- Dec 28, 2009
- Reaction score
With the cost of plywood these days, it is ironic that the Norlins are more expensive, too.
It's not of question of looking down ones nose. It's of question of selling what you are truly enthusiastic about.Dealers just want to sell. Any dealer who looks down at a guy with $4k in his hand will not be in business long. Any dealer who has been in business long has seen trends come and go and come back
My un-"edumacated" rule of thumb is pieces go: new, new-old-stock, used, and at some time used becomes vintage; as mentioned here, the various "eras" of vintage become significant.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.
That's like saying food is just a mixture of animals, vegetables, oils, and spices....I don't get any of this. An electric guitar is so adherent to its wiring and pickups and it's insane to me that anyone pays anything more current, brand new guitar prices.
It kinda does when you can sell 100 $4000 guitars and sell only none of $500,000 guitars.Sure I think a $4000 guitar buyer competes directly with a $500,000 guitar buyer.
The more I read these posts, the more I worry about this country! Doesn’t anyone use their brain anymore? Sheeple following the herd!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?
The more I read these posts, the more I worry about this country! Doesn’t anyone use their brain anymore? Sheeple following the herd!
The “lowly Nordin” ? I have several Lowly Norlin LP customs that I bought new that I wouldn’t give up for any price
If you find any guitar that plays and sounds great to your ear, who gives a FF what the logo says?
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?
That was an awesome story.....thank you for sharing that...My avatar pic is my 25/50 I bought new. It has been one of my favorite guitars for decades. When I took it to NYC in 2003 to meet Les at the Iridium Club, I wasn't sure the reaction I'd get from the great Les Paul about my lowly Norlin. When we sat down at the table back stage and I handed Les my guitar, he was immediately struck by the weight. He put it on his knee and played it a bit and I saw a smile emerging. He said he would like to hear it plugged up because the body was so resonant and the neck was so fast and smooth. Everything about it spoke of a fine instrument and it had to be a screamer. I told him how much I enjoyed the feel and tone and that it was my favorite solid body ever.
We then went into a brief discussion about it being a Norlin. He said 'Norlins were not Gibson's finest hour, but not for the reasons most folks are saying'. He told me that Gibson had pretty much screwed the pooch for years and needed saving. So the fact that Gibson almost self destructed was what we should have recognized as the true negative. He compared it to praising the tow truck driver (Norlin) for coming to haul Gibsons ass out of the ditch because they weren't paying attention to the road. Norlin came in and were it not for them, we probably would not have a Gibson today. Then his wisdom hit home....'If Norlin had not been producing a better instrument, Gibson wouldn't have been saved'. Were they heavy? Yes. Were the necks different? Yes. Were they taking chances with some of the PUP's and electronics? Yep.
He explained how Norlin changed things up...took some chances (some popular, some not so much). But ultimately, Norlin did most things better than had been done for a while, and THAT is what saved our Les's. They moved the bell curve up the scale. Any time you have nature involved, there will be variables. During the Norlin days, there were still some poor examples. It happens. Wood will be wood....people will be people. Overall, the average Norlin Les Paul was better, and the ones at the top of the curve had the potential to be much better than in the recent past.
So when the snobs and sniffers want to dis Norlin to follow the popular internet opinion, I'll take Les Paul's personal opinion over theirs every hour of every day. He was grateful for those 'odd' instruments and the path Norlin took. He felt that's what ensured today there is a Gibson company and they still make Les Paul guitars.
Not many of us 'regular' players ever got to meet the great one. I am fortunate to have done so. That 15 minutes sitting at the table chatting with Les rocked my world in so many ways. When I asked him to sign the guitar, he asked how I wanted it signed. I said it was up to him. He asked if he could include my name. I recall asking if when I decided to sell would that not limit the list of potential buyers to guys with my name. He gave me the greatest little smile and said 'Son, you haven't sold it in over 20 years. Now that I've played it, signed it and told you how fine it is.....do you really think you'll let it go? Just order a bigger casket...you're gonna need it'.
18 years later and he's still right!