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Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,547
52-57 les pauls have the gibson inlay about half an inch lower on the headstock. All of the reissues look weird except for that one CC run. Just google ‘54 les paul and look at the headstock
I have seen it and do know that it was different in the golden era versus later . If I were to venture a guess it might be " a tell " in an identification kind of way to distinguish vintage versus modern ?
 

Pellman73

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2016
Messages
1,758
View attachment 15867 I just got my first custom shop, a used 2020 V1 60th in original burst!

I saved up and bought a new 1999 classic plus when I was 12 that has been my #1 all these years (hard to believe it’s been 22!). Anyways, this guitar has basically had everything on it replaced and modded (antiquities, bigsby, vintage taper pots, pigtail bridge, brass long abr-1 posts, etc.) and is really a special instrument.

My new R0 is just a straight up killer guitar! We’re still in the honeymoon phase, but I can easily see this as a lifer as well. It is a bit more aggressive/midrangey than my old les paul and actually is one of the first guitars I’ve not felt the need to mod straight away. I’ve found it really interesting that I’m happy with the pickups in several positionings, and am working to figure out where I like them best. Usually I have to tweak this to get the best balance/vibe and then I leave it forever, but this thing just has different flavors and shades of awesome all the way from really low set to right up against the strings!

Anyways, I was wondering - my burst has a good bit of tanning under the pickguard, and I noticed the pickups are double whites. Are these little hidden treats for us to find, or has my top faded already? It looks perfect and I actually love the idea that it may be a dirty lemon in 20 years! I was under the impression the new finishes were modern and fade resistant. I also assumed the custombuckers were all black, so it’s very cool if you guys are randomly using black and white bobbins. Last question - will the finish check eventually with exposure to temperature swings?
View attachment 15868


As to comparing these with vintage, I own a truly remarkable 1960 ES-330 that really knocks out anyone who plays it. I find it fascinating how similar in tone, response and feel the two very different guitars are - both have that great clarity and touch sensitivity I look for in great guitars. I feel strongly that once the les paul’s finish is older and I’ve gigged it and sweated on it a bunch so that the lacquer gets that feel, the R0 will have that final missing “old” feel that it doesn’t have now.
killer top. what are the specs roughly at the 1st and 12th fret?
 

rockinrob86

New member
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
4
killer top. what are the specs roughly at the 1st and 12th fret?
Over the strings it was .95 and 1.02, so I would guess something like .87 and .95? It feels nice and medium. Nothing like some of the other reissues I’ve played that have huge necks. It’s smaller than my 90’s studio gem series les paul neck.

It’s a lot larger than my 1960 es-330
 

gio

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
124
Hey @matkoehler I got one for you. The Custom Shop did the 50th anniversary ES-335 out of Memphis for a handful of years. I have a ‘59 50th Anniversary made in 2009. Any idea what the difference is/was between that model and the Nashville historic 59 ES-335 of that time period?

I’ve seen a handful of threads that seem to be mostly speculation. Some say made in Nashville and then finished in Memphis. Some say slightly different specs. Some say limited to 500 (250 in each color). Anyway, just curious if you have any insight? Thanks!
 

Drayve85

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
117
Mat, or anyone:
Anyone recall a one off SG from the late 90s (possibly early 2000s) with a flat top and back double bound body and a hot rod flame paint job in the top? Coolest SG I ever saw.

Pretty sure it was on Gibson’s website back then.
I’m pretty sure I remember that guitar. I was just starting out playing guitar around that time and was HEAVILY drooling over the musicians friend catalogs.lol I’m almost positive it was in there at one point. Sorry I can’t help more.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
Hey guys, sorry for my absence the last couple weeks -- finally slowing down ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Going to reply to everyone today! Thanks.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
Hi Mat, my question is about LP Florentine's made in the 1990's.

