1979 Les Paul KM - Is this legitimate?

tigerflame

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
181
Reaction score
300
Hey guys

I have a chance to buy a 1979 Les Paul KM in very good shape, but it doesn't come with paperwork. It's a local sale so I can see it in person this weekend.

How do I verify its legitimacy beyond the usual tells? Will Gibson tell me more about it? There is no paperwork included, just what appears to be the original case and key for the case.

How much are these things actually worth right now?
 

Attachments

mikey

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
163
Reaction score
92
No idea.

Man that "custom made" thing is ugly.

Nice looking guitar. ever heard of these KM before whats the story behind them?
 

JMP

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
680
Reaction score
794
I don’t own one, but the KM is a model I’d love to own. Check out Robert Baker on YouTube. He has one and has done videos about it. Good luck.
 

Bobby Mahogany

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
25,788
Reaction score
40,553
It's all about the feel. And sometimes the weight too.
If you connect with it, fine.
If not, pass. Don't force yourself to like it.

And yes, that "Custom Made" thing has to go.
 

tigerflame

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
181
Reaction score
300
That "Custom Made" thing is part of the run, only about 1500 were made and even less kept for sale. The ones with that thing on them are part of the earliest run.
 

Valmont

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Back in 1979, these guitars were the first attempt to bring back the spirit of the vintage bursts - although it may seem weird from today's point of view. But when you compare a 1979 Les Paul KM to a Les Paul of the same year, the difference becomes clear: one piece mahogany body (KM) vs. Pancake body, bookmatched top with a considerable amount of flame vs. rather boring tops. OK, the "Antique burst" finish is not up to everbody's taste, and the double-cream T-top-pickups are more or less the run off the mill in these days. But the neck is rather pleasant, and most of them sound really good.
So the Les Paul KM is a milestone in the Les Paul history, as it is the first guitar that refers to the historic bursts of 1958/1959/1960.
One year later, Gibson introduced the "Heritage 80"-series - a model that came one step closer to the "historic" bursts (apart from the body contour with that pointy horn...). The heritage 80 featured the great Tim Shaw Pickups.
Anyway, the Les Paul KM is a very important milestone of the Les Paul history.
 

Valmont

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Sorry, I missed the point that you asked if this is a real "KM" or not.

To put it short: most likely, this is a legitimate K.M.

The attributes of the K.M. are there: the wide headstock, wide cutaway binding (as far as I can see it on the photo), Nashville Bridge; the truss cover looks original (the poor typography included). The placement of this "Custom Made"-Plate refers to one of the earlier models; later ones had this plate separately in the case, so you could place the place wherever you liked.
The total number build is slightly unclear - Robb Lawrence states that there were 1.052 Les Paul KM sold, other sources claim 1.500.
If you can take a look at the serial number: it should be a six-digit serial number, they were used in Kalamazoo into the late 1970s.
 

JMP

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
680
Reaction score
794
OP, please buy this LP! If you pass on it, tell me where I can buy it!
 

1all's Pub

Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2015
Messages
3,937
Reaction score
4,156
Looks legit to me... maybe contact Robert Baker from YT fame and see if he can help. He seems a good guy and I bet he’d be willing to help.
 

tigerflame

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
181
Reaction score
300
Do you guys think it's a problem that there's no paperwork for it? It seems to come with the original case, but that's it.
 

ARandall

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
15,011
Reaction score
11,562
Are you really expecting that someone has kept their receipt?? Or that such a thing is a deal breaker for a 40 year old s/h guitar that has gone through how many different sets of owners in that time??

Its a Gibson KM.....only Gibson could have made it as it passes every spec test according to the more knowledgeable people in this thread.
 

Valmont

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Do not expect too much when it comes to "paperwork" of a guitar from the late 1970s!

Of course, we are kind of spoiled by today's "case candy" you get when buying a brand new Gibson: DVD documentation, certificates that look like a State Treaty, excessive checklists, information on how many children the guy has who put the strings on the guitar. These are attempts to make a mass product look a little bit more individual.

Back in 1979, all you could get was a dealer's invoice - and that's it. My 1979 Les Paul Deluxe came with an unadorned paper tag with the serial number on it. There was little reason to keep this.

I do not know enough about the price level in the US to make a safe recommendation, but expect to pay for clean example like this something between 2.000$ and 2.500$
 

Valmont

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Bildschirmfoto 2020-11-29 um 13.03.16.png
#

3.100$ sounds like an awful lot of money!

I am not sure if I am allowed to incorporate this graph - It shows the prices achieved on reverb.com. The guitar that sold for 1.500$ was in poor condition, so this result is negligible. Prices start at 1.900$, the normal range is between 2.500$ and 3.000$ - but these guitars were sold by professional dealers. As your deal would be a private sale, prices should be a little lower. Maybe this helps when negotiating.
 

tigerflame

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
181
Reaction score
300
Yeah I'll mention this during the negotiation. I'm seeing the guitar later today.
 

ekim

Member
Joined
May 7, 2014
Messages
97
Reaction score
163
Hes had that on kijiji for awhile. I'm sure you can get him down in price. Bakers KM sounds awesome! Hopefully this one sounds the same
 


Latest Threads



Top