As time moves on, guitar manufactures are now running into various environmental issues with regards to the supply of traditional woods – Signs are that it is going to get worse not better – As such 10, 20 or 30 year old classic models are attracting serious interests from players and collectors alike, as they are still built with the traditional ingredients – Take the Gibson Les Paul Custom, which traditionally has always utilised an ebony fingerboard – In recent years any form of an LP Custom have only been available on a spasmodic basis – It was not to long ago that Gibson built a limited run of LP Customs, with a price tag approaching £3000, that utilised a rosewood fingerboard – Whilst I’m sure it is still a nice guitar, that plays and sounds okay, but an LP Custom should never have a rosewood board – So with all of the above in mind, how about this used, 1987 Gibson Les Paul Custom, that was built in the old traditional manner with a solid mahogany body, plus ebony fingerboard
With its elegant nitro-cellulose wine red finish, a multi bound body and headstock facia, bound ebony fingerboard, pearl block inlays, gold hardware, plus the split diamond mother of pearl headstock logo, the Custom has always held the upper class status within the Gibson Les Paul range – I do apologies for the quality of the pics – I must have taken 20/30 pics trying to obtain better results, but the high gloss finish, plus carved top, pick up so many reflections – So be assured that it looks far better in the flesh
In no particular order please read the following evaluation comments :-
- Whole guitar weighs 10lbs and 2oz – a regular feature of a Custom is that they generally weigh more than an LP Standard One piece mahogany body and neck – 3 piece maple top
- Smooth and dark ebony fingerboard
- Supplied with a more recent Gibson black case with the white internal trimming
- Fitted with a pair of Dunlop strap locks
- Amber volume and tone control knobs
- Scratchplate not fitted/available but there is the appropriate bracket in the case, so hunt various web sites to acquire a used example, if required
- 8 digit serial number + 137 pot dates indicate a 1987 date of birth
- Gold plated Grover machine heads with tulip buttons
- Original bridge + tailpiece
- Fitted with a pair of Seymour Duncan Seth Lover vintage flavoured humbuckers that measure 7.12K neck and 7.90K bridge – more on this later
- The one piece mahogany neck has some depth to it and a C profile but nothing that is overly chunky – measures .820″ around the top nut end and .960″ around the 12th fret
- Re-strung and set-up with a set of 10’s and a slick playing action
Overall condition :-
For a 30 year old the overall condition is more than acceptable, with plenty of that played in character, but certainly not abused – The nitro gloss finish shows lighter signs of superficial wear, without any nasty nicks, dings or grazes, that reveal the maple top or ebony body/neck – Compression belt buckle wear on the rear, but again no signs of the wood can be viewed – Usual worn patches on the gold plated hardware, mainly were you rest your right palm, but the wear blends in with the used vibe of the gloss finish – Frets are clean with only the merest hint of any wear visible on the first few frets, on the plain strings – If it was taken 30 years to get to the level of ‘merest wear’ then plenty of years still in them before any fret dress is required – No nail wear on the ebony fingerboard – So overall no negative vibes, as long as you are not expecting a guitar that is still ‘as new’ or in ‘showroom condition’ – More wear than Gibson would describe as a VOS finish, but less wear than Fender would describe as a Journeyman Relic
Tonal character :- It came into stock with a non-original set of pick-ups – To be honest I could not establish what they were – However I had a set of clean Seymour Duncan Seth Lover vintage spec’d humbuckers, with gold plated covers, in my spares box – So time to find them a new home – In my opinion they are serious upgrade on what would have been the original late 80’s Gibson humbuckers – Certainly an serious upgrade compared to the pick-ups it was fitted with – Not overly powerful but loaded with soul and emotion – Clear with good articulation – lush, fat and smooth – Played through an amp with a clean or subtle overdriven amp setting, it is so chilled, lush and succulent so that you can savour each chosen note or lick and each jazz flavoured chord – No hurry to rush on to the next phrase – Think Pete Green or BB King as well as the cleaner side of Gary Moore – Now add some gain on the amp and this LP sings and whails as required – No shortage of sustain whatsoever – Power chords and riffs are big and clear with tight lows and good articulation – Albeit not as powerful, or as ‘in your face’ as modern powerful humbuckers – You can control the level of gain you require from the guitars volume pot, so no shortage of expression available to you – As such you can leave the volume pot on, or around 6/7, then take it back towards 10 when you require additional gain and bite – The overall tone is more smooth, warm and lush, so more composed and restrained, hence never a party animal
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Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A 35 year journey has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.
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