FAQ: Tenons

dwagar

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
7,780
Reaction score
1,072
My guess would be a trans tenon on the '74, though it might be short. IIRC. long tenons went away long before the reintroduction of the LP in late'68/'69. The trans tenon was phased out and was pretty much gone by 1975 (see the original post in this thread). Everything after that (except Custom Shop/VOS) is short tenon, including Customs. Then in about 2005, Customs ceased to be made in the "USA" plant, becoming instead a "Custom Shop" model, and thus got a long tenon again.

As for whether it was made in Kalamazoo or Nashville, I'm not sure. Of course, Kalamazoo was the original, then Norlin opened the Nashville plant. Both plants operated from 1974 until 1984. It's very likely that the '74 was made in Kalamazoo - but don't take my word as gospel....
Trans in '74, Short started in '75, as did Nashville production. Both tenons are seen in '75, I don't think I've ever seen a Nashville made LP with a Trans though.
 

moreles

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2011
Messages
4,286
Reaction score
3,006
Interesting thread. Gibson is a maddening company, so willing year after year to basically put together about 90% of the material and work necessary to make a consistent, great guitar, and then resorting to inexcusable shortcuts to save/make a few bucks more profit while com,promising the integrity of their guitars. Any woodworker, furniture makers included, knows that the integrity of the joint is mechanically important, and though it's quite possible to get a good sounding guitar with a crap short tenon, most of the time, its the long tenon that reliably gives the classic tone. Why? Because that's how it freaking works. The shorter tenons make it possible to assemble the guitar with a far less rigid joint with far less contact area. The rocker type short tenon joints are a joke -- their fit is even less precise and flush than what a really good bolt-on designer comes up with these days. I know that most people don't want to hear this, think I'm an idiot, and that this doesn't matter, but the kind of surface contact, distribution of tension, and even the glue through which energy (vibrations) will travel all makes a difference, which is why an old Martin acoustic with a dovetail neck held by contact and hide glue sounds great, why a beautifully fit Collings acoustinc with a bolted neck sounds great, and why Norlin and current issue Les Pauls with easy-tolerance short tenons generally don't have the same sound as those made better with longer tenons. Yes, there are exceptions. that's why they are called exceptions. In a Les Paul, everything comes together at the neck joint.
 

Toxicpizza72

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
998
Reaction score
1,180
A very informative thread this one,really good,I have always wondered about the difference between the different tenons,thanx guys ! :)
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
Messages
97
Reaction score
55
In my experience ALL Kalamazoo Lesters have the modified tenon. IMO it has all the stability and tone enhancement of the earlier longer tenon. I have a 78 Kalamazoo flame top LP Standard with one. Also ABR's came on the Kalamazoo's, Nashville's on... wait for it...Nashvilles. Again my 78 has an ABR bridge. So if you see an ABR on a 70's Lester odds are it was made in Kalamazoo and has a modified tenon.

Nashville is the home of the rocker short tenon as well as the Nashville bridge. If you see a Nashville bridge on a 70's Les Paul odds are that it was made in Nashville with a short rocker tenon.

80's ??? not so sure but I would guess it still holds true until Kalamazoo closed.
All things being equal, I'd rather have the Kalamazoo made ones.
 

Elrathia

Senior Member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
161
Reaction score
57
if you see an ABR on a 70's Lester odds are it was made in Kalamazoo and has a modified tenon..
I have a 75 Custom that might (emphasis on might) fly against that logic. 6 digit SN, trans tenon, narrow binding in cutaway, and a Nashville. But, here is the possible explanation. When i got the guitar, it had been converted to a (sob) Kahler and the Nashville studs might have been installed with that bit of butchery. I dont know anything about Kahlers so couldnt say for sure that it would have been necessary for that, but the studs absolutely fit the Nashville bridge it is equipped with now.
 

Jimmi

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2013
Messages
5,060
Reaction score
5,671
Wonder if the Kalamazoo theory holds for the heritages? Hmmm.
 

Roberto777

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
So...if I understood well this one should be the short tenon,right?
I am asking because I am maybe buying this LP with maple neck from 1976.
I am not going the change my mind whatever this tenon is because I will try it first
and if I like the sound I dont care about long or short tenon.
Whould chalenge anybody blind folded to try these different tenon guitars to see if these experts would recognize the difference ;)
 

Progrocker111

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
3,475
Reaction score
2,544
Its very interesting, cause its transitional tenon, which mostly disappeared in mid 1975. :)
 

Jimmi

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2013
Messages
5,060
Reaction score
5,671
Some think there were more transitions made in Kalamazoo after 75.
 

dwagar

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2007
Messages
7,780
Reaction score
1,072
:hmm:

that's a good pic to have in this thread, that's the 2nd '76 I've seen with a trans tenon.

is it unfinished? is it common for the filler strip to show like that?
 

Roberto777

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
So that is a transition tenon...ok....its a natural LPC with a 3 pieces maple neck and a maple fretboard,with a pancaked body.Its my first Gibson...I am far from being an expert about Gibson guitars....they where always out of my rich,financial possibilities....and I always gravitated toward stratocasters....but I had a chance to get this one ...so I grabbed it after I felt in love with it and all I can say its my 3rd " blond" at home,second being a Kramer DMZ3000 and the first one ...my wife ;)
 

PDM1968

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
934
Reaction score
460
Is this a long tenon in my 1970-72 LP Standard?

 

acstorfer

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
19,620
Reaction score
21,161
That's a trans tenon.
Interesting. I know year wise it has to be, but I didn't think trans tenons had that bottom lip. I was thinking it was a one off type thing.

I've seen the pic of the tenons from a side shot. I'd love to see them all from the above example's angle.
 

Progrocker111

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2011
Messages
3,475
Reaction score
2,544
Interesting. I know year wise it has to be, but I didn't think trans tenons had that bottom lip. I was thinking it was a one off type thing.

Exactly, this is not the classical transitional 69-early 75 type of tenon. That bottom lip is extra here, it is very much like some shortened long tenon type. These early Norlins are still full of mysteries. :hmm:
 


Latest Threads



Top