LPC - please have a look at the frets

riffwraith

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Looking at a '76 LP Custom. Pics online; will make my way to the shop Mon.

Everything looks right (tailpiece in the right place, G is straight up on the HS, etc.) The thing that concerns me is the frets over the binding:

lp.jpg


Is this how it should look? Or a potential refret? Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
 

Fracture

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does this instrument / seller have a return policy ?

is it a big deal if you have to pay to ship the guitar back ?

iirc, and from experience the fat, wide frets of that era were pretty soft
I returned a very nice '84 WRC that needed a refret - guitar was playable, but would need work very soon
after negotiating with the seller he said ship it back
kinda wish I'd kept it, was a great sounding piece
 

grumphh_the_banned_one

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I'd take a very close look at that neck joint. Very close.

Because it shouldn't look like that. A fine line just indicating that there is a joint is all i'd expect to see, not chipped laquer.

If it (in person) looks like it has had a neck repair at the body end, all collectors value is as far down the drain as if the headstock had been broken...
Either get the price down loooow or leave it.
 

riffwraith

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I'd take a very close look at that neck joint. Very close.

Thanks for pointing that out.

So, here is the guitar.


Took a look at it a few hrs ago. Looks great from the front. See that line down the back of the neck? To my (untrained eye) that's not paint. That's the wood separating. Yikes. The owner of the store passed it off as "normal wear". Not too sure about that.... The neck joint looked ok to me, but grumphh, your point about the lacquer gave me an uneasy feeling - esp. after seeing it in person. Then I noticed that the high E was not the same distance from the edge of the fboard as was the low E - by a wide margin. Not just a slight bit. where you have to really scrutinize; no - it's about as obvious as can be. I looked at three other vintage Pauls, and the string distance on both sides was perfect.

Then there is the body, which has a dark, almost black ring around it - it almost seems as tho the body was cracked open at one point, and then glued back together again. What a wreck.

The funny thing is, that is about the best sounding and best playing LP I have ever had in my hands. Not that I would spend even $100 on it. But still.... very disappointing.

Cool little store, BTW.

Cheers.
 

DarrellV

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Then there is the body, which has a dark, almost black ring around it - it almost seems as tho the body was cracked open at one point, and then glued back together again. What a wreck.
That might not be a problem, actually.

Sounds like you are referring to the laminated bodies of the time.. 'Pancake' bodies we call them.

They were glued together with 2 layers of mahogany and a thin maple strip in the center . That would be normal for this time period.

76 Custom. Stripe in center visible.
1976GibsonLesPaulCustomCherrySunburst047.jpg


The finish looks to be missing around the neck joint, actually.

I have seen similar de lamination of the neck on another fella's custom that took a dive onto the floor peghead first.

It survived with a bounce, but the neck has stress cracks similar to these in the back of it. Still plays fine.

That said, if you find its a good player I would find it hard to believe it would just turn to dust or fall apart into firewood any time soon....

BUT, IMO, I don't think its worth almost 4K in that condition, I don't care what kind of pick guard is on it.

The re fret looks good, but it's still a refret. There appears to be stress fracturing on the neck.

I'd consider it a players grade guitar. Not primo. These things are very plentiful out there. It's not rare.

My 2 cents.
 

XpensiveWino

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@DarrellV is exactly correct, you're describing a 'pancake' body. All of them were pancakes at the time. $4k is nuts though IMO, respectfully.

@riffwraith Take a look at this one. By '79, there was no pancake, and this one is nearly all original. Full disclosure, it's my father's. I am very familiar with this guitar, and would put my good name with respect to this forum on the honesty of his post. Message me if you'd like me to put you two in touch. Also, I have no dog in this fight. No money comes to me, or anything like that.

 

workerunit

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I hope you like heavy guitars, my 76 Custom was a tank, I sold it many years ago.
 

Frozen Rat

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The string separation issue could just be wonky saddles. Cheap and easy fix. My R6 had the bass E string saddle cut too far in. I filed a new saddle and all is good. You could do the same if you like that guitar.
 

riffwraith

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Ah, pancake bodies. Never knew those existed.... thanks for the info!

So, are those guitars one should stay away from, or not necessarily - depending on everything else?

Thanks all!
 

DarrellV

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Ah, pancake bodies. Never knew those existed.... thanks for the info!

So, are those guitars one should stay away from, or not necessarily - depending on everything else?

Thanks all!
No..... not just because of that... There are plenty of uninformed folk who do because they consider it a defect or a blemish. That's simply not the case.

Gibson wanted to limit returns for warranty work, and wanted to use materials more efficiently for less waste. Both steps would save money.

In any factory time and material is money. If a way can be found to cut the wood once, and be able to use it on more than one guitar, that would be a savings.

Most folks believe the mahogany blanks were sawn for the SG models. They have a thinner body.

Gibson must have figured out that slapping two SG blanks together with a tiny piece of maple in between got them the extra thickness they needed for the Les Pauls. That was the savings.


And the laminated body actually helps to prevent twisting and warping of the body. This happens more often with one solid piece of wood. That was the warranty return reducing step.

The fact that they are still playable after almost 50 years is proof enough of how well they are made.

It's more of the fact that a lot can happen to wood in 50 years....

50 years of humidity and temperature changes, player use, abuse, neglect...

Aging and oxidation...

All these things take a toll on the instrument. So judge kindly the appearance, 50 years is hard on anything.....but just be wary of deception and deliberate cover ups. So ask questions, look carefully.

There are shady folk out there.
 
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