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Why LP ‘59 is the “holy grail” vs a LP ‘60?

Asyntek

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Jun 10, 2020
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I understand that besides cosmetics, the main difference between a vintage LesPaul ‘59 and a ‘60 is the neck profile, same PUs, same electronics, etc.
Tone wise both should sound pretty similar, right? So, why the ‘59 is more praised than a ‘60, is that just the neck?
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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Yes the neck, it's fatter............ and figured maple tops(without the tomato soup finish of the mid- late 1960 LPs).
And majorly players such as Clapton, Bloomfield and Keith Richards(who kicked it off) all used '59 LPs (in the mid '60s)............hero worship at the time that started a craze later on.
 
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DutchRay

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Mar 15, 2015
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I think the '59's have become the holy grail because the 58's frets are smaller and the '60 neck is thinner. Maybe the reissue program also has something to do with it. Back in the early 80's, my gtr teachers were always talking about the '58 as holy grail... Personally I'll always pick a '60 over '59, I like the skinny neck and the slightly brighter tone. BTW Clapton's Beano was also a 1960 skinny neck model.
Don't forget that Les Paul's were a rare sight in Europe, due to post-war economics the were not many US made guitars available.
 

sws1

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Dec 4, 2001
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Looking historically, 59 is when everything came together (i.e., a pinnacle of 50s LPs), including the move to bigger frets, and 60 was the start of the changes away from that pinnacle (color, neck size). After that the LP was gone, the necks were skinny, etc. So, in macro, 59 represents the year when it was all "right".

It's a historian perspective.
 

goldtop0

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BTW Clapton's Beano was also a 1960 skinny neck model.
Not so.
We have it on good cognisance here on the forum(it's been discussed ad nauseum over the decades as you would know) that it is in fact a '59.
Search Beano and there's my thread header Eric's '65 LP......started Aug 3rd 2019 in post #6 where gilapagostotois divulges the info........he's a worldwide LP authority.
Plus I don't want this thread from the OP to move into another 60 or 59 Beano debate.......so let's just check it out and leave it at that I think.
 
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harleytech

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May 19, 2017
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55
I am partial to the 58'... I never really jumped on the "oh you have to get a 59' bandwagon" I like the fatter neck...
JMHO... I am talking reissue's here just to clarify... Never had the pleasure to play the real ones...
 
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Apr 22, 2017
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The term "skinny" is relative. It's a thinner profile neck than the '59 but it's still a "full size neck" in comparison to most modern day guitars...or at least any sitting in this case (including the 1957 Strat - Xavier Armandez neck). IMO
IMG_2539.jpeg
 

hogy

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Nov 4, 2005
Messages
706
Search Beano and there's my thread header Eric's '65 LP......started Aug 3rd 2019 in post #6 where gilapagostotois divulges the info........he's a worldwide LP authority.
Do you have a link? I can't find this.

Thanks!
 

MikeSlub

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Jul 15, 2001
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14,713
As has been said, the year 1959 was the magic year for Bursts - bigger frets, bigger necks, and several of our guitar heroes had '59s.

But there are exceptions - some '59s had smaller frets. And early 1960 Bursts have all 1959 features (color, neck size, etc.). 🎸

I love them all! 1958, 59, and 60.

From left to right: '58, '59, '59, '60.


Four_Bursts_1.jpg
 

Asyntek

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Jun 10, 2020
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I’ve posted a video and some links in that thread. After some time, it looks like ”fact researchers” still don’t agree about the right date. Most of them still believe that it was a 59/60 transition, due to the skinner neck profile.

Anyway, back to topic, while searching Clapton‘s facts, I’ve read some guy saying that ‘60s burts don’t age like 59’s, with sunlight is that true?
 

MikeSlub

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14,713
I’ve posted a video and some links in that thread. After some time, it looks like ”fact researchers” still don’t agree about the right date. Most of them still believe that it was a 59/60 transition, due to the skinner neck profile.

Anyway, back to topic, while searching Clapton‘s facts, I’ve read some guy saying that ‘60s burts don’t age like 59’s, with sunlight is that true?
The transition to the thinner neck profile didn't occur until sometime into the 1960 year.

The later year 1960 Bursts used a different dye that didn't fade like the red aniline dye used in 1958 and 1960.
 

Sol

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Joined
Oct 26, 2001
Messages
498
When the neck attained its minimum depth in the final months of production, did the neck also become more tapered, becoming slightly wider along its length as we see on Gibsons with the '60s slim taper neck'?
Im asking if there is any historical basis for this?

I read that in the last month or so of production in 1960 that the Les Paul headstock changed slightly, becoming wider. Is there any truth to this, or am I being messed with for someone's amusement?
Thank you.
 
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AA00475Bassman

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Apr 26, 2016
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2,978
I defiantly would not kick a 60's out of bed because her crackers are a little thin, being a hack I have this uncanny ability to play all sorts of neck profiles with none feeling lesser. A 59 carries a high vibe factor although my guitar abilities will not move a 59 forward of a 60 or 58 !

Disclaimer : Mike your Burst's are Beautiful !
 

Bob H.

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Joined
Apr 11, 2003
Messages
467
Curious - Which of these four
As has been said, the year 1959 was the magic year for Bursts - bigger frets, bigger necks, and several of our guitar heroes had '59s.

But there are exceptions - some '59s had smaller frets. And early 1960 Bursts have all 1959 features (color, neck size, etc.). 🎸

I love them all! 1958, 59, and 60.

From left to right: '58, '59, '59, '60.


View attachment 12689
Curious - Which of these did/do you enjoy playing most? Tone differences?
 
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