Mystery 2020 Epiphone LP 1959 Outfit - made in 2019

darkvoice

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You all know one of the most popular recent Epiphone models - Les Paul 1959 Outfit.

This model was announced at 2020 NAMM show (Jan 16-19, 2020) and the first batch of guitars for sale was made around June 2020. I handled a few of these guitars, I also checked serials posted on the web and I did not see a serial number of this guitar earlier than June 2020 (serial number in format 2006xxxxxxx)... until today, when I received one made in July 2019 (serial number in format 1907xxxxxxx). According to the serial number this guitar was made 6 months before official announcement and one year before mass production.

How is this possible? Could this be some sort of prototype or early production? Could this be one of the speciments made for NAMM?

What do you think I have here?

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The 2020 Custom I bought was like that too - 19 serial number. The lineup was actually available for ordering way before NAMM - just that retailers at the time didn't have the full specs or photos. This is likely because for Asian markets (and maybe even other countries) Epi needs to build in a 6+ month lead time. For evergreen product like Les Pauls, I would imagine that they don't need to wait for confirmed sales to begin production - it's all ongoing and the marketing/front-end sales really happens afterwards.
 

mr. rj

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You all know one of the most popular recent Epiphone models - Les Paul 1959 Outfit.

This model was announced at 2020 NAMM show (Jan 16-19, 2020) and the first batch of guitars for sale was made around June 2020. I handled a few of these guitars, I also checked serials posted on the web and I did not see a serial number of this guitar earlier than June 2020 (serial number in format 2006xxxxxxx)... until today, when I received one made in July 2019 (serial number in format 1907xxxxxxx). According to the serial number this guitar was made 6 months before official announcement and one year before mass production.

How is this possible? Could this be some sort of prototype or early production? Could this be one of the specements made for NAMM?

What do you think I have here?
You have the holy grail of Epi 59's....
 

darkvoice

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There is a chance that you have a Namm demo/or a model for early marketing. What colour is your model?
Color is Dark Burst.

The guitar looks mostly like any mass produced Epiphone of this model with few small differences:
- Larger/thicker frets - these were only available on June 2020 batch and later batches switched to thinner frets,
- Scarf join is done a bit different.

Other than these small details I can't find anything that sets it apart.
 

USTTRM

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The earliest serious write up I could find is Guitar.com dated Jan 22 of this year. It has a photo of a dark burst as it cover shot, if you have the time to look.Similar?
Just speculation.Is it possible that the one you discovered is a marketing model sent out in 2019 prior to NAMM but due to our current situation and the terrible roll out as a result, just sat around?If so then that’s pretty sweet.
 

rbraad68

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My 2020 custom was an early batch with a serial 1912xxxxx my classic is like that too with a serial 1911xxxx. I have 2 59's ones a 2101xxx the other is a 2010xxxx I wish one of my 59s was an early run would love to have gotten the fatter frets....
 

darkvoice

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I've seen 2020 models with Nov-Dec 2019 serial numbers (I owned a Black Custom with Dec 2019 number), I think this is quite common to have the guitars manufactured during 1-2 months just before the year start. At that point the word was already out that these new Customs are coming and factories were creating inventory in advance.

What we have here with this 1959 Outfit is quite unusual because these were made 6 months before official announcement and before the factory started building inventory of finished guitars. I don't think anyone saw this guitar with July 2019 serial number.
 

darkvoice

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I've noticed more differences, please refer to below photos. July 2019 guitar is on the left, normal production run is on the right:
1) Different font in Epiphone logo - old style font on 2019 guitar and new Gibson style font on 2020,
2) Tuners have nuts on the front on 2019 guitar,
3) Truss rod cover has thicker white layer on a mass produced one,
4) Tuner ends are different - flat ones on 2020 and pointy on 2019.

Heads_Compare.jpg
 
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DrBGood

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Maybe you got a fake of a non yet existing LP ? :rofl:

On the serious side ... have you thought about writing to Epiphone showing these discrepancies ?
 

darkvoice

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Maybe you got a fake of a non yet existing LP ? :rofl:

On the serious side ... have you thought about writing to Epiphone showing these discrepancies ?
I am definitely going to ask Epiphone.
 

mr. rj

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I am definitely going to ask Epiphone.
Pull out the pickups to check if it has the real burstbuckers and if the dates on them approximately coincide to the serial, and while your at it, check if it has the long neck tenon. That would eliminate any discrepancies of it's authenticity.
 

rbraad68

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I've noticed more differences, please refer to below photos. July 2019 guitar is on the left, normal production run is on the right:
1) Different font in Epiphone logo - old style font on 2019 guitar and new Gibson style font on 2020,
2) Tuners have nuts on the front on 2019 guitar,
3) Truss rod cover has thicker white layer on a mass produced one,
4) Tuner ends are different - flat ones on 2020 and pointy on 2019.

View attachment 563232
the hex bolt bushings on the 2019 run is deff differen !! I had to rheem my 2020 oct 59 for the hex bolt bushings as all the other ones i've seen including my 2021 of january run had the push in bushings?? Deff pull the front pup out and have a look under the hood see if it has the long neck tenon. Hell you might have gotten one never intended to get out into the public channels....
 

Maggot_Brain

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the hex bolt bushings on the 2019 run is deff differen !! I had to rheem my 2020 oct 59 for the hex bolt bushings as all the other ones i've seen including my 2021 of january run had the push in bushings?? Deff pull the front pup out and have a look under the hood see if it has the long neck tenon. Hell you might have gotten one never intended to get out into the public channels....
You have no reason whatsoever to think that though.
 

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