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  1. #1

    1957-60 Les Paul Custom Middle pickup orientation ?

    Hello everyone,

    I have a question about the 3 pickups Les Paul Custom Black Beauty from 1957-1960
    I would like to know if there was a standard for the Middle pickup orientation as I've seen some who have the middle pickup screw facing the neck pickup and some facing the bridge pickup
    When they first came out the factory, was there a standard orientation? I mean they all came in the same orientation and some people have flipped them or some came one way and some the other way? Or did they changes the orientation from year to year?

    I saw some famous one at the MET expo last year, Keith Richards 57 LP Custom had the screw facing the bridge pickup and the Jimmy page 60 LPC was opposite.
    Even the recent Custom Shop models seem to change orientation from year to year.

    Finally, does it change the tone by changing the orientation of that middle pickup? Wondering if the "out of Phase" effect is more pronounced one way or the other?

    Sorry if that question have been ask before

    Have a good one and stay safe everyone!

    Stephane
    Montreal, Canada
    Last edited by Steph74; 05-06-20 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Mispelling

  2. #2

    Re: 1957-60 Les Paul Custom Middle pickup orientation ?

    Jimmy Page 1960 LPC
    JPLPC.jpg

    Keith Richards 1957 LPC
    0b4ee5e60469d73a79a49ca716834977.jpg

  3. #3

    Re: 1957-60 Les Paul Custom Middle pickup orientation ?

    No one know if they came out of the factory in a specific orientation from 1957 to 1960?

  4. #4

    Re: 1957-60 Les Paul Custom Middle pickup orientation ?

    Here's the 1960 Gibson catalogue:
    https://guitar-compare.com/wp-conten...on-Catalog.pdf

    1961 catalogue:
    https://guitar-compare.com/wp-conten..._Gibson-SG.pdf

    According to the catalogues, the middle pickup's adjustable pole pieces are closer to the fretboard.

    The 1957 catalogue shows the same thing.

  5. #5

    Re: 1957-60 Les Paul Custom Middle pickup orientation ?

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    Here's the 1960 Gibson catalogue:
    https://guitar-compare.com/wp-conten...on-Catalog.pdf

    1961 catalogue:
    https://guitar-compare.com/wp-conten..._Gibson-SG.pdf

    According to the catalogues, the middle pickup's adjustable pole pieces are closer to the fretboard.

    The 1957 catalogue shows the same thing.
    Thanks !

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    586

    Re: 1957-60 Les Paul Custom Middle pickup orientation ?

    1958 for sale at Music Emporium:




  7. #7

    Re: 1957-60 Les Paul Custom Middle pickup orientation ?

    And what about the wiring on these beauties?
    I mean, I have read somewhere that the middle pickup was always at full volume, so it's not attached to any volume and tone pot, but I got confused because on some old Stones live footage, I can clearly see Keef's playing with the toggle in middle position, he's turning down the neck volume control on the guitar and the guitar clean up nicely, so it seem in his case, the neck volume and tone control serve as a master for both pickup when the switch is in middle position. Is that the way it's supposed to be or his guitar have been mod that way?

    I'm on the market to buy one but I wanna make sure if it has been mod or not...

    Another question I have is about the pickup rings... I see some 57 / 60 that have tall pickups rings a bit like on a 57 / 60 standard, that end flush with the pickups when adjusted properly, but on some other vintage Custom, the pickups rings are noticeably lower, so you can see the pickups stand out of the ring a bit more. Is that because they have been changed over time or did Gibson were using different models, maybe some made for their archtop when they were running out of stock.

    Sorry to ask so many question, I feel it's harder to get info about the vintage custom than it is for the standard model.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lubbock, TX
    Posts
    3,198

    Re: 1957-60 Les Paul Custom Middle pickup orientation ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steph74 View Post
    And what about the wiring on these beauties?
    I mean, I have read somewhere that the middle pickup was always at full volume, so it's not attached to any volume and tone pot, but I got confused because on some old Stones live footage, I can clearly see Keef's playing with the toggle in middle position, he's turning down the neck volume control on the guitar and the guitar clean up nicely, so it seem in his case, the neck volume and tone control serve as a master for both pickup when the switch is in middle position. Is that the way it's supposed to be or his guitar have been mod that way?

    I'm on the market to buy one but I wanna make sure if it has been mod or not...

    Another question I have is about the pickup rings... I see some 57 / 60 that have tall pickups rings a bit like on a 57 / 60 standard, that end flush with the pickups when adjusted properly, but on some other vintage Custom, the pickups rings are noticeably lower, so you can see the pickups stand out of the ring a bit more. Is that because they have been changed over time or did Gibson were using different models, maybe some made for their archtop when they were running out of stock.

    Sorry to ask so many question, I feel it's harder to get info about the vintage custom than it is for the standard model.
    As I understand it and ime, in the middle position the bridge and middle pickup and yield a less powerful signal than either the bridge or neck pickup alone. Here is a thread about them....


    https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...-Pickup-Custom
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

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