#1
so this might seem like a stupid question but I hear all this about the 1959 Les pauls being the shizz and everything but what actually makes them so pricey, so amazing, and so worth a reissue?
was it the wood quality the pick-ups the hardware and if it is something like the pickups why didnt they just continue the usage of them
#2
The manufacturing has changed dramatically, and some of the woods have been banned from sale. Pickups were usually hand-wound, which made the sound of a guitar vary from one to the other... also, the wood has aged, allowing a unique sound change.
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#4
because the demand at the time wasn't all that great they stopped, and the machines and materials that made the pickups were lost in the fogs of time mostly. As to their popularity its mostly due to them being used by artists like Eric Clapton, Martin Barre, Peter Green, Joe Walsh and Gary Moore, some later on admittedly, to produce great records with awesome tone gave them like some sort of mystic power. This coupled with the fact that only a few thousand were made, if that, so not many have survived in good condition.
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#5
they did continue making them. as the 1959 historic reissue.
what's the question here? not everyone can afford the historic reissue so gibson made cheaper guitars so they could sell guitars shaped like lp's to everyone and the ceo could buy a new yacht.

the 58's and 60s are good too. their just not as collectable.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
Last edited by AcousticMirror at Aug 4, 2010,
#6
i believe every year has some variations in style, feel and shape. like, experimental. and it seems like 1959 has come out on top.

but what do i know, i despise gibson in every way so i dont really care i guess.
Ibanez RGT6EXFX -> Ibanez TS9 -> Korg Pitchblack -> Peavey 5150 II head -> Mesa Rectifier 2x12 cab
#7
Quote by Eskil Rask
i believe every year has some variations in style, feel and shape. like, experimental. and it seems like 1959 has come out on top.

but what do i know, i despise gibson in every way so i dont really care i guess.



how can you hate a company that makes a whole range of different products.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#8
Quote by Lovecannon
The manufacturing has changed dramatically, and some of the woods have been banned from sale. Pickups were usually hand-wound, which made the sound of a guitar vary from one to the other... also, the wood has aged, allowing a unique sound change.


What? You think Maple and Mahogany have been banned from sale? The pickups were also not hand-wound, the were wound using imprecise machines. A unique sound change? Maybe but they got there reputation when they were pretty young.
SMILE!
Last edited by Mr.DeadDuck at Aug 4, 2010,
#9
Because Jimmy Page collects 1959 Les Pauls. If he collected 1961 Les Pauls those would probably be the expensive ones.
#10
the wood that they used before isn't available in quantities that they are now.

a non chambered historic 59 weighs just about 8 pounds
a full chambered traditional or les paul studio can easily weigh over 8 pounds

you think that wood is the same quality. it's not. one's mostly mineral and resin. the other is airy resonant properly drained wood.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#11
^What AM said. The lighter the mahogany the better.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#12
The re-issues get the best of the remaining high quality woods and can be solid and not weigh too much. The rest still get Honduran Mahogany but not the premium pieces. These need chambering or weight relief to keep the weight more reasonable (< 10lbs). It's not like they're selling "mock" Mahogany like many other manufacturers do. 59's are considered more desireable because Gibson finally started grading the maple tops and selecting more beautiful figured tops. Before that it was more accidnetal when it coccured. The 59 also slightly reduced the neck and added larger frets.
Moving on.....
#13
Because baby boomers have more cash then brains and drive the price of toys their parents refused to buy them through the roof.
Bhaok

The following statement is true. The proceeding statement is false.
#14
I urge people to take the video tour thru the Gibson factory to see the amount of effort and time required to build a guitar the old way. With the time stretching to around 6 -7 days from start of build (not including pre-grading/drying of woods) to finish and hang times for binding and Nitro drying which takes floor space, there's no way Gibson can compete cost wise with a more computerized facility with little "hands on" & using modern finishes. The fact is they don't want to as (some) people still appreciate guitars made this way. Not much different than Martin Guitars in this respect.
Moving on.....
#15
yup that's what the custom shop is for.
gibson usa will compete all day with everyone though. a les paul shaped guitar for everybody!
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#16
Wow some people in this thread are idiots!

58's and 60's are just as sought after as 59's, and to the guy who said JP collects them, thats a lie, and there is no such thing as a 1961 Les Paul (unless you are talking about the SG, which was originally the new Les Paul design that came out in 61.

Differences; First off, yes they do have wood that is illegal on them now. Brazilian fretboards, you can still put them on the guitar but you cannot harvest more. Second, they used old growth wood, current guitars are made of trees that are created and chopped down within 10 years, the old guitars are made of trees that were hundreds of years old. The pickups are also different, they use smaller magnets now and are no longer hand wound.

