Other Guitars

NGD 2019 Historic 1954 Les Paul Reissue

1

It took me a few weeks to post this, because, I really wanted to play it, and get a feel for what I like, or dislike about it. I'm happy to say, I don't dislike anything. And, I'm finally back in the P90 Les Paul club.

Recently, I sold my 2004 Historic Les Paul 1956 reissue because it was just too heavy at 9lbs 11oz. For my P90 fix, I was content to play my Historic SG Special which is feather weight at around 7 lbs, but fortunately, I found this really nice condition 2019 R4, and it's a nice 8.5 lbs! Which to me is the ideal Les Paul weight. And I got a pretty good deal on it from a guy on The Gear Page. He told me he got in over his head with a few guitar and amp purchases so he needed to sell something to recoup some cash.

So what makes this guitar a keeper (besides the low weight)? To start, the shape of the neck. For years, the Gibson custom shop has slapped big necks on these things, that were very uncomfortable to play. The shoulders of these necks were always way too big, and it just made them too hard for me to find a comfortable playing position. But not this one, the neck shape, is more like a vintage early 50's Gibson than anything I've played in the past, so it's really comfortable to play, and the fretwork is very nice. Also, many wraptails are slightly off in the intonation, but this one came with a MojoAxe intonated wraptail, and Tonepros locking studs. The intonation is surprisingly good! And the strings just ring like a bell, this guitar is surprisingly loud acoustically! The P90s sound great, especially the neck pickup, which I normally have to fight with in dialing in! I haven't touched a screw on this guitar, and anybody that knows me, would find that odd, as I am a serial tweaker! Also, aesthetically, the gold finish really nails the vintage Gibson goldtop green/gold hue, and it has a real nice topcarve, and some good looking wood, on the fingerboard, back, and neck.

I've own(ed) a few Historic Les Pauls, but this is my first R4! What drew me to it was the same type of simplicity that I find in my Historic SG Special, 2 P90's and a wraptail. And once again, for me this is a winning combo. Of the many guitars that I own, my 1957 Les Paul Reissue has been my number one for a while, but this one is right up there!

https://i.imgur.com/RvUstUQ...

https://i.imgur.com/ObzcaVM...

https://i.imgur.com/XIWa5nE...

3

Congrats and glad that you're liking it.

Beautiful instrument.

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

Thanks JD, it really is a good one!

4

Yep, nothing more frustrating than knowing what you want on a specific guitar, and the "hunt" goes on and on and on.

Glad the timing was right, and there she was!

Score!

5

Yep, nothing more frustrating than knowing what you want on a specific guitar, and the "hunt" goes on and on and on.

Glad the timing was right, and there she was!

Score!

– J(ust an old Cowboy)D

Oh don't you know it! When I was looking for a Gibson L5s that I could afford, and not be totally beat up, or too heavy (many were boat anchors), it took over 6 years!!!

6

Having rediscovered Gibsons after a long hiatus,now I'm jonesing for a wraptail goldtop-- maybe even the P-90 version!

7

I have the TH54 Custom, from 2014, and I have to admit that the attention to detail is nothing short of awsome. Fortunately, that was the year Gibson introduced the Tune-o-matic bridge, so intonatiin is spot on.

8

Having rediscovered Gibsons after a long hiatus,now I'm jonesing for a wraptail goldtop-- maybe even the P-90 version!

– DaveH

good plan! Another cool option is one of these...

https://i.imgur.com/yBvYRdX...

9

I have the TH54 Custom, from 2014, and I have to admit that the attention to detail is nothing short of awsome. Fortunately, that was the year Gibson introduced the Tune-o-matic bridge, so intonatiin is spot on.

– PlayerOne

Congrats on your TH54, they are beautiful guitars (please post a pic of that beauty)!

And 2014 is when they started using hide glue on the neck joint, and for the fingerboard! I remember that was a selling point when I bought my R7.

I have a Pigtail fully adjustable wraparound if I need it for my R4, but the Mojoaxe tail is really getting the job done. Frankly I can't believe it, but then again My 6120 55VS intonates spot on with it's Bigsby bridge!

