Truly Historic set of knobs

jk60LPTH

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Two True Historics. Both 1960's.
One made in 2016, shipped from Dave's. Gold reflector knobs. Look like gold SG knobs, maybe slightly larger circumference top of knob.
One made in 2017, shipped from CME. Smaller, shorter knobs, gold from inside, no reflector.

Personally, I like the knobs on the 2016 model, the longer top on it.

I've seen both styles on other True Historics, any idea why 2 different knobs on same 'year' guitars?
(They had 2 different style cases too).
 

jk60LPTH

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Really... did they start with one version and then switch over to the other version, and if so, which came first?
 

HIDDEN

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Really... did they start with one version and then switch over to the other version, and if so, which came first?
i would the chicken came first as the egg wouldn’t survive in its own
 

jk60LPTH

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Another question, where do speed knobs - where do they fit in, historically?
 
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Speed knobs were the earliest. First a tall version on the '53, then the more familiar shorter version.

Then they introduced the bell knob. Customs still got speed knobs for a while, then they discontinued speeds entirely and everything got bells.

Then in '60 they introduced the reflector knobs and discontinued the bell knobs. For a few years everything got reflectors.

Then Gibson introduced witch hats on some models.

Late '60s/early '70s they discontinued reflectors and reintroduced speed knobs.

Some time in the '80s they reintroduced bell knobs, but not exactly the same as '50s bell knobs. (Take a reflector and pop out the metal insert, grind off the top lip and you have a bell that's closer to '50s spec.)

They also reintroduced the reflector. Same shape as the original, but the metal inserts aren't mirror finished anymore.

Sometime after that they redesigned the speed knobs to the crappy modern version that sits lower (bottom closer to the guitar body). The originals sat up high, like mushrooms on stalks, so you could get a really good grip with the side of your little finger. The modern design looks better, but they're awkward to use and take all the "speed" out of speed knobs.
 

1all's Pub

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Really... did they start with one version and then switch over to the other version, and if so, which came first?
Yes. The gold top hats (non-reflectors) came first. Early 1960 models were spec’d and built the same as the 1959 models, and they got the same knobs. Later in the year when the 1960 model’s neck was slimmed down and the cherry red dye changed to more of a “tomato soup” color (which didn’t fade nearly as much as the previous dye) the knobs were changed to the reflector type.

So yes, two versions... in that order of appearance.
 

jk60LPTH

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Speed knobs were the earliest. First a tall version on the '53, then the more familiar shorter version.

Then they introduced the bell knob. Customs still got speed knobs for a while, then they discontinued speeds entirely and everything got bells.

Then in '60 they introduced the reflector knobs and discontinued the bell knobs. For a few years everything got reflectors.

Then Gibson introduced witch hats on some models.

Late '60s/early '70s they discontinued reflectors and reintroduced speed knobs.

Some time in the '80s they reintroduced bell knobs, but not exactly the same as '50s bell knobs. (Take a reflector and pop out the metal insert, grind off the top lip and you have a bell that's closer to '50s spec.)

They also reintroduced the reflector. Same shape as the original, but the metal inserts aren't mirror finished anymore.

Sometime after that they redesigned the speed knobs to the crappy modern version that sits lower (bottom closer to the guitar body). The originals sat up high, like mushrooms on stalks, so you could get a really good grip with the side of your little finger. The modern design looks better, but they're awkward to use and take all the "speed" out of speed knobs.
Thanks for that historical breakdown, appreciate you taking the time to reply.
 

jk60LPTH

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Yes. The gold top hats (non-reflectors) came first. Early 1960 models were spec’d and built the same as the 1959 models, and they got the same knobs. Later in the year when the 1960 model’s neck was slimmed down and the cherry red dye changed to more of a “tomato soup” color (which didn’t fade nearly as much as the previous dye) the knobs were changed to the reflector type.

So yes, two versions... in that order of appearance.
Both of my TH's necks fit the middle of the 3 neck profiles on '60s LPs- not the '59 neck profile from the beginning of 1960 and not the thinnest from towards the end of 1960. This is the profile I like the most. It's also almost exactly the same as my (actual) 1967 SG Standard, although the SG width at the nut is narrower at the nut.

If I understand correctly, the the 'gold top hats (non-reflectors) are the ones that have no reflector and look like the gold color is painted? in the pot shaft recess? I'm not a fan of these because the top, narrower part of the knob is very short and harder to quickly change using the side of the little finger and edge of the palm. I like the reflectors on my other TH because they're easier to use this way. The smaller diameter part of the knob is taller than the other knob type, and the total length of the knob from the top of the knob to the bottom of the skirt is longer. There is a bigger gap between the bottom of the 'gold top hats' and the top of the guitar than there is with the bottom of the reflector knob, and I don't care much for that. I haven't popped the knobs off and measured the lengths of the protruding shafts of the 2 TH's yet, but that's on my to-do list.

I ordered some 'SG' reflector knobs from Gibson- they only sell the 'gold top hat' style knobs under the LP parts heading on their website.

Thank you for taking the time to reply!
 


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