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Source For Synthetic 60's Inlay Materrial


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it took me a while to find out that the 60s Gibson Inlay material was not real MOP but some sythetic stuff. I baught a China made cheap 335 style guitar the other week (for a project) and they used very similar stuff. The thing is, that you get real MOP and abalone everywhere but not the busy plastic stuff which has a certain character to it

even though its the cheaper stuff. The fact that the late 50s Gibsons used it seems to make it a little mystirious and secret at present - may be only my blindness ?!

Does anybody know where to find the right Gibson style late 50s and 60s "pearl" inlay stuff and could somebody tell the exact specialist name of that stuff B) please

I imagine once you find it, it comes in rather big sheets and relatively low prices :D

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There's nothing special about Gibson's inlay material on the current ones. It's almost all plastics, except for the higher end models. Even then many times it's STILL fake pearloid. The same thing goes for almost any high quantity guitar builder. Yes even PRS. They use mostly abalam, especially in the dragons.

Finding real true solid pearl on guitars is a rarity. Most use either plastic (mother of toilet seat) or abalam. While abalam is defintly a real pearl material, and its not cheap either, it lacks the luminance of real pearl in many situations. Most wood working stores sell it in sheets for pretty good prices. It's thick, about 1/4", and available in dozens of colors. They even make a "yuckish" off-yellow one if you want an old faded look to it.

Constantines sells it www.constantines.com, and you won't have to bid. You shouldn't have to. It's cheap enough as it is.

Craig Lavin


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You can search eBay for inlay material.  One guy that has a good selection of the pearloid (fake MOP) is aiguitars, or click the link below.

Not sure how much that helps...

thanks - it helped B)

I've been looking at another eBay guy called "inlayartist" - he has some very colourful all Pacific stuff but not the right - still worth looking ...

@Clavin - thank you too but I knew about the real stuff even Stewmac sells it - I was looking at the old plastic stuff and wondering where to get a real big sheet of it ...

As to Gibson - I don't remember when I looked at the Gibson stuff outside the Custom Shop RI's the last time :D I just like th old RI

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