GIBSON | SOLID BODY | LES PAUL | LES PAUL DELUXE

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe

Les Paul equipped with dual mini-humbuckers

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 Standard and Custom. 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 though: a mahogany body and neck with carved maple gold-top (although numerous other colours became available later). The Gibson Les Paul Deluxe went on to become one of Gibson's most successful models, with over 35 thousand guitars shipped in the 1970s alone (see Les Paul Deluxe shipping statistics).

1973 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe in beautifully Cherry Sunburst finish Image Heritage auctions

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 pole pieces), 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?

Les Paul Deluxe specifications

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe

The following description is taken from the 1970 Gibson catalogue

LES PAUL DELUXE— 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".

Les Paul Deluxe catalog appearances

Gibson 1970 Les Paul catalogue
The 1970 Les Paul catalogue launched the Deluxe, as a replacement to the Les Paul Standard which had been available since 1968

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
Gibson 1975 Les Paul catalogue
The 1975 Les Paul catalogue proclaims the Les Paul Deluxe's popularity; it had indeed been the best selling Les Paul 1971-1974. Ironically sales dropped drastically after this catalogue was printed

The Les Paul Deluxe is already one of the most popular guitars in history
Gibson 1978 Quality /Prestige /Innovation catalogue
The minimalist 1978 electrics catalogue entitled Quality / Prestige / Innovation
1980 Gibson catalogue
The 1980 Gibson catalogue featured six Les Paul models, plus two versions of 'The Paul'
1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalogue
The 1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalogue opened with the Les Paul Deluxe. Black & white
1983 Gibson catalogue
From the 1983 Gibson catalogue
The Deluxe humbucking pickup is preferred by players who require a tighter, crisper sound. These pickups enable Deluxe Humbuckers to yield increased high frequency output, thus making the Les Paul Deluxe model ideal for players who require a sharp distinctive attack.

Les Paul Deluxe shipping figures

The Les Paul Deluxe shipped very well indeed. As can be seen it was incredibly popular in the early seventies, selling more than many other vintage Les Paul versions, although its position did slip as the decade wore on.

Model \ Year1970197119721973197419751976197719781979total
Les Paul Deluxe     228 3397376
Les Paul Deluxe - Blue Sparkle     21597  231
Les Paul Deluxe - Blue Sparkle LH     2    2
Les Paul Deluxe - Cherry 10397602272801    2307
Les Paul Deluxe - Cherry Sunburst 220167145293198679401078857311402
Les Paul Deluxe - Cherry Sunburst LH   256559 363928252
Les Paul Deluxe - Goldtop2587314424824880295539434939157017554
Les Paul Deluxe - Goldtop LH 273634456623223422309
Les Paul Deluxe - Natural     8231234516458
Les Paul Deluxe - Red Sparkle     124    124
Les Paul Deluxe - Red Sparkle LH     1    1
Les Paul Deluxe - Tobacco Sunburst  169608796293 131041933013
Les Paul Deluxe - Tobacco Sunburst LH   2 54  3142
Les Paul Deluxe - Walnut 3667  72   112
Les Paul Deluxe - Wine Red     6101499831411595
Les Paul Deluxe - Wine Red LH     130242132108
Les Paul Deluxe with humbuckers  917928 5   221
Total Les Paul Deluxe2587446651941048473672561172413445041335520
Total Les Paul Custom2612320140628322756374514323313410850169953217
Total Les Paul Recording23613141759915204332362180785380

Les Paul Deluxe chronology

1968 Les Paul catalog
1968: The Les Paul Standard and Custom are manufactured for the first time since 1960
1969: September - The Les Paul Deluxe is listed in the September price list at $425
1970 Les Paul catalog
1970: $450 (1/9/70). Although shipping figures state the first Deluxes were shipped in 1970, production started in late 1969. Early instruments lack a volute and 'MADE IN USA' stamp
1971: Cherry Sunburst finish listed in the June price list ($20 extra). Price rises to $475 (22/9/71). Walnut and Cherry finishes listed in shipping stats
1972: $495 (15/10/72). Tobacco sunburst finish also listed in shipping stats, as well as a Deluxe with full-size humbuckers
Who guitarist Pete Townsend starts using the Les Paul Deluxe, replacing the SG Specials he had favoured for several years.
1973: $525 (1/6/73)
1974: $580 (1/5/74)
1975 Les Paul catalog
1975: The June price list is the first to list other finishes: Gold, Wine Red, Cherry or Tobacco Sunburst. The November list raises the price to $599. Shipping stats show blue and red sparkle finishes, as well as Natural for 1975, though these were never mentioned in '75 pricelists. (Sparkle finishes are never mentioned in any price list)
Around this time, necks start to be made of maple rather than mahogany
1976: Sunburst (Tobacco and Cherry) and Natural finishes are listed at $30 above the base $599. Left handed models are priced at $50 extra

