Rightly or wrongly, many Les Paul fanatics are convinced that the long tenon neck joint Gibson used on its 1950s models is fundamental to the tone and sustain characteristics. Today, the only Les Pauls with long tenons are the VOS Historic models, and they cost a good deal of money. All but the very top-end Greco Super Reals had medium tenon neck joints reinforced with two dowels, with the neck timber only extending a couple of millimetres beyond the end of the fretboard. However, from 1982, Greco Mint Collections, like ours, had long tenon joints.
Our Greco is not one of the top-spec models and it shouldn't really have fret edge binding, so I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived. Mark Fletcher explained that this very early Mint Collection was probably an EG59-60 or an EG59-70 that had been built with a left-over Super Real neck, complete with fret edge binding.
Once the finish was stripped I noticed that our guitar also has a stacked heel, which seems to confirm Mark's theory. Here's why: since the headstock on our guitar is not scarf-jointed to the neck, the whole thing was carved from a single piece of Honduras mahogany. Rather than waste a medium-tenon neck, the heel was chopped down and a protruding tongue of mahogany was glued on to create the long tenon. Because the fingerboard was already glued on, the neck pickup cavity had to be routed before the neck was attached, and this would explain why the end of the neck tenon rises above the bottom of the pickup rout. It's hard to route the tenon flush with the base of the cavity if the fingerboard is on.