Like the Les Paul Standard the Les Paul Custom was replaced with the SG body style at the end of 1960. The original Les Paul and Les Paul Custom were not brought back until 1968. Upon its reintroduction the Les Paul Custom differed from those of the ’50s in number of ways: the headstock was a slightly steeper angle the control cavity in the body was cut in a different manner and the neck tenon was longer.
Starting in 1969 the Custom also adopted a multi-ply body construction with a Maple top like the Les Standard where the original Les Paul Custom used an all Mahogany body. By 1977 the traditional two ply was again the standard on the Les Paul Custom. The neck volute introduced in 1970 was also phased out by 1980.
Years of Production: 1953 – 1960 (switched to SG body) 1968 – present
Wood Composition: Mahogany body Maple top Ebony fingerboard
Design Elements: Two humbucker pickups block inlays four control knobs three-way pickup selector black pickguard bound fingerboard stopbar tailpiece and Tune-o-matic bridge nickel hardware headstock inlay
This is a very good LP Custom from 1995 dressed in fabulous a “Red Sparkle” top with Alpine White back and sides. Yes, it’s a refinished guitar, but the refin is mighty good – an excellent professional job. Other modifications include
- control knobs
- a sweet sounding Dirty Fingers humbucker in the bridge position
- pro refret
- pickup covers removed
- switch tip
- strap buttons
Bottom line is that this is a nice Les Paul Custom from a good period of Gibson production. This one was built a well after the Norlin era, so Gibson had eliminated the “bad blood” and got back to making quality guitars the way they used to be. The mid 90s are generally regarded as a “good wood” period for Gibson, where the quality of raw materials, other components and attention to detail returned to the manufacturing process.
Body: fully bound mahogany body with a maple cap.
Neck: Fully bound mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard & pearloid block inlays. Scale length of 24.75” and a nut width of 1 11/16”. The frets have very little wear – no choking or buzzing.
Pickups/Hardware: One original Gibson pickup (likely a 490R) in the neck position, and a thick sounding Dirty Fingers humbucker in the bridge position. Gold Grover tuners, gold hardware, 2 volume knobs & 2 tone knobs with a 3-way toggle switch.
This one is about to celebrate its 24th birthday and it is in great condition. Whoever commissioned the refin found a very good craftsman, because the top in particular is a work of art. Red Sparkle was a custom colour that Gibson used in very limited edition instruments, and they command a premium price. It is a stunning blast of colour that explodes under stage lights. The Arctic White finish on the back and sides has matured into a lovely ivory hue, which adds its own character to the equation.
And part of the appeal of this instrument is that there is pretty much no evident player wear on the practically new looking finish. No dings, dents, marks or scratches of note to be seen. The refret is an excellent pro job, and there’s plenty of fret life left.
The serial number of 548862 is exposed through a clear window in the refinish of the back of the headstock. It dates to 1995. The pot codes are 1379543 = 1995.
The neck profile remained pretty much unchanged throughout the 80s and 90s – a medium 60’s style C profile which is super comfortable.
It weighs in at 10.1 lbs, so it’s about average for a non weight relieved Les Paul – no lightweight but not too heavy. It just feels balanced and comfortable. And the mass certainly adds to the overall girth of the classic Les Paul sound which can only be accomplished through the use of solid unchambered tonewood.
Comes in its original Gibson hard case in good condition.