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Theory about black “1967” Les Paul (wraparound tailpiece, not the Torpedo Joe one)

AlienVintage

Active member
Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
317
First - some background to make an important point about pot codes:

Skip to around 5:45 in this video about a Les Paul Deluxe from circa 1970:

https://youtu.be/b3shwV1vTdg

This is just one example, luckily here in YouTube video form which makes it simple for me to point to here, but I have seen *many* Les Pauls from the early 70s (70-73ish) that have factory pots with 1966 pot codes.

It is actually pretty common. I remember the first time I saw it, I thought I might be having some eureka moment about discovering something important.

But, over the years, and observing tons of factory installed pot codes from early 70s Les Pauls, I realized: loads of 70-73 Les Pauls had factory installed 1966 pot codes in them.

For whatever reason. This is just how it went in the Gibson factory. They used them. In the very early 70s. Who knows why.

So now... my theory about the “1967” black (wraparound tail) Les Paul (not the “Torpedo Joe” guitar - that one is different and is absolutely a legit custom order from 1966/67).

(A) It’s either a genuine circa ‘54 that was reworked and refinished black in the circa 1970-73 time frame, with pots changed in the factory at this time.

(B) Or it was some sort of one-off “58 Reissues” from circa 1972 that they did in factory black.

Factory black can be found in the very early ‘70s (71/72/73) from time to time. Factory black Les Paul Deluxes. Factory Black ‘71 SG Standards (batwing pickguard style). Rare, but they absolutely exist.

I’m betting that one of the reasons this guitar is being dated to 1967 could be (what I expect might be) late 1966 pot codes. Which, again, for whatever reason, were surprisingly common in 70-73 Les Pauls.

One key question that would be a really important detail: does it have a long tenon, or a trans tenon?

I think: if long tenon, then likely explanation “A” above. If trans tenon, then explanation “B” above.
 

AlienVintage

Active member
Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
317
This is the guitar I am talking about, starting around 15:30:

https://youtu.be/PJyOnw2U2wo

One other point is: the inlays don’t look 50s to me, so if a reworked circa ‘54, obviously we would be talking about a reneck.

Again, the two theories are:

A) It’s either a genuine circa ‘54 that was reworked (including renecked) and refinished black in the circa 1970-73 (I should have also said, this factory work could also have been done in the late 60s, too) time frame, with pots changed in the factory at this time.

(B) Or it was some sort of one-off “58 Reissues” from circa 1972 that they did in factory black.

And my two questions are:

1. Are we dating this guitar based on it having (I suspect) late 1966 pot codes? Because if so, late 68 pot codes were surprisingly common from the factory in the 70-73 time frame. Basically, that could still very much point to either explanation A or B above, as opposed to a guitar that actually was made in the Gibson factory in 1967.

2. Long or trans tenon? If long, then I think explanation A above makes the most sense (a 54 with factory reneck, using the old style headstock logo, somewhere during the late 60s or even as late as 73ish). If trans tenon, then explanation B.


 

AlienVintage

Active member
Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
317
One more point:

Again, as I’ve said, I believe the “Torpedo Joe” Les Paul is absolutely the real deal - a genuine custom order from 1967.

In other words, *that’s* what you would have gotten - something that looked like the Torpedo Joe guitar - if you went to Gibson in 1967 and custom ordered a (black) Les Paul.

To me, this other guitar has some likely other explanation: again, reworked/renecked ‘54 (with this work done in the Gibson factory somewhere in the 67 to as late as even 73ish time frame), or a one-off early 70s “58 Reissue” (but likely this second explanation only if it has a trans tenon).

Of the two explanations, I think reworked/renecked 54 is the leading candidate... again unless it has a trans tenon (which I’m personally doubting it does, it is probably a 50s style long tenon).
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,715
First - some background to make an important point about pot codes:

Skip to around 5:45 in this video about a Les Paul Deluxe from circa 1970:

https://youtu.be/b3shwV1vTdg

This is just one example, luckily here in YouTube video form which makes it simple for me to point to here, but I have seen *many* Les Pauls from the early 70s (70-73ish) that have factory pots with 1966 pot codes.

It is actually pretty common. I remember the first time I saw it, I thought I might be having some eureka moment about discovering something important.

But, over the years, and observing tons of factory installed pot codes from early 70s Les Pauls, I realized: loads of 70-73 Les Pauls had factory installed 1966 pot codes in them.

For whatever reason. This is just how it went in the Gibson factory. They used them. In the very early 70s. Who knows why.

So now... my theory about the “1967” black (wraparound tail) Les Paul (not the “Torpedo Joe” guitar - that one is different and is absolutely a legit custom order from 1966/67).

(A) It’s either a genuine circa ‘54 that was reworked and refinished black in the circa 1970-73 time frame, with pots changed in the factory at this time.

(B) Or it was some sort of one-off “58 Reissues” from circa 1972 that they did in factory black.

Factory black can be found in the very early ‘70s (71/72/73) from time to time. Factory black Les Paul Deluxes. Factory Black ‘71 SG Standards (batwing pickguard style). Rare, but they absolutely exist.

I’m betting that one of the reasons this guitar is being dated to 1967 could be (what I expect might be) late 1966 pot codes. Which, again, for whatever reason, were surprisingly common in 70-73 Les Pauls.

One key question that would be a really important detail: does it have a long tenon, or a trans tenon?

