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1989 Gibson Les Paul Custom 35th Anniversary Triple Pickup Black Beauty w/ Custom Shop Case


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Up for sale a 1989 Gibson Les Paul Custom 35th Anniversary model in excellent condition and in perfect working order. Loosely celebrating the 35th anniversary of the introduction of the Custom model in Gibson's lineup, this iteration aligns with Gibson's Historic instruments in terms of construction and appointments, featuring a solid mahogany body, carved mahogany top, and one-piece mahogany neck capped with a bound ebony fingerboard. This Gibson model also boasts Al Di Meola's signature on the back of the headstock.

At the heart of this Custom is a trio of upgraded Seymour Duncan PAF-style humbuckers, more lively and accurate to '50s spec than the early 490-style humbuckers which came with this model when sold new. The added warmth of the mahogany top pairs well with the glassy note attack of the ebony fingerboard providing a vital, lively tonal platform for the humbuckers, with APH-1n Alnico II Pro pickups in the neck and middle positions, and a Pearly Gates in the bridge. The Alnico Pro II is very sensitive to pick attack, delivering a warm, sweet tone with tons of natural sustain, thick, singing trebles and and a rich bass register. The Pearly Gates is reverse engineered from the neck pickup of Billy Gibbons' 1959 Les Paul. Also boasting Alnico II construction, this magnet keeps the Pearly Gates' high end airy but focused, while the midrange emphasis gives it a unique Texas sizzle. The Pearly Gates really has a growl all its own and is one of Duncan's best executed PAFs. The guitar weighs 10lbs 6oz. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Les Paul Standard is dialed in with 10-46 strings, low action and solid intonation.

The mahogany neck has a slender C shaped profile carve with round, inviting shoulders in every register and a hair more heft as you travel up the ebony fretboard, measuring .820" deep at the 1st fret and .965" at the 12th. The original frets boast their full factory height with well-rounded crowns, showing light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-4, and even fainter wear until fret 8. The guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut has Gibson's traditional 1 11/16" width. The headstock retains the original "Custom" truss rod cover, and the split diamond inlay has the tiny "35th Anniversary" text. The Gibson Deluxe gold Kluson-style tuning machines are incredibly clean, featuring green tulip buttons and functioning as intended. The inked serial number is a nice touch, harkening back to Gibson's 50s serialization style, and the back of the headstock has a faded signature by Al Di Meola, although we cannot confirm if he played this exact guitar or simply signed it.

All of the electronics work as they should, and the upgraded Seymour Duncan pickup trio is wired to the original harness, with CTS pots that date to the 48th week of 1989. All of the original plastic parts are intact including the pickguard and quartet of black bonnet knobs, and the hardware includes the original patent number ABR-1 and corresponding stopbar. The gold pickup covers on the Duncans show uniform surface patina, while the gold plating is cleaner on the bridge hardware.

The Ebony gloss nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touchup or overspray, framed by deeply ambered multi-ply binding. Cosmetic wear is limited to a few very faint finish scratches in the gloss on top behind the bridge and adjacent to the knobs, and equally restrained wear on the back, showing just a few tiny shallow marks and finish scratches. There is pick scuffing across the guard, and light checking at the fret nibs. The neck profile finish also retains its smooth nitro gloss, free of palm wear with just one small nick behind fret 8.

A Gibson Custom Shop black tolex hardshell case with red crushed velvet interior is included.