the same as what you pictured?

open the back cavity and let's see in there...I can not imagine why anyone would drill another hole?
 
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dpritchard

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That'd be really cool if it were a one off! I didn't think that'd be done for one of these.

Unfortunately I only have that one factory pickup...the other one I was given is what I believe to be an Ibanez Super 80. (At least, it looks the same as another pickup I pulled out of a Roadstar II.) Seen on the left here.

Back cavity is a mess, I don't think this is the original wiring harness. Or at the very least it's been re-soldered multiple times. There's writing in it which looks like it says "1:10" and it has a signature under it. Sorry the extra hole is sorta covered up, it's top center underneath one of the pickup leads.
 

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dpritchard

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It is in the cavity :) Here's a better pic.

P.S. - I fully intend to clean this up. Anyone know what the original harness would've looked like? Brand of pots, type of wire?
 

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HardCore Troubadour

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cts factory Gibson pots,.....caps could have been a couple different kinds because of the time period....most likely the small M&M cap that is actually pictured....looks factory to me....do you think those pots are replacements?

I am sure you can google a pic or do a search here.......if not, let me know and I will pull mine and take a shot.
 

TheZ

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I've seen a few '84 "The Paul" guitars with the harmonica bridge like this one. I want to say I've seen one that was all black and another that was a pelham blue type color. I imagine they were using up Firebrand bodies and possibly some bridges from L6-S or S-1/Marauders. It's a neat find!
 

HardCore Troubadour

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Those bridges came on some Les Paul's during this period, also.

They used what was in the bins....
 

hamerfan

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That's not a The Paul, because of the body bevel!
It's a very early Gibson Invader. The Invader was built in very small quantities from 1983 to 1989 (according to George Gruhn)
Here is one from Reverb in black:

I don't know about the bolt-on neck. Gruhn does not mention that.
To the OP: How is the neck on your guitar?
 
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mudface

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That's not a The Paul, because of the body bevel!
It's a very early Gibson Invader. The Invader was built in very small quantities from 1983 to 1989 (according to George Gruhn)
Here is one from Reverb in black:

I don't know about the built-in neck. Gruhn does not mention that.
To the OP: How is the neck on your guitar?

I had owned a 1979 The Paul....it had a beveled body and a tummy carve.

bd5b90f78a0bc3423e3a0fc6da3a0ab5.jpg


gibson-the-paul-std-walnut-1979-cons-full-rear.jpg


cmluedahhsta2yroxt9l.jpg
 

hamerfan

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Yeah, you are right. There is a bevel on the Paul. If it's a glued in neck, then it could be a The Paul Deluxe? These were built 1980 to 1986.
 
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