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A Six-String Tribute to a Metal Legend

Having reintroduced the Les Paul Custom just six years before (following eight years without a true single-cutaway Les Paul in the catalog), Gibson was working through the design for several years, making minor changes along the way while progressing toward the ultimate solidbody electric guitar. Les Paul Customs of the early to mid-'70s have become particular favorites with many great rockers, and possess a combination of details that were only present for a short period – all in evidence here on the Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom.

To recreate this iconic metal machine, Gibson Custom uses the solid carved maple top with three-piece body consisting of two mahogany slabs with a thin maple center section, as used in Les Pauls of the period. Also present is the three-piece mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard and Custom fiber headstock veneer, on a 17-degree back-angled headstock for optimum tone and sustain, of course. To recreate the sweet, yet aggressive tone of Les Pauls of the era, Gibson Custom has developed the new Super '74 Humbucker, first used here on the Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom, and a big part of this guitar's fiery, singing, sustaining sound. To get the look of the guitar just right, all of the original 1974 Custom's ornate details are painstakingly recreated, including the split-diamond headstock inlay, mother-of-pearl block fingerboard inlays, six-ply white/b/w/b/w/b body-top binding and four and five-ply back and headstock binding respectively, and gold-plated hardware.

The piece de resistance, of course, is the nitrocellulose lacquer finish: dubbed "Randy Rhoads White," the finish on each of two versions reflects the look of a white Les Paul Custom that has aged and yellowed for three decades. After finishing, 100 will be aged by hand to reflect the look of Rhoads' original guitar, and a further 200 will be finished in Gibson Custom's acclaimed VOS process. Either way, every Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom off the blocks rocks hard and looks just right.

Each includes a Gibson Custom hardshell case with Rhoads signature, Certificate of Authenticity, owner's manual and adjustment literature, and Gibson's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service.

Body and Finish
Made from the short-lived tonewood combination of carved maple top and three-piece mahogany-maple-mahogany back, and dressed in an aged nitrocellulose "Randy Rhoads White" finish, the Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom embodies the original Les Paul on which Rhoads recorded his classic leads for early Quiet Riot music and Ozzy Osborne's hits "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley."
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Neck, Fingerboard and Headstock
A neck made from three pieces of solid quarter-sawn mahogany is carved to an accurate, comfortable "small D Rhoads profile" and is glued into the guitar's body at a 4-degree pitch. The neck is capped with an ebony fingerboard with mother-of-pearl block in lays and 22 medium-jumbo frets, and its headstock is back-angled to the traditional 17 degrees.
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Neck and Headstock
Pickups and Electronics
A pair of Gibson Custom Super '74 Humbuckers accurately replicate the tone and performance of the original humbucking pickups in Randy Rhoads' '74 Les Paul Custom. They are routed through high-quality CTS pots for volume and tone, a Switchcraft three-way toggle switch, and a Switchcraft output jack.
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Hardware & Electronics
Like most classic Les Pauls, the Randy Rhoads 1974 Les Paul Custom carries the legendary complement of Tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, accompanied by a set of enclosed Schaller M6 tuners. As with most Les Paul Custom models, all hardware is gold-plated. Its strap is secured by Schaller GP Strap Locks, as preferred by Randy Rhoads.
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