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Gibson Les Paul Custom Story


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Hello all,



Because the Les Paul Custom is an iconic representation of the spirit of Les Paul and because we read a lot and ear a lot about these beauties, here is the Les Paul Custom story. I first made it in french and translated here, soz for my english ;)


Black Beauty Birth


The custom has emerged in 1954, since things have changed while remaining the same.


At the root of the creation of custom an idea: offer a new guitarist Les Paul, in addition to the goldtop, more luxurious and more discreet that goldtops flashy occurred since 2 years and then who do then not sell as well as expected.

For this new Les Paul, black was chosen as single color sober and cuffs as luxurious, triple binding top and back headstock, gold-plated fittings, fingerboard imposing blocks, splitted diamond on the peghead, the symbol of top acoustic models of the brand, and the fingerboard ebony .


To distinguish this new Les Paul of the goldtop, instead of a maple top, it is equipped with a mahogany top . It is equipped with a P90 and an Alnico V format P90. Very innovative, it is the first Les Paul to be equipped with the famous duo Tuneomatic and Stopbar 2 years before the goldtops to be equipped with.


She then met with some success thanks mainly to his neck particularly easy to play with extremely low frets that gives this description of Fretless Wonder.


1954 first year, body, top, neck mahogany, extra low frets, P90 & Alnico V, Long tenon, Bigsby optional black (except for a few extremely rare models)


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/custom54.jpg [/ IMG]


In 1957 the custom is equipped with all new PAFs conjunction with the goldtop. To differentiate the goldtop, it is equipped with 3 PAFs with a particular routing.

It will not change until 1960.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/custom57n.jpg [/ img]


1957 to 1960 : Same as the 54 except of 3 PAFs (a few copies with only 2, and a few other copies in colors other than black)



In 1960, facing financial difficulties, to finance R & D for new models, because success is not to go, especially with the advent of SG Les Paul, the custom (and the Les Paul "standard" which became sunburst since 1958) out of the catalogue.


In 1968 is the custom reintroduced to the catalog for the greatest happiness of guitarists influenced by their idols of the era playing on old Les Paul of the 50's returning therefore in vogue.

The 1968 is equipped with two PAFs rather than three major difference, adopts a maple top. Most models also have a chrome fittings, in addition to black, other colours are available in the catalogue.



http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/custom68.jpg [/ img]


In 1969, the group Norlin who bought the moribund firm. New production methods are economic enterprises gradually. The handle of a piece mahogany so far is composed of three parties, the top so far in two parts is constructed with 3 pieces of maple, the body is composed in "pancake": mahogany, leaf maple, mahogany . long Tenon disappears.


Tenon Long / short Tenon

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/LongShortTenons1.jpg [/ img]



http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/DSC02705_edited-1.jpg [/ img]



Top 3 parts, neck 3 parts maple with volute

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/Photo6_d6581copie.jpg [/ img]

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/Photo5_20c4a.jpg [/ img]


Innovation, to strengthen the junction head often handle sensitive, the addition of a volute, a small bulge sensible solidify this sensitive area. Some are equipped with a maple fingerboard. The colors are multiplying: different sunbursts, white, natural, black, winered.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/maple.jpg [/ img]

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/volute.jpg [/ img]


In 1972, and created the first 73 reissue conform to the specs 54 at the time.

In 1974 the 20th anniversary model.


In 1975, neck which was in mlahogany is now made into 3 parts maple, the binding of cutaway widens to encompass the area junction maple / mahogany (table / back). The bridge Nashville made its appearance in place of the ABR1.


1976 and 1977 saw the latest customs built in pancake, some are equipped with 3 PUs, others have a mahogany top, others found the ABR1. It is a bit chaotic.


Starting from 1982 and 1983, the volute disappears and the neck becomes mahogany.


Starting from 1984, the body is at room on matters of economy and ergonomics.


1986 end of the era Norlin. After the change in direction, 1987 was a year of innovation or quality and modernity are the watchwords.


The Les Paul Custom Lite makes its appearance in the catalogue until 1990 conjoitement custom to "normal". Designed to conquer the glam rockers seduced by the superstrats, custom lite loses 1.5 centimeter thick compared to "normal" customs, be equipped with a chamfer stomach and a split PUs. Some are even equipped with a floyd. It is available in red or finishes pink sparkles very 80's, goldtop, white, cherry and tobacco bursts and black.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/lite.jpg [/ img]

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/113hkr0161.jpg [/ img]


In the years 90 top is once again built in two parts maple. The custom plus model appears with a maple top AAA.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/cplus-guitar1.jpg [/ img]


Since 2001/2002, the customs are now constructed by the division of Gibson custom shop. Apart from signing models or other very rare, such as custom varitone, models are available today les paul custom "normal" figured top (AAA maple) and the Custom models 54, 57 Custom Custom 68 and conform the specs time.


Figured top

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/customfigured.jpg [/ img]


A 57 cloud9 (lean)

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/Photos% 20LP/c4b0_3.jpg [/ img]



Date a custom:


In addition to the evidence provided above, many details can date a custom.


-- The serial

-- The type of construction (+ mentioned above)

-- The dates on pots

-- PUs

-- Accessories


Accessories are one of the least reliable data as being easily replaceable. So we should not rely solely on them to date a custom.


Here wholesale periods of use of two accessories most easily observable. These periods are tentative since many examples can be seen against the use of existing stockpiles, resupply or other economic reasons led Gibson to use conjoitement different systems.


The knobs:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/knobs.jpg [/ img]


The tuners:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y142/rouillon/tuners.jpg [/ img]

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Hello you all,


my LPC shows a "mix" of several details from different time periods, that makes it difficult to date this instrument correct. Body is pancake black with ebony fretboard and 3 piece neck with volute. Serial No. ist 967500 with a Made in U.S.A. below, stamped an the back of the Headstock (so far early 70ies). Pots (which seems untouched to me) are dated 1976 (Nr. 1377602). 2 Humbuckers have the "wrong" Pat. No. (2,737,842), but engraved on the back, not a sticker. Rings are M-8, Tuners are "Gibson" engraved on the back. Knobs are reflector-gold - but with pointers below). Gibson germany as well as Gibson US told me, its a 70-72 LPC and the previous owner has changed the pots (but why should he, only 4-5 years after production?). What do you think about this guitar.


Best regards


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