Les Paul, fake or the real thing.

speyfly

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That's as real as it gets IMHO. Here's why (in part), and I'm sorry in advance, 'cause I'm going to point something out ya'll might not have ever noticed. That cutaway is wrong and stretched. For a concrete look at one check out the Heritage 80, and Heritage 80 Elites. Same funky cutaway. I have OCD, so it really bugs me. After I recognized it on those, I started seeing it more. Seems to be a late 70's, early 80's problem, mostly with Customs. Like there was a screwed up jig floating around the factory and no one noticed. The guy to ask would be Mike Slubowski, he might know.
Thanks for the education regarding the cutaway. Now I know it was not an optical elusion o_O
 

ARandall

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After I recognized it on those, I started seeing it more. Seems to be a late 70's, early 80's problem,
A lot of people have this 'problem'. As in the inability to see any change as just that. They have to cast it as a 'mistake', rather than a deliberate design change (which it was). Don't know why they feel the need to do that, but I'm simply not privy to the mental issues people have with guitar designs and adherence to some intangible 'ideal'

Another part of the 'design' that changed too was the shortening of the body. You can see that the tailpiece goes from in front (closer to the bridge) of the neck volume pot (if you take a perpendicular from the centreline of the body) to right in line with it.
Its been a big part of our exploration of this era guitar and the various aspects that altered in the late 70's to early 80's (a fascinating period that marked a shift in the construction of LP's for the entire future even until present day.
 

speyfly

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A lot of people have this 'problem'. As in the inability to see any change as just that. They have to cast it as a 'mistake', rather than a deliberate design change (which it was). Don't know why they feel the need to do that, but I'm simply not privy to the mental issues people have with guitar designs and adherence to some intangible 'ideal'

Another part of the 'design' that changed too was the shortening of the body. You can see that the tailpiece goes from in front (closer to the bridge) of the neck volume pot (if you take a perpendicular from the centreline of the body) to right in line with it.
Its been a big part of our exploration of this era guitar and the various aspects that altered in the late 70's to early 80's (a fascinating period that marked a shift in the construction of LP's for the entire future even until present day.


Very interesting information you're sharing, thx

Someone must have grabbed it quick, I have not seen a repost since first listed.
 
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efisch

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So, not being argumentative, just curious here. If this body shape mutation was indeed a "deliberate design change" is there information to back that up? Has someone talked to a factory worker from that era? Is there some kind of info from Gibson that confirms that it was a conscious change, and not just an anomaly? To me, it feels like a mistake, or just an overlooked manufacturing change, mostly because it's random. I've seen Customs from that era with and without it, and some Standard's and Deluxe's too (less so). Again, it just looks sloppy, and in line with the QC drop in that era. It kinda came and went. Never to return.

A lot of people have this 'problem'. As in the inability to see any change as just that. They have to cast it as a 'mistake', rather than a deliberate design change (which it was). Don't know why they feel the need to do that, but I'm simply not privy to the mental issues people have with guitar designs and adherence to some intangible 'ideal'

Another part of the 'design' that changed too was the shortening of the body. You can see that the tailpiece goes from in front (closer to the bridge) of the neck volume pot (if you take a perpendicular from the centreline of the body) to right in line with it.
Its been a big part of our exploration of this era guitar and the various aspects that altered in the late 70's to early 80's (a fascinating period that marked a shift in the construction of LP's for the entire future even until present day.
 

Brek

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I looked at those pics and thought hell no. It should be a fake. Lol.
 

JMP

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So, who’s gonna go buy that sweet Norlin Custom? I dig it!
 

moreles

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Given the vast number of maple-necked Gibsons ("Norlins") it is strange that this is looked at as some defect or mistake because it's not mahogany. A maple neck with an ebony board and those inlays? Sweet! The only thing I dislike about that guitar is the natural finish, which just looks like a cutting board to me. A good Custom is $3K every day of the week out here (SoCal).
 

ARandall

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So, not being argumentative, just curious here. If this body shape mutation was indeed a "deliberate design change" is there information to back that up? Has someone talked to a factory worker from that era? Is there some kind of info from Gibson that confirms that it was a conscious change, and not just an anomaly? To me, it feels like a mistake, or just an overlooked manufacturing change, mostly because it's random. I've seen Customs from that era with and without it, and some Standard's and Deluxe's too (less so). Again, it just looks sloppy, and in line with the QC drop in that era. It kinda came and went. Never to return.
Nashville guitars have it, Kalamazoo guitars don't. A simple pattern that makes the fog a bit clearer. At that point there was fierce competition between the factories. So a different cutaway might have been part of that rivalry/differentiation. The KM reissue and the Heritage 80 all came about because of this rivalry too. Toward the end of that cutaway's life Kalamazoo was on the way to being shut down, and they were making fewer of the solidbody electric catalogue than Nashville. Finding a Kalamazoo Les Paul from '80 onward is a rare beast indeed.

And that sort of change just can't be anything else apart from making a new template. The shape is consistent from guitar to guitar, and its a long way from the shape of the original. Plus the way it varies with the cutaway tip being wider than the other design means it is not a miscutting or a worn/damaged part where guitars were salvaged from the scrapheap by a re-cut or re-sanding of a damaged body.
And there's no way on earth you'd have the same 'mistake' happening consistently and continually for 4 years.

