1972 Gibson Les Paul Custom, Black

By Gibson

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Early seventies Les Paul Custom in Ebony nitrocellulose with plenty of vibe and that unmistakable Les Paul Custom sound.

The Les Paul Custom was introduced in 1954 as an upmarket version of the still newly released Les Paul Model. Instead of a maple cap on a mahogany slab, the body was all mahogany, and came in black with gold hardware. The original versions featured single-coil Alnico pickups, notable for their rectangular polepieces and a P-90 in the bridge position. Nicknamed the ‘Black Beauty’, in 1957, the Les Paul Custom lost the single coil pickup combo pickups, but gained Gibson’s new humbucking pickups. The Single cut Les Paul was discontinued in 1960 to be replaced by the new double cut Les Paul/SG model. The single cut model was reissued in 1968 but like the newly reissued Standard there were differences in construction to ’50s examples. By the early 70’s Gibson had settled on a consistent construction method.

Featuring a solid mahogany "sandwich" body with 3-piece maple top with multi-bound top & back. The 3-piece mahogany neck small volute and cream binding & tortoise side-dots. Ebony fingerboard with mother of pearl block inlays. Multi-bound headstock with mother of pearl split diamond inlays and Gibson logo.

This guitar benefits from a refret with larger fret wire - Les Paul Customs had ‘Fretless Wonder’ frets until 1975. The nut has also been changed but is the standard 1 11/16th nut width. The finish backlights well only a couple of spots of inconsistency in the middle of the neck. It looks as the guitar has had small, localised touchups to wear. The headstock and neck joint are good. The guitar has honest wear throughout to the finish and the hardware and the binding has aged to a lovely amber colour and the guitar looks all the better for it.

This guitar has been played! There is a small unusual rectangular patch inside the cutaway, our best guess is that it’s is from a reaction either to a case or horizontal wall display mount. It does not effect the integrity of the joint or of the playability. The Tuners are the original Kluson Wafflebacks and the bridge is a wired, Pat.no gold ABR-1 with metal saddles. The electronics are correct, the loom appears untouched and solder joints unbroken. The Pat.No Humbuckers have the Gold Gibson embossed covers that Gibson used between ’71 and very early ’73 with all pot codes dating to the 3rd week of 73. The neck pickup has no sticker but there is no sign there ever was one.

‘70s Les Paul Customs can be notoriously heavy, this one tips the scales at a very decent 9.8lbs and the guitar wears the weight well and doesn’t feel as heavy as the number suggest. The slender early ’70s neck profile feels comfortable, and fattens up as you move up the neck

The guitar was paired by the previous owner with a slightly later 1970’s Gibson Les Paul Case.