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FatTonePete

Mods to a New Gibson Les Paul Custom

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I recently acquired (May) a blemished Gibson Les Paul Custom shop, attached here. I'm not crazy about all the gold. I was thinking about changing out with chrome or another metal and wanted to get recommendations for doing this in a relatively high end way. I see Gotoh has some interesting parts but there is probably a standard  Gibson kit for this guitar as well. Was also considering a trem. --- Advice. This is mostly an aesthetic adventure I must say.....

les paul.HEIC

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If you will excuse me....I would not change anything at all.  Doing so would affect the value.

It is a classic look - the black and gold.   If you don't like the gold you could look round for a black LP Custom with chrome fittings and perhaps do an exchange.

If you really must change the gold, you could spend a lot on parts.  Aluminium tailpiece? Aged or new chrome or nickel? Change pickup covers or all new pickups?  Machine heads?

Gibson parts are expensive but not necessarily better than (for instance) Gotoh. 

For trems you might consider Bigsby or a Stetsbar:

https://stetsbar.com/index.html

Or the Duesenberg Les Trem (one forum member has these on all his guitars I think) -

https://store.duesenberg.de/en/tremolo-systems/34/duesenberg-les-trem-ii

Best wishes!

 

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Thanks much jdgm,

The gold is growing on me. Just not used to it after so many chrome-part guitars. More importantly the guitar sounds amazing. Almost impossible to put it down. 

I like the Bigsby and Stetsbar options (particularly because it seems you don't have to mod the guitar at all). But then again, maybe I don't mess with perfection. This guitar holds tune like a rock.

I have a Duesenberg Starplayer which looks amazing (with the cool trem). But it's more of a piece of expensive wall art at this point - hardly played - and which I may sell at some point soon. 

 

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I am biased as I have a LP Custom with gold bits and P90s.  As you say, almost impossible to put down and holds tuning like a rock.

Hope that's enough excuse for a pic (which I've posted before):

lpfeb13small.jpg

Edited by jdgm
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just my 2 cents, Sometimes Gold hardware is "just" right,   I think an LP custom w/gold hw is one of those times.

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I'm with the other contributors here.

I disliked gold hardware for the longest time, but after getting a guitar with gold it grew on me too. Give it some time. 

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3 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

I'm with the other contributors here.

I disliked gold hardware for the longest time, but after getting a guitar with gold it grew on me too. Give it some time. 

 

ME  what do you suppose on this  Gretsch.   Would it even look close to this cool with chrome HW?

81618714_10213356532827317_7625062028515

 

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7 hours ago, kidblast said:

 

ME  what do you suppose on this  Gretsch.   Would it even look close to this cool with chrome HW?

81618714_10213356532827317_7625062028515

 

 

I'm uncertain, but I am certain it looks perfect the way it is.

In chrome, you would have to replace the pick guard as well. Even the binding echoes the gold, you cant change that. No, that needs to be gold.

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45 minutes ago, merciful-evans said:

 

I'm uncertain, but I am certain it looks perfect the way it is.

In chrome, you would have to replace the pick guard as well. Even the binding echoes the gold, you cant change that. No, that needs to be gold.

 

Yes yes yes!  Is the strap button gold-plated though? [biggrin]  

You must oil/polish the wooden base of the bridge when you next do a string change.   Will look even awesome-r.

[thumbup]

Edited by jdgm
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15 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

 

I'm uncertain, but I am certain it looks perfect the way it is.

In chrome, you would have to replace the pick guard as well. Even the binding echoes the gold, you cant change that. No, that needs to be gold.

 

Well for comparisons,, here's one in Gretsch Orange with chrome.  

103838491_10214513676675190_479935570366

 

15 hours ago, jdgm said:

 

Yes yes yes!  Is the strap button gold-plated though? [biggrin]  

You must oil/polish the wooden base of the bridge when you next do a string change.   Will look even awesome-r.

[thumbup]

It would,, that was taken the day after it arrived.  (January,, seems such a long time ago with everything that's happened.)

 

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On 6/7/2020 at 4:05 AM, FatTonePete said:

I recently acquired (May) a blemished Gibson Les Paul Custom shop, attached here. I'm not crazy about all the gold. I was thinking about changing out with chrome or another metal and wanted to get recommendations for doing this in a relatively high end way. I see Gotoh has some interesting parts but there is probably a standard  Gibson kit for this guitar as well. Was also considering a trem. --- Advice. This is mostly an aesthetic adventure I must say.....

les paul.HEIC 770.71 kB · 12 downloads

if that axe has the 490R/498T Pick-Up combo, I would say to swap 'em out for a set of Un-Covered Custom-Bucker's, THEY RULE !!! You will not be sorry. ICFB Gibson Custom shop would put the 490R on a Custom Shop Guitar...that P-Up is the cheapest Pick-Up GIBSON USA produces and is usually found on Studio or Faded USA Line models.

As far as putting a Tremolo on it? I would  get a Duesenberg Les Trem II...IMO, they are the best tremolo out here for $125 and No mods are required, the device goes on/off the Guitar in seconds.Looks GREAT and gets an Octave out of a Bend.

The Les Trem II is a High Quality piece of German engineering and will fit on any GIBSON USA/CUSTOM w/Stop-Bar & T-O-M  set-up.I switch the Chrome one I have from an SG to a FIREBIRD from time to time, some Bigsby's are inter-changeable like that too, the B3 I think (?), and the 'Doozy' Gold Chrome LT-II goes from my EXPLORER to my LP CUSTOM in the time it takes to change strings.

The LT-II is a mod you can not regret, for $125 & No Mods...and if you dont like it, someone will always buy it on reverb.

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I would leave the gold - it is the classic look for a LP Custom in Ebony.  However if you play it a lot the gold will wear off the pickups and the bridge and stop-bar from the oil on your hands (we all have some).   At that point I would replace with chrome.  The nickel parts tarnish almost as bad as the gold, but chrome can always be polished up and return to it's original glory. 

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On 7/14/2020 at 10:50 PM, Twang Gang said:

I would leave the gold - it is the classic look for a LP Custom in Ebony.  However if you play it a lot the gold will wear off the pickups and the bridge and stop-bar from the oil on your hands (we all have some).   At that point I would replace with chrome.  The nickel parts tarnish almost as bad as the gold, but chrome can always be polished up and return to it's original glory. 

 

Chrome does indeed go the distance. Personally I dont mind some hardware tarnish though.

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