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The Heritage Series Standard 80 Elite has a one-piece neck, ebony fretboard, and a quilted top. Most came in honeyburst but some were also made in cherry sunburst.

The Heritage Series Award has a plaque on the back of the headstock with a number from 1 through approximately 50 approximately 50 of these guitars were made for dealers who sold a lot of Heritage models , cherry sunburst, ebony board, flame top, and gold hardware. Guitar Trader Les Pauls were made in the Kalamazoo plant in There were only about 47 made, possibly in only two batches. Except for the prototype which was cherry sunburst , most were painted in a ruddy reddish-brown color.

The wood for the tops of these guitars was carefully selected by Guitar Trader.

Gibson Les Paul Sunburst Standard guitar info sun burst vintage value

Most Guitar Trader LPs have exquisite quartersawn flame tops, except for the prototype, which was quilted. The backplates for the control cavity and switch are black. These guitars sport the narrow binding in the cutaway and have the large tortoiseshell side dot markers. They tended to be a bit lighter in weight than the Heritage 80s, have a more accurate cutaway carve and headstock, and many of the parts were replaced by Guitar Trader to be closer to vintage specs. The guitar has excellent fit, finish, tone, and playability.

There is much confusion in the collector community over authentication of a Guitar Trader. These guitars had cherry sunburst tops, wireless ABR-1 bridge, one-piece mahogany neck, more accurate headstock shape, large tortoiseshell side dot markers, thin binding in the cutaway, and other accurate parts, as well as a long neck tenon, which none of the Gibson-produced LPs had at the time.

The Early Series

After receiving a cease-and-desist order from Gibson, Guitar Trader stopped making these bootlegs. Besides the bootleg serial number 9 pictured here which weighs 9 pounds, 9 ounces , another bootleg appears in the Burst Gang book under Guitar Trader replicas, with a serial number very close to the guitar shown. Approximately were made, with at least half going overseas. All had breathtaking flame tops, most in Cherry Sunburst, although some were done in Honeyburst, and a goldtop was available, as well.

The Kalamazoo-made Leos have large tortoiseshell side dot markers, a medium-sized one-piece mahogany neck, white Shaw reissue PAFs, single-collar Kluson-style tuning gears with no writing on the back, and thin binding in the cutaway. These guitars are of medium weight, play very well, have excellent fit and finish, and great tone. Leos can be easily identified because the first digit of their serial number is an L. The model serial number 8 has black backplates for the control cavity and switch, large tortoiseshell side dot markers, and weighs 9 pounds 9 ounces.

The model serial number 0 has brown backplates, large black side dot markers, and weighs 9 pounds 2 ounces. For the most part, it looks real. But there are some obvious indicators—if it starts with a five, for instance.

Or it might be an eight-digit serial number that indicates it was built on the th day of the year. Our customers want serial numbers to be formatted a certain way—like they used to be. For more information on Gibson's serial numbers, refer to our online guide here. Follow Gibson on Facebook and Twitter for guitar giveaways, new product launches, music news and much more!

Battle of the Fans.

Be careful to make sure what you are buying. This block is occasionally glued in with care and can appear to be a long tenon. This is a photoshop hack job of an Historic Series Gibson that was cut in half. It is just for educational purposes and not precisely similar to the actual neck joints. Around serial number xx, Goldtops jumped to a larger sized variant.


Customs have had the larger headstock since the 50's to accommodate the multi-ply binding they exhibit. GT's will now have the traditional 'Les Paul Model' silkscreen over the finish on the headstock. Not sure what kind, but I'm certain its wood and not plastic. No 8xxxxx series guitars will have a small headstock. They may have serials in the high xxx range. An open 'b' and 'o'.

Skin and Language

Certainly not the smooth, all closed lettered 70's logo. The dot seems to disappear around serial ,xxx in GT's. For Customs, the cutoff is less clear. I would guess it to be around ,xxx, but I have heard of a ,xxx Custom with one.

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