replica just as good as a real burst

shtdaprdtr

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So I bookmatched my perfect piece of maple which will become... in my opinion....the ultimate LP replica and when I am along enough to start documenting this build with pics posted here...I hope it will blow some minds. It will be a replica of a famous Les Paul in which the piece of wood I acquired is pretty close or at least as close as I can get to this famous guitars top. But as I was working with the top today....I asked myself a good question.
If I build this guitar...using the exact wood Honduras Mah/Braz board (no stump wood), the exact paint, exact material if not vintage hardware, exact carve, formaldehyde and hide glues, same build skill level with tight tolerances with help from engineers and craftsmen of fine instruments whom I work with. Then why wouldnt my guitar be the equivalent of a burst in its day...and in 10 -15 years time be the equivalent of something Page or Gibbons would have played.
I would like to hear peoples response.
 

Jason

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Because, no matter what you do, it won't ever be a 1959 Gibson Les Paul. Hell, it could be NICER than the real thing, but it still wouldn't be the real thing.
 

shtdaprdtr

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Because, no matter what you do, it won't ever be a 1959 Gibson Les Paul. Hell, it could be NICER than the real thing, but it still wouldn't be the real thing.

The question is will it be the musical instrument equivalent...forget investment value...were talking about the guitars themselves. Its obvious and a given that it wont be a Gibson so its retarded to argue that... but if the materials and construction method and every detail is identical....why wont it be the equivalent of a 59 LP back in its day.
(and please people, dont post a dumb comment like "A real burst has aged over 50 years and developed a mojo" The comparison is with a new LP in its day and how an exact replica can age just as gracefully in 15 years to the point the originals had when they were recorded on the famous albums)
 

PapaSquash

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No reason it shouldn't be as good, if you have the skill. It might well be a better instrument, since it's a one off with tons of attention to detail, and '59 standards were production line guitars.

gotta find old-growth wood though.
 

Jason

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Same materials + same build techniques and skill = same instrument (quality-wise) in my eyes. You may have noticed some of the top knotch replicas going for $10k+... of course some of that might be due to the particular luthiers gaining a cult following as well.... but still, I guess there's a lot of guys who would gladly pay 1/10th the price of a real burst for something that is essentially "the same".
 

shtdaprdtr

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thats what I figured....I havent seen a thorough LP build thread here in a while since the last Ex-nihilo guitar so when everything else comes together and I go back to work after my vacation... I hope to start my Pearly Gates replica project.... I was thinking of having Dave Johnson tackle the finish when im done but then again I just might go all the way...I have a few relicing tricks up my sleeve. I just hope my flame pattern doesnt change too much when I start carving because as a flat board....the figuring is pretty close just that the bald spot of figuring on the right side of pearly is a little lower on my top mainly because I had to avoid a knot, I applied some naptha today and it blew my mind...Just gotta find my camera
 

Fletch

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I have a theory that says you can't, no matter what you do. I believe that these guitars have had time to gel, on a molecular level. There is zero stress internally, all wood has settled on a cellular level, and the whole guitar and all of it's components have been rattled sonically for so many years that you could never catch up.

I also believe that you will not find proper mahogany these days, be it old growth or otherwise. Having milled up a lot of known old growth lately, I will say that wood that is NOT described this way can be just as resonant or better when tapped with a knuckle... might have just gotten lucky but one of the ones I'm working on is not old growth, and was purchased from a nautical lumber company, and it is so feathery and resonant that I wish I had every piece offered for sale at the time. But do I think that that peice will be as good as something from the 50's? who knows...

That doesn't mean you can't build a GREAT guitar though, the Les Paul is a design that lends itself very well to what is required. The single cutaway contributes significantly to the rigid design and fact that there is a good bulk of wood at what is basically the center of the guitar/neck joint. The thing you want to do is get the guitar resonating loudly when strummed acoustically, to the point where it almost sounds "cheap", or "jingly". Use glues that crystalize for the top (I have a secret weapon), hide glue on the neck. Use good components, tempered or hardened where possible, and the lightest tuners you can get (klusons) so you don't dampen anything on the end of the neck. Make it the fattest neck you can stand. When you've gotten there, you need the right pickup that is slightly microphonic to monopolize on this.

One other thing you can do if you are serious is build six of them at once and hope that one of them is magical:thumb:

At least that's my operational theory...

fletch
 

DRF

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IMO yes you can at least make an equal in quality to what you are shooting for.
 

shtdaprdtr

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I have a theory that says you can't, no matter what you do. I believe that these guitars have had time to gel, on a molecular level. There is zero stress internally, all wood has settled on a cellular level, and the whole guitar and all of it's components have been rattled sonically for so many years that you could never catch up.

I also believe that you will not find proper mahogany these days, be it old growth or otherwise. Having milled up a lot of known old growth lately, I will say that wood that is NOT described this way can be just as resonant or better when tapped with a knuckle... might have just gotten lucky but one of the ones I'm working on is not old growth, and was purchased from a nautical lumber company, and it is so feathery and resonant that I wish I had every piece offered for sale at the time.

