1969 Gibson Les Paul Custom, Black

By Gibson

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Killer vintage late-Sixties Les Paul Custom in its factory black finish. Really cool single-piece body and 3-piece neck example that has the perfect amount of wear. An excellent player with a neck profile that fits like a glove, and two fantastic sounding pickups.

Introduced officially in 1954 as the deluxe Les Paul Model with features and appointments taken from the top-of-the-range Archtop guitars of the period. As a Signature instrument the guitar was developed with input from Les himself with the Black finish one of his stipulations. There was more to this new model than solely the finish as Gibson took the opportunity to fit the Les Paul Custom with it’s new innovations such as the Alnico Pickup and the newly patented adjustable Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop tailpiece. Underneath the Les Paul Custom's gleaming Black nitrocellulose lacquer the body eschewed the Maple cap of the Les Paul Model with a body crafted entirely from Mahogany; The appointments were suitably high-end; the fretboard is Ebony with pearl block inlay, and the elaborate split diamond motif on the headstock came from the Super 400, Gibson's most expensive guitar. The Catalog gives the new model the moniker “The Fretless Wonder” thanks to the “extremely low smooth frets and playing action”. During 1957 the Les Paul Custom specs would change in line with other high end models in the range and gain a trio of Gibson’s newly released Humbucker pickups. Like the rest of the Les Paul range the single-cutaway instrument we know today was updated in 1960 to the double cutaway SG body before being resurrected, phoenix like in 1968 alongside the Goldtop Standard model. Specs of the newly reissued Les Paul Custom evolved rapidly during the initial production period as Gibson fine tuned the process.

Along with the desirable single piece body, this guitar has no volute, no Made in USA stamp, a short tenon and all original hardware. The original finish is good with some marks and wear throughout but nothing beyond what we regularly see on Les Paul Customs from this era. The only additional areas worth highlighting are a small area of damage to the binding and neck on the bass side by the 17th fret. The guitar has previously been fitted with different tuners with a small amount of touchup to the filled screw holes. The guitar now has the correct Kluson Waffle back tuners fitted. The nut is a well cut replacement and the guitar benefits from a re-fret with medium-jumbo wire. The rest of the Hardware consists of a three-ply truss rod cover and tight bevel pickguard, gold plated (reproduction) ABR-1 with the original tail piece and the earlier mentioned tuners.
Internally we have two Pat.number Humbuckers, CTS pots with source codes visible on two dating to the 45th week of 1967 and ceramic capacitors. The bridge pickup has a higher than normal output and its cover removed at some point so we believe it has been rewound previously. The guitar is a fantastic sounding and inspiring instrument to play, the combination of an old and seasoned Mahogany body and neck with a fast ebony fingerboard paired with two great sounding pickups is quite special. The neck profile is a medium C towards the nut which gets fuller up the neck measuring 21.11mm at the nut increasing to 25.29mm at the 12th fret. The nut width is 42.5mm.