I may have found a Norlin LP custom, does it seem legit?

skydog

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The only advantage that guitar has compared to a new R9 is that it's old. That's more of a detriment than an advantage. Those Norlins are the guitars mainly responsible for the popularity of reissues.
 

mudface

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Those Norlins are the guitars mainly responsible for the popularity of reissues.
This statement is so wrong......... This would indicate that people missed or was somehow compelled to the original Les Paul of the '50s..(there wasn't enough of them to go around for that to happen).... I was there in the seventies playing Norlins.

It was the players that played the "originals" like Page, Beck, Bloomfield, and Clapton that sparked that interest. If you didn't know that there was a difference, it didn't matter.

Players wanted to play what their "Idols" were playing,.... and those guitars were different and it took a lot of years to make a "reissue" that was even close. (like 1993)

It wasn't that there was something wrong with Norlin era Gibsons. That was a myth created after the fact.

I still own my Norlin guitars and wish i kept others,....and lust for more...because i actually know the truth about them.
 
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PajMLP

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I would seriously investigate that serial number for the format (e.g., decal or stamped, # and "Made In USA" below), number of digits (should be 8, and the placement (top center of crown)). It doesn't seem follow what Gibson says it should be. I'm having a difficult time seeing/finding the initial "7" before the "28" in that serial number, especially noting spacing and alignment.---And what's with that second set of stamped numbers? Those look like the correct tuners for a LPC but I've never seen a serial number obscured by a tuner.

See for yourself (maybe the first place to go):


Paj
8^)
 
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slinkyrio

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Hi guys, I found a posting for a 1977 Les Paul Custom in red. It’s not local, but it’s a few hours driving distance, so I can pick up in person and lay me hands on it before buying but I’d only make the drive if it’s really worth it. The seller has multiple good reviews on Reverb and seems very professional.

Most important thing, listing says the frets are supposed to be in good working condition, no neck breaks, and it has T-tops. Asking price is $3800. I saw a Norlin era LP custom sell on Guitar Center used today for $3200, so I’m wondering if $3800 is too high?

Also, here’s some pics from the listing. Let me know if anything seems off or concerning. If it looks legit in the pics and the price is good, I’ll do the drive over to see it in person. But wanted to get some thoughts from the community here first.







Hi guys, I found a posting for a 1977 Les Paul Custom in red. It’s not local, but it’s a few hours driving distance, so I can pick up in person and lay me hands on it before buying but I’d only make the drive if it’s really worth it. The seller has multiple good reviews on Reverb and seems very professional.

Most important thing, listing says the frets are supposed to be in good working condition, no neck breaks, and it has T-tops. Asking price is $3800. I saw a Norlin era LP custom sell on Guitar Center used today for $3200, so I’m wondering if $3800 is too high?

Also, here’s some pics from the listing. Let me know if anything seems off or concerning. If it looks legit in the pics and the price is good, I’ll do the drive over to see it in person. But wanted to get some thoughts from the community here first.







Hi guys, I found a posting for a 1977 Les Paul Custom in red. It’s not local, but it’s a few hours driving distance, so I can pick up in person and lay me hands on it before buying but I’d only make the drive if it’s really worth it. The seller has multiple good reviews on Reverb and seems very professional.

Most important thing, listing says the frets are supposed to be in good working condition, no neck breaks, and it has T-tops. Asking price is $3800. I saw a Norlin era LP custom sell on Guitar Center used today for $3200, so I’m wondering if $3800 is too high?

Also, here’s some pics from the listing. Let me know if anything seems off or concerning. If it looks legit in the pics and the price is good, I’ll do the drive over to see it in person. But wanted to get some thoughts from the community here first.







I have a '78 custom and wouldn't part with it. My advice is go for it (after playing it, of course)
 

1981 LPC

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Norlin era or current CS model, at these prices I'd want to play it before purchasing. OP, is that a possibility?
 

tonedr

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i had a Norlin pancake LP for a couple of years. Heavy, TTop pups, three piece neck, sounded great. It didn't play great - i took it to a local repair shop that i trust and they said the the bridge had 'collapsed' some over time thus changing the relationship between the strings and the fretboard.

They said this was fairly common among Norland Era Gibson's. They told me the bridges and tailpieces were 'pot metal' often and had seen quite a bit of this before. They were able to bend it back to original shape and i used it but no guarantee it wouldn't over time repeat the same issue.

Not a 'deal breaker' maybe, those are pieces that can easily be replaced, but something to be aware of.
 
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decoy205

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I’ll say what’s posted here very often, There are good and bad guitars from all years. You can’t judge an LP based on the period alone. It kind of goes for any guitar. If specs are a concern to you then do your research to ensure the specs are what you want. Bridges and parts can be replaced fairly easily.
 

InTheEvening

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Update! I found a Norlin 78 Custom on Guitar Center used for $3300. Does this seem pretty legit? I assume it's got the T-tops, as it's from 78 and the description says "Patent stamp pickups".
It's a little cheaper than the red custom and I can return within 3 days if something looks off. This might also be my chance at trying out a real Norlin in person and hearing the T-top pickups in person to see if i really like it. Worth taking a chance on this?


I also spent the whole day playing Les Pauls (59 reissue, standard 60’s, LP Custom, LP modern) and my G0 won out over every other guitar in tone and feel.
It's probably gonna be the G0 or the Norlin LP, but I need to try a Norlin first and see if I like the feel and the T-tops.

