1996 Gibson USA Les Paul Custom “Premium Plus” – Cherryburst


– single cutaway Les Paul-style one-piece mahogany/maple body (mahogany body with a maple top, 1968-69, 1977-present) or three-piece mahogany/maple “pancake” body (one thin maple layer sandwhiched by two large layers of mahogany and a maple top, 1969-1977), seven-ply top binding, set three-piece neck, 22-fret bound ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlays, mutli-bound headstock with pearl/diamond split inlays, three-per-side tuners, tune-o-matic bridge, stop tailpiece, two or three covered humbucker pickups, four knobs (two v, two tone), three-way pickup switch, gold hardware, available in Alpine White (1987-present), Cherry (1971-1975), Cherry Sunburst (1971-1990), Ebony (1968-1990, 1995-present), Ferrari Red (1986-1987), Heritage Cherry Sunburst (1996-98, 2003-present), Honeyburst (1990, 1996-98), Natural (1975-early 1980s), Pewter (1986-1987), Silverburst (1979-1982, 2004-present), Tobacco Sunburst (1972-early 1980s), Vintage Sunburst (1987-1990), Walnut (1977-78), White (1975-1986), or Wine Red (1976-present) finish, 24.75 in. scale, mfg. 1968-present.

Les Paul Custom Plus (LPCC)

– similar to Les Paul Custom, except has bound figured maple top and gold hardware, available in Dark Wineburst, Honey Burst (HB), Heritage Cherry Sunburst (HS), or Vintage Sunburst (VS) finishes, disc. 1996.

Les Paul Custom Premium Plus

– similar to Les Paul Custom, except has highest quality bound figured maple top, available in Dark Wineburst, Honey Burst, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, or Vintage Sunburst finishes, disc. 1994.




Basically a Les Paul Custom with a top quality bound figured maple top.   As you can see from the quotes from the “Blue Book” above – this guitar apparently finished production in 1994 – however this example clearly carries the LPCC markings in the bridge pickup cavity and the HS marking denoting Heritage cherry Sunburst.  It’s serial number dates it as 1996.

It’s a one off with a slight marking to the “red” lacquer on the upper bass bout that makes this an individual piece, easily identified  – and so not just a “stock model.  Beautifully figured, and an awesome player.

Up for sale is my 1996 Gibson USA Les Paul Custom “Premium Plus” in a stunning Cherryburst finish. The Premium Plus refers to the choice of woods used to make the guitar – all top notch and highly figured.

All the usual Gibson Custom shop appointments – multiple layered binding. Grover branded kidney button style tuners. Gold Hardware throughout.

In great condition this is a good exmaple of Gibson’s finest.

Starting at the top.

1. 5 layer W/B/W/B/W bound headstock, Grover Gold kidney button tuners – in great unmarked condition.

2. The mahogany set neck is in unmarked condition – no breaks.

3. Ebony fingerboard shows no sign of wear.

4. Frets are in excellent condition – no signs of wear – even in the “cowboy chord” positions!.

5. Back of the body is bound like the headstock, and has no scratches, dents, or chips.

6. The body is made of thae single piece of mahogany.The laquer has only the very lightest bucklerash – quite difficult to photograph. At 9.2lbs this is close to the ideal weight of a Gibson, and much lighter than my other Les Paul Customs There is a small chip on the edge of the upper treble bout of the body side.

7. The front of the body is made of beautifully figured bookmatched maple, coloured in a stunning cherryburst finish, there is an amount of light lacquer checking that has not yet cracked the lacquer, but to the uninitiated may appear as a series of fine cracks – These are in the finish ONLY, and are a natural part of the guitar ageing. It has caused a shift in the finish on the upper bass bout that can be clearly seen in the pictures.

All of these are purely cosmetic and do not affect playability in any way. The finish does display a “red streak ” where some of the dyes have caused a streak in the finish, I prefer to think of this as an “identification feature” but admittedly I’m starting to sound like an estate agent. 7 layer W/b/w/b/w/b/w binding is all intact and pristine.

8. Electronics are original, crackle free and fully functional.

9. The neck pickup is original – and the gold cover is only lightly pitted.

10. The bridge pickup is original, and almost unmarked.

11. Bridge and Tailpice are gold plated originals, with slight wear to the gold plating on the upper bridge pin.


Tuning and intonation are all great, the guitar comes with the TKL Gibson badged hardcase as shown in the pictures.

Basically what you’re getting is one of a very limited run of Les Paul Custom “Premium Plus” guitars released in 1996. If it was perfect I’d be asking in the region of £2.75k on ebay, but with it’s “imperfections” or “identification features” (estate agent strikes again!), this represents a great opportunity to get hold of what is essentially a very rare example of a great Les Paul.


And UNSOLD again!

and SOLD again!