58 Black Beauty

Skerries1

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Folks
This '58 Black Beauty has come up for sale on ebay. Its not mine.
1958 Gibson Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty" Original No Reissue w OHSC | eBay

I think its time we had a thread that discusses the issue of late '50s Black Beauties and whether they are the poor cousin of the burst or a comparable entity themselves.
I already have '58 BB and owning it has reduced my need for a burst. I'm very happy with it.
So, I'd appreciate your thoughts on this one. But I'll also ask a couple questions that are arguably related:
1) Why do you think the price of late '50s Black Beauties hasn't seem similar inflation as late '50s standards? You can fine 58 and 59 Black Beauties selling from the low 20K to 150K (although I doubt they ever sell for that high). So there seems to be no agreed upon figure for the value of a refin, a neck break, or an all-original, etc.
2) Although everyone seems to have reverence for Customs, even the greats like Jimmy Page and Hendrix, how come they remain less desirable?
It will be good to have decent discussion on this dark subject.:jam:
 

rockinlespaul

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Why? Because its a completely different guitar....

No maple top....

No color/burst...

Different frets...

Ebony fingerboard instead of rosewood....

I'm sure there are other differences, I haven't had my coffee yet. :)
 

Jimmi

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I think these are outstanding guitars. Yes different than the burst but "better" depends in the player. Page's original number 1 was a custom. JJ Blair doesn't seem to think his burst is "better". I think there is a disconnect because of the price and "desirability". Just like with p90 50s LPs which are awesome but slightly different beasts to the PAFs equipped guitars.

I around 30k in today's market is the neighborhood where I would look.
 

RevWillie

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Name the Top 10 most famous 3-PAF '50s Les Paul Custom players that have had a major influence on rock/blues music and were visible to the masses playing those Customs. :cool:

1957-60 PAF LPCs are great guitars that sound fantastic! :dude:

BUT
- different construction, wood/frets
- no color/flamey wood variations to fetish
- middle pickup in the way for many
- Other than Frampton, few well known major-league PAF LPC 'heros'

All of these contribute to '50s LPC having a 2nd tier status in the pantheon of 1950s Les Pauls.

(and there is no carved-in-stone pricing for the value of a refin, a neck break, or an all-original, Burst, wraptail, P90/ABR, or trapeze Les Pauls either)
 

fjminor

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Name the Top 10 most famous 3-PAF '50s Les Paul Custom players that have had a major influence on rock/blues music and were visible to the masses playing those Customs. :cool:

1957-60 PAF LPCs are great guitars that sound fantastic! :dude:

BUT
- different construction, wood/frets
- no color/flamey wood variations to fetish
- middle pickup in the way for many
- Other than Frampton, few well known major-league PAF LPC 'heros'

All of these contribute to '50s LPC having a 2nd tier status in the pantheon of 1950s Les Pauls.

(and there is no carved-in-stone pricing for the value of a refin, a neck break, or an all-original, Burst, wraptail, P90/ABR, or trapeze Les Pauls either)
Jimmy Page
Eric Clapton
Keith Richards
Robert Fripp
Phil Manzanera
Ace Frehley
Steve Clark
Izzy Stradlin
Albert Lee
Nigel Tufnel

I believe most if not all of these 3 P/U BB players have been influential in the Rock/Blues World. Just saying...:cool:
 

RevWillie

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Jimmy Page
Eric Clapton - 3% of his career
Keith Richards - 4% of his career
Robert Fripp - never a household name
Phil Manzanera - played lots of guitars, never a household name
Ace Frehley - triple pickup '70s sunburst, not the same thing
Steve Clark - many Les Pauls, triple pickup '70s LPCs, not the same thing
Izzy Stradlin - '70s LPCs at best, couldn't find a photo of him playing a triple pickup
Albert Lee - Not famous for playing it, known for other guitars, not a household name
Nigel Tufnel - really??? :laugh2:

I believe most if not all of these 3 P/U BB players have been influential in the Rock/Blues World. Just saying...:cool:
I'm surprised you didn't mention Randy Rhodes because he did a photo shoot with one. Just because some of these guys owned one, or used it in the studio, doesn't mean they are famously influential in the PAF LPC market.

