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1953 Custom at Emerald City

mistersnappy

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Jan 20, 2006
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Hi all. They just posted this video a couple days ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNsZ4MLgt_8

Two things I'm curious about:
1. He says that there were no serial numbers on Les Pauls in 1953 and weren't added until the "next year". There were in fact some finally added as that year (1953) went on, right? I suppose that if it were an early '53 model then it wouldn't have one.

2. There is a tune-o-matic that is supposedly factory installed which is I guess possible as they were being used on Super 400s, according to some info I found.

Would love to see the ledgers to see if this one is in there. Super early and historic.

Any thoughts?
 

Jim W

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Aug 14, 2002
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I know on my wife's 53 goldtop, there's a serial number; I am assuming there would be on Customs?

Bridge I don't know.
 

edwina

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Nov 17, 2015
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No serial numbers on 1953 Les Paul Customs. Tune-O-Matic bridge is standard for every Les Paul Custom, even the 1953s. Tune o matic later appeared on late 1955 goldtop Les Paul Standards.
 

mistersnappy

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Thanks for the info. Not being well versed in Customs, I didn't realize that they were introduced in '53. Always thought '54.
 

corpse

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Jun 9, 2007
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These sound great- we had a jam up here and Charlie Starr had the choice of a refin '59 Std and a '53 Custom. After a few minutes with the Std he grabbed the Custom and never put it down. A P-90 and an alnico staple pick up. That guitar belongs to Coy Bowles from Zac Brown's band now IIRC. Don't remember if it had a serial or not- the story was only 5-7 of these were made.
I preferred the Std but who gives a shit about that right?
 

Jim W

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May I please see some pics of the cavities with the pickups partially out and the 2 back covers off?


Maybe; but I think you would need to get them from Emerald City Guitars.
 

Rev.WillieVK

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I know on my wife's 53 goldtop, there's a serial number; I am assuming there would be on Customs?

Gibson had been using serial numbers on Goldtops for most or all of 1953.

Only reason I can think of for not having a serial number on the 1953 Les Paul Customs is that they hadn't yet figured out the white/yellow ink for stamping the number - obviously the black ink they'd been using wouldn't show up.

That, and maybe because there were so few - does anybody have any idea how many 1953 Customs there were? 6? 25?

The Shipping Total list doesn't show any. :hmm
 

j2tgw

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Dec 19, 2006
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Im sure I read some where years ago that 5 pre production guitars were made ?
just for the reps to show them off to prospective customers ,
But that is only what I read don't know if that's true or not ?
I know there was not many that's for sure
 

mistersnappy

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Jan 20, 2006
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Gibson had been using serial numbers on Goldtops for most or all of 1953.

Only reason I can think of for not having a serial number on the 1953 Les Paul Customs is that they hadn't yet figured out the white/yellow ink for stamping the number - obviously the black ink they'd been using wouldn't show up.

That, and maybe because there were so few - does anybody have any idea how many 1953 Customs there were? 6? 25?

The Shipping Total list doesn't show any. :hmm

I checked the Lawrence book and IIRC, he said serial numbers didn't become common on Customs until '55. I'll need to double check that. He also did mention about Gibson not wanting to mar the finish with a serial number and trying to figure out what ink and how they would go about it.
 

Rev.WillieVK

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FWIW

Most 1954 Les Paul Customs that lost their serial numbers could 'pass' as a 1953 because Gibson bought a huge supply of pots in mid-1953 and they were using those pots well into 1954, at least to the 4 23xx serial number guitars.

:salude
 

JIMI55LP

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Jun 28, 2005
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FWIW

Most 1954 Les Paul Customs that lost their serial numbers could 'pass' as a 1953 because Gibson bought a huge supply of pots in mid-1953 and they were using those pots well into 1954, at least to the 4 23xx serial number guitars.

:salude
Agreed!
 
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