My 1952 altered and tortured Goldtop

moreles

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Well, I'll be the idiot here. To me, that looks like what should be a fine guitar but in really abused condition. There's nothing wrong with personalizing your own stuff, of course, but since I'm not you, I cringe to hear about using urethane that way, or doing additional routing and making fundamental changes to the very structure of the guitar. I mean, it's yours so go fot it, but every major whack -- and that guitar has seen plenty, turns it into more of a bashed and trashed Les Paul from others' perspective. For instance, I think it's really unattractive now but with some easy fixes could be made to look really nice. I dunno... from my angle, it looks like a guitar that is slowly being destroyed. I'd restore it.
 

rialcnis

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Well, I'll be the idiot here. To me, that looks like what should be a fine guitar but in really abused condition. There's nothing wrong with personalizing your own stuff, of course, but since I'm not you, I cringe to hear about using urethane that way, or doing additional routing and making fundamental changes to the very structure of the guitar. I mean, it's yours so go fot it, but every major whack -- and that guitar has seen plenty, turns it into more of a bashed and trashed Les Paul from others' perspective. For instance, I think it's really unattractive now but with some easy fixes could be made to look really nice. I dunno... from my angle, it looks like a guitar that is slowly being destroyed. I'd restore it.

My guitar was absconded away twice. The first time it was gorgeous at the time of the theft. The absconder, stripped the top, no doubt to see what the Sunburst would look like. Thievery attempted, thievery averted.

Going into the Luthier the other day I went in with the decision to restore it. It's not the cost that stops me, it's knowing full well the original 1952 lacked the sound and playability it has today. I remember that Trapeze bridge and understand why Gibson changed the design so quickly.

This guitar already looked and played rough when I got it in '66 or '67, because of the bridge problem. After it's customization in '67 it looked and played incredible. It stills plays incredible today. I fully understand the conflcts with my own purist feelings today vs. the truth of the original goofed up 1952 design. A classic but still a classic mistake in design I could restore it back into that? That makes me cringe too.

The only reason to restore it back to original '52 would be to sell it. I am not going to put it in a glass case. I cringe at that thought. I am going to spend money on it, but not to make it a stock 1952 once again. I've wrestled with these opposing thoughts since I got my stripped guitar back from the thief, years ago. I'm done flip flopping on it and I am not selling it. I am only going to get the head stock finish restored, the missing binding piece, fix the pickup holders check all the electronics, possibly replace the bone nut that has a little chip, leave the fingerboard and frets as they are, I can't even find anything bad about the action or playability. I want the sound and playability the same as it is. Changing it would be far more a travesty.

I used Urethane in 1967 over the painting with no ill effects. This time I might paint the back as well. Oil Paint takes a long time to dry. I will have plenty of time to decide what the final finish will be and who will be doing it.
 
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Funky54

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I own a player grade 54 Custom. I’ve also owned a 52 conversion. My advice would be to plug it. Re-rout for period correct p-90’s. I’d use reproduction parts where I could but I’d do a 57 style set up. I painted cars for many years and I have painted a few guitars, but I’d have the new gold top professionally done.

That’s me though. I will admit I’d be hit with heartburn and anxiety over seeing a tele part mounted to it.

I once saw a 61 strat with the headstock cut off and strings ran down to the body where it was routed probably with a hatchet for a Floyd Rose. It’s good I didn’t meet the owner because my family would not be able to make bail.
 

rialcnis

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The photoshopped Esquire Tele part was just a joke, A few weks ago I decided to restore it, then after taking the guitar to Renson's I tried to imagine not having my Les Paul playing just as it is and realized, restoring it would only be to sell it,

It's had these humbukers since 1967. I love the sound.

Then I would need another Les Paul and it would be like cheating. Not the same as cheating with a Telecaster.
 
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Funky54

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The photoshopped Esquire Tele part was just a joke, A few weks ago I decided to restore it, then after taking the guitar to Renson's I tried to imagine not having my Les Paul playing just as it is and realized, restoring it would only be to sell it,

It's had these humbukers since 1967. I love the sound.

Then I would need another Les Paul and it would be like cheating. Not the same as cheating with a Telecaster.
I can understand that. My 54 was routed by the previous owner and he installed the wiring harness and pick ups from his 61 Les Paul (SG). Its been refinished correctly and I love the guitar. I have zero desire to plug and replace with period correct pickups.
 

rialcnis

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I will however remain guilty and mortified that I let my original p-90s, break up and get lost in a desk drawer, lose the original knobs that were yellowed and cracked and lose the original tuners. I have kicked myself innumerable times once I knew what I was doing.

