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Earliest 1968 Les Pauls - rare truss rod cover, possible tip for authenticating?

AlienVintage

Active member
Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
334
I have been working a little bit on this idea, and wanted to see what you guys think.

As many of you know (probably even better than me), the very earliest 1968 goldtops have some little quirks, and it seems to me, sometimes these quirks cause some confusion and controversy when it comes to authenticating these guitars. And obviously this becomes especially relevant when the asking prices of the early 68s are higher than the later ones...

I believe the subject of the lack of a silkscreen logo has been discussed before. Specifically, the very earliest 68 goldtops had a totally blank headstock (aside from the pearl Gibson logo), and the next ones had the "flower pot" inlay, but still no silkscreen).

Here is a photo showing both versions:

97B32ED4-7207-4B0E-BC68-EDE74C0A0E45_zpsezp0nc2f.jpg


Well, I have noticed that there is another very unique thing about both of these early 68 versions: the truss rod cover seems to me to be extremely unique.

In fact, I am wondering just how few of these truss rod covers might have been made - which is why I am posting about this.

Possibly this could potentially be a handy thing when trying to authenticate one of these very early 68s? I am thinking that, if correct, the guitar should come with one of these truss rod covers?

3FAD95CC-DBBC-42B5-8F97-3DD2C1032128_zpsdqyanf5m.jpg


Is anyone aware of this seemingly unique truss rod cover ever being used on another model/year?
 

Kris Ford

New member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
4,003
Ya might be over thinking a bit..:peace2
The wide bevel version is NOT correct in any format for '68..why would it be?
Those went away for good by 1965...and the thinner 3 ply with B/W/B came in until 1975, with a few holdouts til 1976.
And in 1968, it's very obvious to me they did just what they did in 1960/61, and just take a BLANK, current run TRC, and had "Les Paul" engraved on it...for however many they needed.
Plus, a TRC is so easily replaced, I would not use it for authentication purposes.
 

AlienVintage

Active member
Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
334
Yes - sorry, that is what I meant in my photo - the wide bevel version was from the early 1960s. It is the narrow bevel version (the bottom on here) that would potentially be unique to 1968:

3FAD95CC-DBBC-42B5-8F97-3DD2C1032128_zpsdqyanf5m.jpg


I was showing the two versions just to show how the 68 (bottom) one was different than the early 60s (top) one.
 

Kris Ford

New member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
4,003
Yep, that's just a then current production thin bevel 3 ply B/W/B TRC that had "Les Paul" engraved in it.
You could take one to a trophy shop and they can do the same thing.
Gibson either had their own engraver, or had contact with a engraving shop to do these. They probably just took a couple hundred current, and blank TRCs, and had them engraved "Les Paul", as they did 8 years prior, only the current production model TRC was thin 3 ply.
It would make sense the font size was increased due to the fact that the smaller "Les Paul" didn't look right without the thick white border of the 60/61 TRC.
 

AlienVintage

Active member
Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
334
Good points - that is probably right!

But I'm also thinking that, from an authentication standpoint, it might still be difficult for someone to do that nowadays (engrave it) and have it look exactly correct... maybe close, but could potentially be a helpful "tell" to take along with all of the guitar's other features.
 

Kris Ford

New member
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
4,003
Good points - that is probably right!

But I'm also thinking that, from an authentication standpoint, it might still be difficult for someone to do that nowadays (engrave it) and have it look exactly correct... maybe close, but could potentially be a helpful "tell" to take along with all of the guitar's other features.

Could be..:hmm
That was my concern..IF a trophy shop could nail the font, which seems many COULD, it's a VERY basic script font.. then no one would ever know..
So it may be easily faked, especially in this day of computer scanning and CNC engravers, right down to the sloppy edges..
 

moonweasel

Active member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
9,427
Do you know what the first three digits in the serial are to the one in the pic which has no silk screen?

Thanks!
 

moonweasel

Active member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
9,427
Could be..:hmm
That was my concern..IF a trophy shop could nail the font, which seems many COULD, it's a VERY basic script font.. then no one would ever know..
So it may be easily faked, especially in this day of computer scanning and CNC engravers, right down to the sloppy edges..



