The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson Les Paul Custom Black, 1974


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First appearing in 1953, the Gibson Les Paul Custom began as an upmarket version of Gibson’s new solidbody, with a solid Mahogany cap instead of Maple and P90 pickups and a dramatic black finish.

The original Les Paul model featured a Maple cap on a Mahogany slab body, with Mahogany for the neck and Rosewood for the fingerboard. Aside from ‘Les Paul Model’ this version did not have a name – like Junior, Special Standard, or Deluxe. The 1953 Les Paul Custom was the first with a secondary model name, and a different construction. The carved cap on the Les Paul Custom throughout the 1950s was Mahogany, while the fingerboard was Ebony. Poor sales and licensing issues caused the Les Paul line to be dropped after 1962. When it re-appeared, with interest spurred by the English discovery of electrified American Blues music and players like Freddy Albert and BB King, not to mention Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, the Mahogany cap on the Custom was replaced by the now-standard Maple cap.

In addition to the question of the cap material, the Les Paul Custom sports multi-layer binding on the top and back of the body, around the fingerboard plus the head stock. The inlays, rather than dots or trapezoids, are Mother of Pearl blocks in the Ebony fingerboard.

Here we’re looking at a Gibson Les Paul Custom in Black, built likely during 1974 at the Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan. At this point, Gibson was well into planning their move to Nashville, but the new plant was not ready until 1984.

This guitar is in overall good condition, with a fair amount of finish wear in the form of small dings and dents. There are no signs of repairs having been done or required – no broken headstock here. The finish is also showing a bit of separation along the body layers at the bass side lower bout. The bodies of Gibsons of this period tend to be of a ‘pancake’ construction, with two layers of Mahogany separated by a thin layer of another material, often Walnut or Maple.

The electronics are original, as is the finish. The original Kluson tuners have been replaced by, possibly Gotoh models. The original stop tailpiece and bridge have been swapped out for heavier Brass models; this was a trend for a time when anything to increase sustain was seen as desirable. The original bridge and stop tailpiece are included.

The frets are original, and the profiles on the existing frets brings to mind the ‘fretless wonder’ concept of very low frets and very low action. That concept has largely been replaced by the use of higher, harder fret wire that allows better grip and a longer maintainable life.

The original Gibson hard shell case is included.


Price: $4,500.00 CAD
  • Model: Les Paul Custom
  • Year: 1974 | Approximate year
  • Finish Gloss Black
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 630006
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 28/08/2019

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 10.56lbs 4.8kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 628.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.692in 43mm
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