I have many storage boxes and there is a possibility one of the p-90-the one that didn't get broken in half-- and the original knobs and tuners, still exist in one of my tuppperware boxes. I moved quite a few times in all these years and things got lost. Lately, going through these hundreds of stacked storage boxes has been an obsession....still looking for some important treasures.

If I knew then what I later learned, I probably would have restored it and bought a different Les Paul to get attached to. Heck I paid $150.00 for it.

That material thngs are as transient as mornng dew is no excuse for throwing the vintage P-90's into a ramshackle drawer.
 

Funky54

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My wife and I moved a bunch, downsized. We decided whatever we owned, could be bought again. So all project type things we let go of. In the end it was better, less anxiety about things not done. I sold pennies on the dollar a few motorcycles and engines. Some nice antique furniture and a lot of PA gear. My wife got rid of years of scrapbooking and floral hobby items. It was great to empty the house.

My parents are in their late 70’s and very stubborn about their “things” I down sized them from a 6700’ house to a 1500” and moved them 1400 miles. It’s ridiculous the accumulation of things they think are important. 90% they will not get to in their lifetime. They foolishly live unhappy with boxes everywhere and 4 storage lockers full of crap. They can’t have people over or enjoy their lives because of boxes being everywhere for two years now. They won’t listen, they won’t throw anything they “think” is of value and they both hang on to things to build dreams on that they are to advanced in years to ever have happen. It’s now my stress, my problem and someday when they are gone I’ll burn it all. I’m sad for them. They spend every extra cent they have on storage units. They think they are going to build some huge addition and build massive train layouts and stupid art studio... they can’t afford any of it. They don’t have the health or energy to make any of that happen. It’s really sad..sorry tangent, all to say I get having storage of things and wondering where they are.
 

rialcnis

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My wife and I moved a bunch, downsized. We decided whatever we owned, could be bought again. So all project type things we let go of. In the end it was better, less anxiety about things not done. I sold pennies on the dollar a few motorcycles and engines. Some nice antique furniture and a lot of PA gear. My wife got rid of years of scrapbooking and floral hobby items. It was great to empty the house.

My parents are in their late 70’s and very stubborn about their “things” I down sized them from a 6700’ house to a 1500” and moved them 1400 miles. It’s ridiculous the accumulation of things they think are important. 90% they will not get to in their lifetime. They foolishly live unhappy with boxes everywhere and 4 storage lockers full of crap. They can’t have people over or enjoy their lives because of boxes being everywhere for two years now. They won’t listen, they won’t throw anything they “think” is of value and they both hang on to things to build dreams on that they are to advanced in years to ever have happen. It’s now my stress, my problem and someday when they are gone I’ll burn it all. I’m sad for them. They spend every extra cent they have on storage units. They think they are going to build some huge addition and build massive train layouts and stupid art studio... they can’t afford any of it. They don’t have the health or energy to make any of that happen. It’s really sad..sorry tangent, all to say I get having storage of things and wondering where they are.

So you will burn it all....?

Get them an Ebay store to sell it all.
 

Funky54

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So you will burn it all....?

Get them an Ebay store to sell it all.
While they are living I can’t make grown adults get rid of things. When they pass and I’m left with it all to deal with I won’t want to. I just don’t care. A lot of what they store are things that need this or that repair because fixed they are worth something. Burn it all.
 

WhiteEpiLP

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While they are living I can’t make grown adults get rid of things. When they pass and I’m left with it all to deal with I won’t want to. I just don’t care. A lot of what they store are things that need this or that repair because fixed they are worth something. Burn it all.
Have your own storage auction like that stupid show storage wars.
 

rialcnis

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While they are living I can’t make grown adults get rid of things. When they pass and I’m left with it all to deal with I won’t want to. I just don’t care. A lot of what they store are things that need this or that repair because fixed they are worth something. Burn it all.
Ya know late 70's are the new 40's for their generation. They could outlive you..:)... Naturallly, going from a 6700 sq' to 1500 sq' entails storage. They could turn a profit on it. My mother is 96. She has friends over 100. So don't jump the gun.
 

none2low

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IMO - If the neck angle is good with the current set-up, and you like the humbuckers that you have in there. I'd seriously consider having the top hole plugged and doing a '57 gold top conversion.

Heck, you might even be able to get away with leaving the back as is depending on if it's nitro or not.

