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Old 07-02-2014, 05:25 PM   #1
Reli-Teli
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Mysterious 1989 Gibson Les Paul with Explorer Neck?

Ok, I just picked this up in a trade because, well how often do you see one of these? It was a first for me. The owner Said it was a Melody Maker Flyer II from 1989. Every search I do online comes up with the same exact guitar. Though the info is very brief and according to Gibson Incorrect. I was told by Gibson that it is a 1989 Invader "Build Out" model. But when I do a search of the Invader searies they're all bolt on necks with the standard head stock. According to Gibson they had a some spare parts and decided to make one cool misfit. According to the few forums that touch on this guitar there were 100 or less made, Gibson doesn't have the any production numbers at all. After decoding the SN it is in fact from 1989 on the 262nd day. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


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Old 07-02-2014, 05:29 PM   #2
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Oh yeah, Bill Lawrence Humbuckers, Grover Tuners, Kahler Flyer trem and locking nut. Wiring all original and unmolested (Shew) Less work for me.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:37 PM   #3
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Fookin wild. Clean it up and you’ve got a nice kooky relic.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:24 PM   #4
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I want it...
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:01 PM   #5
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Very interesting guitar. Unfortunately I can't help you with the info you're looking for.

Congratulations on your acquisition!
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:21 PM   #6
FatalGear41
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A few Les Pauls were made in the 1980s with the "Explorer" headstock. They became known collectively as the "Aldo Nova Les Paul" because he was a fan of them - I believe at one point Gibson made an Aldo Nova Signature Les Paul with that headstock. I have not seen one like the one you have, though. Most of them looked like this:

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Old 07-02-2014, 09:53 PM   #7
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Thanks so far. Gibson insists it's a 1989 Invader "Build Out" model. That would mean all the research I've gathered on it is false. They told me due to the nature of these builds there is next to nothing on them not souch as a mention in a Catalogue. I was advised to look at Gruhns Guide To Vintage Guitars Handbook, anybody have it? I don't have a High Gain amp at my disposal at the moment but I do see me taking it to a friends in the near future. She's definitely a players relic and it gets worse every time you play it the finish is split and practically peeling off in some areas. About 1/4 of the finish is split. I was debating taking the split areas off and sealing it up to make it a "Heavy" relic. Or completely strip it. Ideas on that? Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Emantherawdog
She's definitely a players relic and it gets worse every time you play it the finish is split and practically peeling off in some areas. About 1/4 of the finish is split. I was debating taking the split areas off and sealing it up to make it a "Heavy" relic. Or completely strip it. Ideas on that? Thanks.


I can't help you with anything other than to say that older guitars, much like guns are diminished in value by people who try to refinish them.

If it is truly rare, collectors like it unaltered.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:52 PM   #9
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Weird, my phone is synced with my old name. Anyways, that's my general rule with old stuff but given the state of the finish it shouldn't hurt the value but I dunno.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:01 AM   #10
NormH3
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Kinda looks like this neck (1985 Gibson Explorer XPL) Maybe a Franken-guitar? (EDIT: I think Gibson is wrong. It looks exactly like the Melody Maker after a Google. How can they dispute it?


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Old 07-03-2014, 06:11 AM   #11
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Here's a Gibson les Paul DC XPL double cutaway from the 80's

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Old 07-03-2014, 08:15 AM   #12
Reli-Teli
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I brought up to Gibson how every mention of a Melody Maker Flyer II has the same exact guitar as mine. But when I do a search for the invader its just LPs with bolt on necks. They said its all misinformation being spread on forums. I need to contact Gruhn Guitars. So thats an XPL, I've seen it called that too but they're clearly different. That red double cut away is about the closest I've seen. Gibson also stated that there was never an Alda Nova model, but he was a big fan of the 84 LP XPL.

Last edited by Reli-Teli : 07-03-2014 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:58 PM   #13
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Here's a pic of the severe finish splitting. As you can see I don't think it would hurt the value if I finished what 20 years of neglect started. I can literally chip away at the loose areas with a pick. Probably much easier than when Zakk did it to the neck of his Grail. Thanks again everyone.

Last edited by Reli-Teli : 07-03-2014 at 07:00 PM.
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