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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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Ferndale, Michigan, 482**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Here we have a 2 owner 1978 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe in restored-refinished MINT condition. The guitar was played for 25 years professionally by the 2nd. owner who enjoyed his youth playing just about every venue in the state of Michigan. While fulfilling his dream gigging everywhere imaginable he pretty much beat up and pretty much wore this guitar out. After stepping back form the music business for about 15 years he decided to have it restored & refinished by an amazing luthier from Grand ... more
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1972-1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top

1972-1975 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top

Pewaukee, Wisconsin, 530**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Except for the jack plate, pick guard and strap pegs, this is an all-original (as far as I know) Gold Top. No neck or headstock cracks or breaks ever. I've owned this for 20 years and am no longer gigging it. I inherited another Gold Top, so even though I prefer this one, it has to go. Has enough small finish dings here and there to make it a legit player. Although there are embarrassingly few buckle scratches on the back. It weighs a fairly light 9 2 pounds. The Mini Humbuckers have always ... more
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Gibson Vintage Les Paul Deluxe 1976 Tobacco Sunburst Mini-Humbuckers w OHSC

Gibson Vintage Les Paul Deluxe 1976 Tobacco Sunburst Mini-Humbuckers w OHSC

Renton, Washington, 980**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage Gibson Les Paul Deluxe in Sunburst finish made in 1976 with Original Hard Shell Case. This guitar features a bound solid mahogany / maple / mahogany "pancake body" with a 3-piece maple top, 3-piece maple neck and bound rosewood fingerboard. Equipped with a set of original Gibson Deluxe Mini Humbuckers in the neck and bridge position. Controlled by 2-volume, 2-tone knobs and a 3-way toggle switch. The 24 75" scale length neck has acrylic trapezoid inlays and 22 medium jumbo frets with a C... more
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Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar - Wine Red Made In USA 1981 80141531

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar - Wine Red Made In USA 1981 80141531

Henrico, Virginia, 232**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar - Wine Red Made In USA 1981 80141531
Some wear on the back of the guitar   Excellent shape for the age
Replacement strings and pick included
... more
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1973 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar Cherry Sunburst W / Headstock Repair

1973 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar Cherry Sunburst W / Headstock Repair

Spring Hill, Florida, 346**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1973 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar
Original Cherry Sunburst Finish
Has Headstock Repair
All original with the exception of a missing pickguard, changed stop tail & tuning pegs
Weighs: 9 Pounds 2 Ounces
Plays & Sounds Excellent
PLEASE DO NOT mistake picture glare for flaws . If you think you're seeing something not mentioned in this listing, please ask!!
Please review all pics for the true cosmetic condition after reading this description.
Here's The... more
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Gibson Les Paul Deluxe 1980 w /  1968 P90s - Ebony

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe 1980 w / 1968 P90s - Ebony

Peekskill, New York, 105**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


This is a vintage 1980 Gibson LP Deluxe with an Ebony finish. It has a one piece body, three-piece neck, and a neck volute to add some extra mass (and tone!) as well as add protection against drops or bumps. It is loaded with a set of vintage 1968 Gibson clear-bobbin P90s, which sound amazing. Their covers were long ago painted, but are originally black beneath. At some point, it had a trapeze tailpiece, leaving behind a couple small screw-holes near its bottom strap button. It has standard, ... more
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Gibson Les Paul 1976 Deluxe

Gibson Les Paul 1976 Deluxe

Topock, Arizona, 864**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


A rare offering with only 14 made in 1976 with the Wine Red finish! Non-original back plates, upgraded mojo-tone oil-filled capacitor and pots, and replaced with real Gibson tuners

Original finish, pickups, and everything else!
... more
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Vintage 1974 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar USA Cherry Sunburst

Vintage 1974 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Electric Guitar USA Cherry Sunburst

Cartersville, Virginia, 230**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Please look closely at the pictures for condition. This vintage Gibson Les Paul Deluxe electric guitar is a rare find for any serious guitarist. Crafted in the United States in 1974, this right-handed guitar is a 6 string with a solid body type and beautiful cherry sunburst color. This classic guitar is a must-have for any collection of musical instruments and gear
With its famous Gibson Les Paul series and model year, this electric guitar has been a go-to for guitar players for decades. ... more
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Vintage 1978 Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe Tobacco Sunburst 1970s  ~ CLEAN ~

Vintage 1978 Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe Tobacco Sunburst 1970s ~ CLEAN ~

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


Up for sale is a Beautiful and Rare 1978 Gibson Les Paul Pro Deluxe in Tobacco Burst Finish with the Original Case
This guitar is in GOOD cosmetic condition
Showing playwear such as a couple of character dents and scratches. Has finish checking (as seen in pics)
The Ebony fretboard is in FANTASTIC condition. Original frets. Super nice action and AMAZING playability!
Maple Neck, Ebony fretboard with a 'C' Neck Profile Weight: 10lbs 10ozs1st Fret Thickness: 20 5mm (0 807 " )12th Fret ... more
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Gibson 1976 Tobacco Burst Les Paul Deluxe Body & Neck

Gibson 1976 Tobacco Burst Les Paul Deluxe Body & Neck

Glassboro, New Jersey, 080**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson Dependable
Home of the most First and most Dependable Gibson parts on Ebay
U S.A. and Worldwide Bidders Welcomed
Please note that we do not participate in Ebay's Global Shipping Program Out international buyers will not be required to pay import fees upfront during checkout through Ebay
How many of you Gibson fans out there have always wanted to build yourselves that awesome Gibson project guitar, but didn??t want to spend the money on a Gibson guitar only to dismantle it. ... 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 02:02:05 reply
172596 was stolen from me in 1989. Cherry Sunburst
Bradley Glen Comment left 27th March 2017 20:08:04 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 12:12:19 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 14:02:40 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 12:12:39 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 12:12:52 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 11:11:59 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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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 catalog Hagstrom 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 President The 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.

1971 Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar owners manual

1971 Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar owners manual The newly designed Les Paul Recording guitar was released in 1971, in many ways as an updated version of the Les Paul Professional that had debuted two years earlier in 1969. The new guitar came with a new owners manual explaining the (somewhat complicated) controls, their operation, and giving other specifications, including recommended strings, action and control settings. Compare with the broadly similar owners manual for the Les Paul Personal / Professional