Gibson, Les Paul Deluxe, 1969 - Yngwie Malmsteen


Les Paul Deluxe
Serial Number: 
Gibson Patent Stamp Humbuckers
The Story Behind

The In late 1960, Gibson replaced the Les Paul body shape with the SG design. When the original Les Paul was relaunched in the late '60s, the new "Standard" in the catalog was dubbed the Les Paul Deluxe until the actual Standard came back in in 1975 (though there were a few reissues of '50s Standards made in 1968 and 1969). The new Les Paul Deluxe included a four-ply Maple and Mahogany body, a three-piece Maple neck, and mini-humbuckers instead of PAFs. All Les Paul Deluxes from before 1971 came standard with a gold finish.

This is Yngwie Malmsteen's personally owned (for more than 30 years) and heavily ripped on for decades, 1969 Gibson Les Paul Gold top. It is a workhorse no doubt, one of the tools of the trade for one of the most technically and musically gifted guitarists. Yngwie used this guitar for live work and for recording.

The guitar has never suffered any breaks, it is structurally 100%. The tuners have been replaced. To achieve his tone a matching pair of “mid 70s onwards”, Gibson Patent stamp humbuckers were installed by Yngwie to replace the mini humbuckers that were in the guitar originally, the four pots are all original dating to the 29th week of 1969. 

The guitar was mainly a studio guitar but he must have really liked the guitar to have it around for so long. This is the only Les Paul that Yngwie ever owned and frequently used during his recordings (Rising Force.  He told that he hated to let this one go because he achieved such a bright tone with it that he will never find again. This was part of guitars  Yngwie Malmsteen traded for a Ferrari 348 Spyder ( there are images of him with the car), and a video of  Yngwie presenting the guitar was shot in the Ferrari dealership.

Yngwie Malmsteen about other guitars:

"Whereas other guitars feel alien to me. They're bulky and weird. Also, if I did what I do with a Les Paul, for instance, and I love Les Pauls, but if I was to throw a Les Paul around like I throw my Strats around, they would last for like one minute on stage. Stratocasters are very resilient. They fly very well. They're aerodynamic.”

In Guitar World, December 1989:

Looking fit, thinking clearly and seeming happier than ever, Yngwie appears to have greater control of the alcohol indulgences that sometimes got the best of him in the past. "I've realized that too much of anything is no good" he says. "Except too much guitars. I've got 30 in this house, and I have at least another 30 in storage. Since I'm always surrounded by them, it's hard to look at a guitar and not pick it up. "I seem to find good guitars in Sweden," he adds. "I have a lot of contacts with guitar dealers. The one I get are so expensive, most people wouldn't even consider buying them. If I see something I like, I'll say, 'Okay, I'll take that '61 Strat, please.' I still get 'em cheaper than most people would. "The last time I went to Sweden I bought an early-Sixties Gibson Les Paul Junior. I also bought a mid-Sixties Gibson Les Paul sunburst and a '66 dot-neck SG. Although Strats are always going to be my favorites, I like to noodle on different things."

In a 2004 Vintage Guitar interview he recalls the guitar:

"Vintage Guitar: Have you added any instruments to your massive collection?

Malmsteen: I haven't bought a guitar for a long time. I haven't seen any like the one I play for a long time. The last time I saw one, I bought it, and that was about five years ago. It was at Guitar Center here in Miami. It was just hanging there and it looked so sad. Actually, the last guitar I bought was a Les Paul. That was three years ago. It was a newer one and it has this very nice tiger top. I don't know much about Gibsons, but I have a few. I have an ES-335, I have three or four Flying Vs, an SG, and an amazing old goldtop Les Paul with humbuckers. The most amazing guitars I ever bought, I got them all in Sweden, like my 56 shoreline gold Strat. I got a March 54 Strat, which is the first month and the first year. They made ten guitars in that month. It's not scalloped. I left it completely original, but it might have been repainted before I bought it. It's all bakelite parts. If you take the neck off, its written with a pencil 3/54. Fender did not have the tooling to make them by machines until October 54, so they are all handmade up until October. Then I have a 55 and 56, and all the way up. I have a couple of really nice burgundy mist Strats. I used to collect them, but I don't anymore. But they're all over the place. I've got over 200 Stratocasters."

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