In 1968, Gibson reintroduced the Les Paul Custom as a two pickup model. The headstock angle was changed from 17 degrees to 14, a wider headstock and a maple top (in lieu of the original 1953–1961 mahogany top construction). In 1969, Norlin had acquired Gibson, and the Les Paul Custom saw many changes between 1969 and 2004. The mahogany neck was replaced with a three-piece maple neck in 1975 (though some mahogany ones were still made) with this change lasting till around 1982, and the solid mahogany body was replaced with a "pancake" body in late 1969, where a small strip of maple resides between two thicker pieces of mahogany. This would last until 1977. In 1970, a "Made in USA" stamp was added to the back of the headstock, and a volute was added to help strengthen the headstock. By 1976, the new Nashville bridge begins to replace the ABR-1.
Les Paul Custom specs during the 1970s -
- 3 piece mahogany neck
- Mahogany body with 3 piece maple top
- Double binding
- Bound ebony fingerboard
- Gold hardware
- 2 x Gibson Pat. No. humbucking pickups
- Nashville bridge
- Standard Gibson wide jumbo frets
This 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom in good cosmetic condition and in perfect working order. It has an interesting back story too, having lived much of its life in Sydney’s Studio 301 as part of the backline gear available there.
301 was Sydney’s premier recording studio for decades, and was the preferred venue for many famous artists and thousands of legendary recordings. There is no doubt this guitar was recorded on many of those tracks, but we just can’t say which ones.
The three-piece maple neck has a medium C profile that is comfortable all the way up. The nut has the traditional 1 11/16" width, and the ebony fretboard has its original medium jumbo fretwire which is quite serviceable now, but may need a refret in a year or two. The action is low and consistent, with no dead spots, and with a responsive truss rod.
The headstock sports a set of newer gold Grover tulip tuners – the original worn Gibson tuners are in the case. The only other changes we know of are the switch tip and a set of strap lock buttons.
The guitar features its original Nashville bridge, stopbar tailpiece, black top hat knobs, pickup rings, and strap buttons. Consistent with 40 years of use, there's some ageing on the hardware, as well as some small nicks and wear marks here and there. But the lovely original tobacco sunburst finish is in great condition. Other cosmetic wear includes some light buckle rash on the back but nothing through the finish.
This guitar is structurally sound with no breaks or repairs. The multiple binding on the headstock, neck and body is in excellent condition, and is yellowing nicely. Weighing in at 9.9 lbs, this Les Paul has plenty of punch, but it is well balanced and feels very comfortable to play.
The original Gibson Pat. No. pickups are marked 6th & 8th Sept 1978.
Neck pickup reads 7.2 K ohm.
Bridge pickup reads 7.6 K ohm
This is a great Les Paul for a player looking for a vintage piece with quality tone woods, a resonant and well balanced body, great sounding pickups and an array of sounds that are firmly in the classic rock camp.
Come in its original Gibson (Stamford) hard case in good condition.