Finally found a Norlin locally to try out. Anything I should look for?

InTheEvening

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Sorry I’ve made so many threads. I’m still in the return window with my 57 black beauty. So I’m keeping any eye out for any LP Custom I may like more. I opted out of the wine red due to the holes in the body and seller not knowing the pickups they put in.

But this popped up on Craigslist today. A 1978 black beauty, The pots/caps looks to be original and it seems to be in pretty good condition. Serial number looks legit but no Made In USA stamp. Only big blemish is the finish wear near the head stock. I don’t know how it wore down like that. Can’t tell from the pictures, but doesn’t seem to have any signs of headstock repairs. I don’t think the speed knobs are original. Seller said pickups are original, would these be T tops? I think the Shaws were 1980 onward.

This seller is much closer, so I’m gonna see it in person. But is there any big things I should look out for? I watched Trogly’s video taking apart a 1978 Custom which was actually pretty helpful to know what to look for.
Seller is asking $3800 which seems a little high but I’m thinking is $3100 a fair offer? Don’t want to offend the seller but I don’t want to overpay either I’m pretty happy with the 3 pickup 57 black beauty I recently found, so I wouldn’t be too upset passing this up. I know they’re very different guitars though.

Pictures
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ARandall

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The wear is due to then playing lots of chords of the open variety which made the marks on the two sides, then another highly trafficked area with the thumb spot on the back.......maybe someone from Status Quo??

Otherwise in pretty good condition overall as there is plenty of gold plating left on the front hardware. Price is pretty steep, but its getting that way for 70's guitars now.
 

InTheEvening

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The wear is due to then playing lots of chords of the open variety which made the marks on the two sides, then another highly trafficked area with the thumb spot on the back.......maybe someone from Status Quo??

Otherwise in pretty good condition overall as there is plenty of gold plating left on the front hardware. Price is pretty steep, but its getting that way for 70's guitars now.
Thanks! I see that makes sense. Good to know that wear isn’t uncommon.

And yeah, I’ve had a really hard time guaging what’s a fair price now. I wouldn’t mind paying the current prices if that’s the new normal or if prices might go up even more, but I also wonder if prices will drop back down in a year or two in which case I’m okay to wait.
 

ARandall

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Well, the wear is a little a bit uncommon in that its really concentrated. Shows that its most likely a rhythm guitarist playing it. I've got 2 guitars from the same period and the wear is down to wood in a thin strip along the binding area - but more evenly spread along the neck - and not so 'round' obviously.
 

Deftone

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To me, play wear is a sign of a great sounding guitar. If it's mint, no one wanted to pick it up.

$3800 doesn't seem too far off to me, almost everyone prices high. I would go try it out and bring cash. Offer $3K and show him cash....that usually has an effect.
 

JMP

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I’d opt for the Norlin Custom myself . Return the 3-pickup BlackBeauty and save yourself a chunk of cash. But, I prefer the 2-pickup variety myself. Run out asap and try that Norlin, bring cash. If you like it, buy it.
 
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InTheEvening

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Well, the wear is a little a bit uncommon in that its really concentrated. Shows that its most likely a rhythm guitarist playing it. I've got 2 guitars from the same period and the wear is down to wood in a thin strip along the binding area - but more evenly spread along the neck - and not so 'round' obviously.
Yeah, I’m used to seeing more of the wear spread along the neck, which had me a little confused when i saw this.
To me, play wear is a sign of a great sounding guitar. If it's mint, no one wanted to pick it up.

$3800 doesn't seem too far off to me, almost everyone prices high. I would go try it out and bring cash. Offer $3K and show him cash....that usually has an effect.
That’s true! I have an old beat up Kramer from 1986 and it’s a joy to play. Plus, they’re well broken in.

I’ve heard of people doing that. I’m probably gonna try that if i go. No harm in offering.
I’d opt for the Norlin Custom myself . Return the 3-pickup BlackBeauty and save yourself a chunk of cash. But, I prefer the 2-pickup variety myself. Run out asap and try that Norlin, bring cash. If you like it, buy it.
Thanks, I’m hoping it doesn’t get sold before i can see it. Waiting to hear back from the seller to see when they can meet. I’ll def be equally excited with having a set of original T tops as I would the 3 pickups. Asked if the seller had pictures of the underside of the pickups which i’m waiting on, but he says they’re original.,
made in USA is there, you just have to look.
Oh i see now, I had the brightness down on my phone must have missed it. That’s reassuring.
Seems ok - very late 78, Nashville made
Thanks, good to know. How do you know which ones were Nashville made? I read they made guitars in both factories for a few years in the transition.
 

LPTDMSV

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>>Thanks, good to know. How do you know which ones were Nashville made? I read they made guitars in both factories for a few years in the transition.

pp. "Gibson:

- In 1977, Gibson introduced the serialization method that we primarily use to this day at Gibson USA, Gibson Acoustic, and the Gibson Custom facility in Memphis, TN.

