Fender
Fender Competition Mustang bassGibson Melody MakerEpiphone Granada3
Home | Guitar Model Info | Catalogue Scans | Forum | Other Stuff | Search     









pick a brand

The majority of the instruments profiled on this site were produced by the brands to the left (click for more), although there is also some limited content on the following guitars and amps
Ampeg, Baldwin, Dan Armstrong, Futurama, G&L, Goya, Hayman, Ibanez, Marshall, Musicman, Ovation, Peavey, Rickenbacker, Selmer, Silvertone, Supro and Yamaha, WEM

Or try the site search

Trying to find the value of your guitar?
Sign up for our mailing list

Expand the categories below, or go back home
Advertisements (1950s-80s)
Amplifiers by brand
Blog
Catalogues (1950s-80s)
Classifieds
Effects
Forum
General guitar articles
Guitars by brand
Baldwin
Dan Armstrong
Epiphone
Fender
Futurama
G&L
Gibson
bass
catalogues
Gibson soundclips
guitars - acoustic
guitars - electric acoustic
guitars - solid-body
335S
EDS1275
Explorer
Firebird
Flying V
Futura
Invader
L5S
L6S
Les Paul
Les Paul Artisan
Les Paul Artist
Les Paul Custom
1973 Les Paul Custom
pot. list
Les Paul Deluxe
Les Paul Junior
Les Paul Personal
Les Paul Pro Deluxe
Les Paul Professional
Les Paul Recording
Les Paul Special
Les Paul Special 55
Les Paul Standard
The Les Paul
The Paul
Marauder
Melody Maker
Moderne
RD
S1
SG
Sonex
Victory
guitars - thinline
parts
vintage Gibson adverts
Goya
Gretsch
Guild
Hagstrom
Harmony
Hayman
Hofner
Ibanez
Kalamazoo
Musicman
Ovation
Peavey
Rickenbacker
Selmer
Silvertone
Supro
Vox
Yamaha
Home
Links
Soundclips

Gibson Les Paul > Les Paul Custom

Les Paul CustomThe Les Paul Custom was launched in 1954 as the black beauty. This was an ebony finished (as the name would suggest) guitar with contrasting gold hardware, a black single-coil P-90 (same as the Les Paul Standard) in the neck position, and a distinctive pickup in the bridge position, referred to as the Alnico V - named after the magnet within. In 1957 this pickup configuration was changed to three humbuckers (check out the LP Custom or 'Fretless Wonder' in the 1958 catalogue), until 1961, when the range was redesigned as todays SGs.

Shipping figures for the first issue Les Paul custom[1]

  1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960
Les paul Custom
first issue
94 355 489 283 256 246 189

Gibson Les Paul brochure, June 1968In 1968 Gibson decided to reissue two Les Paul models, and the Custom was made available in its original ebony finish, and again dubbed the fretless wonder. It was available from mid 1968 at a price of $545 [2], with the Les Paul Standard at $395. The brochure (right) describes the two models (click for a closer look at this brochure)

Les PaulGibson is proud to announce its newly reborn affiliation with the man who has come to be known to millions of music lovers the world over as "Mr. Guitar"...

The Custom was not an exact replica, as it had two humbuckers, (originally it had two single coils OR three humbuckers). The 1968 LP bodies and necks Les Pauls were one-piece mahogany (with maple top). Some time in 1969, the bodies were changed to three-piece mahogany/maple/mahogany, with a three-piece mahogany neck.

1970 Les Paul Custom ebony finish 1973 Les Paul Custom cherry sunburst finish 1977 Les Paul Custom ebony finish 1977 Les Paul Custom natural finish 1977 Les Paul Custom. Nickel plated parts, wine red finish 1977 Les Paul Custom. Nickel plated parts, ebony finish 1977 Les Paul Custom. Natural finish with maple fingerboard 1980 Les Paul Custom. Tobacco Sunburst finish
1970 Les Paul Custom ebony finish 1973 Les Paul Custom cherry sunburst finish 1977 Les Paul Custom ebony finish 1977 Les Paul Custom natural finish 1977 Les Paul Custom. Nickel plated parts, wine red finish 1977 Les Paul Custom. Nickel plated parts, ebony finish 1977 Les Paul Custom. Natural finish with maple fingerboard 1980 Les Paul Custom. Tobacco Sunburst finish
Gibson Les Paul Custom - Daddy of
Gibson Les Paul Custom - Daddy of 'em All
1969 advert for the two re-released Les Paul models, the Custom and the Standard

Les Paul may not have invented amplified music, but he perfected it almost single-handed. He started a revolution in fretted instruments and pickup design which is still going on. And the guitars he designed with Gibson have yet to be surpassed. The demand for them just won't quit. And the pressure to make more has never let up. Okay, you win. We are pleased to announce that more of the original Les Paul Gibsons are available. Line forms at your Gibson dealer's.


