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1968 Les Paul Custom -- Which One Looks Original?

Attila

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Sep 23, 2002
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268
*** Fixed images ***

I came across a couple of ads for a '68 Les Paul Custom; both claiming that they are original. Looking at the pics of the control cavity, clearly they have different caps. So which one looks original --- Pic1 or Pic2?

Also, just curious: I'm seeing people asking upwards of 30k for these ---- are they really going for that much in today's market?

Pic1:

cav1.jpg


Pic2:

cav2.jpg
 
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Red Baron

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Images aren’t showing, but both should have a control cavity cut like a four leaf clover to be a genuine 68.
 

jb_abides

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For those that can't see pics:
- Pic1 has Spragues, they look original, solder looks legit, can't read codes.
- Pic2 has orange drops, they look very clean.
Ergo, Door Number 1.
 

Arch D. Bunker

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Another one of those with the orange drops - the seller thinks the caps were replaced, but since the guitar is really clean, and in connection with pic 2 above, they could be original.. it's Gibson, after all.

 

jb_abides

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Another one of those with the orange drops - the seller thinks the caps were replaced, but since the guitar is really clean, and in connection with pic 2 above, they could be original.. it's Gibson, after all.


Excellent resource. Also I keep seeing outside of Black Beauty Spragues generally look beaten or dusty, while orange drops seem to keep their newish sheen, perhaps down to characteristics of the materials employed...?
 

Attila

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For those that can't see pics:
- Pic1 has Spragues, they look original, solder looks legit, can't read codes.
- Pic2 has orange drops, they look very clean.
Ergo, Door Number 1.
The pots date to ‘68, but the codes on thes pots are etched into the sides of the pot. I haven’t seen that before, but as the solder joints appear original, I’m guessing that so are the pots.
 

rifle

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Feb 8, 2002
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On pic2 are the groundwire soldered to the wire or not? It seems to change color so it might be extended. Might be the pictures thats fools my eye.
 

lhric

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Aug 3, 2007
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*** Fixed images ***

I came across a couple of ads for a '68 Les Paul Custom; both claiming that they are original. Looking at the pics of the control cavity, clearly they have different caps. So which one looks original --- Pic1 or Pic2?

Also, just curious: I'm seeing people asking upwards of 30k for these ---- are they really going for that much in today's market?

Pic1:

View attachment 19218


Pic2:

View attachment 19219
Both have the “clover” shaped cavity consistent with 1968 and very early 1969 Les Pauls. The second pic has the early gum drop/bean caps that were also used in the early or first 68 goldtops. But those tend to be brownish/red in color. Also I can decipher the pot codes as 1376745. So the 45th week 1967 as those were used in the early/first 68 goldtops too. Don’t know the reason why since there were already 68 date coded pots being used and the black/red Sprague caps were already in use since the mid sixties.
 

metropolis

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Does the first one look like there's a horizontal seam like you'd see on a pancake body or am I imagining it?
 

Wilko

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Both look legit to me

Does the first one look like there's a horizontal seam like you'd see on a pancake body or am I imagining it?
just the signs of two passes of the router/cutter. Once half depth, the other cut through. These cavities were cut before the tops were glued on. whole process is different
 

Jumping@Shadows

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The lower one will have 45th week of ‘67 pots and the brown caps are original, the same kind found in countless other Gibson’s in late ‘67.
I know this from having owned about 14 early ‘68 LP Goldtops and Customs with these caps, and all had that specific harness date- a point of note also is the PAT No humbuckers in these early ‘68 LP Customs were ‘63 era red wire versions, or what you might call a ‘Post PAF PAT NO’, so not the early maroon wire PAF spec, nor the later orange Poly wire spec, but exactly what you’d find in a ‘63/‘64 SG or 335 etc so arguably ‘Old Stock’, and sound far superior to the T Top most assume these came with.
 

Attila

Formerly Are9
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Sep 23, 2002
Messages
268
The lower one will have 45th week of ‘67 pots and the brown caps are original, the same kind found in countless other Gibson’s in late ‘67.
I know this from having owned about 14 early ‘68 LP Goldtops and Customs with these caps, and all had that specific harness date- a point of note also is the PAT No humbuckers in these early ‘68 LP Customs were ‘63 era red wire versions, or what you might call a ‘Post PAF PAT NO’, so not the early maroon wire PAF spec, nor the later orange Poly wire spec, but exactly what you’d find in a ‘63/‘64 SG or 335 etc so arguably ‘Old Stock’, and sound far superior to the T Top most assume these came with.
Here are a couple of pickup shots from the "bottom" guitar:

IMG_4858.JPG

IMG_4859.JPG

The bridge pickup no longer has the cover on it; don't know if the pickup may have been "messed with" in some way, or even rewound.
 

Wilko

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I always thought the 68's all had T-Tops. I've never heard of one having anything but T-Tops.

Pre-T were gone by 65-66.
 
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Attila

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268
I always thought the 68's all had T-Tops. I've never heard of one having anything but T-Tops.

Pre-T were gone by 65-66.
Here is a pic of the bridge pickup (the one with the missing cover):

IMG_7405.JPG

Looks like Jumping@Shadows is correct. However, this '68 was an early one (shipped August or September of '68); maybe Gibson switched to the T-tops later for the Les Paul Customs?
 

jb_abides

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Per Common Features: Late Sixties Les Pauls!

"Early, T-Top, Patent Sticker humbuckers. The Pat. No. sticker on the bottom of the pickup reads "PATENT NO 2,737,842". BUT, there's a little room for debate on bobbin type. I have personal experience with an early 69 (shipped April 3rd 1969) Custom that has two original, NON T-Top, Patent Sticker humbuckers (Orange wire, white and black leads).. My guess is that a few non-t's filtered out as the change to T-tops was made. Typical output is around 7.5k. "Short" magnets, aka, not the longer ones used in the first PAF humbuckers through 1960, but the ones found in later PAF's and 60's pickups. (BTW, if anyone out there is asking themselves what the hell a "T-top" pickup is, Id be happy to explain. The plastic that one sees as the main component of a pickup is called a bobbin. Simply put, a "T-top" bobbin has a letter 'T' on it. Yup, that simple. The non-T's are using bobbins that are somewhat but not overly similar to the earlier, famous PAF's.)"​

And What is so special about Les Paul Custom 559XXX?

"Pre-T, Patent Sticker Pickups" - Yup, somehow. Totally unmolested pickup solder joints showing pickups that should have never been on the guitar. I can only guess they were leftover from 65-67. They are the later style with orange wire and black/white leads. They SHOULD be identical, but with T-Top bobbins.​
 
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