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What a wonderful guitar! Among early 80s Les Pauls there are a few well-kept secrets, gems that only in later years are receiving the appreciation they deserve. Special editions such as the Heritage 80 or the 30th Anniversary are today among the most sought-after Pauls of all times. In my personal opinion, these guitars are a much more solid investments - both in terms of monetary and muscial value - than the beautiful but overpriced Custom Shop reissues, "born as collectibles" and for this very same reason bound to never be "real" collectibles. The Heritage 80 offers both classic beauty and modern functionality, enriched by a solid vintage value given by history and not by marketing strategy. And the pickups.... but we'll talk about them later.
In the Les Paul Model's history, the Heritage 80 stands as a milestone: Gibson understood that times were mature for a comeback to the original construction, sound and spirit of the model. From a philological point of view, the results of this attempt cannot be compared to the almost perfect and expensive modern reissues, there are too many differences in hardware, neck construction (3-piece), logo, etc. Nevertheless, the result was really successful: the long-due "right look" made of precious woods and perfect finishes and the extraordinary pickups developed by Gibson's Tim Shaw finally made a real Les Paul available again. And that's why the vintage guitar world has learned to deeply respect this special model.
We were lucky enough to find (... in Japan!) a peerless guitar. The beauty of this Heritage 80's flamed maple top is unique. Usually the best quilted-tops were used for the Elite version, whereas Standards had beautiful but plainer woods. But this guitar's flames are absolutely stunning, really exceptional. Just take a look at the pictures, so we can save a lot of words. We'll focus on the few flaws, of course: the truss-rod cover is correct but non original (no model's name); the strap buttons have been replaced by two "security locks" tightened with excessive energy with the result of two small cracks in the finish; the hsc is a recent Gibson brown case. Yes... That's all folks! Everything else is just perfect and clean: chrome plated hardware in excellent shape, a few light belt-buckle marks, minimal traces of wear. All-original hardware: Grover Rotomatic tuners, Nashville-style bridge, knobs, etc. The four original potentiometers are all dated 1980.
The pickups are two original Tim Shaw PAFs with the typical stamp on the bottom: although in auctions and shop websites you often see advertised as Shaw PAFs every pickup made by Gibson in the early '80s, it must be pointed out that the real Shaws - developed to equip selected models with faithful PAF recreations - are only the ones with the ink-stamps you see here: 137 181 for the neck unit and 138 181 for the bridge. The first three digits are common to all the Shaws and specify the pickup position (neck/bridge), while the last three or four indicate month and year (in this case it's January 1981). The sound of this guitar clearly explains why the Les Paul / Tim Shaw association has become a Gibson legend. This guitar is ready for the gig: excellent playability, nice frets and low action, straight neck with a beautifully rounded shape.
The serial number on the headstock's back is followed by the Made In USA stamp and the limited edition number, 1604.

front - in casebody1 - body2 - body3 - body4 - back - body back - headstock - fretboard - switch - knobs - pots - pickup1 - pickup2 - hardware - number - logo - strap1 - strap2 - tuners - tuners2 - case