I recently acquired two unplayed 1998 (Custom Shop) LP Florentine Customs from a Gibson collector who purchased five of them new back in the 90's. First of all, I'm blown away by the quality of these beauties, both have 4A crazy flamed tops (Root Beer finish & Amber Natural). I basically cherry-picked the two most attractive examples. The other 3 are interesting as well: One is also a 98' in Emerald Green, one is a (very plain) Tri-sunburst. The last one is puzzling - Its not a LP Custom configuration, but more like a LP Standard in 'Peacock Blue' rosewood board and standard LP headstock. The packing slip on this particular one is listed as a 'Bantam Elite' model from 1995. The collector said it was a 'prototype' for the Florentine model (not marked Prototype) but most likely a predecessor to the Florentine. He said that another guitar company apparently owned the rights to the 'Bantam' name and forced Gibson to change the model to Florentine. Its my understanding that Bantams are extremely rare, especially in the standard configuration.

Can you give any information on how many Bantam's were made? Any other thoughts, comments on the 90's Florentine Customs, etc. Thanks very much!
A favorite model of mine as well...your Florentines are amazing! Regarding Bantam/Bantam Elite models, your assumptions ring true to me but unfortunately there's no way to confirm how many of a specific type went out in that era of Custom Shop. We can do serial number lookups for anything but can't search by model name. Sorry I can't be of more help! Thanks for sharing the pics!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
Have you guys ever considered making the Gibson logo lower on the earlier ‘50s reissues? I know Gibsons done it before. Henry’s CC#12 comes to mind. I thought that was a nice touch.
Yes, as mentioned previously things move slowly at Gibson but I finally got this engineering change request approved in April of this year and you should start seeing this on '54-'56 Goldtops in the marketplace now. There was some concern that customers would regard it as an issue/incorrect placement...but to that I say we should just make it right and do a better job educating customers about it. Thanks for the question!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
Hey Mat,

Thanks for keeping this thread going and answering our questions! Historic question here. What was the deal with the weird double cut body shape change on the Melody Makers in the mid 60s, why change? the early 60s version looked so much better.

On that note, any plans for USA to bring back a 62-ish MM? How about double cut juniors and specials?
Believe it or not this was a change requested by Ted McCarty. It plays into older drawings of his, without giving too much away. But he was fond of a symmetrical double-cut.

Not a lot of current plans to add to the "low end" of the Gibson USA range simply due to the backlog of orders...the capacity is needed elsewhere. But I'm positive there will be a time in the future where things cool off and we can run a more diverse and expansive product mix. Thanks for the questions!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
I just got my first custom shop, a used 2020 V1 60th in original burst!

I saved up and bought a new 1999 classic plus when I was 12 that has been my #1 all these years (hard to believe it’s been 22!). Anyways, this guitar has basically had everything on it replaced and modded (antiquities, bigsby, vintage taper pots, pigtail bridge, brass long abr-1 posts, etc.) and is really a special instrument.

My new R0 is just a straight up killer guitar! We’re still in the honeymoon phase, but I can easily see this as a lifer as well. It is a bit more aggressive/midrangey than my old les paul and actually is one of the first guitars I’ve not felt the need to mod straight away. I’ve found it really interesting that I’m happy with the pickups in several positionings, and am working to figure out where I like them best. Usually I have to tweak this to get the best balance/vibe and then I leave it forever, but this thing just has different flavors and shades of awesome all the way from really low set to right up against the strings!

Anyways, I was wondering - my burst has a good bit of tanning under the pickguard, and I noticed the pickups are double whites. Are these little hidden treats for us to find, or has my top faded already? It looks perfect and I actually love the idea that it may be a dirty lemon in 20 years! I was under the impression the new finishes were modern and fade resistant. I also assumed the custombuckers were all black, so it’s very cool if you guys are randomly using black and white bobbins. Last question - will the finish check eventually with exposure to temperature swings?

