The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop, 1969

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The Gibson Les Paul Deluxe was built from late 1968 to 1985, and used an original style body layout and finish. The pickup cavities reflect the use of P90 pickups, though what was installed was a ‘New York’ mini humbucker mounted in a modified P90 cover, all in a gold top finish.

Gibson launched the Les Paul in 1952, using a now-classic pairing of a Maple top on a Mahogany body, with a Mahogany neck and bound Rosewood fingerboard. By late 1952, the design was modified to increase the neck angle allowing better action and breakover at the bridge saddles and in 1954, the new Tune-O-Matic and Stop Tailpiece were added. This puts the initial Les Paul Deluxe models as based on the 1954 Les Paul. At that point, there were three Les Paul models – the Les Paul, the Les Paul Junior with a simple slab Mahogany body, and the Les Paul Custom with a carved top, all Mahogany body and ‘Staple Top’ Alnico neck pickup. In 1955 the line expanded to include the Les Paul Special, again with a simple slab body. In 1958 the Les Paul Standard appeared with Gibson’s new humbucking pickups, designed by Seth Lover. None of these sold well, and in 1960 the line was completely redesigned into what is now named the SG. However, demand for Les Pauls increased as young British and American blues guitarists discovered them – and the Marshall amp.

In 1968, the Les Paul was reinstated to the Gibson catalog and for 1969, the Deluxe appeared. Apparently, Gibson had a stock of mini-humbuckers in the ‘New York’ style, which had been used on a number of Epiphone models, and it was discovered that these could be mounted in a creme coloured, cut-out, slightly modified P-90 cover. This allowed Gibson to use the jigs and templates they already had and use up the stock of pickups.

From its 1968 launch to 1971, the Gibson Les Paul Deluxe was only available in gold top dress. In 1971, Cherry sunburst was offered, and and other colours – including red and blue sparkles in specific years – came later.

This Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top, dating to 1969 at the historic Parsons Street plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, months before Gibson was purchased by Norlin. And this early example is in good, fully playable condition and has pre-Norlin and post-1968 features, including the small profile volute at the back of the headstock, intended to improve strength and reduce the frequency of headstock breaks. As well, the body is layered in what’s known as a ‘pancake’. Pancake bodies have two Mahogany slabs separated by a thin intermediate layer, here looking like Walnut, and topped with a carved solid Maple top. Typically the visual grade of the Maple used on opaque finishes is not very high, since it’s not intended to be seen.

The distinctive gold top lacquer finish is in good condition considering its age and use. It has light chipping here and there, and natural and expected lacquer checking. The back’s finish shows wear likely from a buckle, though given the location of the wear, the owner probably wore the guitar fairly high.

This guitar has been played, enough to have required a professionally performed re-fret with a medium – high fret wire. It plays well and cleanly, with no choking on bends.

A Fender hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $7750 CAD
  • Model: Les Paul Deluxe
  • Year: 1969
  • Finish Gold Top
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 921336
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 15/08/2019

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 9.28lbs 4.22kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 42.5mm 1.67in
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