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  1. #1

    Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Moonweasel sent me.
    Updated
    Need info on this guitar possible custom with repairs or a 70s reissue maybe with a 50s body? Did the 70s reissues have the round channel drilled through the body because this one does. The eyeball test tells me the body is very old and well made...the neck has a slight fracture which may be the reason for this thing being partially restored?replica build?
    Either way looking like a lucky find paid nothing for it
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Tenzona; 12-06-19 at 01:44 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    More pics sorry for doubles
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    If anyone needs specific stuff showcased let me know thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member zhivago's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Weird body...no "chew mark" in the cavity, three pieces at the top when it should all be all one piece it it were 50s...volute on the neck shows 70s era, no inlays on the headstock, but it is bound...the three last inlays are correct...

    God knows what this 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, etc.

  5. #5

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Thanks for looking! Is there anything specific I can show you to get more insight on this guitar? I am learning more and more about these all the time. It appears to have had 2 neck repairs one from a truss rod mishap that is not fixed. The guitar seems in the process of restoration but is still playable


    QUOTE=zhivago;2847641]Weird body...no "chew mark" in the cavity, three pieces at the top when it should all be all one piece it it were 50s...volute on the neck shows 70s era, no inlays on the headstock, but it is bound...the three last inlays are correct...

    God knows what this is... [/QUOTE]

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Volute on headstock, transitional tenon, 2 humbucking routes (2-pickup '57-'60 Les Paul Customs are super-rare)...

    1970s Gibson at best, 'ellifino' copy LP at worst. IMO

  7. #7

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Thanks so much!!! I guess a more specific question is does anyone know if the early 70s custom reissues featured the round wiring channel and a laminated top?
    Thanks guys


    QUOTE=Rev.WillieVK;2847672]Volute on headstock,

    transitional tenon, 2 humbucking routes (2-pickup '57-'60 Les Paul Customs are super-rare)...

    1970s Gibson at best, 'ellifino' copy LP at worst. IMO [/QUOTE]

  8. #8

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    " three pieces at the top when it should all be all one piece it it were 50s"

    The three pieces show on the back as well. The whole body appears to be made of three pieces with no top added.

  9. #9

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Top should be visible in pictures that show sides of PU routes. Definitely has a 3 piece mahogany top not as you described


    QUOTE=poor man's burst;2847694]" three pieces at the top when it should all be all one pieuce it it were 50s"

    The three pieces show on the back as well. The whole body appears to be made of three pieces with no top added.[/QUOTE]

  10. #10

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    [QUOTE=Rev.WillieVK;2847672]Volute on headstock, transitional tenon, 2 humbucking routes (2-pickup '57-'60 Les Paul Customs are super-rare)...

    The humbucking routes are not typical Gibson routes. No deeper routes for the pickup's "legs". No evidence of former single-coil pickups, neither P-90, nor Alnico btw.

    The picture is not very clear, but it looks like the headstock is made of two pieces. Could be a repair.

    The fingerboard color looks more like rosewood than ebony. A close-up picture would be welcome.

    Stop tailpiece position is way off.

  11. #11

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Yes it is rosewood for sure.

    QUOTE=poor man's burst;2847696]
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.WillieVK View Post
    Volute on headstock, transitional tenon, 2 humbucking routes (2-pickup '57-'60 Les Paul Customs are super-rare)...

    The humbucking routes are not typical Gibson routes. No deeper routes for the pickup's "legs". No evidence of former single-coil pickups, neither P-90, nor Alnico btw.

    The picture is not very clear, but it looks like the headstock is made of two pieces. Could be a repair.

    The fingerboard color looks more like rosewood than ebony. A close-up picture would be welcome.

    Stop tailpiece position is way off.
    20191206_113700.jpg20191206_113705.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenzona View Post
    Top should be visible in pictures that show sides of PU routes. Definitely has a 3 piece mahogany top not as you described


    QUOTE=poor man's burst;2847694]" three pieces at the top when it should all be all one pieuce it it were 50s"

    The three pieces show on the back as well. The whole body appears to be made of three pieces with no top added.
    [/QUOTE]

    Is your post an answer to my description?

