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Please help me narrow down the spec of this Custom

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Hello all, and thanks for having me on this great forum :)


What I'd like you to help me with, is to clarify whether this 2002 Custom is a Custom Authentic or if it is a 'plain' 68 reissue.


The serial is 022078 so I believe it is made in 2002. I bought it from Japan and it is slightly different than what I have seen in circulation here in Finland or on (mostly US) forums. Here's a pic of it bone stock:




Notice those witch hats (poor pic, sorry). Pickups were 57's I believe - they didn't have any markings underneath. The hardware was evenly dull and sort of grimy - no sign of any discoloration which I usually attribute to playwear. There are some nicks on top and some chipped binding, but the frets are not worn down at all.




The finish is very thin - I can clearly see the wood grain pattern by reflection and neck binding stands out noticeably (there's a ridge). I think this is the finish settling into the wood. By far the thinnest finish I've seen on a Gibson.


Some additional pics






Thanks in advance and glad to be here :)


Yours, Antti

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Hello Antti and welcome to the Foruns.


Congratulations! Beautiful guitar!


It's not a regular, run-of-the-mill Les Paul Custom. It is a Reissue model - judging from the article seen on the photos. Your description of the finish, leaves no doubt that the guitar received a V.O.S. treatment - slight artificial aging.


It is a '68 Reissue model.


Cheers... Bence

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Thanks Bence - I did think the guitar appeared purposefully aged. After reading up on the subject, it seems VOS treatment was applied from 2005/2006 onwards, and up until then aged guitars were called custom authentics? This is a difficult guitar to pin down as it seems Japan got some special specs at some point.


Chunnie - thanks! I bought it from Japan, there are usually a few available used. The 68 reissue model was reintroduced again this year, though specs are not exactly the same.

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There is no such as "Les Paul Custom Authentic" to my knowledge (and I love Customs very much).


There are regular Customs with modern appointments, and Historic Reissues of years '54, '55, '57, '68 and '74. Also there are some Artist models, limited-runs, and one-offs.


They are all authentic as long as they are made by Gibson. :)


Cheers... Bence

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