10

Sweet!

I've been semi-lusting for an R4 for more than 10 years, but they are just too expensive over here for me to fork out that kind of money for a guitar I don't really need

Funnily enough, no such thoughts entered my head when the red sparkle Jets showed up

11

Sweet!

I've been semi-lusting for an R4 for more than 10 years, but they are just too expensive over here for me to fork out that kind of money for a guitar I don't really need

Funnily enough, no such thoughts entered my head when the red sparkle Jets showed up

– fuzzpop

it's funny how we prioritize our purchases:)

12

Oooohhhhhh... I love those guitars! I had a beautiful R4 which I perhaps foolishly sold when I got a P90 335 - the Luther Dickinson. That was sold to get the P90 Gibson I still have and will not part with, my gorgeous ES-225RI. The 225 is "my sound".

Right now I have the 225 and an R9 I bought with some inheritance money to remember my dad with. The R9 is my Les Paul and is very special to me. I certainly does ease the GAS for an R4! So I have three amazing Gibsons which all happen to be '59 reissues - the Les Paul, the 225 and a 335. So I really don't need an R4, but who knows? One day...

Yours looks perfect. Sigh...

13

Oooohhhhhh... I love those guitars! I had a beautiful R4 which I perhaps foolishly sold when I got a P90 335 - the Luther Dickinson. That was sold to get the P90 Gibson I still have and will not part with, my gorgeous ES-225RI. The 225 is "my sound".

Right now I have the 225 and an R9 I bought with some inheritance money to remember my dad with. The R9 is my Les Paul and is very special to me. I certainly does ease the GAS for an R4! So I have three amazing Gibsons which all happen to be '59 reissues - the Les Paul, the 225 and a 335. So I really don't need an R4, but who knows? One day...

Yours looks perfect. Sigh...

– JimmyR

Thanks JR! Sounds like you've got a bunch of sweet guitars!

14

Stunning guitar and I agree about the 'perfect weight'.

If you ever get the chance to try a genuine vintage wrapover tailpiece, it may surprise you how much difference it makes to the tone.

The originals weren't aluminium, as widely assumed, but actually mazak. I believe it's an alloy of zinc and aluminium.

Here's the broken 53 tailpiece I had welded back together on my Greco conversion.

15

Stunning guitar and I agree about the 'perfect weight'.

If you ever get the chance to try a genuine vintage wrapover tailpiece, it may surprise you how much difference it makes to the tone.

The originals weren't aluminium, as widely assumed, but actually mazak. I believe it's an alloy of zinc and aluminium.

Here's the broken 53 tailpiece I had welded back together on my Greco conversion.

– Shuggie

i've never tried a "Zamac" bridge on my R4, but I have tried one on my Historic SG Special along with the Historic and Mojoaxe wraps. Tonewise, the Mojoaxe wound up sounding pretty close to the Zamac. But none of those bridges would intonate correctly so I had to put a Pigtail adjustable on that. Funny thing, everybody told me it would sound like ass, and I would lose resonance, but guess what, the guitar never sounded better. It's very inspiring to play now. Sometimes you've got try everything :)

This is the SG with the Pigtail on all the electric fills and the slide at the end...

https://soundcloud.com/dani...

16

Congratulations Dan! I'm a huge fan of anything '50s Gibson LP and this is a winner. I love the LPs heavy like my '14 Traditional about 10 lbs. and and my Tokai LS-135 at over 10 lbs. I have to say the Edwards goldtop LP clone I have is also great at 8 lbs.

17

Congratulations Dan! I'm a huge fan of anything '50s Gibson LP and this is a winner. I love the LPs heavy like my '14 Traditional about 10 lbs. and and my Tokai LS-135 at over 10 lbs. I have to say the Edwards goldtop LP clone I have is also great at 8 lbs.

18

Congratulations Dan! I'm a huge fan of anything '50s Gibson LP and this is a winner. I love the LPs heavy like my '14 Traditional about 10 lbs. and and my Tokai LS-135 at over 10 lbs. I have to say the Edwards goldtop LP clone I have is also great at 8 lbs.