But I've got a fairly strong intuition as to why it ceased - multiply binding and the very sharp horn. Fitting the 7-ply top Custom binding is hard enough with the softer vintage horn. Its a right PIA with that sharp cutaway, and I'd bet there were more than a few failed binding applications during that period as the 6-ply purfling either cracked or rippled trying to 'make the turn'.
 

mudface

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So, not being argumentative, just curious here. If this body shape mutation was indeed a "deliberate design change" is there information to back that up? Has someone talked to a factory worker from that era? Is there some kind of info from Gibson that confirms that it was a conscious change, and not just an anomaly? To me, it feels like a mistake, or just an overlooked manufacturing change, mostly because it's random. I've seen Customs from that era with and without it, and some Standard's and Deluxe's too (less so). Again, it just looks sloppy, and in line with the QC drop in that era. It kinda came and went. Never to return.
There is no QC problem..... from 1978 thru 1982 the sharp horn small body LP was designed intentionally. Here are some pics of my 1977 Custom in ebony and my late 1978 Custom in sunburst.

A51ED16E-9B7A-4E72-99EE-65883C174936.jpeg


FB024635-D694-40F9-8E9C-75D0AFCAD638.jpeg

C7B9AD81-FF42-4E89-9226-BAA19C8D5505.jpeg

6F6C5E72-5814-48BE-92E4-F559D110930A.jpeg


Measured on the back from the edge of the heel to the strap button.

B02B3CC3-B281-4346-B780-05E40E71561D.jpeg

263914FD-C9DE-42B6-9514-6BDF35B8CB9D.jpeg
 

mudface

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@DarrellV has a 1982 CAR Les Paul Standard that shares the exact same design “features” as my 1978 LPC along with tens of thousands of Les Pauls from the era.
 

DarrellV

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@DarrellV has a 1982 CAR Les Paul Standard that shares the exact same design “features” as my 1978 LPC along with tens of thousands of Les Pauls from the era.
Correct!

Volume knob under the tailpiece...check!

Shorter body length...check

Wide opening and Sharp point on cutaway....check

Tim Shaw pickups (which was a heckava deliberate mistake if you want to think of them as such, but I'll take them any day

Three piece maple laminecker that's tough as nails.... check

Poor man's Heritage they say... from 82. Cut from the same templates.



For kicks here's a 2018 Classic Player with a more conventional cutaway.


Only the late 70's and early 80's have these unique features. For those of us that love them it sets them apart from the rest of Gibson History.
 
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DarrellV

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And that sort of change just can't be anything else apart from making a new template. The shape is consistent from guitar to guitar, and its a long way from the shape of the original. Plus the way it varies with the cutaway tip being wider than the other design means it is not a miscutting or a worn/damaged part where guitars were salvaged from the scrapheap by a re-cut or re-sanding of a damaged body.
And there's no way on earth you'd have the same 'mistake' happening consistently and continually for 4 years.
Also notice the return of the deep dish top that made its re appearance during this time.
 

efisch

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OK, that makes more sense to me, and would explain why you see the same model from that era with a different cutaway. Thanks for that info!

And how 'bout they discontinued it 'cause it was just plain ugly lol! It completely unbalances the LP shape. It's no longer symetrical and uniform. That's why it catches my eye. And didn't necessarily see the knob placement before, but I do see it now! Thanks again ARandall!

Nashville guitars have it, Kalamazoo guitars don't. A simple pattern that makes the fog a bit clearer. At that point there was fierce competition between the factories. So a different cutaway might have been part of that rivalry/differentiation. The KM reissue and the Heritage 80 all came about because of this rivalry too. Toward the end of that cutaway's life Kalamazoo was on the way to being shut down, and they were making fewer of the solidbody electric catalogue than Nashville. Finding a Kalamazoo Les Paul from '80 onward is a rare beast indeed.

And that sort of change just can't be anything else apart from making a new template. The shape is consistent from guitar to guitar, and its a long way from the shape of the original. Plus the way it varies with the cutaway tip being wider than the other design means it is not a miscutting or a worn/damaged part where guitars were salvaged from the scrapheap by a re-cut or re-sanding of a damaged body.
And there's no way on earth you'd have the same 'mistake' happening consistently and continually for 4 years.

But I've got a fairly strong intuition as to why it ceased - multiply binding and the very sharp horn. Fitting the 7-ply top Custom binding is hard enough with the softer vintage horn. Its a right PIA with that sharp cutaway, and I'd bet there were more than a few failed binding applications during that period as the 6-ply purfling either cracked or rippled trying to 'make the turn'.
 

InTheEvening

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I would love to have that one, but the price would have to come down...significantly

I think it's great, however, to see folks here and other places that are finally connecting the dots with regards the 490R/498T PU combination, and how these indeed defined the sound of rock & roll during their period.
I had little knowledge of Gibson pickups but just going to the store, running the racks and playing every LP. I def found the 498T/490R pickup combo to be one of my favorites. Was surprised to read the negative comments online when I looked them up. Glad they’re finally more appreciated. Big part of why I got an LP studio when a deal came up. I like the 61R/T in my standard but I always remembered the 498T/490R.
 


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