Yeah, but boy what a weird thing to pick to fake. There are probably 4 people on earth who need one. :) :) :)
 

moonweasel

Active member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
9,427
Yes - that one is 524xxx. Here is a link to the old auction:

http://m.ebay.com/itm/251857995989

Alien,

Thanks, that clears up a lot. The 524 guitar is NOWHERE near one of the earliest guitars. That was built fall/winter of 68, versus June or July for the very earliest guitars. Likely, the 524 guitar's silkscreen was simply polished off at some point. Happens a lot.

Good lesson here, it is never the best idea to attempt to date a guitar by a part that is removable. 524xxx guitars would have had a regular truss rod cover and silk screen for sure.
 

oldflame

Active member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
1,142
Here's my old one I had about 25 years ago. Serial # started 985. It's on Moonweasal's site....


Lees%20old%2068%20and%2053_zps7hqsdgdv.jpg



One that was on the bay a good few years ago.....


68withcrown_zpstz9bgjby.jpg



And here's a better pic of the '68 style truss cover.....


lpt275_zpswxoy718f.jpg
 

lp56tv

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
48
Yes - that one is 524xxx. Here is a link to the old auction:

http://m.ebay.com/itm/251857995989
I have been working a little bit on this idea, and wanted to see what you guys think.

As many of you know (probably even better than me), the very earliest 1968 goldtops have some little quirks, and it seems to me, sometimes these quirks cause some confusion and controversy when it comes to authenticating these guitars. And obviously this becomes especially relevant when the asking prices of the early 68s are higher than the later ones...

I believe the subject of the lack of a silkscreen logo has been discussed before. Specifically, the very earliest 68 goldtops had a totally blank headstock (aside from the pearl Gibson logo), and the next ones had the "flower pot" inlay, but still no silkscreen).

Here is a photo showing both versions:

97B32ED4-7207-4B0E-BC68-EDE74C0A0E45_zpsezp0nc2f.jpg


Well, I have noticed that there is another very unique thing about both of these early 68 versions: the truss rod cover seems to me to be extremely unique.

In fact, I am wondering just how few of these truss rod covers might have been made - which is why I am posting about this.

Possibly this could potentially be a handy thing when trying to authenticate one of these very early 68s? I am thinking that, if correct, the guitar should come with one of these truss rod covers?

3FAD95CC-DBBC-42B5-8F97-3DD2C1032128_zpsdqyanf5m.jpg


Is anyone aware of this seemingly unique truss rod cover ever being used on another model/year?
I know this is a very old thread, but I’m trying to price my truss rod cover that originally came on a 1955 Les Paul Junior that I got way back in the 80s. I know that these came on very early 1968 Les Paul’s. Any info you could give me would be appreciated thank you. Unfortunately, because of the age of this thread, the pictures that you posted are not available anymore. I’d be curious to see what they were.
 

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Bruce R

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Messages
1,036
You may know this, but that truss rod cover was not original to a '55 Junior. They would have a plain 1-piece black plastic TRC.
 

lp56tv

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
48
Yeah, I know that now after doing the research but when I got it like 35 years ago, I just assumed it was original.
 

Wilko

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Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,889
I see one on ebay with an asking price of 799!
 

Wilko

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Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,889
That’s crazy for just a truss rod cover. Of course that’s what he’s asking not whet he’s gonna get.
Yep. A piece of reference about that ‘56 I bought on eBay: I knew I was going full humbucker so I sold the original pickguard for several hundred. Got 900 for crappy brown case that I bought it with. That all helped offset the guitar cost.
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
363
You never really know what someone is willing to pay to get a missing part from their beloved guitar. Only as many original parts left as original guitars. I wonder how many late 50's Les Paul's and 335's will never get certain original parts with many conversion and replica guitars having those parts also used. I knew someone who looked hard for a 50's Les Paul Custom truss rod cover for over 20 years before finding one.
 

lp56tv

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Messages
48
You never really know what someone is willing to pay to get a missing part from their beloved guitar. Only as many original parts left as original guitars. I wonder how many late 50's Les Paul's and 335's will never get certain original parts with many conversion and replica guitars having those parts also used. I knew someone who looked hard for a 50's Les Paul Custom truss rod cover for over 20 years before finding one.
Yeah it’s true. Well I got one if someone need it! Might take a year or too to sell it though
 
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