- Aug 11, 2012
- Reaction score
Very cool story and guitar congrats!
Oh man!!! Outstanding brother!! Damn near at a loss for words!Hello!
It’s been a long time since I posted about one of my own guitars, but this is huge for me and I wanted to share with my friends here. Forgive me, because I’m going to ramble on a bit.
I was born in 1963, and I’ve always wanted a guitar from that year. Now, we all know that the Burst ended in 1960, so that left me with limited options. A ‘63 Les Paul is an SG. Or I could have picked up a Fender or another Gibson model, but none of those appealed to me enough to pull the trigger. Then, a few weeks ago, my great friend and partner, Mark at Mark’s Guitar Loft floored me with this 1963 factory conversion!
It started out as a 1953 Gold Top. Then, in 1963, the neck was broken and it was sent back to Kalamazoo for repair. We’re not sure if the original owner requested a full refinish, or if Gibson just decided to have some fun, but it doesn’t matter. Instead of repairing the neck, Gibson installed a new 1963 neck, stripped the gold, and sprayed the body with a new cherry sunburst finish! They also put in ‘63 Black Beauty caps, reflector knobs, and CentraLab pots, while retaining the original truss rod cover, switch ring, bridge, pickguard, and other small parts like screws and bushings. This is authenticated by George Gruhn in writing. The letter is in the case.
Later on, Terry Mueller installed humbuckers and a stop tailpiece, and cut the ‘53 guard to match. There’s plenty of fade in the Burst to show evidence of the original trapeze tailpiece.
Calling it just a conversion wouldn’t do it justice. Considering that this guitar was literally built and finished by the same hands, using the same materials, in the same factory as the originals; and my great respect for Terry’s work, I’m completely satisfied in referring to this little monster as my 1963 Burst!
More pics to come, but here’s one from Mark’s site.
Good eye! Yes I did. The first set wasn’t original nor period correct, so I dropped in a set of our LIX Patina double-ring Kluson tuners. But now, Mark has found a set of original early-60s double rings that will be on there soon.hey Lonnie! did you change out the tuning pegs? they look different to the ones in the first post.
also, what can you tell us about the humbuckers? any idea what year they are?
Good question! All that’s left of the 53 is the wood on the body. It’s got a nearly invisible seam on the far left, very close to the seam placement on Lucy, but a much better grain match. Cheers!Great guitar and story, wow! It's beautiful. One question; it looks like a one piece top to my eyes. Is it, or can I just not see the seam? I know some of the later GT's that were converted had an off center seam. Just wondering for my own knowledge. It's a stunning guitar and I'd be as pleased as you are to own it.
Now I need to find myself a 66' burst.