Gibson Les Paul Deluxe 1975

A new toy arrived at the Château PGC today! Well not exactly “new” … more like vintage. It is a well used and abused Gibson LP Deluxe from the Gibson Norlin era. I noticed the interest for these vintage instrument is on the rise. The Gibson Custom Shop issued a replica of the Mike Ness ’76 Gold Top and the 70’s Deluxe is now part of the Gibson production line. Well here is the real deal. A blast from the past, road worn and aged to beauty a 1975 Cherry Sunburst Deluxe.

Definitely not a collector’s grade guitar but i am not here to collect, these things are made to be played. It has lost the gloss and some finish but it feels great. The action is low and the rosewood on the board has this dark look and glossy dense feel you can only find on a vintage guitar. The weight of the guitar is on the heavy side. Three-piece maple top and “pancake” body. The stock mini humbuckers were replaced with vintage P-90 pickups from the same era. (just like the Mike Ness model).

Why am I writing? Gotta do some playin’…

Vintage Gear Alert: 1964 Fender Jazz Bass

Yep, I am no longer the oldest in the house! I got my hands on a L-series Fender Jazz Bass. All parts are genuine except the body got a refinish in 1966. The original owner didn’t like the sunburst and spray painted it in an electron green lacquer. Too bad, … but still an exceptional instrument!

Besides the refin it is in a good condition. I like the dark rosewood fretboard, over the years it became glossy and even like an ebony board. The first owner installed a little ‘thingy” at the back of the headstock as a replacement for the strap lock you usually can find on these old basses. I also noticed the type of capacitor used with the electronics is stamped on the back of the headstock. First time I see something like this on a vintage instrument.

It is an L-series serial number and the neck stamp reads: 7 JUNE 1964 A. The seven is code for Jazz Bass (not the day of the month) , the first number indicates what type instrument it is followed by the month and year of production. The “A” indicates it is a narrow neck (measured at the nut). “B” or “C” would be code for “Standard” or “Wide” neck.

I haven’t checked the pickups yet. Over the years the pick guard did shrink a little bit and they seem to be pretty tight around the pups. The guard is still in one piece (no chipping or cracks) and I intend to keep it that way.

I am stoked with this one. A players grade bass with a good sound and a fast playing neck. Slap it away…!

Gibson Custom Shop Modern

Gibson Custom Shop Modern Double Cut

Haters gonna hate but I love this guitar from the Gibson Custom Shop!  I have a weak spot for oddball guitars. In 2017 Gibson introduced the Modern Double Cut at the CES show.  Remember, it was the year they did not participate at the NAMM show. Former president HJ’s take on transforming the musical instrument manufacturer to a lifestyle/ consumer goods company.  Some crazy stuff was introduced in the first decade of this century: robot tuners, built in digital effects and crazy new body shapes. The all-new Gibson CS Modern Double Cut guitars in Standard and Custom version were introduced at CES. In 2018 a semi-hollow version joined the family, … and HJ left.

A mahogany body with a two-piece maple cap is traditionally Gibson, so is the nitro lacquer finish and the humbucking pickups. These instruments feature a 12″ radius rosewood fretboard with 24 frets. The newly introduced Apex headstock has some kind of “volute” to reinforce the neck. A traditional Gibson neck is prone to break at the headstock, less chance this is going to happen with this new design. 

The long neck tenon drives the neck deep into the cutaway body. The pickups are placed closer to each other and it takes a while to get used to. The pickups are a pair of 57 Classic and 57 Classic Plus humbuckers and they are wired to a 500K CTS volume pot and a 500K CTS tone pot. Hand wired, no mini-PCB in these guitars.

Gibson gets a lot of critique when they change a proven design but they nailed it with these guitars. Guitar players are very conservative regarding their instruments. They are a limited run and probably are going to be collectables. Excellent playability, perfect balance, tons of sustain and beautifully crafted at the Gibson Custom Shop. 

I got them in Metallic Alien Green, Candy Apple Red and the rare Candy Apple Blue. They are eye-catchers on and off stage. I know Gibson gets a lot of comments on their quality control and their prices but as an owner of man Gibson Guitars, I ‘ve never encountered a single problem with any of my them. Except one time when I got an instrument with a broken headstock due to the brutal handling by the courier service. Other than that, no problems at all.  Check out the short demo of “Alien Green”. Any resemblance to PRS is purely coincidental.