Playing a real deal 1959 Les Paul.

Big electric cat

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My good friend turned me onto
Screenshot_20210411-194938.jpg
Well Strung Guitars located at 439 main st Farmingdale New York.
The owner Dave Davidson couldn't have been any nicer to me as I stood in the middle of the show room and hyperventilated over the 200 or so guitars I was looking at. I've been playing guitar for 46 years and have been fortunate enough to have been around many vintage guitars. But, I've never seen anything like the inventory at this store. Just about every guitar in the store looked brand spanking new.
Name a high end vintage guitar and it was in the room. I should also mention that there had to be two dozen Fender Precision and Jazz bass in some beautiful custom colors. But the highlights of the day where the Custom color Early 63s and 64 Firebirds. Stunning to see all those custom colors in one place.
They where all in incredible shape. There was a 1950 Fender Broadcaster that came from the Entwhistle collection. It was gorgeous and it played effortlessly. Then there where the 5 1959 burst that where there. Pictured bellow I can be seen playing one of the 59s.

This guitar weighed around 8lbs 4oz. The neck was not big and bat like. In fact it was a really comfortable roundback neck and I'm certain the nut was just shy of an inch and nine 16ths. Everything was original on this guitar and it was cool to hold.
I just want to thank Mr Davidson for letting me play a couple guitars from his pristine collection.
I'm not going to post the price of this guitar. I don't feel it's my place to do so.

Cheers, Big electric cat.

****************************************************************************
 
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cmjohnson

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You said you think the nut is just shy of an 1 and 9/16ths? You sure about that? That's NARROW. Gibson standard is 1 and 11/16ths. A full eighth inch under width would be...for me...completely unplayable.
 

Tobaccoburst83

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I played over 40-50 vintage Gibsons and it's funny to hear from other guys that each and every guitar they played was heavenly, perfect, the real deal, etc.

There were some bad sounding guitars, some dead planks, some great guitars, some okay-ish ones. Each one - as newer models - had character.

Old guitars have been played, it's like an old comfortable sofa in most cases.
 

Dilver

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Can‘t say I’ve ever played a real deal burst. Must be nice to have the experience as a reference point since every player/pickup winder/guitar builder/parts manufacturer seems to be chasing that tone/look/feel. What amp did you play that through?
 

Big electric cat

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You said you think the nut is just shy of an 1 and 9/16ths? You sure about that? That's NARROW. Gibson standard is 1 and 11/16ths. A full eighth inch under width would be...for me...completely unplayable.
1 stand corrected I should have written 1and 11/16 s
 

eric ernest

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I played over 40-50 vintage Gibsons and it's funny to hear from other guys that each and every guitar they played was heavenly, perfect, the real deal, etc.

There were some bad sounding guitars, some dead planks, some great guitars, some okay-ish ones.
It's been my experience that there are VERY FEW "dogs" when it comes to vintage Gibson Guitars.

There have only been a couple (out of hundreds) that had tone issues that could not be remedied by common sense maintenance, thorough cleaning, or a changed pot/pickup tweak.
 

Big electric cat

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It's been my experience that there are VERY FEW "dogs" when it comes to vintage Gibson Guitars.

There have only been a couple (out of hundreds) that had tone issues that could not be remedied by common sense maintenance, thorough cleaning, or a changed pot/pickup tweak.
I completely agree with your post. I've played countless vintage Gibson guitars and I've never played one that was a dog. Maybe a set up or as you stated "maintenance". And this store Well Strung Guitars had nothing but the cleanest and original guitars I've ever seen.
There wasn't a bad guitar in the room. 220 to 250 gtrs in the room and 98% were 9.0 outta 10.
 
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cmjohnson

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Back in the "vintage days", you can bet that there was no shortage of good woods to choose from. That HAS to have something to do with the generally high quality and tonality of those old guitars. They were probably using mahogany for firewood to heat the plant that most modern day small time luthiers would cheerfully get into a knock-down drag-out fight over, because that mahogany was not up to the standards of the rest of the batch.

A friend of mine has a '59 Melody Maker that has had the roughest of lives. It bears the scars of guitar butchery we know well. And none of the work done to wallow out the body for humbuckers, or even ream out the headstock for new tuners, was done to even the most minimally acceptable workmanship standards. It looks like the work was done by retarded termites.

Despite that it's a very resonant guitar that would be nice to rebuild back to its original configuration, though it could never again be deemed to have much originality to it.

