Last week I posted a 2016 Gibson LP Traditional I picked up in a swap for a Fender Stratocaster American Vintage Reissue. The idea was then to sell that to help defray the cost of this ‘74. Turned out the Trad is a keeper so I broke a rule of one in and one out. I’m probably going to move an amp.
Anyway, I picked up an original owner ‘74 LP Custom. I saw this 80s band called Kix a few months ago and the lead player had a ‘71 Custom plugged into a Plexi that just ripped. I thought it might be a golden era LP because it just roared. I studied these things, since I’m not a Norlin guy, and every 1974 just had that sound. This one is no exception. All original minus the case & knobs. Original T-Top pickups, tuners, etc. It has those fretless wonder frets. The guitar’s action is very low. I was concerned about bends but it’s really not a problem. It’s not as easy to play as a modern LP but I’m not suffering with the small frets and other than bends, the trade off is it’s really easy to play fast and nail chords. It plays very good. You would never guess this guitar is 45 years old.
I compared it to my other Norlin, an ‘80 LP STD Goldtop with Tim Shaw’s. Both great.....I prefer the feel of the custom. The maple neck on the ‘80 is ok but you can feel the difference. I compared it to my favorite LP, the Mick Ralph’s Collector’s Choice, and that guitar is just incredible. But, the Custom is top notch.
I’ve developed an opinion on vintage guitars versus the custom shop reissues. I will put some thoughts together on another thread.
I tried buying my first Norlin a few years ago and didn’t find a winner. Now I have two excellent Norlin era LPs. They did fuck up the brand by the mid eighties but I will admit now that they made some fine guitars when they got their shit together. The 68s are said to be excellent. That ‘71 I saw with Kix and the few 74s. All outstanding. It’s absolutely true that every era has their gem guitars. In hindsight, Norlin gets bashed more for the weird shit —- maple neck not my favorite, mini-humbuckers, pancake construction, etc than for how good the guitars really play. Within an hour, the ‘74 felt like an old friend. Feels real good in my hands....not heavy, maybe 9.5 lbs.....vintage tone.....vintage mojo.....gorgeous. Definitely a very high quality guitar that rivals other great Gibson eras. With Norlin you have to shop. I’m certain the Custom model 68-mid 70s are killer. I didn’t buy this as an investment, but for a vintage Gibson, it’s a lot of value and I think they will become sought after guitars. The “burst era” guitars are just not attainable. The 70s Gibson’s, if you shop right, can be just as much fun for pennies on the dollar.
1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom....Norlin era......and highly recommended. Just do your home work.
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Sweet guitar. I still have both Norlin guitars. I’ve pack most of the vintage guitars up And put awa. Funny thing, a i as going through the many Recent replies to this old thread I saw the pic of the goldtop And instantly wantd it…..but then I realized its my guitar. Need to pull it out. I bought an early 70s SG standard since this thread. Beat up but sounds great.I’m sorry I missed this thread 3 years ago, lol.
Congrats @Deep Purple fan , (3 years late), for all I know you could’ve sold it by now! I doubt it though.
I too am a Norlin lover, my very first Les Paul was a brand new 1971 Deluxe LP, which I stupidly sold. It took me 11 years to get another Norlin LP, a great playing/sounding LP for sure, courtesy of Tim Shaw pickups.
A wine red 1982 Custom I bought new in 1982,… and I still have it.
I believe 1982 was the only year the Customs came with those Schaller String Winder tuners, you snap them out to wind, then snap them back in when done…
Sorry for the huge pics, it seems Postimage only has very large pics or very small pics!