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52/59 LP Conversion

Blakey

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Apr 29, 2018
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16
Nice pictures! I'm guessing you didn't pay $35K for any (or all) of them. I remember the early 90's, I was offered a '58 Burst for $12.5K which was about what I was earning a year at the tender age of 20. Those were the days!
Thanks. I can't remember what I paid for them but I think you're right! This was from the Eighties and Nineties. I do remember buying my first Burst for £975 in the Seventies! I bought the NBT Burst for $12,500 in 1987. I do have pictures of nearly all of them but it seems Reverb capacity is 1Mb and I'd have to scan some from photos.
 

Blakey

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Apr 29, 2018
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16
I’m surprised you even asked for opinions here judging from the guitars you’ve owned in the past.
As I said previously, I'm not sure of the Conversion market. I know the parts values but the "husk" seems to be debatable for a lot of reasons, some stated here in these threads. From my own experience of "having owned a few Bursts" I can vouch that this "Mutilated" "Butchered" "Remnant" of a vintage guitar sounds like a Burst, it's not "smoke and mirrors" causing that, it's old wood and a luthier who knew what he was doing. Its history shows, that yes, it had been "Mutilated" and "Butchered" and refinished red (maybe by a George Harrison fan?) but now restored to whatever specification (and WTFC!) to make sweet woody burst tones, which at the end of the day isn't that the point and we discuss it here?
I will be going back to see it....... if it’s still there!🤓
 

Blakey

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Apr 29, 2018
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16
I think the price is pretty much what similiar conversions go for. And the seller is a very honest and fair guy, so wouldn’t be worried about this one. looks amazing!
I'll second that, he's one of the better vintage guitar dealers in the UK.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
25
Personally I would pick my Goldtop conversion over a re-topped conversion any day. Yeah it's nice to have a flame top but I'd rather have the original top. Plus this guitar is way over priced IMO. I bought a conversion last year for way less than that I'm based only a few miles from Oxford where this conversion is located.
I feel a retop is near the bottom of the pile when it comes to the hierarchy of conversions, Personally I'd hold out for something better. Im based in the UK, feel free to reach out.
 

Blakey

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Apr 29, 2018
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16
Personally I would pick my Goldtop conversion over a re-topped conversion any day. Yeah it's nice to have a flame top but I'd rather have the original top. Plus this guitar is way over priced IMO. I bought a conversion last year for way less than that I'm based only a few miles from Oxford where this conversion is located.
I feel a retop is near the bottom of the pile when it comes to the hierarchy of conversions, Personally I'd hold out for something better. Im based in the UK, feel free to reach out.
I'm not so sure, the parts have added a lot of value to this guitar. That's why I was trying to value just the "husk" but I take your point, thanks for that(y)
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,381
As you wish......... '58 and '60. Then '59 with '59 TV Junior. Last one is a '58 V with Tweed Bassman. Someone had to be the custodians in the past, they're not a myth.
There's a lot, lot more but they'd need resizing for this platform. View attachment 18916 View attachment 18917 View attachment 18918
There are a few threads here at the Les Paul Forum on 9 2318.
In my opinion, a re-top with period correct parts is worth only what the parts are worth - even if it plays and sounds great. (And the donor husk is not worth much at all in my opinion.)
Do keep us up-to-date on your quest.
If you do get the conversion, post some pictures in the Vintage 1952-1960 Les Paul pub where you are sure to get a much larger audience. You might even consider reposting your original inquiry there.
Good luck!
 

charliechitlins

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Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
452
Who makes these rules?
One can hog out pickup holes, fill in bridge and tailpiece holes, strip off original paint, reset a neck at a different angle...but putting on a different top is a no-no.
If you're butchering up a '56 Chevy to make a '57, you might as well glue some fins on it.
 

Wilko

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Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,191
Who makes these rules?
One can hog out pickup holes, fill in bridge and tailpiece holes, strip off original paint, reset a neck at a different angle...but putting on a different top is a no-no.
If you're butchering up a '56 Chevy to make a '57, you might as well glue some fins on it.
The functioning core of the guitar is changed with a retop. It's not a "rule" but it's a significant change to the sound/feel of the instrument. Even the top carve is now different.

Some don't care. I do. My conversion was a 1956. original neck set, top, abr-1 and tailpiece. That mattered to ME.

YMMV (y)
 
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charliechitlins

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Nov 16, 2021
Messages
452
I guess that's the thing then.
To me the "functioning core" of the guitar is much more drastically changed when you route out the pickup holes and go from P90s to humbuckers.
That would be a much more drastic sonic change than a different top.
I never heard anybody say, "Ooooh! That top sounds killer. What kind is it?"
It's also clear that I just don't get conversions, so the rules seem arbitrary to me.
 
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Blakey

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Apr 29, 2018
Messages
16
Did you see the pics on the seller's website or only the OP pic?
A guitar that can change colour? In one picture it's washed out ,another it looks like it's got a sun tan!
Did you not stop to think the camera might have something to do with that?
I've seen it in the flesh...... it looks like a faded original Burst. A great job!
 

charliechitlins

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Nov 16, 2021
Messages
452
Yup...none of the photos look like each other.
I'd need to see that one in person to make a judgement.
My 71 clowny burst never looks good it pics, but it's nice in person.
 

poor man's burst

Active member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
258
A guitar that can change colour? In one picture it's washed out ,another it looks like it's got a sun tan!
Did you not stop to think the camera might have something to do with that?
I've seen it in the flesh...... it looks like a faded original Burst. A great job!
I am perfectly aware that color may change depending on the camera, as well as other parameters, like lightning, use of flash, but also exposure to UV. As you pointed out, there are different sets of pics of the guitar. There is no infos about what time elapsed between the different moments when these pictures were taken. I made my opinion based on the pictures the seller juged good enough to represent the guitar in a satisfying manner.
This guitar is not an original Burst, but a conversion refinished and aged to look like an original Burst. As of me, and again, based on the pics published by the seller, I've seen much better job, also in regard of the price asked IMO. To be more specific, I am not convinced by the faded yellow, the back color, the checking and the aging.
Of course, if you had the guitar in hand and have another point of view, your opinion is obviously worth more than mine. Specially to you and specially if you are the potential buyer, and not me.
 

marshall1987

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Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
3,267
The main factor that establishes and secures the value of a vintage '50s Les Paul is the originality. It's pretty simple....the more a given example (say a '52 LP Goldtop) deviates from it's original factory condition, the less it's worth. Removing/replacing significant amounts of original wood on a vintage '50s Les Paul (e.g., complete re-top) is probably the most damaging modification I can think of which will immediately diminish the guitar's vintage value.
 

Blakey

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Joined
Apr 29, 2018
Messages
16
The main factor that establishes and secures the value of a vintage '50s Les Paul is the originality. It's pretty simple....the more a given example (say a '52 LP Goldtop) deviates from it's original factory condition, the less it's worth. Removing/replacing significant amounts of original wood on a vintage '50s Les Paul (e.g., complete re-top) is probably the most damaging modification I can think of which will immediately diminish the guitar's vintage value.
Thank you for your opinion........
The market determines what it's worth.
 
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