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Identify a Les Paul


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Hey guys,


I've found this being sold locally:




The guy claims its a '76, and the s/n seems to match up, but the number also matches up with a 2009 les paul, so i don't want to get done buying a '09 instead of a '76.


serial number starts with 00 like it should, case seems correct. He says its all original but im dubious about the speed knobs.



Anyone got a couple of giveaways to look out for?




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A 1976 should have a serial number DECAL with the "00" cleary, but barely, separated from the other six numbers, they may also be in a little different type. An '09 should have a stamped serial number with equal spacing between the digits.


As for the speed knobs, I don't know what was stock in '76 on a Custom (I'm a Standard guy), but the 74/75 catalog shows witch hat amp knobs on the Custom. My '75 Standard has reflector tops on it.


If everything else checks out, I wouldn't let a set of knobs scare you off. If you possitively determine that the guitar should have "other" knobs, they are a very inexpensive thing to replace, and you can even buy "aged" sets. When I bought my Historic Series ES-345, my dealer offered to sell me a "vintage" set of early 60's reflector tops. Side by side with the ones that came on the guitar there was virtually no difference. Even the dealer said, "oh, nevermind".


Personally I think the speed knobs look better on that guitar than anything else would. I had a '75 335 that came with witch hats, and hated the look of them (amp knobs on a guitar?). I soon changed them out to top hats. I have an L-5 that came with top hats, I changed them out to reflector tops. Original knobs are really no big deal, unless were talking about a '59 'burst or something.

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