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  1. #41
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Wow!! Some truly Phenomenal photos & guitars! I really appreciate the efforts that have gone into this post.
    I like the way the bobbin was made for the Alnico V pickup usingthe same material as the jack plates. Most of the Alnico V pickups I've seen are not built like this and use the regular styrene type bobbin material like the P-90's use.
    Thanks/Cheers Zhivago!!

  2. #42
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    My pleasure sir!

    I love these guitars...I was rocking out on my '56 earlier this morning
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  3. #43
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Havent you noticed, that these 50s LP Customs have a bit thicker body than for example late 60s or 70s LPs?
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2014 Gibson Les Paul Junior 1957 Custom Shop
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  4. #44
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Here is an early one...1953, as linked in a thread here:





    this one has been played!
    Last edited by zhivago; 12-19-18 at 06:48 AM.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  5. #45
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread



    No idea if these are actually vintage Customs, but I remember seeing this photo years ago at the LPF and saving a copy. Three beautiful instruments that look like they belong together.

  6. #46
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Excellent pic, and these are definitely vintage!!
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  7. #47
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zhivago View Post
    Excellent pic, and these are definitely vintage!!
    That's what I figured, but I didn't want to say definitely, in case they were well-weathered Historics.

  8. #48
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
    That's what I figured, but I didn't want to say definitely, in case they were well-weathered Historics.

    the main tell-tale is the three last inlays being the same size
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  9. #49
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread



    A decade ago, I scanned the above photo into Photoshop and airbrushed out the staples and creases, printed it up and framed it, and it hangs on my wall.

    I know this post is primarily about the early staple-pickup Black Beauties, but I remember staring at this nicely photographed Guitar World centerfold endlessly in the mid-1980s. (It ran in an otherwise all-hair metal issue, hence the allusion to HM in the copy.)
    Last edited by Ed Driscoll; 10-19-14 at 09:38 PM.

  10. #50
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post


    A decade ago, I scanned the above photo into Photoshop and airbrushed out the staples and creases, printed it up and framed it, and it hangs on my wall.

    I know this post is primarily about the early staple-pickup Black Beauties, but I remember staring at this nicely photographed Guitar World centerfold endlessly in the mid-1980s. (It ran in an otherwise all-hair metal issue, hence the allusion to HM in the copy.)


    that is one awesome pic, thank you for posting it!
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  11. #51
    Les Paul Forum Member rays44's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post


    No idea if these are actually vintage Customs, but I remember seeing this photo years ago at the LPF and saving a copy. Three beautiful instruments that look like they belong together.
    I believe the pair belonged to a very nice gent here on the forum back in the day. I dubbed them, "The tuxedo Suit". The triple p/u was offered at a very reasonable price last I heard. Wish I had the funds at the time. Those were the days of 60 Burst, 59 Burst, Rich R and a few other notable gentlemen of enlightening distinction. It was a different time,

  12. #52
    Les Paul Forum Member Stratoben127's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Been wanting an Alnico Custom so bad!

    Jerry's best tones were with his Alnico Custom IMO.

  13. #53
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Stratoben127 View Post
    Been wanting an Alnico Custom so bad!

    Jerry's best tones were with his Alnico Custom IMO.


    We need some Jerry!

    Last edited by zhivago; 12-19-18 at 06:49 AM.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  14. #54
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Here is another '56 from my archives...

    Part 1:









    Last edited by zhivago; 12-19-18 at 06:53 AM.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  15. #55
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Part 2:










    Last edited by zhivago; 12-19-18 at 06:54 AM.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  16. #56
    Les Paul Forum Member P.Walker's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    jesus christ...i would give an arm and leg for one of these...make that two...absolutely mind-blown.

    I'm going to get one some day in the very near future...

  17. #57
    Les Paul Forum Member pasqualini's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    ..killin' me....

  18. #58
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    The 53-56 Black Beauty will always be my personal favorite....who does everyone believe to be the best known (most associated with) guitarist for the early BB? Technically I think besides Les Paul himself, likely Peter Framptom may be the guy (even though it was modified to be a 3PUP BB, it was a 54. Bill Haley, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Keith Richards...who would you all say is THE guy? I'm mostly talking about the original BBs.

  19. #59
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Hard to say who's the most well known. You just don't see anyone play these nowadays.
    BTW, one way to being able to tell and original from a reissue is the originals always had the same size inlays for the top three nearest the body. All of the reissues have three different size inlays. A fact that Gibson just doesn't seem to care about when doing Historic's..

  20. #60
    Les Paul Forum Member chuckNC's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Not the most well known, but Gary Duncan of Quicksilver Messenger service was an Alnico Custom player. He got some nice tones out of that guitar -- as you can hear here at about the 3:00 mark:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhraiPTORhI
    If it sounds good, it is good.

  21. #61
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Good to see people are enjoying the thread!

    Here's another '56 from my archives...this one was played a bit!









