1977 Les Paul Custom Specs

capps

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I’m new to the forum here but I recently acquired a black 1977 Les Paul Custom in excellent condition, all original aside from the case and plastic switch tip.

My serial number indicates Kalamazoo production and the pots were made in May of 1977. My custom is not a pancake body, and it has a mahogany neck with ebony fretboard. Neck pickup measures 7.46 and bridge at 7.34. My guitar is a massive 12.3 pounds and sounds incredible.

Would anyone on the forum have a resource to know exactly which pickups I have? I assume T-tops but I’ve read that Gibson used a “family” of pickups during the norlin years. They’re stamped with the 2,737,842 on the back. I know at this time Gibson was supposedly using both Alnico 5 and Alnico 3 magnets.

I was also curious if anyone would have any clue as to why my guitar doesn’t have the tell-tale features of most late 70s customs like the maple necks and the pancake body——were they building them different in Michigan than they were in Tennessee?

Thanks for any and all help.
 

HardCore Troubadour

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It is a transition guitar built during a transition period, you will get different combinations.

Pancake starts to go away in 77, maple neck starts to come in late 75 early 76 etc. etc.

it did not all just switch over on one particular day.......Pots were made at the CTS factory in May...they had to be boxed up, shipped, unboxed and put in bins at Gibson etc. etc.

they were not placed in this guitar until probably September/October etc Guitar was probably not completed until very late in the year.

Those are most likely T-tops....take the covers off if you feel the need to verify....look for the T.

 
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capps

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It is a transition guitar built during a transition period, you will get different combinations.

Pancake starts to go away in 77, maple neck starts to come in etc. etc.

it did not all just switch over on one particular day.......Pots were made at the CTS factory in May...they had to be boxed up, shipped, unboxed and put in bins at Gibson etc. etc.

they were not placed in this guitar until probably September/October etc Guitar was probably not completed until very late in the year.

Those are most likely T-tops....take the covers off if you feel the need to verify....look for the T.

Thanks so much for this info and the links. In my research I must have missed the whole "T" being on the pickup itself. They sound incredible, so happy I found this guitar.
 

gball

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I dunno. I have owned 2 '77 Customs in my life and they both had all the usual telltales of 3-piece maple neck/volute/14-degree peghead and T-Tops.

I'm guessing a transition one, as stated above.
 

Bulletboy5150

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A mahogany necked 77 seems pretty rare considering they started maple necks mid 75. Does it have a rocker tenon?
 

HardCore Troubadour

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The real question will be is it actually mahogany........it is a black guitar, and unless the OP really knows where and how to look, it might be a mistake.

Best place to tell is under the TRC.
 

capps

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The real question will be is it actually mahogany........it is a black guitar, and unless the OP really knows where and how to look, it might be a mistake.

Best place to tell is under the TRC.
Yep that's correct. My luthier and I checked the truss rod and that's how we figured out that it is a mahogany neck. I'm not sure why my photos won't upload (says the files are too large) but if you have any tips on how to get those uploaded on here let me know!
 

capps

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A mahogany necked 77 seems pretty rare considering they started maple necks mid 75. Does it have a rocker tenon?
Yeah I thought the same, and it was made in Kalamazoo and has the decal serial versus stamped, non pancake, and pickups are original T-tops (wish I knew Alnico 3 or 5 mags but they sound incredible). I'm not sure on the tenon, but we took off the truss rod cover and found that the neck is mahogany. I have a really blurry photo of the tenon from the previous owner (I haven't took the pickups out myself, my lutheir just removed the metal plate over the pots and looked at those and the pickup selector, that metal plate had never been removed inside of the cavity looked so clean) but in that photo, the wood appears to be same color as the other blurry photos I have of the neck pickup cavity.
 

capps

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Yeah I thought the same, and it was made in Kalamazoo and has the decal serial versus stamped, non pancake, and pickups are original T-tops (wish I knew Alnico 3 or 5 mags but they sound incredible). I'm not sure on the tenon, but we took off the truss rod cover and found that the neck is mahogany. I have a really blurry photo of the tenon from the previous owner (I haven't took the pickups out myself, my lutheir just removed the metal plate over the pots and looked at those and the pickup selector, that metal plate had never been removed inside of the cavity looked so clean) but in that photo, the wood appears to be same color as the other blurry photos I have of the neck pickup cavity.
 

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capps

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Yep that's correct. My luthier and I checked the truss rod and that's how we figured out that it is a mahogany neck. I'm not sure why my photos won't upload (says the files are too large) but if you have any tips on how to get those uploaded on here let me know!
think i figured it out, here are the photos yall
 

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Bulletboy5150

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It's hard to tell for certain but looks like a rocker tenon to me, which would make sense in 77. Pretty wild it is a mahogany neck, sounds like you got a rare one to me!
 

capps

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It's hard to tell for certain but looks like a rocker tenon to me, which would make sense in 77. Pretty wild it is a mahogany neck, sounds like you got a rare one to me!
I'm just stoked to have it. It's old but it's been well kept....always heard the quality of 70s Gibson's aren't up to snuff but I've played much newer customs that do not play as well as this '77. And then the pickups are just so articulate. I hate it but also love that it is so dang heavy...my luthier said it has to be the heaviest LP he's ever had in his hands, we weighed it best we could and it was 12.3 pounds lol.
 

capps

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I'm just stoked to have it. It's old but it's been well kept....always heard the quality of 70s Gibson's aren't up to snuff but I've played much newer customs that do not play as well as this '77. And then the pickups are just so articulate. I hate it but also love that it is so dang heavy...my luthier said it has to be the heaviest LP he's ever had in his hands, we weighed it best we could and it was 12.3 pounds lol.
 

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HardCore Troubadour

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it has a decal serial number....how do you know it was made in KM?

That appears to be a short tenon...pics are crap, but I see no lip at all.

Take a clear pic under the TRC and post it up.

$20 says it was made in Nashville.
 
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capps

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it has a decal serial number....how do you know it was made in KM?
Well I can't say with 100 percent certainty but I put it in the "Authority Guitar" serial number decoder and this is what I got. I also called Gibson and they believe it is most likely a Kalamazoo guitar because in 1977 the Tennessee made guitars transitioned to the modern 8 digit serial system YDDDYRRR pattern, and because my guitar has the decal versus the impressed SN's that also started in 1977.
 

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capps

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Well I can't say with 100 percent certainty but I put it in the "Authority Guitar" serial number decoder and this is what I got. I also called Gibson and they believe it is most likely a Kalamazoo guitar because in 1977 the Tennessee made guitars transitioned to the modern 8 digit serial system YDDDYRRR pattern, and because my guitar has the decal versus the impressed SN's that also started in 1977.
I also found the "Made in Kalamazoo" on several other decoder websites like Guitar Insite
 

HardCore Troubadour

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yeah, those sites are crap, don't waste your time.

99% of the time, you will get better info here than Gibson....true story.
The truth is Nashville went to decals first, and used them the longest.
Gibson has it ass-backwards..........


what are the pot code dates etc.

KM transitioned to the new 8 digit system in 77 also...and there are examples.
1977 Custom made in KM, impressed serial number.
1977-gibson-les-paul-custom-black-beaut-YFyF67v.jpg


1977 Custom made in KM, impressed serial numbers.

73367076_04__74788.1435857598.jpg
 
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capps

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yeah, those sites are crap, don't waste your time.

99% of the time, you will get better info here than Gibson....true story.

what are the pot code dates etc.

KM transitioned to the new 8 digit system in 77 also...and there are examples.
 

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