This is a beautiful example of the rarely-seen 1973 Les Paul Deluxe/Standard, in Tobacco Sunburst. In the early to mid-70s Gibson’s main Les Paul was the Deluxe model which had mini-humbuckers, and if you wanted a Les Paul Standard with full size humbuckers you had to specifically order it.
Knowledgeable collectors know that during this period, while Gibson offered the Standard humbucker option on the Deluxe model, not many were actually built.
These Deluxe/Standard hybrids were the precursor to the Standard models that were officially launched in 1976, and only a relatively small number of these Deluxe/Standards were ordered. They were shipped with the serial number indicating Deluxe, but came with a Standard truss rod cover.
This guitar is in exceptional condition, and has been well cared for and used mainly in a professional studio setting for many years. In 2020 the owner commissioned respected Sydney luthier Piers Crocker to do a detailed assessment of this guitar which follows here –
Replaced tuners and bushes with black touch up on front & rear of head.
Original tuners are in the case
No cracks in head at head or body joint
Original nut is Gibson ABS type - has been shimmed
Pearl logo and silkscreen in excellent condition
Truss rod cover and one screw original. One replaced screw.
Original low wide frets in good condition.
Pearloid crown inlays all original with no lifting at corners
Fingerboard bindings all secure with no cracks.
Original Indian rosewood fingerboard.
Neck - body joint is all original with no cracks or touch ups knew line
Serial number is untouched.
All neck lacquer is original.
Original 2 tone sunburst over cross banded mahogany body.
Four piece maple cap
Single white binding is secure with no cracks
No major dents or scratches.
Tiny touch ups at front and rear of body.
Normal buckle rash and arm wear
Back plates and screws are original
Top strap pin has been moved with filled hole evident
Hardware and Electronics -
Original bridge and tailpiece in excellent condition
Diecast saddles are in good condition. Extra notch on the G saddle
Studs and thumb wheels in good condition
Cream pickguard and bracket are original, as are the screws.
Original T-Top humbuckers. Missing covers are in the case
Surrounds are original
Mount screws are replaced
Height adjust screws and springs original
Wiring loom has been cleaned up by Piers Crocker.
Original read disc capacitors fitted
All potentiometers are original. Pot codes are 1377335 x 4 = 1973
Output jack replaced
Chrome jack plate and screws original
3 gold top hat knobs original. One is aftermarket
Pointer washers and nuts are original
Selector switch, tip, ring, nut and plastic surround original
Piers Crocker is a highly regarded luthier in his own right and has been doing assessments of vintage instruments for over 30 years. He is totally independent and absolutely does not favour the guitar’s owner or its selling agent. Piers completely strips down the instrument and provides a detailed written report to the owner, which is reproduced above.
PREMIER GUITARS has relied of Piers’ assessments on a number of vintage guitars over many years. They have always been most comprehensive and very accurate.
The only thing that’s left out of the above assessment is that this guitar is a delight to play in every way. And it sounds great.
Beneath the chimey, crisp treble, there’s a solid punch to these T-Top pickups. The bridge pickup is aggressive, with a noticeable midrange quack and a jangly chime. The neck sounds wide open and clear, lending a jazzy texture to chords and a vocal quality to single notes. It will also clean up in a wonderful way by playing lightly or turning down, without losing clarity or treble response.
It holds its tuning superbly. All electronics are original and are working perfectly.
Weight is a comfortable 9.6 lbs – solid, but not a burden …. just the right amount of girth required to attain the grunt and serious sustain every Les Paul player wants.
Over the years there have been many 70s Les Paul Deluxes converted to dual humbucker guitars as some owners felt that the mini humbuckers didn’t quite have the kick of the full size units. These guitars are often referred to as Les Paul Deluxe Conversions, with varying degrees of workmanship involved.
This is NOT one of those. This is a rare example of a fully fledged, specially ordered Les Paul Standard from 1973 that is in fabulous almost original condition and will deliver 100% wonderful Gibson tone day in and day out, for the next 50 years.
Comes in its original Gibson USA case in good condition, with purple interior and replaced handle.
More pics to come ...