A close-up look at a classic Black Beauty, with all the appointments.
The Gibson Les Paul Custom was introduced at the Chicago NAMM show in July 1954. It was marketed as a lavish, higher-grade version of the popular Les Paul model. Part of the luxury treatment was the use of the split-diamond pearl headstock inlay previously reserved only for the Super 400. The headstock and one-piece mahogany body also received sumptuous multi-ply binding. The fretboard scheme of ebony with pearl block inlays was borrowed from the L-5. The Custom was also the first Les Paul to receive the innovative Tune-O-matic bridge, which allowed for individual string intonation.
Although it originally came with a bridge P-90 and an alnico 5 “staple" neck pickup, the Custom received an upgrade of three humbucking pickups by late 1957. The description in the 1958 Gibson catalog reads:
“Here is the ultimate in a solid body Gibson Electric Spanish Guitar—players rave about its extremely low, smooth frets, and easy playing action, call it the 'Fretless Wonder.' Now with three humbucking, adjustable pickups, this new and improved 'Les Paul Custom' guitar has increased power, greater sustaining, and a clear, resonant, sparkling tone, with the widest range of tonal colorings. Finished in solid ebony color for rich contrast with the gold-plated metal fittings."
In 1957, the Custom's original array of a bridge P-90 and an alnico 5 “staple" neck pickup was upgraded to a trio of
gold-plated PAF humbuckers.
The 1958 Les Paul Custom pictured has the usual appointments for that year. These include three gold-plated “Patent Applied For" humbucking pickups (with the middle pickup factory wound out-of-phase), gold-plated Grover Rotomatic tuners (replacing Kluson Super tuners that year), a gold ABR-1 bridge and stop tailpiece, and 22 smooth flat frets on a 24 3/4" scale ebony fretboard. Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Danny Gatton are a few artists known to favor a 3-pickup Custom at one time.
The model's split-diamond pearl headstock inlay previously appeared only on the Super 400. The headstock was also adorned with high-craft multi-ply binding.
Gibson shipped 256 Les Paul Customs in 1958 at a list price of $375. The No. 537 Case was an extra $47.50. The current value for the guitar with case in excellent all-original condition is $50,000. The amp behind the guitar is a 1959 Fender Super. Two 6L6 power tubes push 35 watts of power through two Jensen P10R speakers. The 1959 list price was $224.50. The current value is $5,000.
Sources for this article include The Early Years of the Les Paul Legacy 1915-1963 by Robb Lawrence, Gibson Electrics—The Classic Years by A.R. Duchossoir, Gibson Shipment Totals 1937-1979 by Larry Meiners, and Fender Amps: The First Fifty Years by John Teagle and John Sprung.
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Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
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The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
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Mojotone will manufacture and market over 60 of their speaker cabinets and amp kits as “Licensed by Fender.”
This partnership marks Fender's recognition of Mojotone’s dedication to its craft, quality of products, and dependability of knowledge. Beginning November 29th and ranging from $327 - $1,016.
Amplifiers were among the first products to wear the official Fender seal. A qualified electronics technician by trade, Leo Fender developed his iconic amplifiers during the mid-1940s putting innovation at the forefront. To this day, Leo’s influence and innovative spirit can still be heard in today’s amps, as that same iconic, clean Fender tone continues to color new music around the world. As a result, the process for completing the exclusive licensing deal required Fender to carefully audit Mojotone’s amplifier kits, wiring diagrams, electronics, hardware, construction methods, and more to ensure this innovation carried on through the partnership. Mojotone’s many years of intense research, quality production, and favorable reputation solidified the deal.
Mojotone has always been determined to provide its customer base with the most sought-after parts with their insider industry-knowledge. They have spent the last 25 years helping musicians recreate what they deem to be the most famous and easily-recognized tones and aesthetics in the music industry. When purchasing Mojotone products, like Fender products, customers can be assured of unmatched quality and craftsmanship.
For more information, please visit mojotone.com.