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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any first hand experience with these Japanese Gibson-authorized Les Paul's from the early 90s? Not the regular Orville's --- the "By Gibson".

I've been reading about them and they seem like a good bang for the buck.

Equal to regular USA LPs or closer to Custom Shop?
 

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I'd definitely put them on par with an LP Standard, not sure about CS though. That said, I think the early 80's MIJ Burny and Greco LPs, with fret edge binding, are every bit as good as (if not better than) an ObG...for A LOT $ less in the majority of cases. Regardless, they are terrific instruments IMO.
 

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ObG Reissues are the ones you want to be looking at. They would be 59R, 57C and the Custom 57B. Those will have fret edge binding and nice 57 Classic pups. There are other higher end models that will have solid FM or QM tops but they rarely show up for sale, maybe a couple of times a year. I've had several reissues and they don't disappoint, every bit as good as a Gibson Standard from the same 92-95 era.

Edit: Both reissues and several other Orville's and ObG's I've had all had a slimmer taper neck.



 

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These days I have a newer line LP made by Bacchus. The Classic Series and Vintage Series LP's are IMO, by faaaarrrrrrr, the best bang for your buck these days when it comes to a good solid MIJ LP and they have a nice chunky neck.
 

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ObG Reissues are the ones you want to be looking at. They would be 59R, 57C and the Custom 57B. Those will have fret edge binding and nice 57 Classic pups. There are other higher end models that will have solid FM or QM tops but they rarely show up for sale, maybe a couple of times a year. I've had several reissues and they don't disappoint, every bit as good as a Gibson Standard from the same 92-95 era.

Edit: Both reissues and several other Orville's and ObG's I've had all had a slimmer taper neck.



Those are gorgeous tops
 

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These days I have a newer line LP made by Bacchus. The Classic Series and Vintage Series LP's are IMO, by faaaarrrrrrr, the best bang for your buck these days when it comes to a good solid MIJ LP and they have a nice chunky neck.
Did you buy online or import it, or are they available in Canada?
 

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The CS '57C I got on fleabay and the 59R I got from a guy I know who lived in Japan at the time. They can be bought online though from Yahoo Japan using a proxy bidder such as rinkya.com or jauce.com. You'll be looking at about $1200-$1500 by the time they hit your doorstep. There are other great guitars to be had as well like the Bacchus, Tokai, Burny or Greco's for all about the same price. Some Edwards or Aria Pro II are really nice too and can always be picked up for cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you decide to buy, best practice is to stay away from ebay and reverb. I'll check my contacts and see what they have available if you wish.
There's one on Kijiji, that's my reason for inquiring.

I know enough about the major brands but I have zero experience with some of the Japanese stuff.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. It's about three hours away me. But having a repaired headstock could make it a good deal.

Thanks all!
 

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Thanks for dragging me into this, numb41!!

I've had a pile of MIJ stuff, I guess. Stratty-type stuff, LPish stuff, and all... I currently own an Orville Les Paul that I've had for yeeeears. I've had may MIJ LPs come and go in the meantime, as well as loads of USA Gibson stuff. I'd say it's as 'good' as any USA stuff I've owned (save for the R9 and CS335 I have).

My Orville is not a "by Gibson", however. That said I can't tell you the difference, but I can't imagine the "By Gibsons" are any 'better' than mine. I know there's a lot of 'x' in my post - I think there's a lot of subjectivity in all this. The finish and craftsmanship can be compared, but it comes to the individual guitar for me. For example, I've played a bunch of Gibson R9 Les Pauls..the one I own is, IMHO, a country mile better than any other I've played. Sounds better, plays better, feels better... .

My Orville is one of my favourite Les Pauls I've every played. That said it's had a JB/Jazz set installed with Jimmy Page wiring - funny part is the sound of the guitar is not my favourite part of it. The tone of the guitar is stellar, but I'd change the pickups if I was going to change anything. I love playing it!! That's what make it a winner for me. But I've NEVER been disappointed in a MIJ guitar. I have been disappointed in USA-made stuff.

I'd say the best built of all my LPs, ever, save for the R9, was an 83ish Tokai Love Rock. Someone on the forum has it now, but I forget who. Solid almost to perfection. It's one of those guitars that when you pick it up it just feels well-built. I've not always felt like that with USA stuff.

So the moral of my story is, in my experience, you CAN'T go wrong with MIJ stuff. In some cases it may not be quite at the level of some USA stuff, but in general it's been more reliable. It may have to do with expectations of the pedigree of each, fulfilling presupposed expectations, but I've had others who've forgotten more about guitars than I'll ever know play these. Everyone is impressed. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up ANY MIJ stuff. As some others said, you may want to tinker with the appointments - tuners, pickups, etc. - but you'll have yourself a killer guitar that I'd blindfold-test beside any USA stuff...I challenge anyone to pick the difference!!
 

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Thanks for dragging me into this, numb41!!

I've had a pile of MIJ stuff, I guess. Stratty-type stuff, LPish stuff, and all... I currently own an Orville Les Paul that I've had for yeeeears. I've had may MIJ LPs come and go in the meantime, as well as loads of USA Gibson stuff. I'd say it's as 'good' as any USA stuff I've owned (save for the R9 and CS335 I have).

My Orville is not a "by Gibson", however. That said I can't tell you the difference, but I can't imagine the "By Gibsons" are any 'better' than mine. I know there's a lot of 'x' in my post - I think there's a lot of subjectivity in all this. The finish and craftsmanship can be compared, but it comes to the individual guitar for me. For example, I've played a bunch of Gibson R9 Les Pauls..the one I own is, IMHO, a country mile better than any other I've played. Sounds better, plays better, feels better... .

My Orville is one of my favourite Les Pauls I've every played. That said it's had a JB/Jazz set installed with Jimmy Page wiring - funny part is the sound of the guitar is not my favourite part of it. The tone of the guitar is stellar, but I'd change the pickups if I was going to change anything. I love playing it!! That's what make it a winner for me. But I've NEVER been disappointed in a MIJ guitar. I have been disappointed in USA-made stuff.

I'd say the best built of all my LPs, ever, save for the R9, was an 83ish Tokai Love Rock. Someone on the forum has it now, but I forget who. Solid almost to perfection. It's one of those guitars that when you pick it up it just feels well-built. I've not always felt like that with USA stuff.

So the moral of my story is, in my experience, you CAN'T go wrong with MIJ stuff. In some cases it may not be quite at the level of some USA stuff, but in general it's been more reliable. It may have to do with expectations of the pedigree of each, fulfilling presupposed expectations, but I've had others who've forgotten more about guitars than I'll ever know play these. Everyone is impressed. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up ANY MIJ stuff. As some others said, you may want to tinker with the appointments - tuners, pickups, etc. - but you'll have yourself a killer guitar that I'd blindfold-test beside any USA stuff...I challenge anyone to pick the difference!!
Amen
 

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The one on the left is an '81 Burny RLC60, and it keeps up with the Gibsons. It's a keeper. View attachment 141257
Have you guys tried the Bacchus line yet? I sold my Orville and ObG's after I played my first Classic Series STD. Of all the MIJ guitars I've owned(approx 15) Bacchus was by far the best guitar for the money.

I've yet to have a go at some of the old Tokai's and Greco's(78-82) but prices on those have certainly gone up over the past few years.

Some Classic Series I had a couple of years ago
 

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Still some reasonable buys around, but I see a lot priced at or above Gibson prices which is the point where I tap out. Not as a matter of affordability, but as value per dollar being the better choice in other well crafted brands.
 
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