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1971 Les Paul Custom Project


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Hello, just received in the mail a 1971 les paul custom purchased through ebay. The finish is a cherry sunburst and has allot of cracks throughout the guitar. I see the finsih is cracked and chipped from the bottom neck joint about 3 inches. Then i see minor cracking all along the perimeter of the guitar body. There are a few areas with some chips here and there on the back, but no real gouges. Lets just say this guitar has been many places and has been played. So, the first question is, is it a good idea to refinish a vinage guitar or leave the original finish but somehow improve it? Neck is straight, frets are in good condition


Hardware wise, the tuners have been replaced with Schaller or grovers, pickups were repaced. The bridge is a seymor duncan. The nut was replaced with a brass nut. The switch tip, pickup covers, pick guard and bracket are replacments. .The bridge was converted to an ABR. The old post holes have been plugged. The bridge is a Gibson pat pending with nylon saddles; I believe this is the original bridge. Seond question, What bridge should be on this quitar?


As you can see this guitar needs allot of tlc to bring it back. Third question, What pickups would be a good choice for a full body sound with good balance for rock, jazz, and great clean tones? Gibson? After market? I think this guitar has potential and I am willing to get whatever it needs to restore or bring it's sonic glory back but keep it true to what it was designed. Looking for ideas. Ps sorry for the quality of the photos. Needed to compress them and need to find a better compressor.

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Everything pictured looks to be nothing but expansion/contraction of construction joints (seams), although EXTREME! This should not affect the structural integrity of the instrument.


This guitar must have lived most of it's life in an extreme climate area.


I see no immediate need to do anything to this guitar except play it and enjoy it. If you want to make some mods based on personal choice of hardware/electronics, etc, you've got a nice "aged" foundation to build on.

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