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Les Paul Custom Sunburst

vsface1961

New member
Joined
Feb 4, 2023
Messages
3
Hello everyone,

I’m Fabio and I’m writing from Italy and I would appreciate some help for my guitar.

In the 1975 , for my 14° birthday, my father gave me an used sunburst Gibson Les Paul custom. When he bought it , they told him that was a Gibson of the end of fifties. It was in very poor condition. It came without pickguard and pickup cover.I kept it in these conditions for few year and in the late seventies my father had it “repaired” by his friend and luthier. In those time there was no interest in vintage, in Italy at least. After 45 years I don’t remember all the work done , but certainly has been polished , were replaced the Kluson turner (you can see the old holes in the back of headstock) and the bridge pickup and probably something in the electrical part. Most likely, during polishing was deleted the serial number (but there may not have been when it was bought, I cannot recall that particular) . In the early 1980s I stopped playng electrical guitar and my Gibson has been closed in its case (not original; the original was very tired and was replaced ☹). In the last few years I did a brief research on its history, but finding informations has been difficult. Some say that a pleasing variety of Custom sunburst were built in 1957, some others say that only in 1968 were built a few examples of Custom sunbust. They even said that it was repainted (originally it was a Black Beauty). That’s all.

I attach some photos and I thank you
 

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S. Weiger

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2002
Messages
1,782
From your pics, I can say one conclusive thing: It's not a late 50's Gibson. The last 3 inlays would then have to be the same size, for starters.
Maybe other more knowledgeable members here can shed some light as to what it actually could be?
welcome btw.
 

Midnight Blues

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
1,705
Benvenuto a LPF Fabio!

I'm with Dutch Ray and with what you mentioned about the guitar having been painted. Have you taken the pickups out to see what they are?


Salute!
 

poor man's burst

Active member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
427
The obvious reason why it is probably not a 53-61 Les paul Custom is that it appears to have a 2 pieces maple top. The second reason is that the stop tailpiece is not in the right place.
As for the last 3 inlays, they were of different sizes from 1960 (from late '59 on the ES-355 as well).
 

vsface1961

New member
Joined
Feb 4, 2023
Messages
3
Thanks to all . I' amo not an Expert but the saddle seem to be in the transition of years from the end of fiftied to the early sixties. I attach photos of the back of saddle and the internal pickups. It seem to me that the body is in One piece( see the back) . Only the top Is in two pieces.
 

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DutchRay

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Messages
875
Fifties customs didn't have maple caps, they're carved out of one piece of mahogany. I believe customs did have maple caps in the late sixties.
A 50's Custom has a two piece mahogany top on a one piece mahogany back. A solid mahogany guitar, just not out of one piece but three pieces. The maple top came with the re-introduction in 1968.
http://www.guitarhq.com/lpcus.html
 

vsface1961

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Joined
Feb 4, 2023
Messages
3
Are you sure that the top Is maple? Seem to be the same wood of the body. Is not figured.
 

poor man's burst

Active member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
427
A 50's Custom has a two piece mahogany top on a one piece mahogany back. A solid mahogany guitar, just not out of one piece but three pieces. The maple top came with the re-introduction in 1968.
http://www.guitarhq.com/lpcus.html
'50s Les Paul Customs have a one piece mahogany body, not a three pieces. That's the reason why the wire channel section is circular and not square.
 

poor man's burst

Active member
Joined
Oct 3, 2010
Messages
427
Are you sure that the top Is maple? Seem to be the same wood of the body. Is not figured.
Pores are not the same on the top and on the back. There is some faint figures near the toggle switch and between the pickups. Not all maple caped 50's Les Pauls have figured top. Gibson rarely used figured maple on post '68 Les Paul, until their first '50s Sunburst reissues, specially if they were intended to be painted black.
 
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blueline

Active member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
186
According to Rob Lawrence's book , the Les Paul legacy, he states that "The Les Paul Cuistom was constructed out of one-piece solid Hondurus mahogany body with a carved top". No mention of any kind of mahogany cap. However he also reports that 2 LP customs were build in 1959 on special order with 2 pickups and a cherry sunburst maple tops.
 

guitplayer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 8, 2008
Messages
2,114
Post a pic of the control cavity. Looks to me to be a early/mid 1973.
Black beauty refinished. Still with the sprague caps.
The neck pocket is curious. Might be a very late 1969 with the
glued in block in the neck pocket.
 

JJ Blair

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
3,462
The long tenon and two piece top scream that it's 1968 to early 1969. Definitely NOT '70s. It's a cool guitar. Basically a Mick Ronson Custom.
 
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