The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson Les Paul Custom Sunburst, 1979

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Finishing up our Les Paul Custom day – the most recognisable finish for the Custom is it’s ‘Tuxedo’, white trim on a gloss black finish but other colours have been offered, as this Les Paul Custom Sunburst from 1979 illustrates.

Here we’re looking at a Gibson Les Paul Custom Sunburst, dating to March 27 1979 and still built at the historic Kalamazoo plant. It has all the characteristics of the Norlin ownership era, from 1970 to 1983. These include a Maple neck rather than Mahogany, a decreased pitch for the headstock, and a volute behind the truss rod adjuster cavity. These changes were intended to reduce the number of broken headstocks.

This Gibson Les Paul Custom Sunburst seems to be in original condition, though it has definitely been used as intended. There is light to moderate scuffing on the back and top, but finish chipping is minimal. Fret wear is light to moderate, but this is from an era when low, flat frets were desired. For modern playing styles, a player might well choose to install higher fretwire.

The finish is in overall good condition, but could benefit from a bit of time and elbow work with products like Virtuoso Cleaner and Polish.

The original Gibson hard shell case is included.

The original Gibson 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. By the 1970’s into the 1980’s, necks became Maple rather than Mahogany in an effort to reduce breakage.

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.


 

Price: $5150 CAD
  • Model: Les Paul Custom
  • Year: 1979
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 70869454 dates to March 27th, 1979
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 28/08/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 11.22lbs 5.1kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 43mm 1.69in
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