Anything in the vintage reissue guitars are PAF replicas.....or as far as Gibson goes in that direction anyway. (save for the 68 RI.....that has a T-top type pickup)

It would be interesting to know what hard rockers you are referring to - with reference to the 'fantastic heavy tones'. It might help as some might advise you as to what sort of rig they were playing.
I almost got a 68 RI a few months back but stupidly passed it up due to the neck being thicker. BUT, in hind sight, I could have gotten used to the neck, it still played really well. Is it confirmed the pickups in those are modeled after the T-top? i read some other threads it was pre-top but I wasn't sure.

Truthfully, it was more of a general statement. I love 70's and 80's hard rock and heard many of them used either T-tops from Gibson, or Dimarzio Super Distortions. I do know I like Angus Young's early tone, and I'm a huge Jimmy Page fan as well, and I heard he used a T-top bridge in his LP. But, is there a Gibson pickup that might be better suited to what i like? I like Motley Crue, Ozzy, Def Leppard, basically the 80's hair metal tones and on the more hard rock end of tones, Zeppelin, AC/DC etc.

The G0 Les Paul I'm considering has the Custombuckers, which I actually find are growing on me. They clean up well and have really good note definition even when I turn the gain up.

The end of this video had some nice heavy tones I liked.

The pics you posted.
View attachment 512877

View attachment 512878

Is typical of a T-Top base plate... most are ink stamped with a date. I can’t see one on either pup. Doesn’t mean that they’re not there. Still some are not ink stamped. The patent stamp is good sign... greenish bobbin screws are correct.

Having a single set of pole screw holes also narrows it down.... Later 490 series have two sets of holes. The only probable model are Shaws, which is not a bad switch. This guitar predates Shaws,.. doesn’t mean a swap didn’t occur. Without the covers off its hard to discern T-Tops from Shaws.
Thank you so much, that's reassuring to know it's at least consistent. How do Shaws differ tonally from T-tops? Big difference?

I would seriously investigate that serial number for the format (e.g., decal or stamped, # and "Made In USA" below), number of digits (should be 8, and the placement (top center of crown)). It doesn't seem follow what Gibson says it should be. I'm having a difficult time seeing/finding the initial "7" before the "28" in that serial number, especially noting spacing and alignment.---And what's with that second set of stamped numbers? Those look like the correct tuners for a LPC but I've never seen a serial number obscured by a tuner.

See for yourself (maybe the first place to go):


Paj
8^)
Thanks, will definitely try to confirm that. I'll see if the seller might be able to discern it better.

Norlin era or current CS model, at these prices I'd want to play it before purchasing. OP, is that a possibility?
So, I can't play this particular Norlin custom. BUT I just found on on Guitar Center used I can order and try and return if it's got any issues.
The CS models I can play in the store.

Does this one look legit? I may order and try it out.
i had a Norlin pancake LP for a couple of years. Heavy, TTop pups, three piece neck, sounded great. It didn't play great - i took it to a local repair shop that i trust and they said the the bridge had 'collapsed' some over time thus changing the relationship between the strings and the fretboard.

They said this was fairly common among Norland Era Gibson's. They told me the bridges and tailpieces were 'pot metal' often and had seen quite a bit of this before. They were able to bend it back to original shape and i used it but no guarantee it wouldn't over time repeat the same issue.

Not a 'deal breaker' maybe, those are pieces that can easily be replaced, but something to be aware of.
Will def keep that in mind thanks.

I’ll say what’s posted here very often, There are good and bad guitars from all years. You can’t judge an LP based on the period alone. It kind of goes for any guitar. If specs are a concern to you then do your research to ensure the specs are what you want. Bridges and parts can be replaced fairly easily.
Will do, I don't mind replacing parts here and there. I figure that's par for the course going the vintage route.
 
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mudface

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Thank you so much, that's reassuring to know it's at least consistent. How do Shaws differ tonally from T-tops? Big difference?
There's not a huge difference,... to my ears Shaws are a bit more clear and chimey.....about the same output....T-tops and Shaws have a lot of love and are desirable.
 

mudface

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That 78 Custom is not worth $3300.00...$2500-$2800 or so, if it is a player.
Your absolutely right amigo.......the problem is the people selling these are holding out for more money for various reasons.

You know GC's reason.

I remember not long ago,... about 7 to 8 years ago...... these could be had all day every day in minty shape for $1800.

The truth is that 1977 to 1979 was the highest production numbers for the LPC..... tens of thousands (not including all the other models)...... the highest in Gibson history........... It wasn't that Gibson was a failing company for Norlin...... Gibson was the only company that Norlin owned that could be sold to cover their debt and keep them rich..... a fact Henry J. was fully aware of when he bought Gibson in 1986.

There are plenty out there.
 
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grumphh

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It looks so legit, i just puked a little in my mouth...

I am sorry, while i am a proponent of not wasting time on the cosmetics of a guitar, this looks like the mother of all clownbursts , and it is just not nice to look at.
...then again, go try it, perhaps it has the most angelic tone ever?

Personally i would hate spending XXXX USD on a guitar which i find hideous just because it is "vintage" - i mean, that amount of money can get you some really good guitars that easily rival any LP, both feel- and tonewise...
But of course it is your money to spend, and if a 70's LP is what you want, then by all means get it. This one is probably the very embodyment of everything 70's in a LP :yesway:
 


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