Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

1973 or 1987 Custom L.P. ?


splake

Recommended Posts

I am looking to buy my first Les Paul Custom Got a dilemma. Either I buy a 73 Black Les Paul or a 87 for $1400 less. Both are in stellar condition. Only difference is that the 87 has the P.U. covers and the 73 does not.

I have always leaned towards older with the acoustics I have. Just not sure.

Just need some words of wisdom to push me one way or the other.

 

thoughts? Opinions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The '73 would have been built in Kalamazoo. It would have a solid body, gold-plated hardware, an ABR-1 bridge and probably a lightweight tailpiece. If the pickups are stock, the following will allow for finding out if they are Tim Shaw pickups: The stamped number (not the patent number) of neck pickups would start with 137, 372 or 498, those of bridge pickups with 138, 373 or 499. The latest two digits denote the year of build. Not sure if the neck is one-piece or three-piece mahogany. The fretboard would be ebony.

 

The '87 would come from Nashville, feature Swiss-cheese weight relief, Nashville bridge, ZAMAK tailpiece, and probably 490R/498T pickups. I think they canceled the chrome option introduced in the mid-70's until 1987, so the hardware would be gold-plated, too. The neck should be one-piece mahogany with ebony fretboard.

 

Can't say anything about the neck profiles though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally I would lean towards the 73 but it's more personal and nostalgic than substantive. I've had 13 LPs (I think) and the ones that felt the most 'at home' in my hands were made around 1970. Could actually be the neck shape, could be the broken-in feel, could be all in my head because I know when it was made. Or a combination.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I LOVE my 87 LPC (wine). Got a little chubbier neck than my 76 LPC (black with p90s, love it too). The 87 does indeed have the 490/498 as Cap mentioned, one piece mahogany neck, ebony board, 3 piece top, the back is matched so good I cant find the seam. Players and sounds heavenly, only down side is it's 11.8 lbs (the 76 is 8.6 lbs), but a 3" leather strap looks after the weight pretty well.

 

If I could only have just one, it would be a tough call but probably the 87 by a hair. That could be just because I've owned it for 28 years (a little more than twice as long as the 76) and it just feels like home.

 

 

Not sure if that's much help, but its all I got.

 

 

Johnny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can buy a 1974 Custom Reissue at the moment, but they are pretty costly at $6,699

 

Yeah, but that's VOS Custom spec'd bionic plastics and such, all the things a decent Les Paul isn't. I'm pretty sure you can get yerself a great Les Paul for a third of that.

 

rct

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, but that's VOS Custom spec'd bionic plastics and such, all the things a decent Les Paul isn't. I'm pretty sure you can get yerself a great Les Paul for a third of that.

 

rct

 

Haha! "Bionic plastics and such!" Made me laugh...and yes, you make a good point that you can indeed find one for a third of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Boys.

 

I am a poser Hack. I have 11 acoustics and I have been putting off getting a L.P for years. I got off my A** and looked up a good Guitar teacher to try to clean up some of my bad habits and spoon feed me some theory.

I should of done that 10 years ago. ive been playing around with teachers electric. i dig it

 

I am gonna throw out some offers on one and see what happens.

 

thanks again.

 

T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am looking to buy my first Les Paul Custom Got a dilemma. Either I buy a 73 Black Les Paul or a 87 for $1400 less. Both are in stellar condition. Only difference is that the 87 has the P.U. covers and the 73 does not.

I have always leaned towards older with the acoustics I have. Just not sure.

Just need some words of wisdom to push me one way or the other.

 

thoughts? Opinions?

 

You didn't mention whether (or not) you have the option of playing either one, or both preferably, prior to making your decision?

If not, you "pay your money, and you take your chances," with either model. The 73 "Norlin Era" version can still be a great

guitar (I have a 1980 LP Custom, Cherry Burst, that's awesome!) The '73 will have the typical Norlin Era "volute" at the headstock,

which some folks like, and other's don't. And, it will, most likely, be extremely heavy! The '87 may be quite a bit lighter, then

again maybe not...depending on the density of the wood used.

 

I wouldn't even concern myself, with the covered vs uncovered pickups, as that can be easily remedied, either direction. And, as

I'm sure you're well aware, even the pickups themselves, can be changed, if you don't care for what comes with it. So, I would

pick the one that feels, plays, and sounds, the best...again, IF you have the opportunity to play them.

Otherwise, it's: "Eenie meeny, miny, moe!"

 

Good Luck!

 

CB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...