I think: if long tenon, then likely explanation “A” above. If trans tenon, then explanation “B” above.
Thank You Kindly for figuring this out as i said to myself no way a pre 1968 Les Paul, unless it's a refin . Your analysis is perfect and it all comes down to the tenon .
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,715
One more point:

Again, as I’ve said, I believe the “Torpedo Joe” Les Paul is absolutely the real deal - a genuine custom order from 1967.

In other words, *that’s* what you would have gotten - something that looked like the Torpedo Joe guitar - if you went to Gibson in 1967 and custom ordered a (black) Les Paul.

To me, this other guitar has some likely other explanation: again, reworked/renecked ‘54 (with this work done in the Gibson factory somewhere in the 67 to as late as even 73ish time frame), or a one-off early 70s “58 Reissue” (but likely this second explanation only if it has a trans tenon).

Of the two explanations, I think reworked/renecked 54 is the leading candidate... again unless it has a trans tenon (which I’m personally doubting it does, it is probably a 50s style long tenon).
If Gibson did not have an endorsement deal with Les Paul from 1963- the end of 1967 then it is not possible that Gibson would then build it without the endorsement deal in place right ?
 

Frutiger

Active member
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
697
In the video I posted in the Torpedo Joe thread, John Shanks talks about the serial number being the thing that dated it.

Additionally it has a pre-69 Gibson logo and it also only says Les Paul on the TRC, like the early crown inlay '68s. If it was a factory black 72/58 then I'd expect it to have a 70s logo and to say Les Paul on the headstock.

I gravitate to thinking it's a prototype for the '68 Les Paul - Gibson started producing the Les Paul again in June/July 1968 (crown inlay), it seems feasible to me that they were thinking about this in 1967, tooling up and prototyping for launch the next year.

I don't think anyone's ever going to know until it gets opened up properly though. Or someone finds a ledger confirming it's legit.
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
19,982
from that video it looks to have the classic 1968 square heel and shallow headstock angle. Same with the inlays. all looks 68. Even the top carve has the '68 looking switch area.
if built like a '68 the tenon will be long.

I'd love to see the control cavity on this one.

I'm thinking it was made in 1968.
 

au_rick

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
844
The video discusses the use of mini-himbuckers in Gibsons due to Epiphone going out of production, so it makes sense that if this left a glut of min-humbuckers that they also had a lot of mid 60's pots left over, thus possibly explaining 70's guitars with pot codes from 66-67 :hmm
 

lhric

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2007
Messages
183
from that video it looks to have the classic 1968 square heel and shallow headstock angle. Same with the inlays. all looks 68. Even the top carve has the '68 looking switch area.
if built like a '68 the tenon will be long.

I'd love to see the control cavity on this one.

I'm thinking it was made in 1968.

I remember seeing this guitar advertised on the Segal guitars website back in 2007-2008 and it was also pictured in the Les Paul legacy book 1968-2009. It was going for 25k then. Im wondering what he paid for it by a parking lot deal.
 

lhric

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2007
Messages
183
I remember seeing this guitar advertised on the Segal guitars website back in 2007-2008 and it was also pictured in the Les Paul legacy book 1968-2009. It was going for 25k then. Im wondering what he paid for it by a parking lot deal.

Bruce Bolen whom worked for Gibson in 67-68 era was demonstrating the newer Les Pauls at various shows including with Les Paul himself. I wonder if he would remember this guitar at all and if he took it out on the road toward the end of 67 early 68. As Gibson was already building prototype models then before the new contract with Les Paul was inked.
 

agogetr

Active member
Joined
Jan 22, 2019
Messages
451
didnt leo fender do the same thing? bought a boatload of 66 pots that you see in fenders into the late sixties.as for gibsons i thought the custom order guitars had a 'custom' truss rod cover? i have a mint blonde 1965 335 that has that cover. it was custom ordered by a doctor.
First - some background to make an important point about pot codes:

Skip to around 5:45 in this video about a Les Paul Deluxe from circa 1970:

https://youtu.be/b3shwV1vTdg

This is just one example, luckily here in YouTube video form which makes it simple for me to point to here, but I have seen *many* Les Pauls from the early 70s (70-73ish) that have factory pots with 1966 pot codes.

It is actually pretty common. I remember the first time I saw it, I thought I might be having some eureka moment about discovering something important.

But, over the years, and observing tons of factory installed pot codes from early 70s Les Pauls, I realized: loads of 70-73 Les Pauls had factory installed 1966 pot codes in them.

For whatever reason. This is just how it went in the Gibson factory. They used them. In the very early 70s. Who knows why.

So now... my theory about the “1967” black (wraparound tail) Les Paul (not the “Torpedo Joe” guitar - that one is different and is absolutely a legit custom order from 1966/67).

(A) It’s either a genuine circa ‘54 that was reworked and refinished black in the circa 1970-73 time frame, with pots changed in the factory at this time.

(B) Or it was some sort of one-off “58 Reissues” from circa 1972 that they did in factory black.

Factory black can be found in the very early ‘70s (71/72/73) from time to time. Factory black Les Paul Deluxes. Factory Black ‘71 SG Standards (batwing pickguard style). Rare, but they absolutely exist.

I’m betting that one of the reasons this guitar is being dated to 1967 could be (what I expect might be) late 1966 pot codes. Which, again, for whatever reason, were surprisingly common in 70-73 Les Pauls.

One key question that would be a really important detail: does it have a long tenon, or a trans tenon?

I think: if long tenon, then likely explanation “A” above. If trans tenon, then explanation “B” above.
 
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