What would you do with this weird bird? (renecked 50's LPC?)

sdwayne

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So, I've had this ol' girl for a long time. I've been getting kinda restless and want to do something with it, even if that something is only getting some of the cosmetic things sorted out. It's not my #1 (or #10 for that matter) but it is a solid, good sounding and playing guitar.

I'm just sort of wondering what the consensus is from you guys?

The good: frets are in good shape although small (not from wear, but small from new) The neck although cracked at some point many moons ago (before I got it which was over 10 years ago.) was glued and is very strong and is more solid than most of my unbroken ones. The tone is really good and fairly bright for a whole hog git. It plays well and holds tune well.

The bad: The plug and switch to a wrap tail, and the routs should be a criminal offense. =/

The ugly: You'll see from the pics that the neck wasn't resprayed after the crack (which is one of the things I was considering) it had a Bigsby on it at some point before the refin, so the holes although barely there, are still notable near the bottom strap button.

Near as I can tell, the neck was replaced in the mid 80's. Neck is similar to an H.M. or more than likely a Studio Standard (no valute?) Big headstock, dots and binding, inlaid Gibson with a closed O. Looks like it originally had Grovers on it but was swapped to big Schallers.

Body as far as I can tell is a mid 50's Custom. One piece mahogany, no maple cap, no seams anywhere that I can find. The original routs are still evident (soap bars) and the control cavity has all of the earmarks of a late 56 or early 57 (at least from the ones I've seen) Widow's peak, eyebrows, round pickup wire hole, and rough chuck marks near the bridge volume pot.

If you had it, what would you do? (and no, "give it to me" is not a valid answer!) ;P

I'd love to have the soapbars back in it (reissues of course) but I feel like plugging and rerouting could just add to the mess...

(Sorry some of the pics are crappy. Git is at my office and I didn't see them on a big screen til I got home.)















 

jaik

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you're looking for something do with it ? you want to know what I'd do?

Play it.




I'd leave the repair scars because they are honest & earned. You're going to have a hard time finding a 1950s neck to replace it with, so if you like the feel of the neck, then good enough. If you don't like the feel of the neck, you'd probably have to get one custom made. I don't personally like the feel & shape of 80s necks, but some people do.

You could get silly and replace the inlays with blocks and whatnot, but why? Its never going to be restored into a 1950s custom exactly, and its a cool unique thing on its own merit.

You could block the routes and put p90s/Alnico back in , you're right that it would add to the mess, but its your mess, and you can mess with it however it suits your use. Why not?

But if you don't like it, its probably going to be more work than its worth to make it into something its not. Renecking & filling routes to reroute and new electronics etc etc could all be done but that's going to be mighty pricy & who knows if you'll like it better then. If its not even your #10, sell it, it might be someone else's #1

just my opinion. Rock that thang
 

sdwayne

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thanks, jaik.

I don't mind the dots, I've always liked Studio Standard necks, it's the small frets that aren't my friend. I'm just not a fan of being able to feel the fretboard. I used to use it as an alternate tuning guitar, it's never sounded or played bad, but as my collection has grown it's gotten played less.

I filled a boat up with most of my LPs the other day to take some pics and do a "shoot out" and sound wise this one was solid but I've often been tempted to have the top resprayed along with the neck.

I guess you're probably right though, it might just be better to find it a home with somebody who's ok with odd balls, and fretless wonders.
 

Pete M

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My preference would be to fully re-neck it with an ebony board and all the trimmings. I'm a bit curious about the top finish as I can't really explain the need for a wraptail, unless it was an original factory bigsby. I would have to fight my GAS for a 3 humbucker routes I think :naughty:
 

Bill Hicklin

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Just my two cents, but if you like the neck I'd consider pulling the board and replacing it with ebony/blocks/jumbo frets, and if feeling ambitious bind the existing headstock. Touch up the neck break but leave the body alone. Maybe gold Grovers instead of the chrome Schallers. Install a Bigsby and TOM in place of the wraptail (presumably the old ABR-1 holes are still in there), and rock on. Oh, and lose the reflector knobs.
 

jaik

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refret it if you want to, i don't think anyone's going to get too hung up on nibs with that one hehe
 

RevWillie

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I agree with everything jaik has said above.

IMO it's a money-pit if you do anything more than re-fret it. Re-fins, re-necks, filling & re-routing, etc. will cost $1000+. Which is fine if you love it to death and have the money to do it.

I would just re-fret it and play the heck out of it, or sell it for big $$$ on ebay ('50s LPC body!!!) and move on.

:thumb:
 

tolm

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Re-fret; Bigsby; open-coil humbuckers.

