I had the pleasure of playing one of the baddest Les Pauls on the planet recently while doing some session work in Nashville. I played 2 original bb's, one a 54, the other an ultra rare '53 which was the most magical guitar I have ever played in my 20 years of playing. I was so gassing so hard. This thing was so awesome and the nexk was so unique, never played anything like it, it was a hard V, fast, medium thickness, and man did it fly. The other 54 played ok, but sounded weak, and was otherwise unremarkable. ......... I seriously considered buying the '53. They were asking 40k. (yep, 40k). There was some room, but I decided it wasn't gonna happen on that trip. So I got home, about a week ago, and was telling my guitar tech about it, ( he was convinced it didn't exist and swore up and down they weren't released until 54 at nam), but after some research i verified it. So he tells me about the 72's and 73's rebb's and to check em out. .........So i go online, and I find one. Because i was so gassed about the '53, i'm totally intreagued by it, considering its built with the long neck tenon, and its a one piece body and same pickup config. From all my research, I'm convinced its as close as I'm gonna get to the 40k '53. FF to this week, I buy the guitar. Its a 72LE, all orig minus a set of original tuners. easily replaced so where is this post going? I have heard the rumors, about the stock being original wood, necks, and maybe pickups . (alnico V), so I call my inside guy at gibson, and ask him about the chances of that being even remotely true. He tells me records suck, but it is possible, especially on the '72's as they only made 60 of em. alright, getting to point. I played a 53 a week ago for over 2 hours straight, and i studied this thing, we took it apart. I played the 54 as well, for about 15 minutes. When i get this fine axe in the mail tomorrow, I am going to pick it apart and give my comparison, thought you guys may like to chime in, share info or such. here is a link to a few rifffs with the original '53, I will post some footage later as i get my 72. [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU9yAai7CeY]1953 Les Paul Custom Black Beauty. The Real Deal. The Original Fretless Wonder - YouTube[/ame]. I would also love to know what anybody paid for one recently, and any and all info you may have about your 72 / 73 54 bb reissue. finally, couple of thoughts on the original 53, and 54, before the 73 comes. 1) it was alot heavier than it felt. I was amazed to find that it was 10.25 pounds. I have an 87 custom that is 11 pounds, and this thing is exponentially better balanced. I'm convinced its the tenon, I have a 59 dot with a long tenon, and is my belief that the physics of the neck going into the midde of the guitar distributes weight, shock, and mobility evenly. Bottom line, it has a better center of gravity 2)The thing had the baddest neck of any guitar, period. Im convinced it was hand carved, and have never played a LP that had a deep v feel. and it was fast, recent refret had it dialed in to the "fretless wonder" small original frets, and it flew, as in the video, i could not slow down. 3) best feature hands down of neck, and I wanna throw this out to 72 owners for their opinion. The binding was rounded, and it made all the difference in the world. Every les Paul I have ever played, has had a hard right angle on the ivory / plasitc binding on the side of neck. I thought it may have been a custom appt. or maybe worn from wear, but......the 54 had it too. Question: Do the 72 73 re's have that binding ? - we will soon see, this could be an interesting clue in the new old stock rumors. 4)tone- p90 on the '53 was simply magic. cold steel full spectrum balls to the wall sustain, that almost seemed to open up the longer you held the note. the alnico V blew me away as well. Man, what have i been missing. no bs hiss, no string noise, just a bad ass rock a billy meets SRV on steroids tone with endless sustain, and warm. dude. seriously, i still want that f ing guitar bad. 5) last note. I was amazed at the difference of the 53 and the orig 54. I was spoiled, I was totally not interested in the 54, no sustain, no bark. week. It rings true, and we all know, every guitar is different. if I woulda never played the 53, i prolly woulda loved the 54. (guitars and chicks are kinda like this). he he . Well thanks guys, I will keep you all posted as to the 72, I really hope i get luck and she sings like the '53, (My seller promises it does) Hit me up, Peace. oldschool.