Keith Richards on the cover of the 1975 Gibson Les Paul catalogue with his ebony-finished Les Paul Custom
Keith Richards on the cover of the 1975 Gibson Les Paul catalogue with his ebony-finished Les Paul Custom.

Cherry Sunburst was first listed in price lists as an option in mid 1971[3] - have a look (and listen to sound clips) to a 1973 Cherry Sunburst LP Custom. According to shipping figures, Cherry was also available at this time (though never mentioned in any gibson price lists or catalogues). Tobacco was available from 1972 (Again never listed). In this period, two humbuckers was the norm, but three pickup models were available as a special order option (along with a short scale model).

Sales were strong throughout the early 1970s, despite the deep US recession of 1973, and 1975 saw a further two finish options; white and wine red, with tobacco sunburst and natural being added in 1976. Sales did dip somewhat in 1976 and 1977, but remained in the thousands.

Shipping figures for the second issue les Paul custom[1]

  1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Les paul Custom
second issue
433 2353 2612 3201 4062 8322 7563 7451 4323 3134 10850 1699

From 1976, three humbuckers were no longer a special order option; but the standard configuration. Two pickup customs were available with nickel plated hardware, which obviously made them a cheaper guitar than the gold plated models. This model was also available in silverburst finish

Early 1980s Gibson Les Paul Custom
Early 1980s promo picture of the three-pickup Les Paul Custom, in ebony, and natural finish. Note the gold hardware throughout.

1978 was a fantastic year for the Les Paul Custom. Sales exceeded 10000 units (the previous highest year was 1973 with 8300). As well as the two and three pickup customs, the 1978 Gibson catalogue also shows a 2 pickup version with a maple fingerboard. Still with gold hardware, it was available in ebony and natural finishes.

1) Gibson Shipment Totals 1937-79 by Larry Meiners
2) Gibson price list 01/06/68
3) Gibson price list 26/06/71

Back to the GIBSON INDEX | comment





US ebay listings

1988 Gibson Les Paul Custom Lite

Current price: $2900.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 18h 57m
1970 Gibson Les Paul Custom Hard Case Black w/Purple

Current price: $95.00
buy it now
Time left: 1h 12m
Les Paul Custom Shop Black 2004

Current price: $2575.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 6h 3m
1968 Gibson Les Paul Custom Hard Case Black w/Gold GREAT CONDITION

Current price: $95.00
buy it now
Time left: 1h 13m
Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop Axcess Standard

Current price: $3300.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 19h 43m
2000 Gibson USA Les Paul Custom Cherry Finish w/ Case

Current price: $1125.00
buy it now
Time left: 1h 57m
Gibson Les Paul Custom 2009 Ebony

Current price: $3100.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 17h 53m
2012 GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOM SHOP 1959 HISTORIC REISSUE MURPHY ULTRA AGED

Current price: $5699.99

Time left: 1d 15h 58m
Gibson Les Paul Custom Guitar 1982 Candy Apple Red

Current price: $2449.99
buy it now
Time left: 29d 22h 10m
1990 Gibson Les Paul Custom, White with OHSC.

Current price: $2000.00

Time left: 2d 17h 18m
Vintage 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty Ebony Incredible Sound! 

Current price: $2595.00
buy it now
Time left: 28d 20h 53m
Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop 1958 VOS Faded Tobacco Electric Guitar - No Reserve

Current price: $2900.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 19h 30m
Ibanez Les Paul Custom Lawsuit Era Guitar w / Case Vintage '70s!

Current price: $499.00
buy it now
Time left: 17d 21h 41m
Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop Silverburst Electric Guitar – Mint – No Reserve!

