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LH 68 LP Custom - how much?

Lefty Adams

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Hi - I've heard of a left-handed 1968 Ebony Les Paul Custom at a dealers and I am wondering how rare or valuable they are now? I don't know the price of it as I didn't ask and I haven't got any pictures as yet. I am going to check it out later this week and wondering what to look for.


What does it depend on, taking that this is a genuine Gibson? Is it purely condition? Or dual/triple pick ups? And are the gold hardware ones rarer than the chrome hardware models, or were they all gold ones anyway in '68? Case-wise, what should this come with as I'm guessing this was pre-'chainsaw' year?


Thanks for your help.

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  • 3 months later...


I can try to answer to the 68 Custom part of your inquiry. I have a right hand Custom from 1968.


It will get down to originality, condition, and covetousness.


My Custom was "improved" when I bought it in 1980. This was common back then. Recently, I removed the Grovers and the Seymours, having found correct gold Klusons and T-Tops on eBay. I gave up on finding pots and knobs from 66-67-68. These are unobtainium without robbing a couple original lesser models. Your Custom should have gold hardware. The correct gold witch hat knobs are extremely rare. Gold Klusons are rare. Gold screws are hard to find...


Ascertaining the actual year is a bit muddy as well. But best prices go to the 68. The 69 and 70 fall off sharply thereafter but look nearly the same. You have the critical issues of neck tenon length. There are three versions. The 68 will have the long tenon, under the neck PU, traveling nearly 1/2 the width of the cavity. Pot dates are very important to inspect. Your case should be the black violin case with orange velvet.


Check out this website for facts:




If it is in correct, unmolested condition, a righty is often listed for 10-15k or higher. They don't tend to sell there, though. It seems that the pricepoint for an excellent conditioned example is dependent on the rare buyer and how badly he needs it. It is a kick-*** guitar – equal to a burst, perhaps – with all the right pieces in place. I wouldn't sell mine for less than 20k, so I will keep it. As a critical buyer, take the time to assess originality and to establish with confidence the actual production date of the guitar, then barter down if possible.


You would probably be the expert on converting this info to the lefty world. I would guess they prices would be about the same, since supply and demand are constant over the population.


Best wishes,


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One thing to check is the BLUE BOOK value. It IS actually made from actual sales and accurate, but what you should want to do is consider when the last publication was made, and check market trends against it, because for certain guitars, ESPECIALLY "collectables", the market lately has changed drastically so dealers will often consider that where prices are dropping rapidly, the Blue Book might not reflect that.


Blue Book is not the end-all be-all, but is the single, BEST source for determining reality from BS. My personal feeling and opinion is to start there, and then justify any deviation from it. If the dealer won't disclose a Blue Book value or justify a deviation on price, get one. Becuase 9 out of ten times the reason is to favor them rather than you.


Having said that, GILGAMESH is spot on. The '68 is unique in that it is the first year of the re-introduction of the model, and does have some collecter value. There may be some substantial collecter prices attatched to it. But what this means specifically is that if COLLECTER prices apply, then so do the rules of origonality and mods. It might get interesting. A '68 might be in a whole different catagory than a '69 and later, but to be SURE, we are talking a very narrow timeline and set of features. If it is going to have a '68 pricetag, it shouldn't have one just because it is a '68 or someone CALLS it a '68. Feel me?


We COULD realistically be talking about a 2000 dollar guitar, or a 20k guitar. When you say '68, that could mean some very different things as opposed to most other years or models.

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