Bartlett plans - new "exact" or "standard"

tanGee

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Hey all,

I'm just getting prepared to start my first venture into the world of spending all my free time and money on trying to make some sort of moderately accurate tribute to a burst...I'm at the "ordering some Bartlett plans" stage, but was wondering about the differences between the "1959 Exact Replica" plans and the "1959 standard (generic)" ones.

Is there one set that people tend to go for over the other now that there is a choice, or is it literally just down to whether you want an average of multiple bursts or a replica of a specific one?

Sorry if this is a stupid question - I haven't really seen any discussion on the "exact" plans...

Thanks,

- Andy
 

Skyjerk

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As I understand it, The Bartlett plans are the best you can get that is considered to be a good average as opposed to modeled on a specific burst. They are also easy to get your hands on.

"Average" meaning, they are a well educated guess on what Gibson was working from, and the variations between individual bursts were the result of a manufacture process that allowed a lot of variation to creep in from one guitar to the next.
 

pshupe

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I can answer this. The original Bartlett plans as skyjerk pointed out took average dimensions of a number of bursts where the dimensions varied. These areas included the top carve and the body outline. The idea was to approximate the plans to the best or "original design intent" of the first bursts. By taking the average of many bursts, IMO, you are able to get the closest to that original intent and indeed the closest to "most" of the bursts. Some people didn't like that averaging, so Tom got permission to copy one burst exactly. So it's up to you which you would prefer.

My preference would be the average or Generic Plan. What if the ONE burst that was measured was sanded way too much, or was quite different than most. IMO that would result in a guitar that differs greatly from the original design. Others do not see it that way and that is why Tom came out with and provides two separate sets of plans.

Regards Peter.
 

tanGee

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Awesome way of looking at it, now that you "say it out loud" I completely agree...thanks!
 

BPW666

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The only thing to add is if you intend to make your life easier and get Tom's templates as well those are for the exact replica plans not the average. I've got the templates and they are going to be very helpful when i finally get round to building that burst. I'm going to have to fix one first though, it got bust in shipping (Tom if your out there, a bit more packing pin international orders please).
 

Pete M

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The only major difference I can see with the new exact plans is the body outline and maybe the position of some things like the routes and hardware, but I haven't compared those. The body is definitely different. It still seems homogenized to me in lots of aspects. Or maybe the burst that was copied was absolutely perfect, who knows? I wouldn't worry about things like over sanding as it's just not there. Still I think Gibson in the 50's was a little more slapdash that the new plan suggests. Also, yeah, almost everything else out there is based on the old plans which I think were based on the Catto plan, at least the outline, which was in itself just a collection of measurements and a bit wrong.
 

Paranoia

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I've got the standard plans - I've not seen the exact ones so I can't compare against them, but against modern LPs (my 2012 LP Trad at least), there's definitely some body shape differences. The '59 seems a bit wider - not massively, but by a good centimetre.
 

Skyjerk

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I'm using the Leahy plans.

They are spot on perfect because I'm Leahy and they're my plans :D

Of course they aren't a Les Paul at all, but who knows, maybe someday people will be nit picking the crap out of them too as if a mm here or there on the body, or a slightly different top carve, or a tool mark in the control cavity will make the difference between a great guitar and a lame piece of junk ;-)
 

TheZookeeper

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I've got two sets of Tom's plans, one is the generic blueprint and the other is the exact replica blueprint. I've got a second "1959 Exact Replica" blueprint coming my way with a set of Tom's templates soon.
 


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