The Norlin Threat

mudface

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This is something that has me thinking,,,,do golden era vintage dealers find the upturn in Norlin interest and pricing causing concern in their business?

My honest opinion..... it could.

The whole idea of the "Golden Era" was that Norlin Les Pauls sucked so bad that everyone wanted one of the originals. The sounds on those early blues and heavy rock records (Eric Clapton Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page) were produced with the original humbucker Les Paul.

Truth be known not all those sounds were Les Pauls.

If it becomes that players interest shift toward the lowly Norlin because they find their own tone in these instruments it may affect their fan base, and peak their interests in that direction.

Leaving these vintage golden era dealer/collectors with inventory that is less interesting to newer buyers who are focusing on something more obtainable and related to the players they admire.


Though as long as cork sniffers keep bashing Gibson Norlin era instruments it keeps the "golden era"........Golden.

What do you think?...........Are Norlins a threat?
 

Brek

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Interesting question, new buyers/nouveaux riche may not understand the finer points of guitars values, and maybe might buy into the norlin era guitars, because 'they're vintage ya?'
 

dmac in SC

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I have owned three Norlin LP's in my life, and I loved every one of them. The only reason I don't still have at least one of those is because once upon a time I was young and dumb, and was just trying to feed a family.

The Fender guitars during this time frame left more to be desired from a quality standpoint than anything I remember from Gibson.
 

grumbuschumbus

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As others have stated, they are affordable vintage, but no doubt the value of them will go up as there will always be 'mystique' around older gear, as well as the fact that more of these guitars will pop up on stage and drive interest from the general public (think of the ES-325's rise in value due to Kings of Leon).

My background is in vintage electronics and one trend I've seen (along with other areas of collectability like cars etc) is that the era of popularity in collector's circles (and as such increase in price) is usually determined by the generation that is reaching a point in life where they have the ability to afford items they coveted when they were younger. As these generations then pass on and the nostalgic value passes out of living memory, values will drop again. 20 years ago 'all american five' tube radios were extremely collectible, yet today only the really rare ones hold value to the right people. Same can be said for the classic car market, where for example 70s Corvettes have a greater following than the ones from the 50s (a recent trend).

Golden era Gibsons Fenders Martins etc will always command value, but its possible we will see a levelling off point, in addition to an increase of the less valuable periods of manufacture (Silverface Fender amps come to mind).

I think there is some snake oil in 'all older things are better,' but there is some merit to some basic facts:
The cost of skilled labor will always increase
The cost of raw goods will always increase and the quality available will decrease (look at wood prices)
Machines create a more uniform product. This is not to say hand built is better or worse, but a hand crafter instrument's variation can create the connection to a player in a more unique way than 1000 identical cnc made guitars that differ only in finish.

There will always be 'lawyer rockers' and investment buyers that will keep the bursts and pre war martin's out of reach of the average joe so I think those dealers are safe, but Norlins and CBS era Fenders will no doubt steadily go up in value for the foreseeable future.
 

mudface

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I don’t think the norlins are a threat. There’s just so few original gold tops and bursts that the demand will always largely outnumber them.
I don't think so either,... but i can see if the attention swings toward the affordable vintage (Norlins) it will leave the out of reach "golden era" vintage instruments in the hands of the select few. That will limit the value to those who own them and the demand may wane a bit..... and if your business is to sell....losing anything, especially with the numbers that original Les Paul Standards can have...could be a concern.

Yeah,... i can't see that happening anytime soon....1950's Les Pauls will still be worth shit ton of dough.....but they don't move around much......Norlins will be the new vintage market and plenty of them to keep them moving.... might not reach the high ground of the originals but they could be competitive with the reissues...and they already have.
 

mudface

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Very Interesting question indeed. Replace the Vintage or join alongside?

I sure dig my Deluxe
Love mine too.....wouldn't sell them no matter what kind of dough they might bring..... I'm a consumer amigo...not a dealer.

The word Norlin seems to be a huge thorn in the ass to a few....and i'm just curious as to why.

I'm thinking market trend......but i could be wrong.....so why not ask the question.
 

ARandall

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Maybe a few of those interested in say the 68/69 era might just jump ship to an early Norlin as they're not that different. I can't imagine a potential burst customer would see one as a legit option though.....
 

Shelkonnery

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It also has to do with the fact it gets harder by the year to find 70’s guitars in good condition.
Regardless of how subpar internet people claim they are.



I know I won't get praise for saying this, but Norlins seem to have worked just great for Randy Rhoads, Joe Walsh, Neal Schon, Jimmy Page, Adam Jones, just to name a few. You don't often see good guitarists bashing that era so pubicly.
It seems to be an internet forum thing mostly.
 

msalama

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It seems to be an internet forum thing mostly.
It sure as hell is, plus the boomer contingent defending their nostalgia and idols. It really is that stupid... well, apart from the market and historical values too, which'll always be there anyway. Can't beat that.

But then, I've played at least one 50's Lester & have owned a bunch of pre-CBS Fenders too, and yet, the '73 Norlinski Deluxski (all original apart from pots changed) I now own, wipes the fucking floor with ALL of them. So how's THAT for your money's worth?
 
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mudface

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Maybe a few of those interested in say the 68/69 era might just jump ship to an early Norlin as they're not that different. I can't imagine a potential burst customer would see one as a legit option though.....
I agree....but just think how many Norlin Les Pauls you can buy with "'Burst" money........and how much you can earn from flipping those..... flipping "Bursts" doesn't seem to have much action when their kept by a select few.
 

mudface

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It also has to do with the fact it gets harder by the year to find 70’s guitars in good condition.
Regardless of how subpar internet people claim they are.



I know I won't get praise for saying this, but Norlins seem to have worked just great for Randy Rhoads, Joe Walsh, Neal Schon, Jimmy Page, Adam Jones, just to name a few. You don't often see good guitarists bashing that era so pubicly.
It seems to be an internet forum thing mostly.
I agree....when those poochie lip cork sniffers hear the word Norlin those keyboards start pounding....the internet loves an argument....:rofl:

Players know the truth.

(no offense to poochie lip cork sniffers,...we need them too......i wonder if they got their own flag)
 
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mudface

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Flipping depends on the market though. So you either risk it, or buy them for holding.
Yes... this is true.... guitars are a poor investment in this regard.

Though the costs of holding is minimum.

I would end up holding a ‘Burst for a long time.... unless it was a turd it would be hard for me to let go.
 
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gball

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Interesting question. Those guys have been peddling the myth of pre-Norlin "superiority" for a lot of years, so the expanding definition of what both vintage and good-quality is by younger players may actually work in their favor since they aren't so limited to an ever-dwindling supply of '50s/'60s stock. If that's the case then the recent price surges we've seen on the Norlins, especially the comparatively rarer ones like Silverbursts and Heritage 80's, are here to stay and will only get worse.
 


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