Face it - there are few if any big name, nationally/internationally famous guitar players on stage on a regular basis with a 3-PAF 1957-1960 Les Paul Custom. Fripp, Manzanera, Marriot, and most of the others are niche players in the eyes of most - none of them have the appeal of Beano, early Beck, Allman, Betts, Kossoff, et al.

The middle pickup, the flat frets, the weird wiring, the not-a-Burst status - they never really took off in popularity like Bursts did.

IMO, YMMV. :thumb:
 

fjminor

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I'm surprised you didn't mention Randy Rhodes because he did a photo shoot with one. Just because some of these guys owned one, or used it in the studio, doesn't mean they are famously influential in the PAF LPC market.

Face it - there are few if any big name, nationally/internationally famous guitar players on stage on a regular basis with a 3-PAF 1957-1960 Les Paul Custom. Fripp, Manzanera, Marriot, and most of the others are niche players in the eyes of most - none of them have the appeal of Beano, early Beck, Allman, Betts, Kossoff, et al.

The middle pickup, the flat frets, the weird wiring, the not-a-Burst status - they never really took off in popularity like Bursts did.

IMO, YMMV. :thumb:
I would never argue the importance of a Burst vs a BB, because the Burst does trump the BB in aces. :dude:

However, you cannot deny that the BB had a place amongst some of the most famous guitarists and some-non-household named guitars as you pointed out, and there are pictures out there to support this. What I would like to know, and probably never will know is the actual number of records recorded with the 3 P/U BB. That would be an interesting statistic.
 

LPPILOT

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I like the 50 s custom , the early ones are nice. Just has to be a two pickup model . I just can't get use to pickup in the pick up in the middle . It all about comfort and playing ultimately . Triples are pretty to look at . Pretty is as pretty does.

A good two pickup LP is the best deal, again players know this and it will cost you accordingly.

I'm all about the the late 50's PAF LP custom. They are hard to find
 

Jimmi

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Jimmy page's favorite guitar was a 3 pickup custom. Had it not been lifted, we might all be chasing one.:laugh2:

Besides, just because it isn't valuable doesn't mean it it isn't great. I don't own one....but I wouldn't mind owning one. Maybe a future purchase. i played a great '61 recently that could tempt me for the right price. Agree that it is the romance of the early players with bursts who to some degree were following a heard mentality themselves that lead to the burst popularity. For me I find that many of the guitars made in this era have a bit of their own distinct charm.

Name the Top 10 most famous 3-PAF '50s Les Paul Custom players that have had a major influence on rock/blues music and were visible to the masses playing those Customs. :cool:

1957-60 PAF LPCs are great guitars that sound fantastic! :dude:

BUT
- different construction, wood/frets
- no color/flamey wood variations to fetish
- middle pickup in the way for many
- Other than Frampton, few well known major-league PAF LPC 'heros'

All of these contribute to '50s LPC having a 2nd tier status in the pantheon of 1950s Les Pauls.

(and there is no carved-in-stone pricing for the value of a refin, a neck break, or an all-original, Burst, wraptail, P90/ABR, or trapeze Les Pauls either)
 

RevWillie

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A good two pickup LP is the best deal, again players know this and it will cost you accordingly.
For a very long time I was looking for a stripped/boogered Alnico LPC to make a 2-humbucker LPC out of. Although I got over it, I still think it's a cool idea... :naughty:

And if Page hadn't had the LPC nicked, he still might have bought a Burst from Joe Walsh and left the LPC at home for the studio, and history would remain unchanged! :laugh2: :thumb:

And for the record, I think that PAF LPCs are fantastic, great sounding guitars! I know of one that has a bridge pickup that blows away every person that has heard it.

