Gibson closed out their legendary run of guitar production in the 1960s with the reintroduction of the iconic Les Paul in 1968. With the new-issue Standard model featuring P90 pickups and then newly adapted Mini-humbuckers for the model, the Les Paul Custom became the only version to feature full size humbuckers. The Les Paul Custom of 1968-1969 has become one of the most sought after vintage electrics in recent years.
As with many late 60s Gibsons, you're likely to find a combination of transitional features, particularly between the end of 1968 and into the early part of 1969. This Custom is a great example of what we typically identify as a very early '69 build. Gibson had begun their 3-piece Mahogany neck construction, which is evident in this build. However, they had not yet transitioned into the "pancake" body construction that would follow very soon after this guitar made it through the production line. In this instance, we might assume the build started sometime in 1968 and was completed in the first few months of 1969. Leave it up to Gibson to keep us on our toes!
It's a great sounding and playing example that retains most of the critical original components such as the Patent # pickups, ABR-1 bridge, lightweight stop bar tailpiece, and vintage electronics. It's been refretted in-house with medium jumbo fretwire, replacing the worn-out frets it was outfitted with when it first came in. The guitar also arrived with a set of Grover Rotomatics installed and the five of the six original Kluson "waffleback" tuners packed up inside the case, all in varying degrees of functionality. A full set of proper 1969 Kluson Waffleback tuners were installed to get it back to its proper stock spec, with the D and G tuners having slightly bent but working shafts.
Half of the wiring harness is original to the guitar, and we sourced some period-correct pots to restore said harness to a more complete vintage spec. Lastly, the bass-side ABR-1 bridge post was replaced due to some post lean. It's now proper and stable, allowing the ABR-1 to seat correctly and provide proper adjustment.
The finish is original to the guitar throughout, and the original Gibson inlays on the headstock show evidence of the lacquer top coat yellowing as many gigged vintage Les Pauls do. The slimmer C neck is supremely comfortable as well.
The original hardshell case is proof of this guitar's working history, with not much more than some duct and gaff tape holding things together! It's even got a hole in the top of the case where the toggle switch tip wore through! Thankfully, it's paired up with a modern Gibson hardshell case that's keeping this wonderful Custom nice and safe.
It's no secret that 50s Les Pauls command some of the highest premiums in the vintage guitar market, but these short-lived late 60s LPs remain as great values, not remotely approaching their predecessors in price.