This is a pre-owned 1968 Gibson Les Paul Custom guitar in good overall condition. To be sure, this thing hasn't been sitting around in its case for 46 years; it has lacquer checking throughout the body, neck, and headstock, and the multi-ply binding is a nice vintagey yellow. Also, the gold hardware is worn and aged. Then, there are the nicks, scratches, dings, and buckle wear--all indicative of a well-played guitar. Other indications of that year of manufacture is the lack of a "Made in USA" indentation on the back of the headstock, a one-piece mahogany body (with two-piece maple top) and one-piece neck, a long neck tenon, and an electronics cavity with rounded side routes. This combined with the lack of a volute and the serial number 516888 confirm this guitar as 1968 vintage.
The guitar plays well and sounds mighty! It weighs in at 9 pounds, 3 ounces and has a sorta clubby '68 neck profile that measures .890-1.040. And not unusual for an instrument that's been heavily used, it's had some part changes over the years. Original frets have been converted to low-mediums with very light wear showing, and they seem to have been dressed at one point. The nut is original, and the guitar plays great up and down without buzzing. More notably, the bridge pickup has been changed to something newer, possibly '70s-era Gibson T-Tops as indicated by a rubber-coated lead, but the original gold pickup cover was used. In the neck position we still have the guitar's stock pickup, and the black pickup rings both appear original. The bottom strap button has a larger, flat-top screw. The pots and caps are original, as well as the switch, but the jack and jack plate appear replaced. The solder points for the switch appear to have been touched at the pots, however, as they do not have the same level of oxidation as the other original solder points. Pot dates are not easily read due to solder, wires and oxidation that we do not wish to disturb.
So there it is, a fine example of the 1968 Les Paul Custom. Under 450 of these special guitars were made--special because it's from the first run of Customs that marked the reintroduction of a great guitar back into the Gibson fold. It's hard to imagine what the '70s would have been like if the almighty Les Pauls didn't find their way back. Maybe Ace Frehley would've been playing a Tele?