'68 RI or '54 Black Beauty


Senior Member
Oct 25, 2012
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I've been wanting a BB for some time. My current numba 1 is my '68 RI in Pelham blue. Killer guitar. A hair over 8 lbs and a sweet neck.

Can anyone tell me how the neck compares to the '54 black beauty? Are they chambered or solid? Obviously a very different pickup layout. I would likely put a hum sized p90 in the bridge and keep the neck stock. I've done this w all my p90 gits in the past w great results.

How do the values compare?

I'm not in any kind of hurry and I don't know that I'd actually let my 68 go. I may start saving for the BB though. What's the average used price on them?



Senior Member
Nov 3, 2011
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The new 68 necks feel pretty clubby in comparison to my real 68. Same d shape but just a few mm deeper. But same carve.

I have not played a reissue 54 but I have a real 55 and the neck is actually pretty thin. More along the lines of 60s sg.

Btw the 55 only weighs 8.5 lbs.

My real 68 weighs 9 lbs even.

My 68 reissues weigh 9.4,9.8, and 9.9


Junior Member
Nov 4, 2007
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I have a 2007 68RI (CA) and had a 2006 54 BB. More or less same necks (early 50's), solid bodies and weights around 10.2 lbs on both guitars.

Both sound great, but the 54 is too shiny, so I sold it and kept the 68 because of the more balanced sound of the humbs.



Senior Member
Jun 4, 2012
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I have an exceptional 2010 '54 staple BB that weighs at or just less than 8 lbs. It has a big rounded 50s reissue neck. I don't know about the '68 reissue neck but I really like my R4 neck. It's pretty similar to my 2 R8s, R7 and R0 (TV Special which is actually based on a 1958 single cut LP TV special). I really like these necks, they are very comfortable to play. I have a real '52 and that has smaller neck, it's actually closer to a soft V, but big enough to be comfortable. I prefer the reissue necks or a real '58 neck.

RE: value? Reissues are definitely not investment guitars. Hell, even vintage guitars aren't good investments either. But I believe the '54 Staples with Ebony boards will hold their value better than a reissue of a reissue in a non-standard color. As cool as the Pelham blue is, it's a one off. You'll need to find the right buyer. You won't have to find the right buyer for the R4. Gibson didn't make many of them, compared to the R7s, R8s, R9s and R0s, and they don't make ebony board guitars any more, except for the rare one off (a production of 20 to 25 guitars) at a crazy expensive price.

My suggestion, for what it's worth, keep the pelham blue guitar and save up for an R4 Staple. If you take your time you will find them on guitarcenter.com (where I found mine) ebay or gbase for between $3k and $4k. Most are 9lbs or heavier. I lucked out with mine but there are some out there under 9 lbs. And I WOULD NOT change the P90 in the bridge without playing it for a while. Trust me, these are GREAT sounding P90 guitars (all mahogany no maple cap) and having both will give you the best of both worlds, P90 growl and big and creamy PAF'esq sound.



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    '58 and '54 reissues.jpg
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