1980 Gibson Les Paul Custom - No Serial #

Bad.Seed

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
492
Reaction score
293
Looking at buying a 1980 Gibson Les Paul custom in wine red locally. The seller claims the pickups have been changed out for duncan distrotions, but everything else about the guitar is original. The issue I have is, there is no stamped serial in the back of the headstock.

The guitar has no telltale sign of being a fake, i.e., goofy diamond inlay, nut looks right, period correct tuners, volute, abr1 bridge. But the serial nukber is troubling me and the seller isn't super responsive.

The wine red is see through so if it were refinished, you should still be able to see remnants of the pressed in serial# Any thoughts?
 

Bad.Seed

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
492
Reaction score
293
We’re they still using 3 piece necks in 1980?

Look at the pot codes to date the guitar. If the price and guitar are nice, don’t worry about the serial.

Were they doing any inking or decals of serials on Customs still, at the end of the 70s?
That's what I'm trying to figure out now. Seems like there's a lot of variance. MY '5 LP custom has a stamped Serial. From what I've read, the 3 piece maple necks and volute went all the way to '82.

The guitar is $2k cash. He's supposed to send me a picture of the case. He doesn't know if it's original to the guitar or not, but I think I may pounce. The guitar is in good shape all around. I just panicked when I saw no serial and figured I'd consult those with more knowledge than myself.
 

DarrellV

just Livin' the Dream....
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
29,288
Reaction score
79,632
That's what I'm trying to figure out now. Seems like there's a lot of variance. MY '5 LP custom has a stamped Serial. From what I've read, the 3 piece maple necks and volute went all the way to '82.

The guitar is $2k cash. He's supposed to send me a picture of the case. He doesn't know if it's original to the guitar or not, but I think I may pounce. The guitar is in good shape all around. I just panicked when I saw no serial and figured I'd consult those with more knowledge than myself.
Yes, three piece maple right through into 83 when they started transitioning.

The headstock script looks legit, here's my 82 for comparison.

OP


I'm working on your serial number in a photo editor ATM, and I think I can see shades of the 'made in USA stamp and a couple number outlines..

I have no explanation as to why they are so light except for Gibson goofiness, and Maple is a heck of a hard wood.
 

Bad.Seed

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
492
Reaction score
293
Yes, three piece maple right through into 83 when they started transitioning.

The headstock script looks legit, here's my 82 for comparison.


I'm working on your serial number in a photo editor ATM, and I think I can see shades of the 'made in USA stamp and a couple number outlines..

I have no explanation as to why they are so light except for Gibson goofiness, and Maple is a heck of a hard wood.
You're my hero, thanks so much!
I've read that most of the LP's between 75-81 had decal serial numbers. But I see some are pressed. Why the difference? Any idea?
 

DarrellV

just Livin' the Dream....
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
29,288
Reaction score
79,632
I'm not ruling out a re-fin at this point either... It's your call on whether that's a deal breaker to you or not.

Reason being is what look to me to be sanding marks on the back of your head stock in that pic. Also would explain the missing number..

s-l1600 (3).jpg
 

DarrellV

just Livin' the Dream....
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
29,288
Reaction score
79,632
You're my hero, thanks so much!
I've read that most of the LP's between 75-81 had decal serial numbers. But I see some are pressed. Why the difference? Any idea?
AFAIK decals ended late 70's.. Maybe around 78..

AFAIK 80 and forward are stamped..

@mudface
 

DarrellV

just Livin' the Dream....
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
29,288
Reaction score
79,632
The guitar is $2k cash. He's supposed to send me a picture of the case. He doesn't know if it's original to the guitar or not, but I think I may pounce. The guitar is in good shape all around.
Muddy, stick around a minute.....plz!


IMO 2K is a bit high for having the pickups both swapped out, and not included, and a possible re-fin.. I say possible just on the looks of the headstock. Light serial pressings are not unknown to the world of Gibson..

Not original case and we haven't even seen the rest of it yet.

2K is not out of bounds for an 80's Custom, that's not what I'm saying..

Just be aware that it is not in a condition to command a premium price.

You should be able to bargain, especially if more pics show any other mods we don't know about.

You are right to be excited, I'm not trying to talk you out of it by any means!

I love 80's stuff!

Just saying with more info, maybe you can do a little better as an educated shopper.

If not, you can still sleep at night knowing you didn't get hosed!
 

mudface

Non-Deadbeat/Non-Prominent
Double Platinum Supporter
Premium Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
7,786
Reaction score
24,642
Looks to be a good repair,... but i would get a better deal,.... like $1450. That's just me.
 

Bad.Seed

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
492
Reaction score
293
Muddy, stick around a minute.....plz!


IMO 2K is a bit high for having the pickups both swapped out, and not included, and a possible re-fin.. I say possible just on the looks of the headstock. Light serial pressings are not unknown to the world of Gibson..

Not original case and we haven't even seen the rest of it yet.

2K is not out of bounds for an 80's Custom, that's not what I'm saying..

Just be aware that it is not in a condition to command a premium price.

You should be able to bargain, especially if more pics show any other mods we don't know about.

You are right to be excited, I'm not trying to talk you out of it by any means!

I love 80's stuff!

Just saying with more info, maybe you can do a little better as an educated shopper.

If not, you can still sleep at night knowing you didn't get hosed!
I totally get it! Truthfully, I'm actively trying to talk myself out of buying it, as I'm overloaded on Les Pauls as it is, and really was trying to wait until the turn of the year before I let my GAS take over again. I figured if the guitar was for real, and the price seems right, I'd be ok with it. But if there are issues that would lessen the value and not really make it anything other than an average deal, I could pass and feel ok about it.
 

DarrellV

just Livin' the Dream....
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
29,288
Reaction score
79,632
Looks to be a good repair,... but i would get a better deal,.... like $1450. That's just me.
That's it exactly, OP!

It looks like a good repair, and if it sets up and plays fine, no worries about the break. It should never give you a problem.

BUT.... as Muddy and I have said, negotiate...

Others can confirm, you have nothing to fear from the break if you buy it.

But as the seller, his price point just fell considerably, and if he's trying to hide it, all the more so.

Go for the kill! :laugh2:
 

Bad.Seed

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2011
Messages
492
Reaction score
293
That's it exactly, OP!

It looks like a good repair, and if it sets up and plays fine, no worries about the break. It should never give you a problem.

BUT.... as Muddy and I have said, negotiate...

Others can confirm, you have nothing to fear from the break if you buy it.

But as the seller, his price point just fell considerably, and if he's trying to hide it, all the more so.

Go for the kill! :laugh2:
For sure. I currently own 3 Gibsons with headstock repairs. They do not both me at all, as long as the price is right! I've asked for more detailed pictures from him all around. I'd have to drive an hour 1 way to meet him, and would rather save the trouble with more detailed pics before making the trip just to be disappointed
 




Top