The serial number will be an 8 digit number impressed into the back of the headstock with "MADE IN USA" below.

The pattern is as follows:
YDDDYRRR
YY is the production year
DDD is the day of the year
RRR is the factory ranking/plant designation number.
Prior to 1984 when the Kalamazoo, MI factory was closed, the numbers 001-499 indicated Kalamazoo production. Ranking numbers 500-999 continued to indicate Nashville production through 1989."

So this guitar is Nashville made :)
 

InTheEvening

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>>Thanks, good to know. How do you know which ones were Nashville made? I read they made guitars in both factories for a few years in the transition.

pp. "Gibson:

- In 1977, Gibson introduced the serialization method that we primarily use to this day at Gibson USA, Gibson Acoustic, and the Gibson Custom facility in Memphis, TN.

The serial number will be an 8 digit number impressed into the back of the headstock with "MADE IN USA" below.

The pattern is as follows:
YDDDYRRR
YY is the production year
DDD is the day of the year
RRR is the factory ranking/plant designation number.
Prior to 1984 when the Kalamazoo, MI factory was closed, the numbers 001-499 indicated Kalamazoo production. Ranking numbers 500-999 continued to indicate Nashville production through 1989."

So this guitar is Nashville made :)
Wow, learn something every day. I was familiar with the current serial numbers but didn’t know the KM guitars used a different format.
 

InTheEvening

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If that had popped up on my local CL I'd have been all over it.
Oh it’s tempting me bad haha. I’m hoping i can go to see it in person soon. If all looks good in person and I can talk the price down a little more, I’m def bringing it home,
 

InTheEvening

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I'd like to see that Kramer. Any pics on here, in another thread?
Sure thing! After Gibson, I’m a big fan of Kramer.

This is an old picture from when it first arrived. It had some quirky mods done by the time i got it, got an EMG, input jack was moved to the front of the body, and an added tone knob, was def well used and played by it’s prior owner. I added some red knobs to it and plan to add a D-tune soon. It’s my first “vintage” guitar, and def part of what got me into wanting an older Norlin.
0-A271-CBE-6-A3-D-4556-8-B75-A6-F8-A7-DD29-ED.jpg
 

Deftone

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Sure thing! After Gibson, I’m a big fan of Kramer.

This is an old picture from when it first arrived. It had some quirky mods done by the time i got it, got an EMG, input jack was moved to the front of the body, and an added tone knob, was def well used and played by it’s prior owner. I added some red knobs to it and plan to add a D-tune soon. It’s my first “vintage” guitar, and def part of what got me into wanting an older Norlin.
0-A271-CBE-6-A3-D-4556-8-B75-A6-F8-A7-DD29-ED.jpg
Nice! Since we're going there....
54771-1359298534-6bc145e2fdcbc7641dcbc15e9a6f0fdf.jpg
 

1allspub

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If that had popped up on my local CL I'd have been all over it.
What he said!!!!!! :)

Advice to the OP... I wouldn't wait too long... the seller may have it for sale on other platforms as well (reverb, ebay, etc), so you my have competition other than just local folks.

There's a 2010 LPC for sale here locally that I've been eyeing for a similar price. But I'd take that 78 all day long over the 2010 (if the 78 was local to me). Anyway, the seller of this 2010 also has it listed on other platforms for more money (local CL price is cheaper). Sellers prefer the hassle-free local sale though (obviously), so bring cash and I'll bet you buy yourself a Norlin LPC! :cheers:
 

InTheEvening

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What he said!!!!!! :)

Advice to the OP... I wouldn't wait too long... the seller may have it for sale on other platforms as well (reverb, ebay, etc), so you my have competition other than just local folks.

There's a 2010 LPC for sale here locally that I've been eyeing for a similar price. But I'd take that 78 all day long over the 2010 (if the 78 was local to me). Anyway, the seller of this 2010 also has it listed on other platforms for more money (local CL price is cheaper). Sellers prefer the hassle-free local sale though (obviously), so bring cash and I'll bet you buy yourself a Norlin LPC! :cheers:
Thanks! That’s a good point. The seller said a few people are already asking to see it this saturday. I’m gonna try to go tomorrow if i can.

My only hesitstion is the pickups. Seller says they’re original but doesn’t have any pictures of the underside to confirm and said he hasn’t removed them before. Should i ask to see that before buying? The pickup covers are pretty worn so it looks legit but no way to know for sure. Feel bad making them remove and flip it if I end up not liking it in person.
 
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JMP

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Thanks! That’s a good point. The seller said a few people are already asking to see it this saturday. I’m gonna try to go tomorrow if i can.

My only hesitstion is the pickups. Seller says they’re original but doesn’t have any pictures of the underside to confirm and said he hasn’t removed them before. Should i ask to see that before buying? The pickup covers are pretty worn so it looks legit but no way to know for sure. Feel bad making them remove and flip it if I end up not liking it in person.
It’s typically First come, first served. Don’t delay!
 

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