  13. #13

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    I am saying it has a top whatever it is!
    As for the body I see what you mean by the lamination thing but from some angles it just looks like woodgrain or tooling and others it doesnt. All this insight is great


    Is your post an answer to my description?[/QUOTE]
    Last edited by Tenzona; 12-06-19 at 01:57 PM.

  14. #14

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    [QUOTE=Tenzona;2847699]I am saying it has a top whatever it is!

    Of course it has a top in some way, but it is made ofmahogany in three parts. And as the 3 parts also show on the back, it is likely a three parts mahogany body with no added/glued on top, like a maple top on a Standard Les Paul or a post '68 Custom.
    '54 to '61 Les Paul custom have a solid one piece mahogany body without added/glued on top, unlike the standard and post '68 Les Paul Custom.

    '71-'72 Limited Editions '54 reissues have mahogany body whithout added/glued on top.

  15. #15

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    That is great to know can you tell me more about these reissues? Could this be one in your view?

    QUOTE=poor man's burst;2847700]
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenzona View Post
    I am saying it has a top whatever it is!

    Of course it has a top in some way, but it is made of three parts mahogany. And as the 3 parts also show on the back, it is likely a three parts mahogany body with no added/glued on top, like a maple top on a Standard Les Paul or a post '68 Custom.
    '54 to '61 Les Paul custom have a solid one piece mahogany body without added/glued on top, unlike the standard and post '68 Les Paul Custom.

    '71-'72 Limited Editions '54 reissues have mahogany body whithout added/glued on top.

  16. #16

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    The shape of the trussrod channel is also wrong for a Gibson.

  17. #17

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Yup

    QUOTE=poor man's burst;2847702]The shape of the trussrod channel is also wrong for a Gibson.[/QUOTE]

  18. #18

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    [QUOTE=Tenzona;2847701]That is great to know can you tell me more about these reissues? Could this be one in your view?

    I dont think so
    I've had one of these'70s reissue with a stripped finish in hands once, and I don't remember a multiple parts body. Besides that, your guitar has almost everything wrong for a Gibson Les Paul Custom. Pickup routing, tailpiece position, controls routing, rosewood fingerboard, headstock inlay,trussrod channel shape, two pieces neck, and the fingerboard inlays look more like plastic than real mother-of-pearl, on the pics anyway.

  19. #19

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    I do appreciate that this is why I came here, to talk to the experts!! Whatever it is I am going to finish it out and play it the neck feels amazing I have not felt one like it

    QUOTE=poor man's burst;2847704]
    Quote Originally Posted by Tenzona View Post
    That is great to know can you tell me more about these reissues? Could this be one in your view?

    I dont think so
    I've had one of these'70s reissue with a stripped finish in hands once, and I don't remember a multiple parts body. Besides that, your guitar has almost everything wrong for a Gibson Les Paul Custom. Pickup routing, tailpiece position, controls routing, rosewood fingerboard, headstock inlay,trussrod channel shape, two pieces neck, and the fingerboard inlays look more like plastic than real mother-of-pearl, on the pics anyway.

  20. #20

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenzona View Post
    I have not felt one like it
    Not many have.
    Billy said, "Let me out. I don't want to be anywhere near a fucking banjo."

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenzona View Post
    I guess a more specific question is does anyone know if the early 70s custom reissues featured the round wiring channel and a laminated top?
    What early 70s Custom reissue had humbuckers?
    Pauls to the walls!

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  22. #22

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    True, like I said I keep learning more about it all the time only had it a week. One theory I heard earlier was it was a 50s p90 guitar routed during transition for humbuckers?
    The circular input route seemed like a dealbreaker at first but also read they did it in the 70s so who knows. I am here so that more expert eyes than mine can weigh in and I appreciate it thank you




    QUOTE=Tom Wittrock;2847735]What early 70s Custom reissue had humbuckers? [/QUOTE]

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Maxmc's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?


    OOPS! indeed! I'd move it on.

  24. #24

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    It plays great and I really like it. I am going to cover that up and use this axe whatever it is...


    Quote Originally Posted by Maxmc View Post

    OOPS! indeed! I'd move it on.

  25. #25

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    The 70s reisssues neither had volutes nor multiple piece bodies, my guess is a jap of some sort or,
    a unknown 50s gibson prototype worth big $$$
    Billy said, "Let me out. I don't want to be anywhere near a fucking banjo."

