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My 52 (convert or to convert 2)

Jeggz

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
108
Yes it does.... you cant quite tell by the photo, but I asked that the neck be slightly buried into the body at where it meets the body at the 16th fret so that the shim didnt have to be too large, plus I wanted the neck angle to be within late '50s spec but more shallow than deep, again keeping the shim small....
Thanks.

Either way the shims tiny.
 

deytookerjaabs

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,483
But selling a 52 no matter the condition, isnt going to put you into a well done conversion with all the “important“ parts, maybe the body and some repro, but you’d have a long way to go.


I can see that. But, for instance, this summer (or around there) a refin'd player grade hacked up wine red looking 50's Les Paul came up for sale at Carters for like 12K. If I had 12k I'd have been all over it. Sure, it didn't look like a 'burst but it was a proper husk for anyone who wanted to move forward.

Go through the pages in this sub and you'll see a bunch of conversions and '52 (convert) titles.

That's why I'm of the opinion to never convert, not because of pretending I'm holy or anything but just because there's so much out there already. Even 15+ years ago finding a conversion or routed 50's Les Paul wasn't easy, even more so going back further. Now that damn near every guitar out there gets listed either through Reverb or a dealer you can find them.

Just look at the folks who did the deed on the conversion then sold. No need to route any good ones that are left IMO.
 

Jeggz

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
108
I can see that. But, for instance, this summer (or around there) a refin'd player grade hacked up wine red looking 50's Les Paul came up for sale at Carters for like 12K. If I had 12k I'd have been all over it. Sure, it didn't look like a 'burst but it was a proper husk for anyone who wanted to move forward.

Go through the pages in this sub and you'll see a bunch of conversions and '52 (convert) titles.

That's why I'm of the opinion to never convert, not because of pretending I'm holy or anything but just because there's so much out there already. Even 15+ years ago finding a conversion or routed 50's Les Paul wasn't easy, even more so going back further. Now that damn near every guitar out there gets listed either through Reverb or a dealer you can find them.

Just look at the folks who did the deed on the conversion then sold. No need to route any good ones that are left IMO.
True.

That’s why I sold my
54’s.
I personally don’t think anything that doesn’t need a neck reset should be converted, but that didn’t stop me from getting an already converted 55.
 

BSeneca

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
125
My experience tells me that a '52 Les Paul doesn't have all the expected "Les Pauliness" of the later, '54 - '56 versions.

I've owned a few stop-tail ('54) P-90 Goldtops but I don't have any ownership experience of the '52 style. However, of the few '52s that I've been invited to play, I felt like the tailpiece wiggled (just a teeny-tiny bit) when I played it - killing some of the "Les Pauliness" of the guitar. The sustain was lacking. The snap and attack was less than expected. They were 'almost' proper Les Pauls, but not quite.

Like the original '52 bridge, the replacement bridges float, connected only to the butt of the guitar. I imagine that sustain would improve with a conversion to '54 or '56 specs with a bridge + tailpiece secured to the top of the guitar. I also imagine that the tone might improve/change with a sharper string break after the bridge. In short, a neck reset and conversion to '54 or '56 specs would bring out more of the "Les Pauliness" from a '52.

An arch top jazz box has a floating bridge and requires loads of downward force from the strings+bridge to move the spruce top. A '52 Les Paul is not a jazz box. Also, how much downward force can one get from the '52 tailpiece?

Final thoughts: If it was a mint '52, then leave it alone. This one is far from mint with loads of mojo and no breaks. I'd rather convert one with breaks, but...them's the breaks. It might not add resale value, but I think a neck reset will enhance the guitar.
Thanks for the advice. This DOES have a headstock break which is why i even considered. Kinda liking the idea of maybe a 54 conversion now
 

BSeneca

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
125
Actually the more I think about it, I think you should do the neck reset, and ABR it.

That’s my vote.

You can keep the original finish, you’ll just have the small shim under where the fretboard comes over the body.

Leave the P90s.

Put repro hardware, and piece by piece replace it with vintage.

That’s what I’d do.
I thought when you did a neck reset you lost the original finish? I really dont want to do that
 

BSeneca

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
125
Beautiful!!!... if you love it, then leave it as is!!!.... Im sure the P90s sound great..... but if youre dying for a '50s Les Paul with PAFs, etc, and cant afford a '57, then consider converting it.... your choice, nobody else's
The P-90's do roar. Ive recorded with it and even my bass player was like WOW that sounds great
 

Jeggz

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
108
I thought when you did a neck reset you lost the original finish? I really dont want to do that
Not if you use the shim and the person that does it, is highly skilled.

