The Gibson Les Paul Deluxe first debuted in 1969/70; they first appear in the Gibson price list of September '69, though shipping figures show none shipped until 1970. Two years earlier, Gibson had relaunched the Les Paul. Where the (reissued 60s) Standard had two cream-covered single-coil P90s, the Deluxe came equipped with two cream-surrounded mini-humbuckers. Structurally they were the same, mahogany body and neck with carved maple gold-top (although numerous other colours became available later).
So why did Gibson change from single coil to the mini-humbuckers? These pickups had never been used on Gibson instruments before (they differed from the mini-humbuckers used on the Firebird in that they had polepieces), but they had been used on very many Epiphone models (Crestwood Custom, Crestwood Deluxe, Sheraton, Wilshire, Riviera, Emperor, Broadway). In late 1969 production of all Epiphone instruments moved from the Gibson Kalamazoo factory to Japan. Was the introduction of these pickups more about using up left over stock (one of the few hardware items not used on a Gibson equivalent model) than a deliberate hardware choice?
The following description is taken from the 1970 Gibson catalogue
LES PAUL DELUXEÂ—High Impedance
This Les Paul model is "deluxe" in every way. Fine performance and outstanding styling. The attractive gold finished carved maple top is magnificently highlighted by two powerful chrome-plated humbucking pickups.
FEATURES: Gold finished carved maple top with laminated mahogany back and neck. Two powerful chrome-plated humbucking pickups. Fast, low-action neck joins body at 16th fret. Three-piece laminated mahogany neck with adjustable truss rod. Graceful single cutaway design. Three-position toggle switch activates either or both pickups. 22 fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl inlays. Double combination bridge and tailpiece. Tune-0-Matic bridge, adjustable up and down and individual fine tuning adjustment for each string. Individual pickup pole pieces. Nickel-plated metal parts with individual machine heads. 17 1/4" long, 12 3/4" wide, 2" deep; scale length 24 3/4".
The Les Paul Deluxe shipping figures are shown on the next page. As can be seen it was incredibly popular in the early seventies, however, losing ground to the Les Paul Custom as the 70s wore on.