That doesn't mean you can't build a GREAT guitar though, the Les Paul is a design that lends itself very well to what is required. The single cutaway contributes significantly to the rigid design and fact that there is a good bulk of wood at what is basically the center of the guitar/neck joint. The thing you want to do is get the guitar resonating loudly when strummed acoustically, to the point where it almost sounds "cheap", or "jingly". Use glues that crystalize for the top (I have a secret weapon), hide glue on the neck. Use good components, tempered or hardened where possible, and the lightest tuners you can get (klusons) so you don't dampen anything on the end of the neck. Make it the fattest neck you can stand. When you've gotten there, you need the right pickup that is slightly microphonic to monopolize on this.

One other thing you can do if you are serious is build six of them at once and hope that one of them is magical:thumb:

At least that's my operational theory...

fletch
again...as far as time to "GEL"..if you are referring to a current burst...I am not comparing this guitar to a 50 year old one but to the 50 year old one 50 years ago....huh:shock:
I believe they had good woods back in the day but you can tell by the rings and the distance between them how old the wood is and the old ones werent anything special in age...nothing you couldnt acquire today I have some old Honduras mahogany where I work that is so dry....it almost looks white and feels very light and chalky as opposed to a more reddish/orange/brownish hue of a younger mahogany...and its very tight grained and rock solid. Now the finish is another story...but then again, Im comparing it to a new burst. My only challenge is finding the correct info on the correct binding...ive seen threads here that claim allparts makes the closest binding (better than Stewmac) but im looking for something closer. As far as the body...id be using formaldehyde which is what I hear they actually used to join the tops and it makes sense as We use it at my company to join wood on classical pianos, plus when a repair guy heats a fingerboard to remove a neck you never hear of a top seperating which may happen if you use hide for the top.
 

Jason

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Also keep in mind those guitars were not 50 years old when they were being used by the guitar "legends". So obviously the age had nothing to do with it back then, so why does it now? I think people just want to believe in magic.
 

shtdaprdtr

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I also may try to use vintage hardware if available or within budget. I already have one vintage bridge PAF but no cover...have it in a 58 reissue V, absolutely cuts and a bit microphonic. Any suggestions on finding a cover or a worthy replica cover?
 

shtdaprdtr

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Also keep in mind those guitars were not 50 years old when they were being used by the guitar "legends". So obviously the age had nothing to do with it back then, so why does it now? I think people just want to believe in magic.

thats my point exactly....
 

The Thruth

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hey shtdaprdtr i'm glad master piano maker like you will start thread about lp build :applause: please give us a lot pictures :thumb:

p.s. pozdrav iz Hrvatske :thumb:
 

Fletch

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Also keep in mind those guitars were not 50 years old when they were being used by the guitar "legends". So obviously the age had nothing to do with it back then, so why does it now? I think people just want to believe in magic.

I believe that the 50's LPs are great now because they have seasoned for so many years and all the other "scientific (lol)" reasons I said. I said nothing about "magic" being a contributing factor, except to say I was hoping for magic with at least one of my replicas...

I think that they became popular in the early 60's for a very different reason... compared to what else was on the market... Fenders, Gretch, Ricks, whatever, all were single coil guitars that were a little more work to play. The LP with humbuckers was a truly modern guitar that was ahead of its' time and would have been like getting your first car with power steering compared to what else was available.

Again, just my humble theory...

fletch
 

shtdaprdtr

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I see a lot of people arguing on Fender forums about this similar topic...of how a fender custom shop strat is so much better than a mexican...but a real 54 strat is superior to all...meanwhile the early fenders were so inconsistent its not even funny. Leo used whatever he could to put the guitars together...even admitting to mixing components. Some Teles were even made from Pine, and they were all working class instruments...Jeff Beck even admits they are a bitch to play and keep in tune...but yet they are still ultimate? If anything the Mexican strats are more true to the original concept. Maybe just the electronics need an upgrade? But the finishes were Poly since the mid sixties. Just like the Les Pauls...I believe its all a mystique people created and love to believe...makes life more interesting.
 

shtdaprdtr

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hey shtdaprdtr i'm glad master piano maker like you will start thread about lp build :applause: please give us a lot pictures :thumb:

p.s. pozdrav iz Hrvatske :thumb:

well im too young to be a master...but I will get help from some master craftsmen. And luckily, I will have professional grade tools and machines to use.

samo treban naci aparat..nesnam dije:hmm:
translation: just need to find my camera..dont know where it is.
 

The Thruth

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I'll get back to ya soon.:thumb:

okay, enough thread stealing...

fletch

haha yes :laugh2: no problem :thumb:
back to bursts and doppelgangers :slash:

hey shtdaprdtr what will be your reference for building? catto plan or maybe direct doppelganging from real deal :naughty:
 

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