– NJDevil

My ideal weight is mid 8s, but that is driven by weak ass back. I've heard some great ones in the mid 9's too and my old '56 reissue 9.8lbs and the guy I sold it to loves it!

19

First of all....big congrats. Nothing like a Les Paul w/ P-90's. By the pictures and description of the neck profile I am guessing this guitar is a '55 Reissue. I recall Gibson CS doing a '55 reissue a few years ago (and doing some again in '19 for some retailers; American Musical Supply is showing CS '55 s on their website). Interestingly, in the reissue from a few years ago, in addition to the "stock" '55 Goldtops w/ P-90's and wraptail they had variations that were "hot rodded / modded" w/ everything in various combinations of 'burst re-fins, humbuckers, and TOM/Stoptail conversions. My strong preference (in other words, what I was "gassing" for) was the stock version like Dan's. The feature that really appealed to me was the neck profile. As opposed to being one of those exaggerated baseball bats called "50's" neck profiles featured on many of the reissues, the neck profile was a real vintage correct '55 neck profile described as a "mild V". While this neck profile is relatively substantial from front to back, the tapered shoulders more than compensate, balancing it out and giving it a sleek, fast feel (well, at least the '55 reissue I played at a guitar show a couple years ago which felt great even in my little gerbil hands).

20

First of all....big congrats. Nothing like a Les Paul w/ P-90's. By the pictures and description of the neck profile I am guessing this guitar is a '55 Reissue. I recall Gibson CS doing a '55 reissue a few years ago (and doing some again in '19 for some retailers; American Musical Supply is showing CS '55 s on their website). Interestingly, in the reissue from a few years ago, in addition to the "stock" '55 Goldtops w/ P-90's and wraptail they had variations that were "hot rodded / modded" w/ everything in various combinations of 'burst re-fins, humbuckers, and TOM/Stoptail conversions. My strong preference (in other words, what I was "gassing" for) was the stock version like Dan's. The feature that really appealed to me was the neck profile. As opposed to being one of those exaggerated baseball bats called "50's" neck profiles featured on many of the reissues, the neck profile was a real vintage correct '55 neck profile described as a "mild V". While this neck profile is relatively substantial from front to back, the tapered shoulders more than compensate, balancing it out and giving it a sleek, fast feel (well, at least the '55 reissue I played at a guitar show a couple years ago which felt great even in my little gerbil hands).

– Gretschadelphia

You had me going there, but this is definitely a R4, it came with the Certificate/Booklet so I double checked and it shows the model number with the matching serial number. I think they just started toning down the neck size/shape for the 2019 model year, and I'm glad they did!

21

When I had my R4 I put a Pigtail compensatable bridge on it and yes, it sounded great. If anything I liked it more than with the stock bridge, and that sounded pretty darn good too.

BTW Mazak was developed for diecasting. It's very soft and is what most Matchbox and Dinky cars are made of.

22

When I had my R4 I put a Pigtail compensatable bridge on it and yes, it sounded great. If anything I liked it more than with the stock bridge, and that sounded pretty darn good too.

BTW Mazak was developed for diecasting. It's very soft and is what most Matchbox and Dinky cars are made of.

– JimmyR

Good to see I'm not the only one that liked the Pigtail!

24

Nice catch. Congrats!

– Jazzhands11

Thanks JH :)

25

Makes sense...no doubt you have an R4. I'm no Les Paul expert by any means. I just remember those CS '55s a few years ago with the unique neck profile and got to play one back then at a guitar show. Is the neck profile on your R4 like the '55 mild V or more of a "C" or "D" shape? In the last decade there seems to have been a real market for LP's with really big fat honkin' necks. In my limited experience with the few vintage LP's I've gotten my hands on (pretty much guitar shows and nice vintage dealers who would let me touch one even through I made it clear I couldn't buy one) the necks were not all Louisville Sluggers. You certainly have gotten an amazing example. A wrap tail Goldtop w/ P-90's is definitely on my bucket list.


Register Sign in to join the conversation