Give it a gnarly/trashy name and rock the hell out of it.

:)
 

David Mccarroll

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Re-fret; Bigsby; open-coil humbuckers.

Give it a gnarly/trashy name and rock the hell out of it.

:)
+1.

You love the guitar - any change not made for functional reasons runs the risk of removing that love.

As someone says - you start going down the track of cosmetically fixing up that neck and you are in absolute money pit territory, so get a good luthier to put the frets you like in the guitar and rock the daylights out of her.

If you really, really must, respray the back of the neck to cover the repair (it will never actually disappear you know - it will telegraph through the finish probably within a few months of the spray job), DON'T touch any of the original finish and if you really must just stick a pair of good repro P90s in those ..... ahhh P92 cases or whatever they are called.

Lucky you by the way!
 

dwagar

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Since it is a 50's Custom, I'd go with a re-neck.

I'm pretty sure Mapleflame had to get a neck for his 'saved from a fire' guitar, you could find out where he sourced it.
 

sdwayne

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Thanks, guys. Lots of good ideas & food for thought!

I've pondered putting a Bigsby on it for a while now. certainly wouldn't hurt the look but I guess I'd have to use a lightening bolt TP as a bridge like an old SG or something? since the ABR holes are long gone... I do think that there's a fair chance that it had a Bigsby on it originally but it's hard to know whether it was added or not.

The 3 pickup idea is intriguing too but I can't bring myself to rout it more.

*sigh*

Renecking it almost seems the way to go but I wish it had just been done with the right one the first time. No accounting for tastes I guess? (or more than likely the previous owner just couldn't afford to do it with the fancier part.) and then there's the fact that if it had been done right, I probably wouldn't have ever seen it, much less had a chance to own it. :hmm:

You're all right about the refret, I would play it if I did it but I feel bad ripping out a nice fretjob just because it isn't to my taste, but it sounds like everyone might have the same taste. :lol:

If, hypothetically I did put it on the fleabay, would you guys think it would be better to reneck with the right neck and put the Bigsby on it, or just let it go for less as is and let the buyer have their own guy do it if they wanted?

There's something to be said for a turn-key git I guess? But the body to neck connection that's already there is so solid that it's hard for me to muck with too... decisions, decisions...

Thanks again for the wisdom, I guess I still need to chew on it a bit.
 

Bill Hicklin

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Cheaper alternative: pull the frets and dye the existing board black before putting new, bigger ones in.
 

RevWillie

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If you put it on ebay, sell it as-is and let the other person pay to fix it up.

If you put money into it - keep it for yourself.
 

TP6

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Sometimes I wonder the thought process in repairing something like this. Like who thinks "Hmm, well the neck broke on this custom, lets rip off a neck from a Studio and throw a wraptail on it"? The guy who fixed it couldn't build another LPC neck or salvage one? I understand that maybe sourcing a 50s neck would be a hassle but even a 70s LPC neck would've been better than the Studio Standard one they tossed in IMO. The wrap tail I have an even harder time understanding.



Some people are insane :laugh2:


Anywho TS, I would probably just play that as is. I would think it's probably not worth it to restore the thing to 56-57 spec at this point. I'm no expert though so maybe it is! :)
 

sdwayne

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Sometimes I wonder the thought process in repairing something like this. Like who thinks "Hmm, well the neck broke on this custom, lets rip off a neck from a Studio and throw a wraptail on it"? The guy who fixed it couldn't build another LPC neck or salvage one? I understand that maybe sourcing a 50s neck would be a hassle but even a 70s LPC neck would've been better than the Studio Standard one they tossed in IMO. The wrap tail I have an even harder time understanding.

Some people are insane :laugh2:
No doubt!

I'm sure it's more a sign of the times of when it was repaired than anything. Maybe whoever put the neck on it could get a raw replacement neck from Gibson at that point, or maybe they just happened to have that neck from a Studio Standard that someone "Pete Thownshened" the body?

I only wish I had answers to the questions!
 

TP6

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I know right? I'm more curious than anything! :laugh2:
 

Joshabr1

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Re neck for sure if your keeping it. I would make a 57-60 spec w 2 humbuckers. Only because its already been jacked.
 

Pete M

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If you put it on ebay, sell it as-is and let the other person pay to fix it up.

If you put money into it - keep it for yourself.
Wise words. It comes down to whether you want to make whatever money you can from it, or throw money at it for your own enjoyment. A little or lot.

Fixing it up to sell it means you're only going to lose money IMO.

I would love to see it restored, but that's just for my own personal fascination and the money/time you'd have to burn through to get there is pretty scary.
 




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