NGD (kind of) - Pearly Gates HM RDS with ORIGINAL 1957 Les Paul PAFs (pre-sticker, steel covers!)

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TL;DR - rare original, pre-sticker Les Paul PAF’s (steel covers) combined with one of the first Real Deal Series (Historic Makeovers) Pauls (1959 Reissue, 2009). Unreal tone and looks!

It’s been about a year with this beauty. All my other LP’s have been sold since getting this one and I haven’t looked back. The guitar originally is a 1959 Reissue from 2009 (same year as the Pearly Gates run) with a very familiar curly maple top. The guitar was sent to Historic Makeovers in 2011 for, what was back then, a new revolutionary “Real Deal Series” makeover: BRW board, top and neck recarve, plastics, proper aniline dyes (which in the last 10 years have actually started to fade!! Under the pg and rings the red is much deeper). The original owner commissioned the makeover to have a specific Pearly Gates-style “wide” burst paint and relic job. He kept every original part of the guitar and in addition, had replaced the pickups & harness with Throbaks (DT-102).

At the same time last year as when I bought this guitar, I happened to also come across a set of untouched, 1957, pre-sticker, STEEL cover Les Paul PAF’s with full length leads from a friend collector. I pulled the trigger as I don’t think I would have ever come across another set like this ever again.

I was pretty pessimistic about the difference in tone the PAF’s would make as I’ve read a lot about how hit and miss they are and that the newer repro’s are so close to the originals (especially the really high end ones like Throbaks), diminishing returns, etc etc etc. I also experimented with different pups by trying the original BB’s back in, tried my Throbak SLE-101‘s, tried a set of Seymour Duncan PG, Wizzes... all with noticeable but pretty minimal tonal differences. I played around with caps and pots in the harness as well (settled on a combination of the original Throbak pots, bumble bee cap in bridge and the bumble bee original cap that came with the RDS in neck).

VERDICT: I was wrong to be pessimistic (or lucky I guess) - the tone difference was ASTOUNDING when I put the PAF’s in.

After I combined the RDS LP and the PAF’s - I now think I have, what to my ears, is the best sounding and playing les paul I have ever tried after owning about 20 reissues (and dozens of aftermarket pickups) and trying three different bursts. “To each their own” as they say... this is the one for me!

Weight: 8.5lb
Neck PAF output: 7.3k-7.5k
Bridge PAF output: 7.8k - 8.0k





 
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Gold Tone

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Very nice!!!!!

I’m confused. So is this a Pearly reissue, or a guitar built in the same year as a Pearly reissue? I’m trying to understand the Pearly reference

Regardless, it’s beautiful and I want it!
 

HIDDEN

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Nice guitar!
I don’t understand the “wide paint” as this is on the thin side?
You should share some recordings of it:wave:
 

pmonk

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Very nice!!!!!

I’m confused. So is this a Pearly reissue, or a guitar built in the same year as a Pearly reissue? I’m trying to understand the Pearly reference

The guitar originally is a 1959 Reissue from 2009 (same year as the Pearly Gates run) with a very familiar curly maple top
 

Gold Tone

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Ah, it sounded like it was from the Pearly run

lots of great special runs in that 50th Ann year.

you’ve got a gorgeous 50th Anniversary Les Paul there! The checking looks great, colour, beautiful

hope it sounds good too!
 

cherrick

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Very nice!!!!!

I’m confused. So is this a Pearly reissue, or a guitar built in the same year as a Pearly reissue? I’m trying to understand the Pearly reference

Regardless, it’s beautiful and I want it!
the makeover to have a specific Pearly Gates-style “wide” burst paint and relic job
 


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