#1
Hey all,

Sorry for a demanding first post, and sincere apologies if it's in the wrong section, but i'm hoping some of you lovely people will be able to help me!

I've got a Gibson Les Paul Custom, which the serial code guide i got a link too from gibson.com suggests is from either 1970,71 or 72.
(Serial number is 957524, and is engraved. Also has "MADE IN THE USA" engraved underneath.)

Pretty sure the guy that had it before me wore a studded belt when playing, and gigged it pretty hard, as he was in a metal band and the guitar is pretty scratched up... not sure that the pickups are original, but any advice on how to tell would be appreciated?!

One tone knob is missing, as is the tiny plastic cover from the rhythm/treble selector.

Paintwork is pretty scratched up, mostly on the back but the whole thing could do with a nice refurb. Gold plating has worn off the bridge and a couple of other bits.

If anyone could tell me exactly what year it's from, or give me an approximate value that'd be most appreciated! Pictures are below..













Many thanks for all your help,

GeeGuitar
#3
Usually with the serial numbers it the Year, then the number...My Less paul is 771957, meaning 1977, model 1957. I dunno about yours...but yeah..thats pretty scratched uup...You could take the humbuckers out and see if the say Super 70 on the back, because those where the pickups generally used in the 70's...Honestly..I dont know..but perhaps google the serial number + model and see what comes up...
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This is maybe the worst comparison in the history of comparisons.
#4
Quote by Controlpanel
Usually with the serial numbers it the Year, then the number...My Less paul is 771957, meaning 1977, model 1957. I dunno about yours...but yeah..thats pretty scratched uup...You could take the humbuckers out and see if the say Super 70 on the back, because those where the pickups generally used in the 70's...Honestly..I dont know..but perhaps google the serial number + model and see what comes up...

that's not the way the serial numbers work on the gibsons of this era (nor 1977 till now for that matter - the first and 5th digits are the year, the numbers between them are the day of the year, and the last 3 or 4 numbers are the production number), and i'm pretty sure super 70s are ibanez pickups, not gibson.

gibsons at this time were just numbered with 6 digits in no particular format that relates to the year, the model or anything like that, which is why you can't really tell the exact year unless you know of the particular details that changed and when they changed.

gibson never really gave their pickups names, for example "PAF" refers to the "patent applied for" label, and "T-top" (the pickups they used in the early '70s) refers to an embossed T on top of the bobbins... your pickups are probably original if they have the T on the bobbin, but what they are lacking is the original gold plated covers, if they are originals.

edit: controlpanel... i just looked at your profile and you've put that yours is an ibanez... which would explain a lot the guitar in question is a gibson...
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
Last edited by Blompcube at Mar 25, 2011,
#5
Thanks to both for the speedy reply, much appreciated!

I know that the serial has no realtion to the year, but the gibson guide says that 6 digit engraved serials with "made in the USA" underneath are done in the *00000 format, with the first digit corresponding to the year(s) of manufacture... it says that 9***** is from either 1970, 1971 or 1972, but doesn't tell me how to specify which.

As for the pickups, the black ones (neck) DO have the T imprint, but the bridge (cream) ones do not. Does this mean that the cream pickup is not original?

Once again, any advice as to the value (given it's battered appearence) would be GREATLY appreciated!

Gee.
#6
Quote by GeeGuitar
Thanks to both for the speedy reply, much appreciated!

I know that the serial has no realtion to the year, but the gibson guide says that 6 digit engraved serials with "made in the USA" underneath are done in the *00000 format, with the first digit corresponding to the year(s) of manufacture... it says that 9***** is from either 1970, 1971 or 1972, but doesn't tell me how to specify which.

As for the pickups, the black ones (neck) DO have the T imprint, but the bridge (cream) ones do not. Does this mean that the cream pickup is not original?

Once again, any advice as to the value (given it's battered appearence) would be GREATLY appreciated!

Gee.

it's near enough impossible to specify an exact year unless it's a model that kept having small changes made to it at that time. you'd need a real expert on something like a les paul custom. the only reason i can guess what year my SG was made is because gibson couldn't stop dicking about with the design and making little changes here every time they updated their catalogue and there and all the details of mine match up more closely to other SGs that are listed as being made in 1973 the serial number being 134224 doesn't help matters very much, considering that 1***** could mean any year between 1970 and 1975.

my guess is that the bridge pickup is not original if it doesn't have the T imprint.

i'm not really qualified to give you a value because i don't know how much the cosmetic condition would drop the resale value of a vintage guitar.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#7
No imprint on the bridge pickup as well as the color of the cream (if I'm seeing it right) means that it's not an original. That's very common in guitars of that era, when aftermarket pickups were just becoming available, to see the bridge pickup swapped out for something more powerful.

You could try to date it more accurately with the pot codes. Open the control cavity and read the numbers off the neck pickup pots. I wouldn't trust the bridge pots, since they may have been changed with the pickup. Run the pot codes here:
http://www.guitardaterproject.org/potcodereader.aspx
The problem with pots is that they might have been old stock ('71 pots used in an early '72) or have been replaced (either with new pots or old stock from the correct time period, resulting in an incorrect dating) but if all four pots, or the two neck pots, both date from the same year in the 70-72 time period, you could be reasonably sure of the date.
#8
Okay mate, thanks for that! REALLY useful stuff!
i'll open the cavity and take a peek in a bit, and i'll get back to you!
Would the aftermarket bridge pickup lower the value, or would it not make much difference given that it's (presumeably) from the time period, as it's been in a loft for decades and I can't imagine grandad would have changed it more recently...
#9
Anything not original will hurt the resale value. The pickup and the tuners have clearly been changed, which are common modifications for the time, but also less desirable.