Current price: $2900.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 19h 43m
Diamond Hatch Les Paul Custom Inlay Stickesr Decasl Guitar Headstock Peghead

Current price: $7.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 4h 29m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

Gibson Les Paul Custom. USA 1986

Current price: £1900.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 15h 8m
1998 Gibson Les Paul Custom

Current price: £1021.01
buy it now
Time left: 1d 10h 48m
Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar in Ebony Finish Gold Hardware 2014

Current price: £1750.00
buy it now
Time left: 21d 20h 32m
1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom Ebony Black

Current price: £1549.88
buy it now
Time left: 9d 17h 19m
2010 Gibson Les Paul Custom Sunburst

Current price: £1239.28
buy it now
Time left: 17d 19h 20m
GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOM BLACK BEAUTY 2001 ALL ORIGINAL

Current price: £1899.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 17h 7m
Les Paul Custom. Blue flame top

Current price: £99.00

Time left: 2d 11h 19m
Gibson Les Paul Custom - 2011 - Ebony Custom Shop

Current price: £2395.00
buy it now
Time left: 24d 14h 55m
Gibson les paul Custom R9

Current price: £3200.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 15h 41m
Gibson Custom Peter Frampton Les Paul Custom 100% Mint! Unplayed! Gold Hardware!

Current price: £2484.16
buy it now
Time left: 7d 22h 3m
Gibson Les Paul Custom 1958 Standard Reissue VOS Lemonburst

Current price: £2750.00
buy it now
Time left: 8h 43m
Vintage 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty Ebony Incredible Sound! 

Current price: £1612.00
buy it now
Time left: 28d 20h 53m
LES PAUL CUSTOM STYLE GUITAR WITH GIBSON PICKUPS.

Current price: £370.00

Time left: 5d 10h 56m
Gibson Les Paul Custom Electric guitar

Current price: £1950.00
buy it now
Time left: 19d 19h 29m
Ibanez Les Paul Custom Lawsuit Era Guitar w / Case Vintage '70s!

Current price: £309.98
buy it now
Time left: 17d 21h 41m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

Gibson 498T Gold Humbucker auch für Les Paul Custom

Current price: €25.50
buy it now
Time left: 19h 33m
Gibson Les Paul Customshop 1997 Ultima "Tree of Life" Tangerin Honey Burst

Current price: €5950.00
buy it now
Time left: 8d 17h 2m
Gibson Les Paul Custom Bj. 1979

Current price: €2290.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 20h 33m
Gibson 498T Nickel Humbucker auch für Les Paul Custom

Current price: €12.62
buy it now
Time left: 19h 37m
1975 GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOM USA & 25 / 50th ANNIVERSARY HYBRID

Current price: €1850.00
buy it now
Time left: 13d 14h 4m
1981 Gibson Les Paul Custom 3 Pick-up Black Beauty! Jimmy Page Vibe! LPC3

Current price: €3290.00
buy it now
Time left: 26d 10h 26m
See more results on eBay here

There are 4 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
Blues McIlroy Comment left 2nd August 2012 06:06:14
I got my Les Paul Custom brand new in 1976. Present from the folks. I've now had it 36 years and it's still going strong. It had a refret about 5 years ago, but not surprising considering how much play it got. Such a sweet tone for those heavier blues rock numbers. I don't play so much now, but this is one guitar that is going nowhere!
Alex Gaal Comment left 12th November 2012 20:08:09
Hi, I've owned a Les Paul what I assume is a custom for the gold parts for over 30 years. The serial no. have been removed since before I got it. Its nat. wood finish and the only way I think I can ID its year is pot no. 1376850, TX1158, 500k. Another problem is those pots may have been replaced before I owned it. Any advice? thanks
Salt 'n Pepper Comment left 12th December 2012 08:08:24
Should a '76 LP Custom have two or three pickups? Looking at one with three, but not sure if the middle pickup is a later addition. Did Gibson produce both simultaneously? Thanks if you can help.
jim smith Comment left 24th March 2013 20:08:11
very helpful. recently had a house fire and guitars were smoke damaged from miniscule to severe and now dealing with insurance co. my les paul custom was purchased new when I was a teenager and I know i had it for at least three yearsbefore i graduated high school in 1976, suggesting it is a 1970-1973 model(has USA stamped on headstock with serial #132718)pots are hard to read but one is:70 028, another is only partially readable and clearly ends in 7325 and another end in 7325 as well and has the number 7(I think) before the 7325. these pot codes woud suggest the pots were made in 1973 on the 25th week. the pots were never changed( Iam the origional owner). It is cherry red sunburst which suggests it is no older than mid 1971.What year do you think the guitar was made? thxs, jim s

Comment on this article

All comments are moderated. Name and email details are required.

Name
Email address
Your comments

Anti-spam question - just to prove you are a real person

How many legs does a cat have?