Gibson Norlin Era and the dreaded 70's? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 54
Gibson Norlin Era and the dreaded 70's?

I posted this on a Gibson forum but I figured i'd try posting this here to see if anyone has an idea:

Hey, folks! I might have the opportunity to purchase a 1973 Gibson Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty". I saw it in person and the bindings on it were a creamy color from age. It was beautiful. I have been trying to research this guitar online and I have heard a lot of talk about the "Norlin Era." It seems that the quality of Gibson guitars from the late 60's to the early 80's declined greatly? What happened? Could anyone explain the history of this era, or could anyone provide a link with information? I am having a difficult time researching this.

I was also wondering if you Gibson historians thought that it would be a wise move to purchase this 1973 Les Paul Custom? Is there anything wrong with it that I should know about (poor pickups, etc)? Thanks SO much for any information; this is my last hope!
Willin is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-21-2003, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 4,215
Are you buying it to play or to collect?

If you want to play it, go with what your hands and ears tell you and screw anyone who tells you otherwise.

If you want it for its collector value, best talk to some Gibson experts.
darren wilson is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-22-2003, 11:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Iowa
Posts: 436
The biggest "problem" most have with Norlins is the fact that the body is a 5 piece sandwich body and most of the necks were maple instead of mahogany. I have owned 3 Norlins and all were pretty decent. Heavy as hell but they sounded good. The bodies are mahogany and maple sandwich, which you might not be able to see on a Black Beauty. I'd go with the way it sounds because just like every other guitar line, some are good and some are dogs...

About the collector value. Hard core Gibson people will say that they will never be valuable. I tend to disagree. As the years pass between now and 1973, those will become more rare and I think just by process of elimination their value will increase. Will they ever fetch what a '59 Burst will, never. But buying for an investment is a very tricky thing...
Scott Smith is offline  

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