The original Les Paul Custom was introduced in 1954 and became Gibson's top model in the original Les Paul line. The Custom was nicknamed the "Fretless Wonder" for its low... Read More
The original Les Paul Custom was introduced in 1954 and became Gibson's top model in the original Les Paul line. The Custom was nicknamed the "Fretless Wonder" for its low frets, and "Black Beauty" for its rich ebony color.
Today's Les Paul Custom is based on the the mid-1950s model, and includes several modern appointments. The hand-carved maple top is fitted to a body made from a solid piece of mahogany with strategically routed holes that lessen its weight. This chambering enhances acoustics and improves resonance.
The 24-3/4" scale neck is also made from a solid piece of mahogany which is then topped with a 22-fret ebony fingerboard inlaid with acrylic blocks and given Gibson's traditional rounded profile. The multi-bound headstock has a prominent five-piece split diamond inlay while multi-ply white and black binding on the top and back complete its lavish looks.
The Les Paul Custom was the first Gibson guitar to offer the revolutionary ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic bridge, invented by Ted McCarty, Gibson's president. A 490R neck humbucker with an Alnico II magnet offers the tonal characteristics of the original PAFs. The 498T in the bridge has an Alnico V magnet for a slightly hotter signal with emphasis on the mids and highs. This is one of Gibson's most popular pickup combinations. Other appointments include tulip tuners and gold hardware.
Nitrocellulose Lacquer Finish
Applying a nitrocellulose lacquer finish is one of the most labor-intensive steps in guitar making. Gibson has stayed with the time-tested nitrocellulose lacquer finish because it offers several benefits. It dries to a much thinner coat than polyurethane, producing a purer tone since it doesn't interfere with the instrument's natural vibration. Because nitrocellulose lacquer is a softer finish than polyurethane, it's easy to touch up scratches and dings. Nitrocellulose lacquer finishes are very porous and thin, allowing the wood to breathe and age properly.
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