You only lose the finish if you don’t want the shim.

In order to make the steeper neck angle, they either sand it into the top (refin) , or do the magic in the neck pocket (shim).

Look at Ed’s guitar, he has original finish and the shim.
 

BSeneca

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
125
Yes it does.... you cant quite tell by the photo, but I asked that the neck be slightly buried into the body at where it meets the body at the 16th fret so that the shim didnt have to be too large, plus I wanted the neck angle to be within late '50s spec but more shallow than deep, again keeping the shim small....
Thats beautiful Ed! Thanks for the pics
 

Jeggz

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
108
Yes! I shimmed the pickups and lowered the poles on my ES-225TD and got MORE! MORE tone, MORE output, MORE balance...
First thing I do when I would get a Soapbar guitar is buy two ice pops.
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,217
I thought when you did a neck reset you lost the original finish? I really dont want to do that
You will lose minimal (or none of the ) finish if a neck reset/conversion is done by an expert. Again, I suggest Historic Makeovers.
 

Jeggz

Active member
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
108
I think neck resetting a repaired headstock 52 to work with a wraptail or ABR is an improvement, and well worth looking into.

It’ll make his guitar more playable and probably more valuable down the line.
 

Patek

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2015
Messages
406
leave it be. too many goldtops getting butchered--
I don’t see how a shim in the neck done by HM who are sensitive with the finish, shimming the pups and installing a wrap is butchery. It will sound and play a million times better than a stock 52.

It’s an instrument to be played and heard, not to be hoarded, it’s not even mint, nowhere near. Enjoy it. I’d do it any day
 

barsinister

New member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
22
I apologize -its your guitar and you are perfectly in your right to do whatever you want.and its none of my buisiness -..I have a thing for old goldtops -p90s and wraps--and i have seen so many turned into "bursts" They didnt make many goldtops -52-54 and how many are left? To me a burst is a "snob" guitar and a beat up old goldtop is a working mans or womans guitar...The best thing the USA ever did is rock n roll blues country jazz and these guitars and amps..that is Americas greatest art. so I should have been more careful in my response..
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,217
I apologize -its your guitar and you are perfectly in your right to do whatever you want.and its none of my buisiness -..I have a thing for old goldtops -p90s and wraps--and i have seen so many turned into "bursts" They didnt make many goldtops -52-54 and how many are left? To me a burst is a "snob" guitar and a beat up old goldtop is a working mans or womans guitar...The best thing the USA ever did is rock n roll blues country jazz and these guitars and amps..that is Americas greatest art. so I should have been more careful in my response..
+1 - It's his guitar.

Also, Gibson made many, many more trapeze style Les Pauls in 1952-1953 than 'Bursts from 1958-1960.

(Data lifted from http://www.guitarhq.com/shippin4.html)

Solidbody Gibson Guitars, 1952 to 1969
Model​
'52​
'53​
'54​
'55​
'56​
'57​
'58​
'59​
'60​
'61​
'62​
'63​
'64​
'65​
'66​
'67​
'68​
'69​
Model​
'52​
'53​
'54​
'55​
'56​
'57​
'58​
'59​
'60​
'61​
'62​
'63​
'64​
'65​
'66​
'67​
'68​
'69​
Explr​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
19​
3​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
FlyV​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
81​
17​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
2​
111​
-​
15​
LpJr​
-​
-​
823​
2839​
3129​
2959​
2408​
4364​
2513​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
LpJrTv​
-​
-​
5​
230​
511​
552​
429​
543​
419​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
LpSp​
-​
-​
-​
373​
1345​
1452​
958​
1821​
1387​
?​
?​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
LpStd*​
1716​
2245​
1504​
862​
920​
598​
434​
643​
635​
?​
?​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
?​
?​
LpCus​
-​
-​
94​
355​
489​
283​
256​
246​
189​
?​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
?​
?​
SgJr​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
2151​
2395​
2318​
3364​
3570​
1928​
1021​
561​
751​
SgTv​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
-​
256​
457​
379​
528​
716​
548​
123​
54​
-​
 

DutchRay

Active member
Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Messages
355
So, how many, of the 1716 built in '52, do you think have been converted? 500, 700 or more?
 
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