New to me: 1976 Les Paul Custom

domigit

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As my only other posts here indicate, I've been on the lookout for a Pro Deluxe for many a month now. I've had more than a handful evade me. The last one, I had cash in hand to meet the guy, but unfortunately, it fell through at the last minute.

So it might have been serendipitous that I saw a pretty clean looking 1976 Custom pop up on my local classifieds. It was described as a case queen in mint condition. I've only owned a 2008 Les Paul Studio before this guitar, but the entire reason I was in the market stemmed from a discussion with the other guitarist in my band around us owning good gear, but not necessarily great gear. This one having my favourite finish and considering how uncommon they are locally, I figured I'd check it out.

The seller was a collector. Had about 150 or so in his collection. Unfortunately, due to age and some health complications, he was selling off a fair portion of his collection to use the money to enjoy the time with his wife. He stuck mostly to old acoustics and archtops, but had some choice electrics in the collection. Including this one. Now if you believe his story, the guitar was bought by a music teacher in 1976 and played for 6 years before this guy purchased it in 1982. It sat primarily in its case ever since.

Upon seeing it, I'd say the guitar is in good condition, but nowhere near mint. There's a fair amount of divoting to the first few frets, it's missing more than a few fret nibs, there's a fair amount of buckle rash to the back (nothing that's broken through the finish) and there are a handful of dents across the front of the guitar. Most of the gold hardware is entirely worn through, and the knobs have cracked and chipped and faded away. But all of the parts did appear to be original (the tuners were in great shape!)

So we were talking as I was playing around with it for a bit, and I'd mentioned how everyone reveres the vintage gear, but half of the infamy is because these guitars sit in people's collections and don't get used and never see the light of day. The seller said it was something that troubled him a fair bit. These instruments deserve to be used, and it's cool to say you own one, but it's a shame that more people don't get to experience them because the rich collecting crowd will snatch up anything vintage which creates an artificial price bump in the market. I mentioned that the guitar will probably be my #1 and used with the band as well as a studio tool for the space I'm currently setting up, and I think he warmed up to that. Helped knock a few hundred more off the price as well!

So here are a collection of pictures. The T-Tops really do have "that" sound to them. Unfortunately, it seems like the wires coming off of the bridge pickup are rather short. I couldn't really twist it around to see the back of the pickup, but the wiring looks original. I believe these are supposed to have the ashtray in the control cavity as well, but that wasn't present. The truss rod appeared to be stiff to turn, but I took the nut entirely off, heated the threads of the rod a little, applied some graphite to the nut threads, and she now spins beautifully after putting it back together. I absolutely love how you can see how the finish hasn't faded under the pickguard. And I don't have a proper scale, but using my bathroom scale and the subtraction method puts it around 10.2lbs. Only thing that's missing now is a thicker strap. But after it was setup to my liking, it absolutely sings. I can't believe how resonant it is for how solid the body is. You really feel it through the neck.

That's the end of my essay. Now enjoy the assorted photo dump!
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mudface

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Beautiful and a outstanding example of these wonderful guitars..... i really like these later seventies Customs. It's nice to find one that's just been played rather than modded..... the wear proves it was loved. Enjoy in good health amigo :cheers:

PK should be famous,.... both of my late seventies Customs have his/her initials under the TR cover.
 

bblooz

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Awesome looking LPC - Congrats! Some of these tend to be heavy (my '82 is 11.5 lbs!), but that usually translates to a resonant, sustaining axe.
 

1981 LPC

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Schweet! Congrats man.

That TP6 tail piece adds at least 1.3 lbs...!
 

domigit

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Awesome looking LPC - Congrats! Some of these tend to be heavy (my '82 is 11.5 lbs!), but that usually translates to a resonant, sustaining axe.
I don't have a sensitive enough scale, but standing on my bathroom scale with and without the guitar and subtracting my weight consistently leaves me just a smidge over 10lbs. I would think denser wood wouldn't resonate as much, but I guess these things don't conform to all the laws of physics!

PK should be famous,.... both of my late seventies Customs have his/her initials under the TR cover.
I was actually going to ask about that. This is a Kalamazoo one. I assume those are just the initials of one of the builders that was there at the time?

Schweet! Congrats man.

That TP6 tail piece adds at least 1.3 lbs...!
It was actually acquired from another member here. Once I got an appropriate guitar, I knew I needed one. It ticks my boxes for practicality, functionality, and looks so darn cool!
 

Uncle Vinnie

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Nice guitar. Love the oiled ebony. Black bonnets and pickguard look great.

I have the same initials under the TRC on my '78 Pro Deluxe.

 

RocketKing

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Very nice guitar, and I enjoyed reading about it. Enjoy! ;)
 




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