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    I seriously doubt that guitar was made by Gibson.
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  27. #27
    Forum Moderator T.Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    I seriously doubt that guitar was made by Gibson.
    I have to agree. I see more wrong than right. That neck heel is so wrong. The tailpiece is not positioned correctly. The pickup routes aren't right. The electronics cavity is not right...Not a Gibson IMO.

  28. #28
    Les Paul Forum Member Rev.WillieVK's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    I seriously doubt that guitar was made by Gibson.
    Agreed! As poor man's burst pointed out - those humbucking routes are horrendously NOT Gibson!

  29. #29

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Hey everyone I put it under a black light and the body has the snot green glow that extends up the neck, fading more and more and then none at the headstock. Not for nothing but it also smells exactly like my 65 Olympic and my 65 Hummingbird, that old gibson smell is very familiar to me laugh all you want!!
    Could this indicate a headstock replacement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rev.WillieVK View Post
    Agreed! As poor man's burst pointed out - those humbucking routes are horrendously NOT Gibson!

  30. #30

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    everything wrong for it to be a Gibson.

  31. #31
    Forum Moderator T.Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    I wouldn't doubt that it is old and has an old smell. It's just not a Gibson.

  32. #32

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    I would love to see pictures of LPCs being made in the 50s, as well as pictures of 50s LPCs with the paint stripped off either for refin or whatever. If you guys have them lets have a look, because I sure cannot find any.


    Quote Originally Posted by T.Allen View Post
    I wouldn't doubt that it is old and has an old smell. It's just not a Gibson.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenzona View Post
    Hey everyone I put it under a black light and the body has the snot green glow that extends up the neck, fading more and more and then none at the headstock. Not for nothing but it also smells exactly like my 65 Olympic and my 65 Hummingbird, that old gibson smell is very familiar to me laugh all you want!!
    Could this indicate a headstock replacement?
    ><
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  34. #34

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    You guys are cool!!! Here are some black light shots. Kind of brushed on around the neck joint but not much other than the body. Also to those who said its an "asian copy" I would love to see another mahog topped custom in nitro like this from asia please take your best shot. And yes, a carved top means a piece of wood (usually 2 or 3 pieces joined) glued onto the BACK piece and carved. Suprised to see a lot of confusion about that on this forum!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wittrock View Post
    ><
    20191210_182702.jpg20191210_182659.jpg20191210_182502.jpg20191210_182523.jpg

  35. #35
    Forum Moderator T.Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    I don't think it is an asian copy. More likely, it is a billy bob basement build. This may just be a vintage one. If you can get it straight, playable and sounding good, just play it. But, it is not a mysterious collectible.

  36. #36

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    I absolutely will be doing exactly that! As I said earlier it is a real player with an amazing neck. I think I will name it Billy Bob I love that thanks T!

    QUOTE=T.Allen;2848065]I don't think it is an asian copy. More likely, it is a billy bob basement build. This may just be a vintage one. If you can get it straight, playable and sounding good, just play it. But, it is not a mysterious collectible.[/QUOTE]

  37. #37
    Forum Moderator T.Allen's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenzona View Post
    I absolutely will be doing exactly that! As I said earlier it is a real player with an amazing neck. I think I will name it Billy Bob I love that thanks T!

  38. #38
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenzona View Post
    I absolutely will be doing exactly that! As I said earlier it is a real player with an amazing neck. I think I will name it Billy Bob I love that thanks T!
    So, who do you think built it?
    Pauls to the walls!

    Hüter der Flammen!

    PLEASE SUPPORT www.burstserial.com !!
    Click here: www.burstserial.com

  39. #39

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Very early body with some messy hand done mods

    QUOTE=Tom Wittrock;2848070]So, who do you think built it? [/QUOTE]

  40. #40

    Re: Mystery les paul possible 54 custom?

    Dude, you're delusional to stick to that story after several experts here told you that ain't a Gibson made guitar, which as an owner of a '68 LPC and a '72 LPC 54RI I wholeheartedly agree.

    Fix it and play it, hopefully you'll get a nice guitar at the end, but stop trying to make up excuses for it.

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