As to comparing these with vintage, I own a truly remarkable 1960 ES-330 that really knocks out anyone who plays it. I find it fascinating how similar in tone, response and feel the two very different guitars are - both have that great clarity and touch sensitivity I look for in great guitars. I feel strongly that once the les paul’s finish is older and I’ve gigged it and sweated on it a bunch so that the lacquer gets that feel, the R0 will have that final missing “old” feel that it doesn’t have now.
Man you got a great one...looks incredible. Yes I have a lot to do with certain 'Easter eggs' on this and other limited models. Has anyone checked under the backplate of the 60th Anniversary SGs? :) Haven't seen if so. Regarding the finish, it is Antiquity Burst which is spec'd to have the pickguard 'shadow' by default. Will the top fade more? Yes but over much longer periods of time than the originals, which could fade in a day of sunlight. The finish will check over time but remember the Murphy Lab finish is designed to check a lot and the standard Nitro Lacquer is designed to resist checking. It will still happen regardless, because it's nitro lacquer. I would bet your 1999 Classic Plus has some checking by now (LOVE these models btw), so that's what to expect in the future for your V1. Thanks for the questions!
 

matkoehler

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Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
Hi Mat, thank you so much for doing this! Do you know if there are any plans to improve accuracy on the shape of 335's and les paul's? The current '64 335's have very different ears compared to vintage models of that period and the neck set has a different angle. The cutaway on original bursts is also a bit different having in a smaller gap between the pickguard and cutaway
One thing I've learned -- why compare photos when you can scan dozens of originals. And for 335s, we know the shape changed literally every year...most dramatically between 1958-1960 and 1963-1968. It also changed within the same year, and this is because of tooling wear and inconsistency with the rim presses at the time (not to mention the top and back presses...those contours change as well). That said, we 3D-scanned five 1964 ES-335 models and each proved to be a little different. So we went with the one that was most different from the '59 profile, because the goal is to have differentiation between the reissues after all. To me it looks right; just like one of the examples with more pointed cutaways. Regarding the neck set, I'm not sure what you mean...the angle unique to each guitar and a function of estimated bridge height and accuracy when gluing up. The '64 model neck DOES meet the body in a slightly different place from an original '64 because we have to use one construction method for both the '59 and '64...a compromise if you will. But really we're splitting hairs there. Regarding the cutaway of bursts, we have scanned enough to know that our current cutaway shape is correct. What you are seeing is a varying distance on both originals and reissues of where the neck meets the body. This is for the same reason as mentioned previously -- neck set is not a perfect science. Hope that helps! Thanks for the questions.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
Hey Matt,

Celester Gonzalez Sr’s grand daughter just popped up on The Gear Page. I’m not saying I’ll do anything to make this happen…

Viva The Disco Party House!

(Also, fun fact: his son played in the Impressions and with Ike and Tina Turner. That story is just crazy. Peel the layers.)
Heard about that! I've been researching him for some time and I've seen three different spellings...even his obituary is different from his granddaughter's claim but I have no reason to doubt that it is what she says it is!

I am responsible for 'leaking' the below photo where you can see Punty playing the Futura at a show circa 1960...knobs and switch clearly visible. Not really sure if I was allowed to share but it was in the interest of truth! Also confirmed that both the neck and body are Korina. And btw, IMO there was only ONE Futura made. All the others are fakes. :)

IMG_5612.jpeg
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
Did the custom shop change the laquer in 2019? Using less plasticizer? Or what not? My 2018 Gibson Custom shop R0, and 2016 Gibson Custom shop SG standard Historic, have no laquer checking at all.

My 2019 Gibson custom shop 60th Anniversary R9, however, “Unplayed sitting in its case under my bed, developed laquer checking between the neck and body binding leaving the cutout area, this last summer.Maby a sudden drop in humidity from turning the air conditioner on? However the other guitars didnt do that, ..even my 2016 Gibson USA les paul standard did not check..just the 2019 R9
Nope, no change at all but with nitro it's just a matter of time before it checks. What accelerates it is not just environmental conditions but the all the little variables like woodgrain, binding scrape, tension points, etc. Thanks for the question!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
Over the strings it was .95 and 1.02, so I would guess something like .87 and .95? It feels nice and medium. Nothing like some of the other reissues I’ve played that have huge necks. It’s smaller than my 90’s studio gem series les paul neck.

