The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

*NO LONGER AVAILABLE* Gibson Les Paul Recording Model Natural, 1972


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Built from 1971 to 1979, the Gibson Les Paul Recording model sported the features most desired by Les Paul himself, but unfortunately this did not translate into sales success. Still, even this low selling model was copied by Japanese builders during the ‘Lawsuit Era’.   This was Les Paul’s favourite model and he used one in all his New York jazz club appearances.

Constructed during the Norlin years with strong references to the original Les Paul Custom models, the Gibson Les Paul Recording model featured a Mahogany body with carved Mahogany top – unlike the Gold Top and Standard models, which had Maple caps on a Mahogany slab. At this point, Gibson was using what’s come to be called ‘Pancake’ bodies, with at least two narrower layers of Mahogany. The neck was Mahogany with a Volute and bound Indian Rosewood fingerboard, bearing small Mother of Pearl block markers. The headstock is appointed much like the Les Paul Custom with Mother of Pearl split-diamond inlays and Gibson logo. A long-travel adjustable bridge and stop tailpiece are coupled with Gibson branded tuners. Here, the original strap pins have been replaced with Strap-Lock models, a highly sensible upgrade.

Where the Gibson Les Paul Recording diverges from almost all previous models is in the electronics. Les Paul greatly preferred low impedance pickups because they are cleaner, quieter and have greater range than high-impedance single coils or humbuckers, and longer cable runs can be used. This model uses a distinctive pair of low impedance pickups in black plastic, ‘Gibson’ embossed covers. These lead to a top-mounted control panel consisting of a Volume control, Decade switch (much like a Varitone with resistors, capacitors and an inductor), passive treble and bass controls, a Rear-Front pickup selector, three position Tone switch and two slider switches. The first slider controls the phase of the neck pickup, and the other selects High or Low Impedance output. All of this fits into a cavity routed on the front of the guitar.

This Gibson Les Paul Recording model dates to the early years of the model’s production but, because Gibson seems to have randomly assigned and re-used serial numbers during this period, is difficult to date precisely. Potentiometer codes could help, but large sections of these codes are covered by the original soldered ground wires. We’re calling this a 1972 model but it could have been built in 1971.

This rare guitar is in good original condition. Fret wear is light, and there is one dent in the top near the strap pin. It plays well, and the electronics are versatile.  The current owner comments that this guitar was virtually never played for over 40 years since it was brand new in ’72 and only lightly since resold in 2014.

The original Gibson hard shell case is included, and contains a reproduction copy of the original brochure explaining all of the electronics.

Price: $3,450.00 CAD $3,750.00 CAD
  • Model: Les Paul Recording
  • Year: 1972 | Approximate year
  • Finish Natural Gloss
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 754142
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 28/10/2020

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 9.9lbs 4.5kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 628.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.698in 43.25mm
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