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Unread 01-04-2009, 07:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Hi.

I was wondering if there was someone out there that could help me.

I am currently looking at buying a 1974-75 Gibson Les Paul Custom, however I have a few concerns regarding the instrument. It is has the usual split-diamond headstock, 70's joined up lettering on the headstock (I mean the top of the "b" and "o" in Gibson), block inlays, gold hardware, original electrics, pickups, pots and the machineheads are consistent too. However it has some other charcteristics which I cannot find when looking for anything similar on the net.

- It has a flamed cherry sunburst top, I can only find plain tops!
- It doesn't appear to have 3-piece top (Maple-Mahogany-Maple) as the other 70's customs seem to.
- It has white pickups surrounds, and scratchplate.
- It has Speed knobs, but the seller has assured me that he has the original knobs too (but haven't ascertained what colour these are).

The serial number checks out and I am sure you agree it looks like a lovely instrument, and I will be more than happy to buy it. But I was wondering if anyone could tell me if this is indeed a configuration for this type of guitar, and if gibson did indeed do a flamed LP custom.

Your help would be greatly appreciated here.

Many thanks,

GW
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Last edited by gw1980; 01-04-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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Unread 01-04-2009, 07:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

There are some Norlin two piece toppers floating around. I'm pretty sure they never came with white plastic though.

I'd ****ing grab it if I were you.
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Unread 01-04-2009, 07:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Really?!

I was told by the current owner that when he bought the guitar, the surrounds were white and have aged accordingly. I assume they would have as he bought it in 1980 and that is 28 years ago.

I have just searched Norlin Wood on google and found the following:

Looking for info on 1979 Les Paul Custom in Cherry Sunburst - Les Paul Forum

Again the surrounds from the 71 at the bottom of the page are cream, but are replacement and no flame!

Thanks for your reply mate!

GW
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Unread 01-04-2009, 07:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Can you play it first?
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Unread 01-04-2009, 08:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Yeah I am arranging a viewing shortly.
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Unread 01-04-2009, 08:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Do it.
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Unread 01-04-2009, 08:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Just the small matter of the 500 mile round trip hey? lol
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Unread 01-04-2009, 08:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

That is beautiful, I would snag it.. Could be a custom order, they are out there.. I have a 78 custom with a flamed two piece top...
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Unread 01-04-2009, 08:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Is that the only pic you have?

Serial numbers don't help a lot for these years.

when you say original electronics, have you checked the pot codes?

I've never seen a 74/75 Custom with a top like that. Or white plastic.

Pickups should be TTops. Probably (but not always) stickered on the back for '74, stamped plate for '75.
Again, not always, but likely a 3 pc maple neck for '75, 3 pc mahogany for '74.
And it should be a pancake body.
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A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

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Unread 01-04-2009, 09:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

I am getting some more pics tomorrow morning. The pot codes are as follows: 1377551 & 1377452. I must admit they mean nothing to me!

GW
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Unread 01-04-2009, 09:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

odd, those codes are about a year apart
1377551 = 51st week of '75
1377452 = 52nd week of '74
I suppose it's possible that the '74 pot could have been in the bottom of the bin though. Those would suggest it's a '75.
But sometime in '75 they started using the '99' serial numbers, and that first pot is at the end of the year, so you'd think it'd be in a '99' serial guitar.
LOL
always lots of head scratching on these.
I think I'd guess that it's an early '75 guitar, based on the 7452 pot and that you said the serial is the old style, that had a pot replaced a year later. Remember they ran something like 7500 Customs a year back then, to have pots laying around the shop for a year doesn't make a lot of sense.
See if you can tell if it's a maple or mahogany neck, and if the guy will let you check the tenon (pull the neck pup, a good time to check for sticker or stamped base plate too), see if it's a trans or not. Early '75 could be, even if it's a maple neck.
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Primary Tone: what the body and neck does not have cannot come out as tone - Iwanade, BOTB

Quote:
Originally Posted by reswot
A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

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Unread 01-04-2009, 09:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Thank you very much for the info. Judging by what you are saying it does seem to be consistent with his description both by Serial and pots, and I agree the pots are more likely an original and replacement.

Here is a picture of the neck:

http://i543.photobucket.com/albums/g...980gw/neck.jpg

Hope you can tell which it is.

Thanks,

GW
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Unread 01-04-2009, 09:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Headstock (Front & Back):

http://i543.photobucket.com/albums/g...stockFront.jpg

http://i543.photobucket.com/albums/g...dstockback.jpg

and yes the serial is a 1975 6 digit.
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Unread 01-04-2009, 09:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

logo, headstock and volute look right to me. I can't tell anything from that neck pic though, I can't even see that it's 3 pc.
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Primary Tone: what the body and neck does not have cannot come out as tone - Iwanade, BOTB

Quote:
Originally Posted by reswot
A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

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Unread 01-04-2009, 10:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Good news.

I am sorry about the quality of the picture, will post some better ones whenI receive them in the morning. As a sideline, how much should one of these be sold for, I wouldn't want to be ripped off....ballpark figure?

And what is your opinion on the pickup surrounds, scratchplate? Do you think they are replacements?