It’s a lot larger than my 1960 es-330
The spec is .87-.96, so excellent guess! Lol.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
181
Hey @matkoehler I got one for you. The Custom Shop did the 50th anniversary ES-335 out of Memphis for a handful of years. I have a ‘59 50th Anniversary made in 2009. Any idea what the difference is/was between that model and the Nashville historic 59 ES-335 of that time period?

I’ve seen a handful of threads that seem to be mostly speculation. Some say made in Nashville and then finished in Memphis. Some say slightly different specs. Some say limited to 500 (250 in each color). Anyway, just curious if you have any insight? Thanks!
At that time the specs of both Nashville and Memphis Reissue ES models are very similar indeed. Only differences would be the subtle rim shape and body contour difference from running them on different presses. The Memphis facility was actually designed (and at first populated) by the Nashville Custom Shop team, so the initial years there are a lot of similarities...why both Memphis and Nashville were creating reissues simultaneously is another (long) story. Anyway you start to see the specs really differ when Mike Voltz came to Memphis circa 2014. He and Jim Lillard were determined to push the limits of the accuracy of the profiles and to improve the components even beyond the vintage specifications. Really amazing efforts there and believe me it was an uphill battle at that factory with the all-ES product mix. Huge hats-off to Mike (now retired) and Jim. -Mat
 

madrivermoco

New member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Messages
10
Heard about that! I've been researching him for some time and I've seen three different spellings...even his obituary is different from his granddaughter's claim but I have no reason to doubt that it is what she says it is!

I am responsible for 'leaking' the below photo where you can see Punty playing the Futura at a show circa 1960...knobs and switch clearly visible. Not really sure if I was allowed to share but it was in the interest of truth! Also confirmed that both the neck and body are Korina. And btw, IMO there was only ONE Futura made. All the others are fakes. :)

View attachment 15949
So it’s YOU on the B&W Guitars page!!!

I love this profoundly. Profoundly. I was told the guitar was “returned” to Gibson for the additional electronics. Like the mixed wood composition (which I’m taking your all korina confirmation as Gospel) the veracity of this is real questionable.

I tried to reply with sincerity to his grand daughter. And I’ve unleashed the Norton record nerds. Keep leaving crumbs, and I’ll keep shouting from the mountain tops. I’ve got friends and (extended) family from the West Side scene. I assume you’ve already pawed over what I’ve seen so I’m not afraid to be a one man Futura parade band. Wouldn’t mind a mahogany Gibson USA model in addition to the sneaky Futuras coming out of the CS (that three pickup Futura still haunts me with its cool)
Something sacred about those American Stradivarius - - something epic about a train to Juarez with two dozen guitars to sell.
 

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CanuckLP

New member
Joined
Nov 25, 2021
Messages
5
Hi Matt. It’s a privilege to be able to ask someone with your experience this question.

I have a few guitars and was wondering: if I swap the electronics (pickups, wiring, pots) in my 2021 Gibson Les Paul Studio with my 2020 Epiphone Les Paul Custom. Would my Gibson sound like an Epiphone? Serious question. I always see people claiming putting Gibson electronics into an Epiphone makes it a Gibson, so would the reverse apply?

All this discussion of better wood used in the US made product in theory could make a difference?

Both are fantastic instruments regardless of preference.

Thank you! And hope you have a remarkable day.
 

Coachmoe

Active member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Messages
1,087
Mat,
Greetings! Just purchased a NEW Goldtop Standard 50's. Serial number begins with 20XXXXXXX. The date on the checklist says 11-8-21. I have two questions.
1. Since serial numbers no longer give production date info, would this guitar be considered a 21 model given the fact that the checklist card says 21?
2. The pickguard has a beveled edge like on an Epiphone from the last few years. When did Gibson start using the beveled edge? To me, it just doesn't look right. Never had any Gibson Les Paul of any variant with beveled edges.

Guitar looks great, fit and finish is excellent. Just need to do some personal tweaks and I'm good to go.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can supply.
 

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