    Last edited by zhivago; 12-19-18 at 06:59 AM.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  22. #62
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread













    Last edited by zhivago; 12-19-18 at 07:01 AM.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  23. #63
    Les Paul Forum Member captaincanada's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    I find these guitars so intriguing

  24. #64
    Les Paul Forum Member captaincanada's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    This one might be my favorite:


  25. #65
    Les Paul Forum Member rays44's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Here's my '56 with a goldie for company. Sounds good through that Rivera era DR.

  26. #66
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Great pics!

    keep them coming, guys!
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  27. #67
    All Access/Backstage Pass Progrocker111's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rays44 View Post
    Here's my '56 with a goldie for company. Sounds good through that Rivera era DR.
    What a pair!

    How would you compare them tonewise?
    My diagnosis is: Hiwatt and Norlinphilia


    2014 Gibson Les Paul Junior 1957 Custom Shop
    1972 Hiwatt DR103, 1972 Hiwatt SE4122

  28. #68
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Richard P can't get onto the site as he has a hotmail account, so he emailed me three of his beauties to post here...the alnico one is a '56...the other two are '59 and '61...what a trio!! Many thanks Richard!

    Last edited by zhivago; 12-19-18 at 07:02 AM.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  29. #69

    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Amazing !Awesome !
    Always loved the Custom but the Alnico....

  30. #70
    Les Paul Forum Member rays44's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Progrocker111 View Post
    What a pair!

    How would you compare them tonewise?
    The goldtop is more aggressive and a bit brighter, but the p/u's in that guitar are really ballsy. The alnico in the custom, contrary to the norm is not as loud. I suspect it's been de-gaussed over the years, but the tone is as smooth as a 10 year old Cohiba.

  31. #71
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Here's a '53 from my archives...











    Last edited by zhivago; 12-19-18 at 07:07 AM.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  32. #72
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Does anyone have a photo of the serial number impressed on the top edge of the headstock that the earliest Les Paul Customs were supposed to have?

  33. #73
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    I haven't got one, Rev :(
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  34. #74
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    How cool is this?

    One of Les' modded Customs...a 1954 model...





    Here is the scoop:

    After more than 20 years of performing with and innovating on this guitar, Les gifted this iconic instrument in 1976 to his personal luthier, technician, and close friend, Tom Doyle, where it has remained in Tom’s private collection to this day.
    Last edited by zhivago; 12-19-18 at 07:08 AM.
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  35. #75
    Les Paul Forum Member DMartini's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    zhivago - nice thread alright some real class here.
    can you tell me when the Custom got Bumble Bee caps? ive noticed on these early ones they have wax Tigers, then a '56 one you have pictured has Bees. Retrofit?
    in the pics of Mike Slubs Customs his '58 has wax 'phone book' looking ones found in '50s Fenders. I thought the single coil ones had the wax Tigers and the PAFs got Bees?

  36. #76
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Thank you, sir!

    I think I remember people saying the switch to Bumble bees came sometime in '55...my '56 Custom has them
    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

  37. #77

    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Can we keep this thread alive?
    Formerly LPF member Browneyes

    Scarlette Johansen... just because!

  38. #78
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Don't all of those modifications that Les made on his '54 remind you of the finished product of the Jimmy Page Black Beauty...can't remember if Les was still with us when that JP BB came out but it seems as though that would be a true Les Paul Custom that the man himself would have loved...except for perhaps the weight as I imagine that most are likely in the 9-10# plus range. Anyone else notice this? Quiet a few of the greats did modify their Black Beauties, like Page and Fripp for example...although the king of tinkering seems to have been Les himself (rivaled perhaps by Eddie Van Halen).

  39. #79

    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Quote Originally Posted by zhivago View Post
    Richard P can't get onto the site as he has a hotmail account, so he emailed me three of his beauties to post here...the alnico one is a '56...the other two are '59 and '61...what a trio!! Many thanks Richard!

    LORDAMERCY!!!!!
    Formerly LPF member Browneyes

    Scarlette Johansen... just because!

  40. #80
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Beauty of The Black Beauty - The "Alnico" Custom thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CPM55 View Post
    Don't all of those modifications that Les made on his '54 remind you of the finished product of the Jimmy Page Black Beauty...can't remember if Les was still with us when that JP BB came out but it seems as though that would be a true Les Paul Custom that the man himself would have loved...except for perhaps the weight as I imagine that most are likely in the 9-10# plus range. Anyone else notice this? Quiet a few of the greats did modify their Black Beauties, like Page and Fripp for example...although the king of tinkering seems to have been Les himself (rivaled perhaps by Eddie Van Halen).

    I often wonder where this guitar is...

    Guitars: '56 Les Paul Custom, '63 SG/LP Custom, '61 Jazzmaster, '43 000-28, '15 ES-345,
    Amps: Matchless Lightning, Zvex Nano amp
    Pedals: Centaur, BJFE, Analogman, Zvex, Maxon, Way Huge

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