The Fretless Wonder has arrived! The Gibson Les Paul Custom is faithfully replicated from the original 1950s model - but with a few modern twists. Despite its journey through the years, the Les Paul Custom has managed to keep up with the times without a hitch. Originally made as the highest appointed Les Paul model for Mr. Les Paul himself, and nicknamed the "Fretless Wonder" for it's incredibly low frets that feel like you are gliding over the neck with no frets on it at all!
In 1969, the venerable Les Paul went through a design change, where the body was actually made from layers of wood. 2 layers of Mahogany, with a thin maple layer in the middle. However, it still retained the hand-carved maple top, has a neck of three solid piece of mahogany then topped by a 22-fret ebony fingerboard. Ebony adds that "snappy", crisp quality - and plays like a dream.
The pickups are Gibson's "T-Top's", which offers the tonal characteristics of the original PAFs, and the "T-Top" in the bridge position. We plugged this one into our Carr Rambler's are were instantly able to conjure the tones of How High the Moon, as well as a little Born on the Bayou! The neck Pickup boast a pretty warm, chimey tone with a touch of vintage vibe. Rolling into the Bridge Pickup, and things get hotter. The combination is a great balance, up to play mellow blues to screaming leads.
We did take this one to our friends at Gruhn's for verification. The Serial number sequence from Gibson at this time could mean that it is a late 69' 70, 71, or 72! The pot codes are the dead give away, as they conform to the period correct codes for 1970. It also has a volute, a feature that did not appear until 1970. However, the lack of the "Made in the USA" stamp on the back of the headstock does bring up some questions, as this stamp first appeared in 1970. This means that this one was probably made very early in 1970.
This guitar is in wonderful condition for it's age! As it is 40 years old, it does have some wear on the pickup covers, bridge and tailpiece. There are numerous dings and scratches throughout, as shown on the detailed photos. The finish is nicely "checked" as the photos will also show. For it's age there is hardly any buckle rash on the back to speak of. This does include the original hardshell Gibson case.