Many will agree that the 70’s is not exactly seen as the golden era for either of the two big guitar companies – But that doesn’t mean that all such guitars are poor or mediocre – You just have to be far more selective when choosing one – When I first acquired this 1972 Gibson Les Paul Deluxe I could tell it had potential – No refin or touch up work – No headstock break, no changes to the wiring loom, pick-ups or hardware – But somehow it did not quite play as well as I had hoped – The original frets were still present and correct, but a) a touch worn and b) in my opinion they just don’t feel right and certainly don’t bring out the best in such a guitar – As a result I’ve had it professionally re-fretted, by Steve at Manchester Guitar Tech, with a set of Dunlop 6150 medium Jumbo frets – As per those found on most PRS Guitars – The end result is wow – It now plays how I’d hoped and expected and has certainly enhanced the whole playing experience
In no particular order then let me update you with a host of details and info :-
- Whole guitar weighs 9lbs and 9oz
- 2 piece ‘pan cake’ mahogany body
- 3 piece mahogany neck with medium plus C neck profile – measures .903″ around the 1st fret and .981″ around the 12th fret – Not as chunky as the vintage spec’d 57/58/59 models, but still a nice amount of girth
- Original gold top finish with plenty of mojo and character – More of a light relic vibe, so more worn than a new VOS model, but certainly not abused
- Dark rosewood fingerboard – even grained – no nail wear or grooves
- Non original case – Includes a correct Gibson LP case, from a later period
- Original hardware including double ring Kluson Deluxe machine heads with tulip buttons, ABR vintage style bridge, with spring retainer, brass saddles and mounted on the vintage style posts
- Gibson ’embossed’ mini-humbuckers – neck measures 6.77K – bridge measures 6.81K
- All original wiring loom – 72 pot dates were they can be read – Black Beauty Sprague caps – Bridge pick-up volume pot a bit ‘crackling’ around the 7/8 mark
As I mentioned earlier, the whole guitar possesses that ‘old style’ played in character – So it has a lot going for it and that has certainly been enhanced by the re-fret – Now set-up with a set of 10-46 gauge strings and an easy action, that allows you to show of those slick licks – And/or dig in for those big blues bends – Not all old guitars play right, for whatever reason, but this re-fret has transformed this guitar – Pity I can’t show you a before and after, but the difference is chalk and cheese – The neck profile has some meat on it without ever feeling chunky – Later 70’s models tend to have a ‘slimmer’ profile – This neck is not as chunky as the current crop of 57/58/59 style vintage replicas, but nevertheless you can feel some girth to it
The mini-humbuckers deliver a tone that is more crisp and less sultry/moody than a conventional humbucker – I don’t mean thin or weedy sounding, as you can still tell that it possesses a big voice, but with a touch less in the mid range, with more clarity/articulation – Ideal for funky rhythm chops and those big ‘The Who’ style power chords, so easy to see why Pete favoured such a guitar back in the 70’s – The neck pick-ups is laid back and ideal for the ‘The thrill has gone’ style of chilled out blues etc – The bridge pick-up is tight with bite and something of a big Tele-esq voice about it – Not sure that such a guitar works at its best with a big saturated hi-gain amp setting, but on a clean ‘cabaret’ style amp settings, or that classic blues/rock overdriven amp setting, then this LP is on home territory – Plenty of character and could easily be the main guitar, within a collection, for many a player – I’m very glad that I had it re-fretted and brought it back to life
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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.