But it does have its original lightweight chipboard guitar case. That case is probably worth more than the guitar.
 

dspelman

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You said you think the nut is just shy of an 1 and 9/16ths? You sure about that? That's NARROW. Gibson standard is 1 and 11/16ths. A full eighth inch under width would be...for me...completely unplayable.
FWIW, a lot of Gibsons throughout the '70's were actually 1 9/16ths nut width. And they're not unplayable at all. I've got XXL hands, an L6S and an L5S with that nut width, and while they're a bit tight, they're definitely playable. One other thing to note is that the bridge string spacing on these guitars is exactly the same as current guitars, which means that as you move up the neck, things become very ordinary. By the 12th fret it's pretty hard to tell what the nut width was.
 

Mark_the_Knife

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This place is between Rt 135 and Rt 110, just south of a Costco warehouse. I know this place well. Good thing Dave did not locate his store in the North Shore where taxes must be unbelievable in 2021.

Did any of the items come from Songbirds Museum? I'll be adding Dave's store to my list of internet sites to shop.
 

Big electric cat

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1 stand corrected I should have written 1and 11/16 s
No
This place is between Rt 135 and Rt 110, just south of a Costco warehouse. I know this place well. Good thing Dave did not locate his store in the North Shore where taxes must be unbelievable in 2021.

Did any of the items come from Songbirds Museum? I'll be adding Dave's store to my list of internet sites to shop.
Every guitar in there was just amazing.
 
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Big electric cat

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jwinger

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It's been my experience that there are VERY FEW "dogs" when it comes to vintage Gibson Guitars.

There have only been a couple (out of hundreds) that had tone issues that could not be remedied by common sense maintenance, thorough cleaning, or a changed pot/pickup tweak.
Agree. I see this a lot, but either I've been very fortunate with the ones I've been lucky enough to play, or there were very few as you say
 

CoolRene

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I decided to go along with the contemporary version, by the CS. My R9 (as you can see on my avatar) has all the features of a Burst ('59 neck profile, historically correct parts, Alnico III unpotted CustomBuckers, solid but very light mahogany body - 8,26 lb) and the most lovely flamed top I've ever seen (love at first sight). The pots are very efficient and in fact, I set up my amp to the verge of breaking up and direct everything from my guitar. Just like in the old days. Without the inherent problems and maintenance due to an old Lady ;-)
Les Paul -> Cable -> Amp: the true grit Rock & Roll machine !

IMG_5853.JPG
 

captdan61

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Back in the "vintage days", you can bet that there was no shortage of good woods to choose from. That HAS to have something to do with the generally high quality and tonality of those old guitars. They were probably using mahogany for firewood to heat the plant that most modern day small time luthiers would cheerfully get into a knock-down drag-out fight over, because that mahogany was not up to the standards of the rest of the batch.

A friend of mine has a '59 Melody Maker that has had the roughest of lives. It bears the scars of guitar butchery we know well. And none of the work done to wallow out the body for humbuckers, or even ream out the headstock for new tuners, was done to even the most minimally acceptable workmanship standards. It looks like the work was done by retarded termites.

Despite that it's a very resonant guitar that would be nice to rebuild back to its original configuration, though it could never again be deemed to have much originality to it.

But it does have its original lightweight chipboard guitar case. That case is probably worth more than the guitar.
I've hit the point where I'm old enough but I can see a difference the way things are done today and the way people work today not all but most paintball my son's age mid-20s my stepsons age 18 and the way I grew up working I'm 60 we had a work ethic. In the old days when you called a business someone would answer your call hopefully they knew what the hell they were talking about and you got your questions answered by human these days and are expected to believe that you call up. Are you expected to believe that due to high call volume higher than normal call volumes it's suggested that you go to an automated system or you have a very long wait time to talk to an actual human. Things have changed. Gwen Gibson used to build instruments one man would probably build the guitar start to finish the people that were building the instruments that's what they did that's who they were that was their identity they put prided what they were doing. They put their name or initials inside it. There was accountability and there was Pride. These days you have a bunch of different people each doing a separate job none of them specifically attached to or responsible for the end product I doubt anyone unless you're even even maybe the custom shop actually takes an instrument and as it is dirt from roughing it out to it getting put in the case and set off to a customer. That is what's wrong with it that's why small makers are able to compete the quality is so much better the reputation does ride on it I think Gibson's forgotten most of that kind of like American Business and customer service
 


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