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NGD - Gibson GK55

 
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mkt3000
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Joined: 18 Dec 2011
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Location: Miami

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:03 pm    Post subject: NGD - Gibson GK55 Reply with quote

I picked it up off the local classifieds. I think it's a 1980, but I need to check the serial number again. From what I understand, these were parts-bin guitars (like the Swinger and the Maverick), and less than 1,000 were made.

The price was right, and I <3 some Dirty Fingers pickups. Tobacco scumburst, no binding... looks nasty, and I love that. Plus, I've never owned a Kalamazoo made Gibson, so that's kind cool to me.

The frets are worn, but still have plenty of life left in them. Neck feels plenty comfy. The seller told me that it's spent the past 7 years in a case, so I dropped it right off at my tech to give it a once-over, a setup, and to fix a stress crack at the neck heel. It has a TP6 tailpiece which is a completely new experience to me.

Pics, demo, and a correct age once I get it back. For now, here's the one pic the seller sent me



And this is basically what mine looks like, except this one's a lot nicer looking


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sunshiner
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Joined: 02 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool gtr, love this big headstock
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mkt3000
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Joined: 18 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found a Guitar Player Article from 1999 about it:

Quote:
Pawnshop Prize: Gibson GK-55

Two words rarely uttered in the same sentence are "budget" and "Gibson"--especially when talking about Les Pauls. The GK-55 isn't really a Les Paul, but it's a Paul in spirit, and a rather inexpensive one at that. The tobacco-sunburst GK-55 sports a solid mahogany body and a bolt-on mahogany neck with a bound rosewood fretboard. Hardware appointments include diecast Grover tuners, a Tune-o-matic bridge, and a TP-6 tailpiece with fine tuners. The two Dirty Fingers humbuckers feed an unusual control configuration that offers a master volume, two tone knobs, and a rotary coil splitter.

Thanks to its variable coil splitting, the GK-55 has considerably more sonic range that most Pauls. At one end of the knob's rotation you have the ballsy crunch of overwound humbuckers, and at the other, you get crispy single-coil flavors. Plenty of subtle tonal shades emerge as you dial the coil-split knob between the humbucking and single-coil modes, and the tone controls provide even more ways to tailor these textures. What a cool way to get a bunch of sounds without push-pull pots or a hedgerow of mini-toggle switches!

The GK-55 oozes punky attitude, and its beefy tones are a perfect match for a hot Marshall. The substantial neck offers superb playability, and the guitar's moderate weight makes it an easy hang on your shoulder. The best part, however, is that you can pick up one of these babies for a song. Our GK-55 was priced at a mere $499--a pittance compared to most solid-body Gibsons, and one of the best deals around for a near-vintage, all-mahogany ax. Considering that only 1,000 GK-55s were made (all in 1979), you just might want to adopt one of these overlooked Gibsons before it's too late.

Guitar courtesy of San Francisco's Real Guitars.

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taylornutt
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bolt on neck on a Les Paul? Kinda cool. Demo?

What's the weight and neck profile like?

I love how the pickups and white plastic parts are yellowed.
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mkt3000
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serial number says made in Kalamazoo August 2nd, 1979, production number: 51


And pics!










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paul_
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love that thing, double cremes on tobacco always looks so '70s to me. That's a big-ass switch cavity, I'm assuming it has one of those right-angle toggles due to the thinner top?

How do the old Dirty Fingers sound, anything like a Super Distortion [if you're familiar]? I've heard they were used by Gibson due to most people replacing their Gibson pickups with Super Ds in the '70s, but the reissue DFs brought out for the DeLonge guitars have a deceptively clean/bright tone so I've always wondered if the old ones were a bit different.
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Cyberdave
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Joined: 29 Jul 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought one of these guitars from one of the guitar shops in NYC back in about 1982 for $260. I didn't know anything about it other than it was a Gibson with a bolt on neck.
I liked it and it sounded great. It came with a pick guard and I had the pickups changed (but kept the old ones) to Seymour Duncan Distortion on the bottom and a Jazz on the top.
Like I said it sounds great and it was my main guitar for years.
I recently was looking for info about it and found this topic.
From the serial number of mine here is the info about it:

Kalamazoo Plant, USA
May 8th, 1979
Production Number: 10
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Thomas
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love stripped back Gibsons. This looks fantastic!
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NickS
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cyberdave wrote:
I bought one of these guitars from one of the guitar shops in NYC back in about 1982 for $260. I didn't know anything about it other than it was a Gibson with a bolt on neck.
I liked it and it sounded great. It came with a pick guard and I had the pickups changed (but kept the old ones) to Seymour Duncan Distortion on the bottom and a Jazz on the top.
Like I said it sounds great and it was my main guitar for years.
I recently was looking for info about it and found this topic.
From the serial number of mine here is the info about it:

Kalamazoo Plant, USA
May 8th, 1979
Production Number: 10

Hi and welcome Cyberdave, do you have pictures?
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Cyberdave
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Joined: 29 Jul 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NickS wrote:

Hi and welcome Cyberdave, do you have pictures?


Thanks!
I didn't take any pictures because aside from the pick guard and maybe the knobs are slightly different, it looks exactly like the ones in this post!
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