Nash Refinished Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Custom Guitar, Black Beauty
In case you're wondering if this is a real Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul, it certainly is! It is marked Demo on the back of the Headstock.
First step is to completely disassemble and separate the parts that will be aged and re-used, from the parts that we reject and replace. The "keeper" parts are then aged.
The finish, which is sometimes rather thick, is stripped off down to the bare wood. At this point some get stains applied, if required to get the desired color. Then the guitar gets re-finished in 100% nitrocellulose lacquer, keeping it as thin as possible to enable superior resonance. We do a variety of takes on the black, lemon, cherry, faded, sun-burst, plain and gold top looks.
After curing, the guitar gets the complete aging treatment and is then frets are re-worked and dressed to Nash's specs, then they are ready for re-assembly.
The pickups are replaced with what many of you may balk at as there are so many opinions about Les Paul pickups and tone out there. As always, Bill Nash simply builds a guitar that he would use and leave it at that. So, in his arsenal of personal guitars, his favorite and most versatile LP setup is using a DiMarzio Bluesbucker in the Neck and a DiMarzio Air Norton in the Bridge.
They then re-wire the guitar so the pickups breathe better as well as use the neck pickup's tone control as a coil tap for the Bluesbucker, which gives you an amazing strat-like sound from that pickup. Between 1 and 8 on the tone knob it works as a regular tone control, between 9 and 10 it shuts off the second/dummy coil. This gives you a tap without adding switches of push pull pots.
The Air Norton give you bigger output and rich harmonics without going over the top into the tone spectrum of faceless, modern, high output sound that so many specialized humbuckers are susceptible to. These pickups have a lower string pull and a much higher sensitivity to your dynamics and playing style.
Also, as many of you may have figured out, the method Gibson uses for wiring the pots is not optimum. The tendency towards the guitar getting muddy or sounding choked when anywhere but "10". This gets re-worked when we re-wire.
Gibson installs frets on the fretboard prior to it getting glued to the neck and body. Maybe they do it as it is easier to do it that way, but it can really lead to all sort of fret issues (buzzing, fret outs, high action, dead spots etc). What happens is the neck and body glue, moisture, and all of the underlying structure will shrink, expand and or settle. The fretboard (and frets) will now adjust itself to the changes and you and up with lumpy gravy. The most noticeable and common issue is the hump at about the 14th fret, right where the neck gets really thick before it hit's the body. So what Nash does is now re-work the neck and frets and take care of this to give the player better action, playability, sustain, bending etc.
Serial Number: NGLP-268 / CS100191
Weight: 8 lbs 14 oz
Body Wood: Mahogany
Top wood: Mahogany
Scale Length: 24-3/4"
Neck Joint: Set-in
Neck Wood: Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony Cream Binding
Frets: Dressed and Leveled by Nash
Neck Shape: 60's
Nut Width: 1.695" (1 11/16")
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Bridge: Aged Tune-O-Matic
Pickup Bridge: DiMarzio Air Norton
Pickup Middle: DiMarzio Bluesbucker
Pickup Neck: DiMarzio Bluesbucker
Controls: 2 volume, 2 tone with Coil Tap pots, 3-way pickup selector
Tuners: Vintage Grover
Hardware: Aged Gold
Binding: top, back and neck
Finish: Aged Nitrocellulose Lacquer