Beauty of the 'Burst... for Reissues?

guitarded_82

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Hey guys and gals, I'm an acoustic guitar-builder from MN and I'm working on a book about LP Reissues. I've always loved the original LP's and like many of you, The Beauty of the 'Burst is like a bible to me. But, without $250k to shell out, a LP Reissue is the closest you're going to get to a "real Les Paul".

I bought my 2001 R9 in 2005 for $2800. It was a lot of money then and still is now. Over ten years later, I love the guitar just as much as when I bought it, maybe more. However, it's always been a bit of a mystery to me. Where did it come from? What species of maple/mahogany/rosewood did they use? Will it patina like an original LP?

I started digging around a little and this is where it gets kind of interesting... Over the years of the Historic Reissue program, the guitars have become quite varied. Not so much year to year, like the originals, but more like generational improvements and changes. This is something that's heavily emphasized about the originals in BoB. But for Reissues, were left with myths, rumors and rants from the internet, without any real clarity about these instruments that we've all invested thousands of dollars in.

This book in somewhat of a passion project for me and was inspired by books like BoB, and a few other technical books about acoustics that are great. The tentative title for the book is: “Burst of Beauty: Historic Reissues 2000-2015”, although those years could change, depending on what information I find. I have a few well-known contacts in the guitar business, but I’m not sure if their involvement will be on record or not, which is why I’m reaching out to you guys.

I’m still in the discovery phase, writing an introduction and gathering pictures and information. If you guys have anything you’d like to contribute, please do, it would be huge boon to me and this project.

Right now, I’m looking for:

-Photos of your Reissue: include any observations about fit and finish, ageing or comparisons with other reissues.

-Stories about your Reissue: How did you get it? Did you max out your bank account too? Was it a planned purchase, or was it something you just had to have?

-What are some topics you’d be interested in knowing more about.

-Picture Format: This one is tricky, I’m pretty good at taking guitar pics for my biz. But to take photos like BoB, I would need to have the guitar in possession, which could make it exponentially more difficult. So, I’m looking for any input you might have, as well as suggestions/photography tricks that might allow us to take user photos and make them useful examples of the ‘bursts, exposure and color temp are a factor. I'd like to know what you guys think about this, photos are everything.

-Any contacts that would have information of LP Reissues.


Thank you in advance for your help. I look forward to picking each of your brains.

-Adam F. Wilson
 

Sct13

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Hi Adam....

I'm working towards a similar project, but I'm having some doubts as to the marketability of such a book, I also started a calendar.

Asking about financials might not be a good idea some may or may not take that at as stab at their sanity .... ..I'll leave it at that.

There are some excellent photographers here so you may get some nibbles.

here is my webpage where I documented the collection over several years, (I don't own all of any longer) but I did burn through a lot of guitars and its incomplete, and I will probably continue to do so.

Cygnus Observatory | Astrophotogragraphy source, CCD Imaging Please ask if you intend to use images to use in print. Some guitars have a synopsis ...
 

jamman

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For Pics and such .....A lot of what your asking about, is posted here and on LP forum ....
Search can be your friend .....

Agree, not many will talk about $$$ . It's mostly , What you can afford ....for most people . The 1's who max out there CC or over extend themselves.... you'll find many of those in the members section ..for sale ....

Use any pics you are happy with ..Trying to have 1 standard format will be next to impossible . Even in BOB (in the back ) they ain't .... To many guitars to do that ....

Even if you used just the last 3 years of Re-issues , you'd be talking about 10-15 thousand guitars ... Not really gonna happen . Pick what you feel are the best examples and forget about the rest .

Stories are just that .... I'd pass on any not verified ...or you'll be a fiction writer ....
I'd guess to say 95+% are not noteworthy buys ....
 

JimmyAce2006

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wonderful idea. i have wondered why this sort of thing was not done previously. i have pics of many reissues that have passed through my hands. but i don't own most of them anymore. i had some really nice ones too. and i would not ship my guitars anywhere. so there goes that!
 

MikeC

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Hey Ed,

I hold a certain admiration for acoustic guitar luthiers, and I think the ownership experience of Les Paul reissues is an interesting subject to document. It is an interesting socioeconomic phenomenon - perhaps such thesis can serve to quantify the utility curves to better approximate the proper price equilibrium for any replica.

As far as craftsmanship goes, i personally believe acoustic guitars by individual luthiers/small operations and small manufacturers are better made at Gibson's pricepoint. I did expect a bit more attention to detail; but if flaws are meant to replicate production finesse of the 50's, then perhaps my expectations are unfounded.

But I agree with you - there is an indescribable satisfaction that I get from churning out fat yet defined tones with the Les Paul, as well as the sheer joy I get from gawking at the wonderful top when I'm not playing.

Keep us posted. The very best of luck!