Reasons they are so expensive; All the old guys played them, why did they play them? Because they wanted guitars that could overdrive nice and the Les Paul could do that. Why did they specifically play 58's-60's? Well that is because the Les Paul was discontinued in 1961, and so if you wanted a Les Paul with humbuckers you had to go pick up a 57-60. Lots of the old guys liked the look of the bursted Les Pauls (58-60) and so they went and bought those to play their harder rock and roll with. If the Les Paul had never been discontinued then Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton could have been playing 63s or 64s. But since they were discontinued, if you wanted a Les Paul you had to go get a used or old stock supply. Note the Les Paul was reintroduced in 1968. They are also very expensive because only around 1600 were made, and only like 650 are accounted for right now. If you think about it 600 guitars that millions of people want make them very valuable. But there are even less than that avaliable to the open market since lots of the 70s rockers picked up more than one Les Paul.
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_____________________________________________
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#17
Quote by jpnyc
Because Jimmy Page collects 1959 Les Pauls. If he collected 1961 Les Pauls those would probably be the expensive ones.


Not true. He has a number of Les Pauls, but not all from '59. His LPs include a '58, '59, '60, '69, '78, and I'm sure he owns at least one from each of his signature LPs (including the 2010 model). His #1 was a '59, and there is some debate about his #2 (either a '58 or '59).

And they're not sought after just because of Page. There are a number of reasons. To be honest, most vintage LPs would be sought after by many guitarists. I agree with everything AcousticMirror has said in this thread.
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#18
Quote by I am wet
Wow some people in this thread are idiots!

58's and 60's are just as sought after as 59's, and to the guy who said JP collects them, thats a lie, and there is no such thing as a 1961 Les Paul (unless you are talking about the SG, which was originally the new Les Paul design that came out in 61.

Differences; First off, yes they do have wood that is illegal on them now. Brazilian fretboards, you can still put them on the guitar but you cannot harvest more. Second, they used old growth wood, current guitars are made of trees that are created and chopped down within 10 years, the old guitars are made of trees that were hundreds of years old. The pickups are also different, they use smaller magnets now and are no longer hand wound.

Reasons they are so expensive; All the old guys played them, why did they play them? Because they wanted guitars that could overdrive nice and the Les Paul could do that. Why did they specifically play 58's-60's? Well that is because the Les Paul was discontinued in 1961, and so if you wanted a Les Paul with humbuckers you had to go pick up a 57-60. Lots of the old guys liked the look of the bursted Les Pauls (58-60) and so they went and bought those to play their harder rock and roll with. If the Les Paul had never been discontinued then Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton could have been playing 63s or 64s. But since they were discontinued, if you wanted a Les Paul you had to go get a used or old stock supply. Note the Les Paul was reintroduced in 1968. They are also very expensive because only around 1600 were made, and only like 650 are accounted for right now. If you think about it 600 guitars that millions of people want make them very valuable. But there are even less than that avaliable to the open market since lots of the 70s rockers picked up more than one Les Paul.


Best reply in the whole thread.
Always tin your strings.

_____

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#20
Much of the aura and worship of the 1958-1960 Les Paul Standards involves the myths that have grown up around them. This is coming from someone who is old enough to remember when you could get a 1959 Les Paul Standard with a fantastic top in excellent condition for US$3,500.00 (ca.1976 to 1977, to be exact).

It came about rather like this: prior to 1958, the Les Paul was offered with the familiar Gold Top. In 1958, the translucent sunburst finish was introduced. It allowed the beautiful tigerstripe or quilt maple figuring to show through. Since highly figured maple was more plentiful and didn't cost nearly as much, and because much of Gibson's manufacturing is done by hand, they carefully chose the best figured blanks for the tops. There are some so-called "plain tops" from that era, but most of them have some very, very nice figuring.

The pickup winding machine used by Gibson until 1961 had no automatic shut-off. If the guy minding the winder got distracted and forgot to throw the switch at the specified number of windings, the coils got extra windings and made for more powerful pickups. Because there was no standardization to this over-winding, one "PAF" humbucker often sounds noticeably different from another one made the same day on the same machine.

Gibson discontinued the familiar maple-on-mahogany single cutaway Les Paul shape in 1961 in favor of what later became known as the SG. The Les Paul Standard simply wasn't a big seller, and they were so labor-intensive that they didn't make many of them. I believe the total production for those three years was less than 5000 guitars. This made them rare - if undesirable - guitars.

By the mid-1960s, guitarists like Duane Allman, Eric Clapton and Michael Bloomfield began using these old Les Pauls and rock and blues players discovered their fantastic tones and great playability. People began scarfing up the sunburst Les Pauls and the prices began to rise.

