The Les Paul Custom Model dates back to 1954 when the decision was made at Gibson to release a Deluxe version if the newly released Les Paul model guitar. Popularity in the 50’s was steady given the expense with just fewer than 2000 instruments produced before the Les Paul transitioned to the new SG/Les Paul body in the early ‘60s. It wasn’t until the reintroduction of the Les Paul Model again in 1968 that the popularity of the Les Paul Custom would increase in part thanks to its humbuckers instead of P-90s. Popularity would remain high throughout the 1970’s with players as diverse as Randy Rhodes, Steve Jones and Lindsey Buckingham all using the Les Paul Custom to full effect. Construction of the Les Paul Custom would evolve with the rest of the Gibson range as the decades changed. By 1980 the Gibson catalogue specifications were listed as - a solid Mahogany body with carved Maple top with a three piece Maple neck with an Ebony fingerboard and two Gibson Humbucker pickups. Appointments are still suitably high-end as befits the flagship instrument including the iconic diamond inlayed, multi bound headstock. Bound neck with multi-ply double-bound body with gold plated hardware throughout.
The guitar is in great overall condition, the original white finish has aged to a wonderful dark cream that looks great with plenty of character. There are a few nicks and dints (the tip of the headstock being the most prominent) but otherwise the guitar finish shows little wear. The back of the neck has some wear to the top coat but otherwise the guitar backlights as expected with no repairs or areas of touchup evident. The electronics are stock with two killer sounding Patent Stamped T-Tops, both ink date stamped. The neck pickup dating 1979 and the bridge 1980. CTS pots likewise span the decades with the volume pots bearing the codes 1378013 and the tone pots reading 1377924. The loom is factory and mounted to the prewired plate with ’can’ dust cover. The gold hardware has faired well, tuners are the original Gibson branded Schaller versions with metal buttons used in the 1970s /1980s. The nut and frets are original to the guitar. Pickup covers, bridge and tailpiece all show some wear to the delicate gold-plating with the Nashville bridge worn from use. Plastics include the Les Paul Custom engraved Truss Rod cover, 5-ply pickguard and black Speed knobs all being factory correct.
The guitar plays well on its original frets. The frets have lost some height but the guitar plays cleanly across the fingerboard. The neck profile is on the fuller side. The nut width measures 43.4mm with a depth at the 1st fret of 21.38 that fills out to 25.74. The Pat. Number T-tops sound glorious with decent output they provide just the right amount of grind whilst retaining all the bite, attack, sustain and richness they are known for.
Les Paul Customs can have a reputation for being notoriously heavy, this one tips the scales at a very decent 9.8lbs, it wears the weight well and doesn’t feel as heavy as the numbers suggest. Shipping numbers for 1980 aren’t available but the ledgers show that Gibson only shipped out 29 White Les Paul Customs in 1979 making this 1980 likely a hard to find finish.