I see this as a best of both worlds scenario since the modifications have already been made and it's not going to devalue it any further. If anything it'll increase it's ultimate value when you one day leave it to your kids.
 

rialcnis

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Soon I will have a new guitar to play......then I will take this back to Renson's for some work. When he told me he doesn't do full refinishing anymore because of breathing toxins, I think he said he would still do headstocks.

I need to decide if I should have the faded and scratched Les Paul logo restored.?
 

rykus

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I’d leave it... only original finish left..

Lots of these guitars are seriously goodbye players, any restorations could make them worth more, but it puts them in a different market and the feel of the guitar will be different..

I left all my wierd players, but I would have done a few minor fixes just because they bugged me..

Imo do what you want, after this long I wouldn’t waste a moment on the what if’s or could haves, you got a sweet player for 150$ probably get 20k for it in another decade as is lol. Enjoy till you can’t then figure the rest out!
 

rialcnis

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I had an ad pop up for "Neeley Guitars" ... I think I will have him look at my guitar. I also thnk the owner, is a fairly close cousin....born in Nashville...as was my grandmother on my dad's side and my My dad's middle name was Neeley.....turns out Neekey Guitar is in Hollywood, 15 minutes away...so this might be destiny.....

Now that I have a new guitar to play I can get serious about this. Already I am flip flopping on what to do. Woke up thinking I'll leave it as it is..as a relic.....then I see the Neeley Guitar website and already thinking full restoration...

Btw....my new guitar, the Jimmy Page Dragon Telecaster, should keep me busy a while, so I could part with my guitar a little while.
 

rialcnis

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So, yesterday I did manage to rush to Hollywood with the intention of leaving the guitar with Mr. Neely who has been across the street from Hollywood Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd for years.

In my email to him I linked this thread. I told him that advice I get is three basic ideas, 1. Leave it as it is. 2. Fix the holes and binding and clean it up. 3. Restore to original.

We talked on the phone and he said he "can carve a guitar from a tree," I am sure he can. His client list is huge and impressive. When I told him Renson, didn't do full refinishes anymore, because of toxins, he said, (joked). "What a pussy". I replied, "maybe he had a health scare."

I told him over the years, people wanted to buy it to "convert it" to a 58 or 59 (or 54) Sunburst. He said "that can't be done." When I told him I was most concerned with how valuable the guitar would be when passed on to my daughters. I was worried my daughters would think it was just some old ugly guitar and sell it cheap, etc. He said people who buy these guitars at top dollar, only want totally original with no restoration or conversion attempts and that he deals with these people all the time.

I had brought my trapeze tailpiece but didn't have the wheel screws. He repeatedly said the existing stop tailpiece was drilled wrong and crooked and how "stupid" that was. On the phone I had told him Milt Owens had done the work at Hollywood Wallach's Music City in 1967. He didn't say if he knew anything about the late Milt Owens, who essentially was his 1967 counterpart in Hollywood. Neely had come to Hollywood from Nashville via working for Seymour Duncan in the 80's.or something like that.

He said without the parts he had "nothing to work with". Essentially, said doing restoration would be too expensive and not worth it. He was dismissive that it ever had a gold back or neck. Emphatic "No."

I asked him about the holes and the 2 inch missing binding, which he had said on the phone could be easily matched and patched....but then said, "Why bother"

So basically, his advice was, leave it the way it is.


Afterthought: If I created some great, original guitar licks and became a guitar hero (at my age). then my guitar could be a "relic" and could be sold at exorbitant prices...so I better get busy!
 
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rialcnis

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I few nights ago I ran into a thread on another forum. I would guess this has already been discussed, but reading this link made me realize there is truth to it. I know that over the years, people who heard I had this guitar were anxious to see it and anxious to buy it. I always told people it was not on the market. Numerous people told me they wanted to convert it to a 58-59. It wasn't that they were looking for a certain sound to use as a player, it was for other purposes.

Luthier Neely told me "conversions can't be done." That is sinking in. I also realize that even restoring it to a 1952 would mask it's authenticity. I'm sure others here already have known this.

Reading this old link from another forum, made me realize nothing needs to be done to my guitar

 
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Cozmik Cowboy

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I asked him about the holes and the 2 inch missing binding, which he had said on the phone could be easily matched and patched....but then said, "Why bother"
That is the one thing I would definitely do; it would really bother my hand (if I ever played that far up the neck........)


Afterthought: If I created some great, original guitar licks and became a guitar hero (at my age). then my guitar could be a "relic" and could be sold at exorbitant prices...so I better get busy!
Heck, Gibson could make a "CC rialcnis" copy, and charge a silly amount for it!
 




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