By the 1970s, a 1958-1960 Les Paul Standard with a flamed top was THE guitar to have. Jimmy Page played a big role in this, but there were plenty of others. The prices rose even further. By then Gibson had reissued the familiar Les Paul, but it wasn't the same. First, the myth of the "PAF" humbuckers had taken hold. New Les Pauls had humbuckers that were all identical to one another. Second, the look was different. Flame and quilt maple had become expensive, and Gibson was now owned by a company that was less interested in making great guitars than they were in keeping costs down. A Les Paul from the 1970s with even the slightest hint of flame figuring was a rare find. Also, the tops were carved differently. The originals were not only arch-topped; they had a depression carved along the lower bout. This was known as the "dish top." The new Les Pauls were arch-topped, but not dish topped. The dish top makes it look a lot classier.

Finally, Gibson was going through some horrendous quality control problems throughout most of the 1970s and into the early 1980s. This was a result of the company being sold repeatedly. The QC problems of the 1970s Gibsons made people want the higher quality 1958-1960 guitars even more.

Despite decades of people telling Gibson to get off of their corporate asses and make the guitars that people wanted, it wasn't until the 1990s that they finally got around to doing this. Gibson purchased very expensive 1958-1960 Les Pauls on the open market and went over them with a fu@king microscope to come up with their reissues. The flame maple tops returned, as did the dish top carve. More attention was paid to the details that people wanted: the pickups were better, the necks were offered in the fat 1950s and thinner 1960s profiles, and in many models the neck volute was eliminated and the "long tenon neck" was restored.

And the people did rejoice!

As for some woods not being available anymore; that is sort of true. Maple and mahogany are still used, but it usually isn't old-growth stuff like the 1950s guitars used. Also, African mahogany is banned. Les Pauls are made from Honduran mahogany (though Gibson recently got into trouble for using illegally harvested Honduran mahogany, so that source may soon be cut off). The fingerboards of the old Gibsons used Brazilian rosewood, which is now banned. Modern Gibsons use Indian rosewood.

Les Paul himself said that the later Gibsons were every bit as good as the ones made from 1958-1960, and he is about as good an authority on the subject as one is likely to find. I have two of them (a Standard and a Studio) and they are both great guitars.

The economic boom of the early 1990s made a lot of 30-somethings millionaires. This made them able to buy the guitars they lusted after as teenagers, and the result was that the prices of those rare 1958-1960 Les Paul Standards reached obscene levels. US$375,000.00 is not at all unusual, and I have heard of examples that have hit $500,000.00 (I can't confirm that, though).

Anyway, that's essentially why the 1958-1960 Les Pauls are so thoroughly lusted after. The 1959 isn't any more desirable than the 1958. The 1958 and the 1959 are slightly more desirable than the 1960 only because they were made in the golden decade of the 1950s. Any one of them probably costs more than the house in which your parents raised you. Go figure.

I hope this helps.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
Last edited by FatalGear41 at Aug 5, 2010,
#21
Quote by AcousticMirror
how can you hate a company that makes a whole range of different products.



LOL!


Seriously, LOL!
#22
^Since when is african mahogany banned?

EDIT: @Fatalgear
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#23
Quote by oneblackened
^Since when is african mahogany banned?

EDIT: @Fatalgear


You are correct. I believe it is only the rarer big-leaf species that are restricted. The lower quality stuff and it's cousin such as Limba are still available.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#24
The lower quality African is still pretty damned good most of the time, too...
Current Gear:
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Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#25
new gibsons are made from south american wood.
Lets jump in a pool


_____________________________________________
Last edited by I am wet : Today at 03:26 XM.
#28
f the bc rich virgo my next guitar is going to be a bullet strat
Lets jump in a pool


_____________________________________________
Last edited by I am wet : Today at 03:26 XM.
#29
No the new Gibsons are not made of wood,they are filled with pie!Why do you think they have the holes inside. For the pie! Strawberry to be exact. Whipped cream is a custom shop option only.
Bhaok

The following statement is true. The proceeding statement is false.
#31
Quote by Bhaok
No the new Gibsons are not made of wood,they are filled with pie!Why do you think they have the holes inside. For the pie! Strawberry to be exact. Whipped cream is a custom shop option only.

that would explain the sweet smell you get from a new gibson, at the very least.

'I am wet' wins the thread though
I like analogue Solid State amps that make no effort to be "tube-like", and I'm proud of it...

