20th or 35th Anniversary Custom? Advice ??

phil b

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Hi All,

So the title basically says it all. The 20th is a 1974 and the 35th is a 1989. I realize that by 1989 Norlin was gone, but thru the years I have heard not so good things about the 80's Les Pauls. There is really not much info out there about these guitars...
3 pup 1957 reissue. Seller is not the original owner but it looks to be a really good shape. Did Henry turn the company around well enough by 1989 that these are worth going after?

The 1974 20th has original pups but looks like the hardware has been changed (tuners,bridge and maybe tailpiece}. I have had a 73 and a 76 custom and they were both just average. These 2 guitars are somewhat similar in price but without playing them its really tough to make a decision. The 89 I believe has a Mahogany top and the 74 is (I THINK) maple. Only difference looks wise is the 35th has the 3rd pup. Both are Ebony in color. Cases for both are in good shape. Thoughts on these would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Edit: link to 35th

link to 20th
 
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phil b

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Don’t get a Norlin, they’re horrible.... :rofl:
I've had 2 Norlin customs. They were average. I have played some killer Norlin guitars and a few that were dogs...
There will always be good and bad in every era.. that being said there is just no info on the 35th ann. out there.
 

brianbzed

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Hi All,

So the title basically says it all. The 20th is a 1974 and the 35th is a 1989. I realize that by 1989 Norlin was gone, but thru the years I have heard not so good things about the 80's Les Pauls. There is really not much info out there about these guitars...
3 pup 1957 reissue. Seller is not the original owner but it looks to be a really good shape. Did Henry turn the company around well enough by 1989 that these are worth going after?

The 1974 20th has original pups but looks like the hardware has been changed (tuners,bridge and maybe tailpiece}. I have had a 73 and a 76 custom and they were both just average. These 2 guitars are somewhat similar in price but without playing them its really tough to make a decision. The 89 I believe has a Mahogany top and the 74 is (I THINK) maple. Only difference looks wise is the 35th has the 3rd pup. Both are Ebony in color. Cases for both are in good shape. Thoughts on these would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Edit: link to 35th

link to 20th
Here's a shot of my 1989 35th Anniv. Custom. It's a superior guitar. Flawless build and finish work. Very good sustain with a fast slim neck. My only minor complaint is that she is HEAVY-11 lbs.. I paid $1995 for this instrument at GC in 1989. Will not be for sale...Grandson's inheritance! These are mildy collectible instruments! They aren't too many of these around, I have seen only one other in person- and it was beat to Hell...If you get a good price on one, I would jump it!!
09 (4).jpg
 

ARandall

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^ They certainly closed up the 'split' in the split diamond inlay.
 

phil b

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Here's a shot of my 1989 35th Anniv. Custom. It's a superior guitar. Flawless build and finish work. Very good sustain with a fast slim neck. My only minor complaint is that she is HEAVY-11 lbs.. I paid $1995 for this instrument at GC in 1989. Will not be for sale...Grandson's inheritance! These are mildy collectible instruments! They aren't too many of these around, I have seen only one other in person- and it was beat to Hell...If you get a good price on one, I would jump it!!
View attachment 427653
Wow!! Shes purty for sure!!! In the listing he is asking $3750 which according to Reverb thats on high side of what they have sold for during the year. I really have been wanting to pick up a 3 pup Ebony Paul for a long time. I put up the link to it in my OP. Whatcha think?? And thanks for the reply and info... much appreciated!
 

DarrellV

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Well the 35th says its gone , so I hope OP got it if he wanted it...

Looked pretty good too!
 

phil b

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Its back up.!! Day before Christmas.. thats a tough trigger to pull!!! LOL
 

Oranjeaap

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They both look cool to me. I'd never buy one without playing it though, especially the Norlin's can be anything between superb and turd.
 

LPPILOT

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I had a new 89 black triple pickup back then , was hanging on the wall at a dealer. the middle pickup never felt right and is in the way of my playing or pick attack. But, i loved the beauty and thought , I give it a chance so i bought it . I likedthe sounds , wood tone was ok , not dead, but never could get completely comfortable with that middle pickup. I do alot of finger picking . So after a year of testing I sold it so at least what i paid., not big deal. Les Pauls were super popular and increasing in value. Play ability is alot of th value for me, light weight too. I want to be comfortable as possible . A two pickup custom is way more desirable for me , i own a 68 that has wonderful wood . I owned a couple goldtop stds from the early 80's , one was brand new 57 reissie, i think the first year it was called such , and a older one . Both were boat anchors and the wood was DEAD as could be. I did not care for those pickup when plugged in either. That was my experience . I know ...why did i buy them if they were dead , the gold tops ? Because i ordered them and was committed to take them . Was a learning experience, adding pickup only helped so much , the wood was awful. I traded them in on other newer guitars , did not loose alot of money back them , i was younger and there was no internet , i lived in a small town only one Gibson dealer . Prices are such today a would say try before you buy , unless they are handpicked by a known dealer who cares that what he sells will matter to those who know what they are doing . Like Daves Guitars ....i don't buy without trying. Collecting for the sake of owning a cool guitar is different can of worms . Done that too.
 
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phil b

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Made an offer on the 35th and the seller politely declined. Then was upset at lack of interest and took down down the ad. Was just to hard to offer asking price without actually playing it. I think I am committed to a 3 pup Reissue so hopefully I will find one to try before buy or a good return policy! LOL
 


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