I was just addressing the reason why 3-PAF Customs aren't as popular, as expensive, and as in demand as Bursts are.
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Bill Hicklin

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Oddly enough, things were once reversed. Back when 50's LPs were just "used" guitars and Clapton bought Beano for 80 quid (about $200), the demand in Britain, thanks largely to Page, was for Black Beauties; by 1966 Customs were going for 500 pounds while Bursts and Goldtops were only pulling half that, as "second best" for guys who couldn't find or get LPC's. Only after JMBBWEC and Fresh Cream did the Burst start to overhaul the Custom in popularity and price.

Beat Instrumental (Summer 1966) said:
LES PAUL CUSTOMS ARE IN GREAT DEMAND!

If you have a Les Paul Custom you want to sell, come to London and get a very good price for it from almost anyone. Rarest of the lot seems to be the three-pickup job which Jimmy Page uses. If you have one of these you're rich.
According to Page himself, interviewed that same year, Gordon Waller (Peter & Gordon) had offered a bloke 500 quid for a triple-pup LPC but he wouldn't sell. By contrast, when Clapton bought Andy Summers' burst after Beano was swiped it was for only 200 pounds.

Over here in the US, the original Lester rage was for P-90 Goldtops, thanks to Bloomfield.
 

RAG7890

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FWIW, I'd be very happy with a BB............'54 - '60. 2 PU or 3, Alnico or not. The only proviso is it would want to be a fundamentally good Guitar. :)

I look good in a Tux. :naughty: :)

:cheers:
 

RAG7890

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For a very long time I was looking for a stripped/boogered Alnico LPC to make a 2-humbucker LPC out of. Although I got over it, I still think it's a cool idea... :naughty:

And if Page hadn't had the LPC nicked, he still might have bought a Burst from Joe Walsh and left the LPC at home for the studio, and history would remain unchanged! :laugh2: :thumb:

And for the record, I think that PAF LPCs are fantastic, great sounding guitars! I know of one that has a bridge pickup that blows away every person that has heard it.

I was just addressing the reason why 3-PAF Customs aren't as popular, as expensive, and as in demand as Bursts are.
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I suppose it all comes down to Flame Fetish Bill. :)

Cheers, Rudi
 

Pete M

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A refinished black Custom is potentially hiding a multitude of sins compared to a burst. Maybe that's where the pricing goes out the window? Lots of people got creative on Customs during the 70's and 80's.
 

retrobob

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My 58 LPC has been refinished, but retains most of the original parts including the PAFs.
Its an amazing guitar. Lightweight & very resonant. It has thin, but higher frets. So
you can bend the tar out of notes if you want.
I have even gotten used to that middle pickup being there.
Also speaking of the middle pickup, I flipped the magnet to put it IN phase.
Now it sounds like a Strat in that position instead of being thin and honky sounding.

Sure, I would love to have a Burst, but need mo money first!

Someone should put up some soundclips of a Burst and a PAF BB.
It would be interesting to see how many could tell the difference.:cool2:
 

RAG7890

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My 58 LPC has been refinished, but retains most of the original parts including the PAFs.
Its an amazing guitar. Lightweight & very resonant. It has thin, but higher frets. So
you can bend the tar out of notes if you want.
I have even gotten used to that middle pickup being there.
Also speaking of the middle pickup, I flipped the magnet to put it IN phase.
Now it sounds like a Strat in that position instead of being thin and honky sounding.

Sure, I would love to have a Burst, but need mo money first!

Someone should put up some soundclips of a Burst and a PAF BB.
It would be interesting to see how many could tell the difference.:cool2:
JJ Blair did that in a recent Thread here, he compared Birdie ('60 Burst) with his '58 BB.

Worth a listen. :thumb:

:cheers:
 

sikoniko

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So the real debate.. if you got one would you keep it "fretless" or would you refret it?
 


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