To those of you who have actually played or own(ed) an actual 1959 Gibson Les Paul..

SixAngryStrings

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Is all the hype real? How do they compare to the (R9) re-issues today, or just the Standard/Traditional Les Paul guitars of today for that matter?

What do you notice when playing a genuine 1959 Les Paul guitar that makes that guitar just have a little bit more soul, a little more tone, a little more mojo... than let's say a Les Paul Traditional?
And don't scoff, it's an honest question, and a Traditional is the "Standard" production model Gibson LP of today that isn't chambered.

So, care to share?

And not just the obvious answers like "because it's an older guitar that has some years and some natural mojo rubbed in over time and the wood breathes better now..."

I'm talking more physical aspects like the neck, the fingerboard, the tone, pickups etc... anything.
 

jcsk8

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That will be fun. I have never played a burst (so don't hate me to be answering the thread). But I had read different opinions. Some say that they are kinda magical. Others says that they're better, but not as much as most of us wonder.
Last week I saw a Tom Wittrock post saying that he didn't felt much difference between hist "Sandy" burst and the collectors choice version of his guitar. I know that the CC series is intend to be cream de la cream, probably beter than the standard reissues. But that could means that they are close.
 

Dr.Distortion

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I've played somewhere between 5 and 10 of them. Standards Bursts and Customs. (57-60)
The ones I've played were all a little different. In fact I think that&#8217;s part of it. The new ones all feel >more< like each other than the old ones did.
The differences gave them &#8220;personality&#8221;
Mine was soft and slinky feeling. VERY resonant. Wide open it was on the edge of feedback all the time. Kind of a bitch, but once you got it figured it was fun as hell. It seemd like the wood was very dry under the finish. I don't know if it was, just the impression I got from it. I could feel the picked note with my hand resting on the body.

The neck pickup was jangly and the bridge was smooth and compressed. Very different sounding&#8230;

I now have an R9. I'm trying to get it to feel more like my old '60
 

yeti

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Is all the hype real? How do they compare to the (R9) re-issues today, or just the Standard/Traditional Les Paul guitars of today for that matter?

What do you notice when playing a genuine 1959 Les Paul guitar that makes that guitar just have a little bit more soul, a little more tone, a little more mojo... than let's say a Les Paul Traditional?
And don't scoff, it's an honest question, and a Traditional is the "Standard" production model Gibson LP of today that isn't chambered.

So, care to share?

And not just the obvious answers like "because it's an older guitar that has some years and some natural mojo rubbed in over time and the wood breathes better now..."

I'm talking more physical aspects like the neck, the fingerboard, the tone, pickups etc... anything.
The hype is most certainly real. :thumb:
Is it warranted? I think that is hard to answer. Taking price out of the equation I think that old guitars have a bit of mystery to them that new ones don't have. That makes them fun to play and it feels good.I don't believe for a moment that they are all better guitars but they are iconic. problem is that owning one is a burden that goes beyond the enjoyment you get from them, IMHO. But everybody will have to figure that out for themselves.
They compare very favorably with Gibsons from the 70's in my experience. generally lighter weight, more transparent sounding, less woof more sparkle.
Playability is usually great, just like the new ones. Regarding the necks, the minutia of various R9's vs real 59's always eluded me, a good neck is a good neck. Vintage correctness is not a factor when I think of R9's, I don't care about truss rod condoms and stuff like that and I doubt it matters at all. Compared to recent Gibsons I think that the gap is not nearly as wide, it may not even be much of a gap but the one thing that I haver to point out from my limited experience is that the best of the old ones are better than the best of the new ones, IMO. But I played a few that were just ordinary Les Pauls.
 

rockstar232007

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Yes and no. They best way to judge a burst, is like any guitar. Play it without any presumptions, and judge them individually on their own merits.

From my own experience, I've played a LOT of them, and they were all pretty kick-ass.
 

The Wedge

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I'd like to go through my own personal leads with it and record it for a day.
 

Red Baron

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Wide open it was on the edge of feedback all the time.
This seems to be consistent with most 50's LP's and I do think the electronics and (partly) microphonic pickups has a lot to do with this.