That, plus the overall condition, will reduce resale quite a bit. The missing pot and switch tip somewhat less so, but they do detract from the overall originality of the instrument, which is second only to physical condition in the pricing equation.
#10
The tuning pegs all have "grover" on the back, if this is of any use... apart from that I wasn't even aware they had been swapped from originals!

Opened both the pot cavity and the switch cavity, but all pots have solder or wires covering the numbers, and i'm not really sure i want to remove anything as i'm terrible at that kinda stuff...

Would the resale value be reduced so much that it's not worth selling? i've been wondering for a while if it'd be worth it to sell and buy something more suited to me, because as much as i can appreciate a classic, it's not really my kind of thing =/.

Once again, many thanks for your help!
As a U-G forum newbie, I must say so far you've all been amazing!
#11
The tuners have definitely been replaced. The holes above them are the drill holes from where the original klusons were. As with the bridge pickup, the grover upgrade is very common for that time period.

As for the resale value, whether or not you want to sell depends on how much you'd want for it.
Here's what an all-original version of yours would look like:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_trksid=p4340.l2557&rt=nc&nma=true&item=360352483004&si=W16zO9znkVQMX7skNRJkTxL53UI%253D&viewitem=

Looks like it sold for $2500. I'd expect yours to go for roughly half of that. I wouldn't say lower than 700 or higher than 1600.
#12
Okay, i'm from the UK, and if those are USD then that works out at something similar to £1000... pretty sure that's more than enough for a high end ibanez, dean or ESP!

I've always loved the Ibanez EGEN18 (Herman Li signature model), but it's always been miles out of my price range... the EGEN8 is nice, but the blonde colour doesn't really do it for me =/.

If i sell the gibson in order to fund something like an Ibanez S series prestiege, or a dean vendetta 4.0, would that be an idiotic thing to do, or would the modifications and paint condition mean that the value of the gibson is not about to increase by much?

Once again, all your help is greatly appreciated!

Gee
#13
The value on that guitar should continue to go up. You might remember it in 30 years when they're selling for $5000 and feel like you missed out on some cash, but keeping a guitar as an investment isn't a good choice of investments anyway.

I'd say that if it's not your type of guitar, there's no shame or harm in selling it. The price isn't going to jump up quickly, especially not on one as modified and worn as that.
#14
Well that's nice to know, honestly I don't know what i'd have done if i hadn't found this forum xD.

I'm hoping that it'll sell for what i'm after, and then hopefully i'll be able to grab a Dean Vendetta 4f with floyd rose tremolo, a Laney 4x12 cab and a Laney 120w amp header...

If there's any other similar guitars you'd recommend, i'd be glad to hear!

I'll let you know if I decide to sell!

Gee
#15
Quote by GeeGuitar
If i sell the gibson in order to fund something like an Ibanez S series prestiege, or a dean vendetta 4.0, would that be an idiotic thing to do, or would the modifications and paint condition mean that the value of the gibson is not about to increase by much?

Once again, all your help is greatly appreciated!

Gee

i think you ought give this guitar a chance before you go out and trade it in for something. it might be worth keeping as a guitar to play and enjoy regardless of whether the resale value might go up.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#16
You selling a 1972 les paul custom for an Ibanez Herman Li model?.... I am speechless.
#17
I've owned the guitar for the last two years, and i'm afraid I'm not a fan of the thick neck and heavy solid body... the tone is also really nice for some more relaxed songs, but i've gotta admit i prefer playing my friends Ibanez S series or jackson, and i'm absolutely decided that i'd rather play something different =/.
#18
Quote by GeeGuitar
I've owned the guitar for the last two years, and i'm afraid I'm not a fan of the thick neck and heavy solid body... the tone is also really nice for some more relaxed songs, but i've gotta admit i prefer playing my friends Ibanez S series or jackson, and i'm absolutely decided that i'd rather play something different =/.

ah right, well in that case i guess you've got no reason to keep it, no matter whether it's a fine quality instrument or not.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#19
Has anyone asked for the codes off the potentiometers? (pots)
They will give an indication of year.
#20
Quote by nickdohle
You selling a 1972 les paul custom for an Ibanez Herman Li model?.... I am speechless.
The fact that I read that and it didn't even phase me just showed me how accustomed to UG I've become.
#21
Quote by al112987
The fact that I read that and it didn't even phase me just showed me how accustomed to UG I've become.

the threadstarter obviously just prefers thin, slender guitars like the ibanez S series, and those things are about as much different to a les paul as you're gonna get, feel-wise. looks like he's thought it through a lot and decided that this les paul just not right for him. so why not sell it to someone who will really love it, and get himself a guitar that suits him better with the money? it's a win-win situation, tbh.

in that sense it's not really very UG-ish
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#22
a 71,72,73 is the start of the norlin era. Not nearly as bad as the 80s.

We're maybe talking 3-5000 in perfect condition with all original parts.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

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