So here are the three Gibson (half) brothers - none of them are pure Gibson but each on has a little bit of Gibson in them. From Left to right:
The Black one is the "Rescue Dog" that sort of started the shed story. It is undoubtedly a "lawsuit" copy made in Japan in the late sixties/early seventies and is dimensionally accurate to a Les Paul of the day including the Head Stock in every respect. It is a CMI, but there were two CMI's - Cleartone, made by Marshall in the UK, and Chicago Musical Instruments in the US who owned Gibson at the time. This one is the latter and bears the Chicago Musical Instruments logo on the Head Stock.- so a Gibson copied by Gibson and probably imported by Standel on the West Coast - another Gibson Company back in the day - all deeply contentious information involving many old wives telling tales (but all on wikipedia!)
The Guitar showed up as a body/neck hulk and all of the parts have been added - the bridge posts were Gibson Standard so could take a standard Tunomatic Bridge, but the tailpiece post spacing was very different so the holes were filled and a Trapeze tailpiece was fitted. Pickups are genuine Gibson P100 Dogears and the Electrics have got pull switches on the Volume Controls dropping the Humbucking coil making it very loud and very dark (and very lovely)
The Red one in the Centre, is an Epiphone Dot which is mainly standard apart from the addition of a Gibson P90 Centre Pickup with its own volume control, added using the normal Jack Socket hole. This is the Alvin Lee mod apart from the fact that he used a Strat Centre pickup. The wiring scheme is along similar lines removing the traditional interactivity of the volume controls and very much imitates modern Gibson wiring schemes which it was the precursor to. Wild Guitars changed the nut for me to turn it into a "lefty/righty".
On the right we have the Cherry Sunburst Les Paul that came back from Wild guitars with its new nut and it surprised even them in terms of its playability with its unknown pedigree as another “rescue dog” - with these types of builds you never know how they are going to turn out which is part of the great adventure and what makes it so much fun to do.
So then there were two Les Pauls, just a Goldtop missing now to complete the set. The Black one is going in for the same Treatment to have my place marker plastic nut replaced with a proper bone one and hopefully Leo can weave his magic once again. Up until now this guitar has felt so good that it didn’t seem right to rock the boat but there is the makings of a great if unorthodox guitar in that one.