This is a Gibson Les Paul Custom from 1999 – not a reissue, not a Custom Shop, not a VOS Heritage, but a fair dinkum original in Black Beauty guise, finished in classic Ebony nitro lacquer, with ebony fingerboard, and gold hardware.
This Custom hails from an increasingly celebrated era of production and makes the most of its maple and mahogany tone wood compliment.
The pickups are its original 490R and 498T humbuckers, which produce low end clarity, midrange punch and presence, and a sweet top end.
The one-piece mahogany neck has a classic Gibson 60s full C profile, more slender at the nut yet with significant roundness and shoulder as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .86" deep at the 1st fret and .99" at the 12th.
The ebony fretboard sports pearl block inlay and the guitar still sports its original frets, which are still in good condition with little wear showing. The action is low, the truss rod is fine, and the guitar plays well with sweet, singing tones in every register.
On the headstock, the original gold Grover Rotomatic tuners with metal tulip buttons turn smoothly and hold pitch perfectly. The headstock has all of the other classic appointments of an LP Custom as well, with split diamond pearl inlay and "Custom" truss rod cover.
All of the electronics work as they should, and the Gibson 490R and 498T humbuckers have a wide tonal palette. The Alnico II magnets in the neck pickup have a little more chime and warmth, while the Alnico V bridge pickup has a snarl that cuts through with classic Gibson sizzle and snap. This guitar delivers big sustain, with the singing tone we have come to expect from a top end Gibson Les Paul from the right era of manufacture.
Other features include original black speed knobs, laminated pickguard, and the tried and true combination of a stock Nashville bridge and stopbar tailpiece. The gold hardware has some expected tarnishing while still retaining the majority of the plating.
Cosmetically, this guitar retains its original nitro lacquer gloss Ebony finish with no touch ups or overspray. The body of the guitar shows a few scattered small nicks and dents which are quite minor and difficult to see. There is some light buckle rash on the rear, but the neck finish is super clean in all areas.
Weighing in at 10.4 lbs this Les Paul is no lightweight, but it feels balanced and comfortable. And there’s no doubt the extra mass certainly adds to the overall girth of its sound, which we think can only be accomplished through the use of solid, unchambered tone woods.
Comes in its original brown Canadian made hard case in good condition.