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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 catalog

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 catalog
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 catalog
The 1975 Les Paul catalog 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 catalog
The minimalist 1978 electrics catalog entitled Quality / Prestige / Innovation
1980 Gibson catalog
The 1980 Gibson catalog featured six Les Paul models, plus two versions of 'The Paul'
1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalog
The 1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalog opened with the Les Paul Deluxe. Black & white
1983 Gibson catalogue
From the 1983 Gibson catalog
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.

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe shipping totals

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

Gibson 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
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Vintage 1973 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Cherry Sunburst

Vintage 1973 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Cherry Sunburst

Mount Laurel, New Jersey, 080**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Very nice and original Les Paul Deluxe. Beautiful cherry sunburst finish
3 piece body and neck with a big headstock
All original electronics sound awesome!
Pickups can definitely hang with their full sized counterparts!
The neck is slim and the frets are wide and flat - as they were during this time
Fresh set up and polish with 9-46 and it plays great!
The toggle cap is replaced - the original broken one is included
Super cool square LP case!!
Pots are all original ... more
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1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Vintage Sunburst W /  Case

1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Vintage Sunburst W / Case

Palm Bay, Florida, 329**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Vintage Sunburst W / Case. Condition is Used. Shipped with Standard Shipping.... more
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1971-1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Cherry RED  ~ RARE ~  1970s Guitar 1959 profile

1971-1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Cherry RED ~ RARE ~ 1970's Guitar 1959 profile

Jacksonville, Florida, 322**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale is an extremely RARE 1971-1972 Vintage Gibson Les Paul Deluxe in Original CHERRY RED!
Comes in a newer Case. WEIGHT: 10 lbs 1 oz.
There is a repaired small crack in the volute that didn't extend to the headstock (see pics). It's solid as a rock
WILL set up with strings of choice before shipping!!!
All ORIGINAL with the exception of bridge, knobs and tuners. Original 'PAT NO' sticker mini-humbuckers, all 1972 dated pots, etc
Tone to die for
Neck is perfect and ... more
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Gibson Les Paul Deluxe 1976 - Gold Top With Gibson HSC

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe 1976 - Gold Top With Gibson HSC

Fort Wayne, Indiana, 468**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


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Vintage 1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop Serial Number 773625 Pots 1377251

Vintage 1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop Serial Number 773625 Pots 1377251

Miami, Florida, 331**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage 1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop. Serial Number 773625. Pot Codes 1377251. Nice and Clean with Original Finish. No Breaks or Repairs. Original Frets and Electronics with Only Newer Volume Pots. Weighs in at 9 3 LBS. Original Gibson Logo Purple Lined Case
... more
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Vintage! 1978 Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe Electric Guitar Gold + OHSC

Vintage! 1978 Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe Electric Guitar Gold + OHSC

Thousand Oaks, California, 913**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage! 1978 Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe Electric Guitar Gold + OHSC

Google us! Lovies Guitar Shop
Lovies Guitars is excited to offer up this 1978 Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe Electric Guitar with a Gold Finish! This guitar has the tone and playability you would expect from a Les Paul. Plugged in, this axe has some really nice meaty growls and great overtones! Really shimmery highs that don??t get harsh. It plays great, has a comfy neck and a quick action. This guitar is in ... more
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1979 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe (Ebony): With Mini-Humbuckers

1979 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe (Ebony): With Mini-Humbuckers

Danbury, Connecticut, 068**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1979 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe (Ebony): With Mini-Humbuckers
This 1979 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe in immaculate ebony is a dream come true. This guitar is more than just vintage ?? it's a timeless tone machine in excellent condition
This Deluxe roars with the searing bite and articulate clarity of its original mini-humbuckers. Perfect for blues, rock, and anything that demands a touch of grit
Gibson mini humbuckers were introduced in the late 1960s to meet the demand for a P-90-sized ... more
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Vintage 1977 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop w /  Humbuckers Original Hardshell Cas

Vintage 1977 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Goldtop w / Humbuckers Original Hardshell Cas



Vintage original absolutely stunning 1977 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe that has been upgraded to Humbucker pickups
Guitar originally had mini humbucker pickups, it currently sports two Gibson '57 Classic pickups. They sound fantastic, classic vintage tones like a real PAF
All pots are original dated 1977. Guitar is completely original with the exception of the pickups
Original Goldtop finish is in fantastic condition with little signs of wear. Guitar has been very well cared for ... more
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Vintage 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe w /  Humbuckers Natural

Vintage 1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe w / Humbuckers Natural



Vintage original 1975 Les Paul Deluxe.
Guitar is clean and plays great. It has recent '57 Classic humbuckers that have replaced the mini-hum buckers that originally came on the guitar. This makes for a thicker sound more like a classic Les Paul Standard
Original Natural finish is stunning.
Guitar is very clean with some honest signs of wear. Some belt buckle rash. Original tuners have been off and put back on the guitar. They are currently the original Gibson tuners ... more
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Vintage Original 1976 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe GOLDTOP  ~ Super CLEAN 1970s Gold Top

Vintage Original 1976 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe GOLDTOP ~ Super CLEAN 1970s Gold Top

Jacksonville, Florida, 322**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale is a super CLEAN awesome 1976 Vintage Gibson Les Paul Deluxe GOLDTOP!
Comes in a nice 80s Gibson Les Paul Case
WILL set up with strings of choice before shipping!!!
All ORIGINAL with the exception of a re-fret and missing pickguard.
Original 'PAT NO' mini-humbuckers, all 1976 dated pots, original 'Made in Germany' bridge, original 'Gibson Deluxe' tuners, original knobs, etc
Tone to die for. Neck is perfect and extremely comfortable to play. AMAZING playability with... more
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There are 7 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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Wade Handy Comment left 3rd May 2017 07:07:05 reply
172596 was stolen from me in 1989. Cherry Sunburst
Bradley Glen Comment left 28th March 2017 01:01:04 reply 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 17:05:19 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 19:07:40 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 17:05:39 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 17:05:52 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 16:04:59 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??


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1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.