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Dating an Early 1970s Les Paul


Guest Mister C
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Guest Mister C

Good day everyone! I've just picked up a Christmas gift and was hoping I could receive some help identifying this guitar. I was informed it was a 1970 Gibson Les Paul Custom in all original condition except for the strap buttons. The serial number is 686324 with the words "Made in USA" stamped below it. The pots are engraved NUBLE 052300KΩ. Here are some pictures I've taken:

 

 

http://i.imgur.com/3cyBT3J.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/BiaMBG9.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/QrcDjmG.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/XGmC2Un.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/v25Pwlb.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/Gozry4U.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/pqEAC6i.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/gWqIGvL.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/jp8JEHZ.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/lQhFHsi.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/TM7Ra1E.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/fQurgLj.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/pZdVyGw.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/BM8Gf63.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/02Fyaog.jpg

 

Thanks!

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Nice Les Paul!! Congrats!! The main thing that sticks out to me are the pots. To me they look changed. Here is a photo of my 1974 Les Paul Custom control cavity.

 

SAM_0372_zpsc28c7b8b.jpg

 

Here is a photo of a pot from my 1969 LP Deluxe.......... 1376929. 137=CTS 69=1969 29=week of the year the pot was produced. This is typical of almost all Gibson of this era.

 

 

 

DSC04305.jpg

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Guest Mister C

Thanks for the quick response!

I'm actually not quite sure if these are the original pots. Your suspicion does answer quite a few of my questions though. When I had first seen these pots, I was wondering why they had never matched the engravings on other Les Paul pots.

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Guest Mister C

I've just checked the pots again and the only engravings on the pots are the words "NOBLE 054300KΩ A=A"

 

The other pot follows the same pattern e.g. "NOBLE 15A500KΩ..." followed by "A=B"

Unfortunately, the other 2 pots were obscured by the wiring and positioning.

My best guess would be that they also follow the same pattern of "NOBLE ****00KΩ A=C" and "NOBLE ****00KΩ A=D"

 

The top of the pots do not have any engravings like yours.

 

I hope I'm not asking for too much, but does this obscure the possibility of this being a 1970 model and more possibly a 1971, or 1972?

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What I noticed is that the ABR-1 bridge is mounted the wrong way. The plating wear shows it obviously has been that way for a long time. The ABR-1 bridge would say she has been made before Gibson changed to the Nashville bridge in 1974.

 

Noble pots have been used widely for guitars but I don't know if Gibson ever used them. At least I never have seen one with Noble pots stock. Anyway, for many years they were the most-used replacement pots around here. It seems like short-shaft pots were used for yours, not very likely to happen at Gibson I think.

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Guest Mister C

Thanks for the reply! Concerning the small volute, I was under the impression that the volute on 1969 Les Pauls were extremely small, smaller than the one in my picture. There's also the "Made in USA" stamped into the back of the headstock – wasn't it first introduced in 1970? I'll try to get a better picture of the volute once I'm back home.

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Guest Mister C

I definitely see what you mean by the smaller volute when compared at the same angle.

 

wsacgSi.jpg

 

I'm not that well-informed of the design history of Les Pauls, but I've read on the forums that there are some 1970s models without volutes and also some with small volutes. In 1969, Gibson had introduced a miniature volute on some of their models, but wouldn't this fact coincide with the small volutes produced in the 70s? If so, then wouldn't a small volute just indicate a range between 1969 – onwards? Sorry if I'm nitpicking at the details, just a bit curious about these guitars.

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  • 2 years later...
On 12/28/2016 at 12:12 AM, Guest Mister C said:

I've just checked the pots again and the only engravings on the pots are the words "NOBLE 054300KΩ A=A"

 

The other pot follows the same pattern e.g. "NOBLE 15A500KΩ..." followed by "A=B"

Unfortunately, the other 2 pots were obscured by the wiring and positioning.

My best guess would be that they also follow the same pattern of "NOBLE ****00KΩ A=C" and "NOBLE ****00KΩ A=D"

 

The top of the pots do not have any engravings like yours.

 

I hope I'm not asking for too much, but does this obscure the possibility of this being a 1970 model and more possibly a 1971, or 1972?

 

Noble pots were used on some Gibson models i.e. Sonex. I have an original set of dirty fingers with all wiring intact and original with the Noble pots. 3B500K vol and 05A500K tone.

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