Introduced in 1978 as a lower cost sibling of the Les Paul, the “The Paul” was a budget version stripped of adornments, built in walnut and given a thin skin of nitrocellulose. Featuring new humbucking pickups by Bill Lawrence, the model morphed into the "The Paul Deluxe" / Firebrand (as seen here) in 1980 with the move to the three piece mahogany body and neck.
The guitar itself is in really good shape. The finish hasn't worn very much. There are the expected dinks and marks all over the body and some buckle marks on the back but no sign of any breaks or repairs.
The neck too is in great condition and has worn wonderfully. It is a fuller feeling neck and quite different to the standard Les Paul of the era which was skinnier. The original frets have plenty of life left in them and the ebony fretboard is in great shape. The headstock has a few marks but nothing too substantial. The serial number dates the guitar to June 1980.
The hardware is in good condition, and looks to be all correct. The correct Gibson tuners are in good condition too.
Plastics show very little sign of wear. The knobs, although they are the correct type, they look too clean to be originals so are probably repros.
Electrically everything looks undisturbed with pots dated week 41 of 1979. The pickups are date stamped June 1979
The guitar comes with its original Protector case.
This guitar is great to play with the neck having a nice comfortable medium C profile. The ceramic magnet loaded pickups give this guitar a more aggressive edge compared to its older siblings. They sound great though, very evocative of the time.
So much more than the budget Gibson badge, this guitar rocks and shouldn’t be overlooked...