:slash:
 

Left Paw

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OP, do you have a production budget for the book? Its always good to have a plan, and one that includes the intended audience and market (as alluded to by another poster). Even for a self-published work, and those are easier to do now than ever before, you will incur costs. If this is something you really *want* to do, and have the funds, I would get a booth at the next big guitar show (Arlington, unless you can pull something together for Philly next week), carry along a backdrop in black and your lighting and cameras, then spend the show photographing guitars that dealers have or that the public brings. I bet you could score 50-60 pics all with the same hi-res you desire.
 

guitarded_82

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wonderful idea. i have wondered why this sort of thing was not done previously. i have pics of many reissues that have passed through my hands. but i don't own most of them anymore. i had some really nice ones too. and i would not ship my guitars anywhere. so there goes that!

I wouldn't ship mine anywhere either! ha!

I had maybe a weird idea, but it might be possible to use the case as a way to correct the color and lighting of photos taken all over the place? The inside of the case color is constant, even though there's a few different colors from year to year.
 

guitarded_82

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OP, do you have a production budget for the book? Its always good to have a plan, and one that includes the intended audience and market (as alluded to by another poster). Even for a self-published work, and those are easier to do now than ever before, you will incur costs. If this is something you really *want* to do, and have the funds, I would get a booth at the next big guitar show (Arlington, unless you can pull something together for Philly next week), carry along a backdrop in black and your lighting and cameras, then spend the show photographing guitars that dealers have or that the public brings. I bet you could score 50-60 pics all with the same hi-res you desire.

This is really good advice and a great idea. My guitar company is actually doing our first guitar show this summer. Let me think about it a little, but I bet I could actually incorporate some of my fact finding with what I'm already doing at the shop.
 

guitarded_82

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Hey Ed,

I hold a certain admiration for acoustic guitar luthiers, and I think the ownership experience of Les Paul reissues is an interesting subject to document. It is an interesting socioeconomic phenomenon - perhaps such thesis can serve to quantify the utility curves to better approximate the proper price equilibrium for any replica.

As far as craftsmanship goes, i personally believe acoustic guitars by individual luthiers/small operations and small manufacturers are better made at Gibson's pricepoint. I did expect a bit more attention to detail; but if flaws are meant to replicate production finesse of the 50's, then perhaps my expectations are unfounded.

But I agree with you - there is an indescribable satisfaction that I get from churning out fat yet defined tones with the Les Paul, as well as the sheer joy I get from gawking at the wonderful top when I'm not playing.

Keep us posted. The very best of luck!

:slash:

Hey, thanks for your kind words.

It's funny you mention the socioeconomic factor. I was sitting at the bar just the other day talking about how Gibson's higher pricing might have kept their guitars out of the hands of earlier blues musicians. Definitively an interesting topic, and I wish I had wrote about it in a college paper.

I have started working on a bit of a thesis that ties a lot of these expensive and desirable instruments together. I'd love to share it as soon as I finish typing it up.

This is a total passion project for me, I've had an adoration for Les Paul's since before I could play guitar. I hope to apply some of the things I've learned in my experience building acoustics to this project as well.
 

guitarded_82

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Hey guys, thanks everyone who has been helping me with this project.

A little update on progress:
-Put together a plan and budget
-Made some technical progress on getting pic colors to match (I think pics will come last. The plan is to gather a ton of technical data and then find the guitars as examples of these changes) It's actually a lot like record mastering!
-Snagged a meeting with a publisher at the end of the month (fingers crossed)
-Introduction is written
-Picked a number of subjects to cover regarding reissues, original LP's and general guitar design and geometry

Anyways, this thread has been really helpful already, I hope to keep this going. Feel free to nudge me, or ask me how the book is going. It really motivates me.

I'm going to be busting my butt the next couple weeks making guitars for the Lowertown Guitar Show in St. Paul. It's my first show, but I think the above advice about possibly using guitar shows to get pics and examples is a great idea, so I will be feeling that out when I am there.

Here's a question for the group:

Has anyone read (seen) the book, "Tone Man" by Kishida?

I love the photos, but do you think that kind of photo would be acceptable for providing technical examples of reissues?
 

Sct13

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Good luck!

Ill be among the first to buy a copy!! Let me know if you need any photos ... I have a lot.
 

Thomas/Sweden

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I have the Kunio Kishida "Tone Man" book, I think the photos are great, about as good as it gets.
 

michaelinokc

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Sounds like a huge project, as there have been 10's of thousands of reissues built. Best of luck.
 

GazzaBloom

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I think this is a huge undertaking and the odds of this being commercially successful are stacked against you. It's a business venture and should be approached as one. You need to research and will need financial backing. Try talking to Nacho Bano who put The Blackguard book together, I'm sure he could help you form a business plan
 

Blue Blood

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Historics are great guitars, I like mine... but who cares ?
They've made a trillion of them, not like in 58-60.
 

THDNUT

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Sounds like a huge project, as there have been 10's of thousands of reissues built. Best of luck.


+1

A book like you're proposing could easily reach 1,000 pages or more. :shock:
 

rockstar232007

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Don't really see the point, and/or the market.

The thing that made the original BOTB book so great was that it was filled with a bunch of totally unique, albeit rare original vintage guitars.

Not that individual reissues aren't unique, but as others have said, there have been so many produced, that it would be next to impossible to find any real "prime" examples. Especially when you consider the fact that to just about every RI owner, their guitars "are the best LPs ever made".
 

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