I appreciate your help on this one. I am looking to buy something using an inheritence from my Grandparents and want to get it right!
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Unread 01-04-2009, 10:42 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by 05hummer View Post
That is beautiful, I would snag it.. Could be a custom order, they are out there.. I have a 78 custom with a flamed two piece top...
Do you have a pick of the mentioned guitar please?
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Unread 01-04-2009, 10:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Yep... And I forgot, I actually have two,both 78s....
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Unread 01-04-2009, 10:53 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

if you have a look at the one you linked to from the LPF, that's the kind of sunbursts they were shooting back then. And I believe, but I'm not sure what year it started, they bursted the backs too.
I'm going to guess it's refinned, maybe with a veneer top, and swapped plastics.
Maybe it's straight up, just because I've never seen one like that doesn't mean it isn't.

But even if it is veneered and refinned, by God it's pretty.
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Primary Tone: what the body and neck does not have cannot come out as tone - Iwanade, BOTB

Quote:
Originally Posted by reswot
A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

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Unread 01-04-2009, 10:55 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Thank you. Whilst it is encouraging to see flamed maple tops on these customs, I am still yet to see one with white pickup surrounds and/or scratchplates!

Guess I have to concede that these will not be original parts, should I buy the guitar
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Unread 01-04-2009, 11:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

If the plastics were switched, or even the pups, it would not stop me from buying a great guitar. If you are looking at it as an investment, then maybe you should pass.. I personally think it looks killer, Evan as dwagar stated, it may be a refin or a veneer on the top..
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Unread 01-04-2009, 11:00 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

here's a typical '74 "clown" burst on Ebay. Note the back is also bursted.

http://cgi.ebay.com/1974-Vintage-Gib...QQcmdZViewItem
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Primary Tone: what the body and neck does not have cannot come out as tone - Iwanade, BOTB

Quote:
Originally Posted by reswot
A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

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Unread 01-04-2009, 11:00 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

They are lovely!!!
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Unread 01-04-2009, 11:02 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Can you send the link as that pic isn't showing.

Thanks
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Unread 01-04-2009, 11:14 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

I take your point but the price is £2200 Sterling ($3200) and though I will actively use the guitar, my concern would be having to explain all these things should I have to sell it at some point. On the other hand I should really be looking at the positives that come from playing a fine instrumenrt! I guess you can imagine how my I view a semi-filled drinking vessel! lol

Hope you know what I mean.
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Unread 01-04-2009, 11:14 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwagar View Post
here's a typical '74 "clown" burst on Ebay. Note the back is also bursted.

1974 Vintage Gibson Les Paul Custom, Cherry Sunburst - eBay (item 220334881542 end time Jan-24-09 12:38:29 PST)
Thanks Don
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Unread 01-04-2009, 11:28 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

For the right price, I'd get it. Play it first, and see whether or not it speaks to you! I'd say $2k tops in the USA - adjust accordingly based on how much more they go for where you are located...
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Unread 01-04-2009, 11:47 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Who care's about the plastic? You can always switch that. It looks like a custom order to me. Play it if you like it grab it! It's def a real gibby unless the pics are doctored.
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Unread 01-04-2009, 01:00 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by gw1980 View Post
I take your point but the price is £2200 Sterling ($3200) and though I will actively use the guitar, my concern would be having to explain all these things should I have to sell it at some point.
yes, every 'story' reduces the vintage value. But I think these command a higher price over there than in North America. Only you can judge the value I think.

If everything else looks correct (3 pc neck, pancake body, I'd check the pickups - should be sticker or stampled plate, TTops but the guy won't take the covers off to check that - and the tenon - just in case it's trans, not a deal breaker though on a '75). There's a lot of value in the original TTops btw.

If it's as pretty as its picture, and it is a '75, it's gonna be real hard to walk away from it, lol.
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Primary Tone: what the body and neck does not have cannot come out as tone - Iwanade, BOTB

Quote:
Originally Posted by reswot
A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

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Unread 01-04-2009, 04:49 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwagar View Post
yes, every 'story' reduces the vintage value. But I think these command a higher price over there than in North America. Only you can judge the value I think.

If everything else looks correct (3 pc neck, pancake body, I'd check the pickups - should be sticker or stampled plate, TTops but the guy won't take the covers off to check that - and the tenon - just in case it's trans, not a deal breaker though on a '75). There's a lot of value in the original TTops btw.

If it's as pretty as its picture, and it is a '75, it's gonna be real hard to walk away from it, lol.
Final posting I think....lol

The pickups have black stickers on the inside and here is a pic of the neck:

http://i543.photobucket.com/albums/g...0907Medium.jpg

Can I have your verdicts please lol
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Unread 01-04-2009, 06:47 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: 1974-75 gibson les paul custom

stickers is a good sign. He didn't happen to get a pic of the tenon when the neck pup was out did he?
definitely a 3 pc neck, I'm not good at telling from a pic, is that maple or mahogany?
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Primary Tone: what the body and neck does not have cannot come out as tone - Iwanade, BOTB

Quote:
Originally Posted by reswot
A 50's Special is, IMO, the coolest guitar ever made.

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