The Gibson Les Paul Custom was a very fine solid body guitar, and one generally considered the peak of Gibson solid body production. But in early seventies price-lists, two solid bodies were available with a higher list price: the L5S at $895, and the Les Paul Recording guitar at $695. The Les Paul Custom was priced at just $645 (US price, June 1973), but this was no small amount in 1973!
This is a typical second issue Les Paul - it had been previously been available in the 1950, and into the very early 1960s, and was reissued from 1968. But the reissue sold far better, and 1973 in particular was a good year, with 8322 Les Paul Customs shipped. Seventies Les Paul Customs can not really be considered rare guitars, but they are desirable and are often seen as a significantly more affordable substitute for an original fifties Les Paul Custom.
Of the eight thousand Les Paul customs shipped in 1973, a little over a quarter (2162) were finished two-tone Cherry Sunburst as seen here. And this is one great looking example!
Solid mahogany body with carved maple top. Single cutaway. Adjustable, gold plated tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece. Black pickguard with white revealed edge. Two gold plated Gibson Humbucking pickups with individual volume and tone controls. 3-position toggle switch for pickup selection (individual or both pickups simultaneously). Available in Ebony, or Cherry Sunburst finish. Body size: length 17 1/4". width 12 3/4", depth 2"
Laminated mahogany construction. Width at fingerboard nut 1 11/16". Ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays. Fine wire frets for "fretless" action. Bound peghead and fingerboard. Pearl inlaid head veneer. Deluxe gold plated, individual machine heads. Gibson truss rod with custom truss rod cover. 22 frets. 24 3/4" scale length
Cherry Sunburst is a particularly handsome finish on a Les Paul, and it was widely used on many solid bodies in the early 1970s. The Custom, of course, came with gold-plated hardware, but as can be seen in the images below, this has disappeared with many years of playing.
Reverse view, showing neck joint /heel, and pickup selector switch cavity cover. The missing finish on the body reverse reveals the natural mahogany that this guitar was made of. The neck is also mahogany - a laminate of three pieces, as can be seen here.
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