Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

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Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby torj93 on Thu May 28, 2009 11:53 pm

So it looks from the serial like I've got a 1979 Les Paul Custom. It certainly puts my '77 Les Paul Special to shame running thru the old JMP here, even if it's way more demanding to play than anything else I've got, physically speaking.

My main concern is that there seem to have been numerous changes to the hardware, and I'd like to bring the thing back to its stock hardware set-up.

Before I go buying stuff I wanted to see if any Gibson experts on here might be able to tell me what's stock and what's been messed with.

1) The pick guard has been removed. I've seen these guys with black or cream pick guards. Which one was stock in '79?

2) Most of the hardware -- the truss rod cover, 3-way switch plate, cable jack, and covers for the electronics cavities in back are all this weird, now-tarnished brass. That wasn't standard, was it? Correct me if I'm wrong, the truss rod cover should be black with white lettering and everything else should be black plastic, yeah?

3) Schaller tuning machines. They're this weird two-tone silver and brass, too. If they were changed, then they either hide or match up perfectly to the original machines. But it seems a little weird.

4) Likewise, the bridge and tailpiece are also the same brass. And the bridge is open and exposed, which I've never seen before. The older Black Beauties I've seen usually have gold hardware that by is wearing off to show the bare metal underneath.

5) Also, the bridge buzzes like crazy on the A-string. If I nudge my pick into the crevice between the low E saddle and the A saddle, the buzzing stops for a while, but returns eventually. Any ideas for dealing with that? I've never had this problem on any other Les Paul and that bridge looks all suspect. But I dunno....

6) The pickups sound durn good, but they're exposed. I'm not sure I'd change 'em just for cosmetic reasons, but I do prefer the appearance of covered pickups. What came stock on these? PAFs? T-Buckers?

7) Lastly, I'm not sure about the cream plastic brackets around the pups. Aren't those supposed to be black?

I can definitely see where the pups have been removed and then bracketed back in. But I'm not sure if the brackets -- or the pups themselves -- were swapped out in the process.

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Pardon the quality of these cell photos, and the newb-ish nature of these questions.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby Vertec on Fri May 29, 2009 12:32 am

all the brass plates should be black the bridge should be a tune-o-matic, black pickup serounds, as for hardware being gold it was also avalible in nickel-plated or chrome from 76'-83'
should say LP custom on truss rod cover.
your model missed out on witch-hat knobs by 3yrs so it could have been speed or bell knobs but black in colour

there were 1624 customs made in 1979
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby torj93 on Fri May 29, 2009 1:07 am

Thanks.

Vertec wrote:there were 1624 customs made in 1979


Where does that fall on the rarity scale?
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby Vertec on Fri May 29, 2009 1:23 am

torj93 wrote:Thanks.

Vertec wrote:there were 1624 customs made in 1979


Where does that fall on the rarity scale?



better than 78 coz there were 10k made that yr :laff:

your guitar is right before they moved to nashville or it could be a nashville but i would need better pics to tell ya :thumbsup:
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby torj93 on Fri May 29, 2009 2:42 am

Vertec wrote:your guitar is right before they moved to nashville or it could be a nashville but i would need better pics to tell ya :thumbsup:


I'll get a real camera and take better pix this weekend. What's the giveaway detail for the Nashville thing?

Is a Nashville better?

I do love me some Nashville. The town, I mean.
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby Vertec on Fri May 29, 2009 3:30 am

torj93 wrote:
Vertec wrote:your guitar is right before they moved to nashville or it could be a nashville but i would need better pics to tell ya :thumbsup:


I'll get a real camera and take better pix this weekend. What's the giveaway detail for the Nashville thing?

Is a Nashville better?

I do love me some Nashville. The town, I mean.



in the control cavity if its stock there'll be dates on the pots they could indicate early 79, and the SN would help place it.
the workmanship behind the pick-ups in the body is a good sign aswell you can see if its been all hard tool'd or if it is a rare example of a soft tool'd last custom
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby Peteyvee on Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:57 pm

Those pickups look exactly like the T-Tops on my '79 Custom Shop 335CRR. Do they have little molded T's on them? Get that bridge off of there and I bet that will solve your buzzing problem. That's not a Gibson bridge...A close up shop of the headstock (front and back) and the inside of the control cavity would also help figure what some #$^^%# did to it! Good luck and keep us posted...
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby torj93 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:45 pm

Peteyvee wrote:Those pickups look exactly like the T-Tops on my '79 Custom Shop 335CRR. Do they have little molded T's on them? Get that bridge off of there and I bet that will solve your buzzing problem. That's not a Gibson bridge...A close up shop of the headstock (front and back) and the inside of the control cavity would also help figure what some #$^^%# did to it! Good luck and keep us posted...


I will get pix up tomorrow for sure. I'd do it now but the git's not with me.

The bridge is totally the source of the buzzing. Since buying the thing I've been informed that there was a "Brass Craze" in the 70s where everyone thought that replacing all your hardware with brass replacements would "increase sustain" or some jive like that. Total snake oil. So, yeah, I gotta replace everything... it's ALL brass!

But I'd love to not replace the pickups, because A) the ones on there sound beautiful and B) vintage t-tops seem to be expensive. If the ones on there are stock, then somebody just removed the plate covers, correct?

Is there any downside to just getting some cover plates and slapping 'em on there for purely superficial reasons?

So, yeah, pics tomorrow. Thanks.
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby Peteyvee on Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:33 pm

torj93 wrote:The bridge is totally the source of the buzzing. Since buying the thing I've been informed that there was a "Brass Craze" in the 70s where everyone thought that replacing all your hardware with brass replacements would "increase sustain" or some jive like that. Total snake oil. So, yeah, I gotta replace everything... it's ALL brass!

But I'd love to not replace the pickups, because A) the ones on there sound beautiful and B) vintage t-tops seem to be expensive. If the ones on there are stock, then somebody just removed the plate covers, correct?

Is there any downside to just getting some cover plates and slapping 'em on there for purely superficial reasons?

So, yeah, pics tomorrow. Thanks.


Yes, the brass craze, I remember it well. Guys slapping brass nuts on vintage guitars and throwing the bone ones away... Must have been all the drugs everyone was doing. Anyway, my T-tops came like that. I wouldn't put covers on them...they sound great as they are.
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby torj93 on Mon Jun 22, 2009 2:34 pm

Peteyvee wrote:Those pickups look exactly like the T-Tops on my '79 Custom Shop 335CRR. Do they have little molded T's on them?


OK, I finally got some pix, although I forgot to get one of the headstock.

I do, however, have the serial #. It is 70099653

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Date on the pots is Dec 18 1979. That makes it a Nashville, right?

It looks like the pickups are DiMarzios.
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby wolfhead on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:31 pm

Looks like Dimarzio Super Distortions, it should sound good. Looks like everything has been replaced. But if it a player that's fine.
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Re: Stock hardware for 1979 Les Paul Custom BB?

Postby torj93 on Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:50 pm

wolfhead wrote:Looks like Dimarzio Super Distortions, it should sound good. Looks like everything has been replaced. But if it a player that's fine.


Don't get me wrong, it's the best plank I've ever owned. That said, it makes me queasy to think of somebody buying one of these back in '79 and ditching EVERYTHING on the damn thing.

Little by little, I'm gonna try and get it close to stock, if getting a TonePro bridge and new Gibson hardware qualifies as "close to stock"....
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