Examine a 1976 LP Deluxe
1977: $649 (1/1/77). Burst, natural and left-handed models still cost $30/$50 extra
1978 full line catalog
1978: $699 ($749 for left handed, Wine red or Cherry sunburst) (15/5/78). Ebony (black) is listed in this price list, though not as a separate item in the shipping figures
1979: $749 ($799 for left handed, Wine red or Cherry sunburst) (1/1/79)
1980 full line catalog
1980: $799 ($849 for left handed, Tobacco Sunburst or Cherry sunburst) (7/1/80)
1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalogue
1981: $899 (1/4/81)
1982: $899 ($999 left handed) (1/6/82)
1983 Gibson catalog
1983: $899 (EB, Wine red) $984 (Gold, Cherry sunburst) (15/6/83)
By this time, Gibson had returned to using mahogany necks.
1984: $899
1985: Discontinued


Vintage Les Paul Deluxe Parts For Sale

Gibson Mini Humbucker Early 1970s
Gibson Mini Humbucker 1979
Gibson Mini Humbucker Early 1970s
Got an opinion on the contents of this page? Disagree with something written above? Please comment

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe for sale





There are 7 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

Comment on this article

Name
Email address
Anti-spam question - to catch web robots
How many legs does a tripod have?
Wade Handy Comment left 2nd May 2017 22:10:05 reply
172596 was stolen from me in 1989. Cherry Sunburst
Bradley Glen Comment left 27th March 2017 16:04:04 reply
joe@thewho.org Good day Sir I believe I may have one of the guitars that were smashed on stage by the Who or other of that error. Any way trying to trace the history . I am in South Africa Goldtop Deluxe vintage approx 70-74 model . Severe belt-buckle scarring typical of a stage guitar. Been repaired before I bought it 25 years ago and came in a hard plastic heavy duty black Gibson Flight case . Serial number 144xxx Made in USA If the serial number may help track the origin and musician it would be so great to know. Thanks Bradley Glen South Africa
Deborah K McMasters Comment left 1st November 2013 08:08:19 reply
Hi I am looking for the price or value of a Gibson Deluxe Les Paul Gold Electric Guitar, model number 619017. I am trying to find out this information for my sister. She just had a husband pass away about a month. He kept this guitar in very nice shape. He kept it shined up and polished. He took very special care of all of his stuff. Could someone please let me know where to go to find out the value of this guitar? thank you Deborah K McMasters
George Gohlike Comment left 4th April 2013 10:10:40 reply
Hi, I have a cherry sunburst that only has the serial number and no "MADE IN THE USA" stamp, it also has a small volute. Is this a 1970 or 1971? Thanks.
Andy Comment left 27th September 2012 08:08:39 reply
What kind of volume pots should I use as replacement in my 1971 Les Paul Deluxe to be as close to original as possible? Thanx.
vintage guitar and bass Comment left 27th September 2012 08:08:52 reply
There have been various pots listed for the Les Paul Deluxe in parts lists over the years. You can read a summary of this information here. For 1971 they list part 70020 which was made by CTS and has a resistance of 500k. It was widely used on other Gibson guitars. replacements are easy to find, but an original shouldn't be too hard to find either, should you wish to keep it stock.
sam Comment left 14th March 2012 07:07:59 reply
hi ive got a gibson les paul deluxe goldtop the pots say 73 but the serial number say it was made between 70 and 72.can this be possible??

Contact
info@vintageguitarandbass.com

Follow

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Google+

Other Great Sites