Les Paul Standard 2004 - '59 make over

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I have posted some of this before over at the Seymour Duncan Forum but I've been really enjoying MLP forum and decided to share here too. I have had a Tokai LS-150 for a few years and love that guitar but I've been fancying a new Gibbo for a while. I would love a True Historic and maybe I'll get the opportunity eventually, as I'm a tinkerer and love a bit of guitar repair I set out to find a great LP that needed some love to create something like a '59 style guitar.


I found a nice second hand 2004 Standard. It came loaded with BK PG Blues so I set out to finish the job of sending it back in time. Now it has lightweight Alu tail piece, ABR1 bridge, pointers, gone is the circuit board wiring - replaced with CTS Vintage taper pots, LUXE Bumblebees, 50's style wiring all the way through to the toggle switch. Vintage historic spec pick up surrounds, and 59 style toggle switch tip and truss rod cover. The previous owner was kind enough to give it a very light relic by playing it for 13 years, the neck is fantastic and very clean, 50s style but not too chunky, just right.


When I got it, although it sounded quite nice, it was a bit of a brute, just very bottom heavy and chuggy, felt quite compressed sounding and was quieter than all my other HB loaded guitars. A bit average sounding, the character of the PG Blues didn't really come through. Sounds totally different now, more about the mids and the Pups actually sound PAF-like, I have found that old school hardware seems to remove bass and allow more dynamics in your playing. It needed a good set up and plenty of attention to the frets and fingerboard but I was blown away when I finished it, plays and sounds awesome. I think it Looks pretty too, barely put it down since it was completed. Getting played more than my CS336, although it's hard to say which I prefer. It's not supposed to be a copy or deadly accurate to the 59 spec, more of a fun tribute. I'm not a collector, I love playing even though I barely gig anymore. My background is in art and design and I scratch build pedals and amps for fun. If anyone has any questions please fire away although I would say I'm no expert, just a massive fan of all things guitar. Hope you like!




 

cherrysunburst00

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:welcome:, I'm GLAD that you joined is.

That's a BEAUTIFUL Lester ya gots dere.

I have one of its relatives, a 2004 Standard Honeyburst with slim 60s neck.

There is no single "Classic" look, but are you considering putting a pickguard on? :io:

What sort of music do you play? I'm old school late 60s through mid 80s hard/heavy rock meself.
 
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:welcome:, I'm GLAD that you joined is.

That's a BEAUTIFUL Lester ya gots dere.

I have one of its relatives, a 2004 Standard Honeyburst with slim 60s neck.

There is no single "Classic" look, but are you considering putting a pickguard on? :io:

What sort of music do you play? I'm old school late 60s through mid 80s hard/heavy rock meself.

That's amazing that you've got a very similar guitar. My CS336 has a slim taper neck, there are great things going for both. The binding and nibs are better done on the CS336. I'm still a bit stunned at how good the Honeyburst finish is, it's a nice top and they were clearly knocking out some lovely guitars in 2004.

I have the original scratch plate and the fittings for this guitar, but it's never been on and for playing I don't like them so much. It's an option but I think LPs look cool either way. If I was going to fit a pick guard I might find a nicer one.

Is there a guitarist with a Sunburst LP that doesn't knock out a bit of blues? If there is I'm not that guy. I love Zepp and Jimi, Peter and the younger Clap - having said that, most of the bands I've been in have been weirder contemporary stuff with little classic rock reference but there's been some Stoner and poppier Blues stuff too. I do play acoustic quite a bit, some of that is pretty I guess.

Nice to meet you fellow 2004 devotee. I love that there is so much variation in what people like on a forum essentially dedicated to one type of guitar. But then also people bonding over lust for the exact same elements. Some people play down the gear you use as having little meaning (the fools!) but I really like the way you can speak to your tastes through not only the sonics but the visuals of the gear you choose - a historical guitar language, for insiders only. Got a pic of your guitar?
 
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It was probably the switch tip that changed your sound. The stock Gibson ones have been known to makes pickups sound more compressed.
You're almost certainly right. I think the bridge and stop bar might have had a little to do with it. The originals were about 3 or 4 times as heavy and it really has slightly less bass now. I reversed the neck pick up (This is an out of phase Peter Green type set) and it is very slightly warmer and more mid focussed turned the normal way round. 50's wiring means the controls are less harsh and and it's easier to get sweeter tones as they interact more. Also, have you seen the tiny baby nano wires that are inside the cheapo electronics that are originally fitted? They are gone my friend. But at least 90% is, I would agree, the nice £25 ($35 - I am a mug) switch tip! :h5:
 

cherrysunburst00

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That's amazing that you've got a very similar guitar. My CS336 has a slim taper neck, there are great things going for both. The binding and nibs are better done on the CS336. I'm still a bit stunned at how good the Honeyburst finish is, it's a nice top and they were clearly knocking out some lovely guitars in 2004.

I have the original scratch plate and the fittings for this guitar, but it's never been of and for playing I don't like them so much. It's an option but I think LPs look cool either way. If I was going to fit a pick guard I might find a nicer one.

Is there a guitarist with a Sunburst LP that doesn't knock out a bit of blues? If there is I'm not that guy. I love Zepp and Jimi, Peter and the younger Clap - having said that, most of the bands I've been in have been weirder contemporary stuff with little classic rock reference but there's been some Stoner and poppier Blues stuff too. I do play acoustic quite a bit, some of that is pretty I guess.

Nice to meet you fellow 2004 devotee. I love that there is so much variation in what people like on a forum essentially dedicated to one type of guitar. But then also people bonding over lust for the exact same elements. Some people play down the gear you use as having little meaning (the fools!) but I really like the way you can speak to your tastes through not only the sonics but the visuals of the gear you choose - a historical guitar language, for insiders only. Got a pic of your guitar?
I think a bit of blues or blues rock is obligatory (for me, Free/Kossoff and Cream).

As for "stoner" how's about St Vitus or Witchfinder General?
 
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I think a bit of blues or blues rock is obligatory (for me, Free/Kossoff and Cream).

As for "stoner" how's about St Vitus or Witchfinder General?
Yeah I'll go along with all of that. I like The Stooges and Mudhoney, The Cure, Windhand, I really like Bauhaus, love a bit of Radiohead and QOTSA, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Slayer, Stone Roses, Husker Du. I love it when someone shouts and beats up a guitar like they mean it.
 

JeffH66

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Nice job on the "59 Tribute". All it needs is a pickguard to complete the look. I've also found that changing out the stock Gibby bridge and tailpiece can really make a difference. If you ever run across an LP that is very dark and need to brighten it up, the Callaham bridge and tailpiece do an amazing job. They're made of cold rolled steel, so they won't help your Lester get under 9lbs, but they will brighten the tone. I suggest starting with just one, bridge or tailpiece first. I did both and it was too much brightness.

Congrats on the great looking Lester. BTW, I'm a member of the SDUGF too; since 2001. Nice to have you here too.
 

endial

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Sweet top on that git!

Welcome to the madhouse, and that certainly is an interesting member tag you chose there.

...Aaaaaaaand, pretty much what everyone else said above, although I'd never let any of them speak for me officially. ;)
 

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