These guitars can literally feel alive in your hands... the slightest tap on the body or neck will resonate through the whole instrument, toggle between the pickups and you'll feel it through the body and hear it in the pickups, and there's nothing quite like a well played and greasy 50's Brazilian board :dude:
 

colchar

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I've read an interview with Zakk Wylde in which he says he has played a bunch and that some are great, others are OK, and others suck.
 

sikoniko

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I have not played a burst - yet.

I will say the same could be asked to the violin player that is able to play a Stradivarius over a new violin. I would argue that the 'burst' is the 20th century equivalent and in a couple hundred years will probably be viewed as such.

The difference between old (vintage) guitars and the ones made today is that the old ones were all hand-made for the most part. This is both good and bad. That means there was no level of consistency. One could argue that modern guitars are better because they are more consistent, but when you get a good original, I imagine it is just better. There are certain intangibles at play.
 

sikoniko

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I just stumbled upon this video, and thought it would be nice to share but wasn't sure the best place. I thought this might be the best thread, as it shows some of the problems with vintage gear that is lost in the romance of it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=w9fZ7oydsl4&feature=fvwp

but notice he picks up a burst (assuming so though we only see the back) after destroying the other guitar.
 

Dr.Distortion

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I left off.... I did own a '60 custom for quite a few years.
I tend to write my posts in word so I can spell check them. Then I cut and paste...
After I read my own post I talked about playing a bunch of them, then about "mine".
I left off the part about owning one...
 

huw

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...but notice he picks up a burst (assuming so though we only see the back) after destroying the other guitar.
Yes, that was (the back of) Beck's real 'burst. Apparently the director had asked Beck to smash up his Les Paul & Jeff wasn't very impressed with the idea (!) The "stunt guitar" was drafted in just so it could be smashed up.

Funnily enough, The Yardbirds only got the gig because they couldn't get The Who to do it - smashing up instruments was a big part of The Who's act at the time, and that was what the director wanted. So he got a stand in band, and then a stand in guitar! :laugh2:
 

sikoniko

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Yes, that was (the back of) Beck's real 'burst. Apparently the director had asked Beck to smash up his Les Paul & Jeff wasn't very impressed with the idea (!) The "stunt guitar" was drafted in just so it could be smashed up.

Funnily enough, The Yardbirds only got the gig because they couldn't get The Who to do it - smashing up instruments was a big part of The Who's act at the time, and that was what the director wanted. So he got a stand in band, and then a stand in guitar! :laugh2:
wow... just the thought of someone being asked to smash up a burst on purpose... its kinda life driving a 60's corvette off a cliff like they did in Star Trek... :wow:
 

albertlespaul

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I've read an interview with Zakk Wylde in which he says he has played a bunch and that some are great, others are OK, and others suck.
Based on his tones in Black Label Society I think we should not trust his ears...:laugh2::D
 

eric ernest

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problem is that owning one is a burden that goes beyond the enjoyment you get from them, IMHO.
This is so true. You can even see the sense of dread and worry on their faces, and most Burst owners usually cry themselves to sleep at night. :cool:
 

Fiftywattmafia

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That will be fun. I have never played a burst (so don't hate me to be answering the thread). But I had read different opinions. Some say that they are kinda magical. Others says that they're better, but not as much as most of us wonder.
Last week I saw a Tom Wittrock post saying that he didn't felt much difference between hist "Sandy" burst and the collectors choice version of his guitar. I know that the CC series is intend to be cream de la cream, probably beter than the standard reissues. But that could means that they are close.
No disrespect intended for TW....but of course he's going to be in a position to say that. No idea on the deal these 'burst owners have with Gibson in terms of a cut on the sales...or maybe its nothing...just the honor of having a guitar you own "recreated"...but he's not going to say out loud that the CC version is vastly different than the original...hey maybe he's telling the God's honest truth...I guess who am I to judge...but either way he's in a tough spot to speak candidly...and if I were him I would not say one way or the other either quite frankly.
 


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