Les Paul Custom Guitars

1960 Gibson Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty"

Color: Black, Rating: 9.00, $65,000.00 (ID# 00964)
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A One-Owner 1960 Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty"


1960 Gibson Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty".

This medium weight Les Paul Custom weighs 10.70 lbs. and has a solid mahogany body with a slightly arched top. One-piece mahogany neck with a nice medium profile, a comfortable nut width of just under 1 11/16 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Ebony fretboard with 22 original thin frets and inlaid pearl block position markers. The top of the guitar has seven-ply binding, the back of the guitar has five-ply binding, the headstock has five-ply binding, and the fretboard has single white binding. Headstock with inlaid pearl "Gibson" logo and five-piece pearl split-diamond inlay. Two-layer (black on white) truss-rod cover with "Les Paul Custom" engraved in white. Individual Grover Roto-Matic tuners with half-moon metal buttons. The serial number ("010513") is inked in yellow on the back of the headstock. Three really hot PAF (double-black) humbucking pickups with very strong outputs of 8.16k, 8.14k, and 7.76k. Five-layer (black/white/black/white/black) plastic pickguard. Four controls (two volume, two tone) on lower treble bout plus three-way selector switch on upper bass bout. Black plastic bell-shaped "Bell" knobs. ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic non-retainer bridge with metal saddles and separate stud tailpiece. All hardware gold-plated.The potentiometers are all stamped: "134 6043" (Centralab October 1960). There is some very light belt buckle scarring on the back of the guitar (nothing down to the wood), a small piece of binding (1/2 inch) is missing from the edge of the headstock just above the "G" tuner. There are a couple of surface chips on the edges of the guitar, the most significant being on the treble-horn where there is also a small (3/4 inch) cut. A few tiny surface marks on the front of the guitar, and some very minor tarnishing to the gold-plated hardware. The original frets show little-to-medium wear. That all said, this totally original '60 Custom -- with a neck and a sound to die for -- is certainly one of the finest that we have ever seen. At just over ten-and-a-half pounds It is on the medium-to-heavy side for a Custom - but the extra weight shows most positively in the sound. This is an amazing one-owner guitar in exceptionally fine (9.00) condition and this is the first time that it is being offered for sale. Housed in its original (very worn) Gibson five-latch black pebble-grain "black beauty" hardshell case with yellow/orange plush lining (7.50).

"In a move designed to widen the market still further for solidbody guitars, Gibson issued two new Les Paul models in 1954, the Custom and the Junior...The two-pickup Custom looked classy with its all-black finish, multiple binding, block-shaped position markers in an ebony fingerboard, and gold-plated hardware, and was indeed more expensive than the gold-top. Paul said that he chose the black colour for the Custom. 'When you're on stage with a black tuxedo and a black guitar, the people can see your hands move with a spotlight on them. They'll see your hands flying.' The Custom had an all-mahogany body, as favoured by Les Paul himself, rather than the maple/mahogany mix of the gold-top, giving the new guitar a rather mellower tone...The Les Paul Custom was promoted in Gibson catalogues as 'the fretless wonder' because of its use of very low, flat fretwire, different to the wire used on other Les Pauls at the time and favoured by some players for the way it helped them play more speedily...The September 1954 pricelist showed the Les Paul Custom at $325 and the Les Paul Junior at $99.50. The gold-top meanwhile had sneaked up to $225" (Tony Bacon, 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul, p. 25). The Custom was the first Les Paul model to receive the company's Tune-O-Matic bridge, used in conjunction with a separate bar-shaped tailpiece, which offered for the first on Gibsons the opportunity to individually adjust the length of each string, thus improving tuning accuracy.

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