...A little too proud, to be honest.
#32
Quote by FatalGear41
Much of the aura and worship of the 1958-1960 Les Paul Standards involves the myths that have grown up around them. This is coming from someone who is old enough to remember when you could get a 1959 Les Paul Standard with a fantastic top in excellent condition for US$3,500.00 (ca.1976 to 1977, to be exact).

It came about rather like this: prior to 1958, the Les Paul was offered with the familiar Gold Top. In 1958, the translucent sunburst finish was introduced. It allowed the beautiful tigerstripe or quilt maple figuring to show through. Since highly figured maple was more plentiful and didn't cost nearly as much, and because much of Gibson's manufacturing is done by hand, they carefully chose the best figured blanks for the tops. There are some so-called "plain tops" from that era, but most of them have some very, very nice figuring.

The pickup winding machine used by Gibson until 1961 had no automatic shut-off. If the guy minding the winder got distracted and forgot to throw the switch at the specified number of windings, the coils got extra windings and made for more powerful pickups. Because there was no standardization to this over-winding, one "PAF" humbucker often sounds noticeably different from another one made the same day on the same machine.

Gibson discontinued the familiar maple-on-mahogany single cutaway Les Paul shape in 1961 in favor of what later became known as the SG. The Les Paul Standard simply wasn't a big seller, and they were so labor-intensive that they didn't make many of them. I believe the total production for those three years was less than 5000 guitars. This made them rare - if undesirable - guitars.

By the mid-1960s, guitarists like Duane Allman, Eric Clapton and Michael Bloomfield began using these old Les Pauls and rock and blues players discovered their fantastic tones and great playability. People began scarfing up the sunburst Les Pauls and the prices began to rise.

By the 1970s, a 1958-1960 Les Paul Standard with a flamed top was THE guitar to have. Jimmy Page played a big role in this, but there were plenty of others. The prices rose even further. By then Gibson had reissued the familiar Les Paul, but it wasn't the same. First, the myth of the "PAF" humbuckers had taken hold. New Les Pauls had humbuckers that were all identical to one another. Second, the look was different. Flame and quilt maple had become expensive, and Gibson was now owned by a company that was less interested in making great guitars than they were in keeping costs down. A Les Paul from the 1970s with even the slightest hint of flame figuring was a rare find. Also, the tops were carved differently. The originals were not only arch-topped; they had a depression carved along the lower bout. This was known as the "dish top." The new Les Pauls were arch-topped, but not dish topped. The dish top makes it look a lot classier.

Finally, Gibson was going through some horrendous quality control problems throughout most of the 1970s and into the early 1980s. This was a result of the company being sold repeatedly. The QC problems of the 1970s Gibsons made people want the higher quality 1958-1960 guitars even more.

Despite decades of people telling Gibson to get off of their corporate asses and make the guitars that people wanted, it wasn't until the 1990s that they finally got around to doing this. Gibson purchased very expensive 1958-1960 Les Pauls on the open market and went over them with a fu@king microscope to come up with their reissues. The flame maple tops returned, as did the dish top carve. More attention was paid to the details that people wanted: the pickups were better, the necks were offered in the fat 1950s and thinner 1960s profiles, and in many models the neck volute was eliminated and the "long tenon neck" was restored.

And the people did rejoice!

As for some woods not being available anymore; that is sort of true. Maple and mahogany are still used, but it usually isn't old-growth stuff like the 1950s guitars used. Also, African mahogany is banned. Les Pauls are made from Honduran mahogany (though Gibson recently got into trouble for using illegally harvested Honduran mahogany, so that source may soon be cut off). The fingerboards of the old Gibsons used Brazilian rosewood, which is now banned. Modern Gibsons use Indian rosewood.

Les Paul himself said that the later Gibsons were every bit as good as the ones made from 1958-1960, and he is about as good an authority on the subject as one is likely to find. I have two of them (a Standard and a Studio) and they are both great guitars.

The economic boom of the early 1990s made a lot of 30-somethings millionaires. This made them able to buy the guitars they lusted after as teenagers, and the result was that the prices of those rare 1958-1960 Les Paul Standards reached obscene levels. US$375,000.00 is not at all unusual, and I have heard of examples that have hit $500,000.00 (I can't confirm that, though).

Anyway, that's essentially why the 1958-1960 Les Pauls are so thoroughly lusted after. The 1959 isn't any more desirable than the 1958. The 1958 and the 1959 are slightly more desirable than the 1960 only because they were made in the golden decade of the 1950s. Any one of them probably costs more than the house in which your parents raised you. Go figure.

I hope this helps.


Very informative as well.
Always tin your strings.

_____

Don't be afraid to be honest.
#33
FatalGear4 had a good post
Lets jump in a pool


_____________________________________________
Last edited by I am wet : Today at 03:26 XM.