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When you've been doing hi-dollar vintage business as long as this guy has and say something like that... he is either desperate for money and on the verge of bankruptcy.... or just plain sleazy...[/QUOTE]
Converted to look like a '57-spec Goldtop. Originally we offered this to you guys as a converted early-'53 Les Paul. It's not so let me clarify, this is kind of a long story. The body has many 1950s features like a long tenon neck joint, square channel routs for the wiring harness, small headstock with 17-degree pitch, a very dishy top, and it weighs 8.5 pounds, but it's NOT an early 1953 as we were told.
A phone call from a previous owner claims it might be his old '68 that took a fall and had a heel crack, so he commissioned the work. To clarify, a few early '68 Les Pauls had old parts. At Willie's you might remember our '68 Les Paul Custom with PAFs or the '72 with a small 17-degree headstock. Factory anomalies and mixed-age parts on an all-original guitar. A few visits to a big Texas guitar show will confirm it if you doubt this.
So...this was an early '68 Les Paul with P-90s that suffered a heel crack and was made into this very cool and very real-looking and real-feeling old-wood 1957 Goldtop conversion. The wide 1968-style binding in the cutaway has been redone to be narrow, à la the '50s. The humbucker routs were professionally done (you can still see the '50s square channel routs) and the whole guitar was refinished with a dark back - the preferred variant 20 years ago - to help mask the heel. The black "dart" on the back of the headstock would never have naturally occurred on a dark-back, but it's there to mask a stamped serial number and make a backdrop for the new inked-on 1957 serial number. The heel repair is nearly impossible to see and complete impossible to photograph properly - don't ask, we've tried. The deep-dish top is striking and the level of finish on the top looks original - it's old, and it fooled everybody at Dallas, myself included. So...got all that?
Normally I hate storied guitars, but this one is really cool. Like an old art forgery, it's quite compelling. Old parts: Tuners are 1950s Klusons, the inlays are old, the jack and plate are, too. The pots date to 1957 (we are told 2 Les Paul Juniors were donors) and the knobs are correct. It has the correct tone caps for a '57. The bridge is old (I think) but the tailpiece and plastic are good reproductions. The wood is old and likely a leftover body that was 10 or 12 years old in 1968. Originally a P-90 guitar (or mini-hums - same hole size).
It has a superb brown Lifton hardshell case that used to be a sure bet for getting backstage at rock shows. It's fairly light (8.5 pounds). It plays great. Fake PAFs (fake stickers, too - yikes, I hate those) that sound really believable. Real PAFs might be available. We have a near-perfect matching set but they ain't cheap.
Sorry for any previous confusion but our hat's off to the guy that did this work. It's a scary forgery that could fool many...maybe even your bandmates. $17,500, real PAFs optional. Case, wood, tuners, pots, knobs, and vibe come standard. $17,500