Saturday, June 26, 2010

1980 Gibson Les Paul Silverburst Guitar

Here is guitar you do not see every day, unless you are Adam Jones from Tool (this is just about all he will use). It is a rare 100% complete and original vintage 1980 Gibson Les Paul Custom in the desirable and very hard to find Silverburst finish.

Maybe I should provide a little history on these. The original run of Silverburst Les Pauls was made between late 1978 and 1982. There were a few differences between these and other Les Paul Customs of the era. Most noticeable is the color, of course, but these also received chrome hardware (instead of gold) to better match the finish. Also, these were built with maple necks (instead of mahogany) which give these a distinctive sound.

Over time, the finish on these did not hold up well. Usually all of the finish comes off the neck, and sometimes on the backs as well. Another issue is that the finish usually turns green, making them look like more of a phlegmburst.

This one has a carved maple top over a mahogany body, with multi-bound top and back. The binding is in great shape.

Overall, it is in excellent condition. It has the original finish. As with almost all of these Silverburst finish models the color is somewhat greened, but not as much on this one as a lot of them I have seen. There is only extremely minor surface wear and one barely visible hairline finish crack.

It has a great playing neck with great original fretless wonder frets. It has an ebony fretboard with pearl block inlays, and it is bound as well. The headstock is multi-bound, like the body.

The original pickups sound amazing, especially in this body with the metallic finish and the maple neck. It has a really classic tone. The original pots have the standard 2 volume and 2 tone set-up, with a 3-way pickup selector switch.

The hardware is in really good shape. It has a raised 3-ply pickguard, a tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece, and Gibson logo tuners with keystone buttons. These tuners do not have the built-in speedwinders, but some Les Pauls from this era did come with them.

This one is relatively light, given the usual weight of Les Pauls from this era. It weighs in at right around 10 ½ pounds

So how does it play? I owned over a dozen real Les Pauls over the years, and played dozens more. This one has got to be one of the best. The tone, the action, and even the look are unsurpassed.

Amazingly, this one still has the original Gibson protector hardshell case. It is in pretty good shape, especially when compared to a lot of these I have seen. All of the latches work fine.

Sadly, I had to let this one go, only because I had a buyer that willing to pay top dollar for it to go with all of the other ones he had already collected. It could not have gone to a better home.