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Please note lots marked with a square will be move… Read more THE HUMBUCKING PICKUPRegardless of the success of the P-90 pickup, an audible problem with electric guitars began to present itself. The P-90, like all single-coil pickups, had the proclivity to amplify electrical interference. As the power output of guitar amplifiers grew so did the volume in interference. As the P-90 aired toward the warmer tones in the spectrum, the interference manifested itself in the form of a background “hum”. The chief electrical engineers at Gibson, Walter Fuller and Seth Lover, set about to solve this growing problem. Seth Lover understood that the problem lay in an electromagnet’s sensitivity to peripheral energy that was inflated by the amplifier’s 60 cycle transformer. His answer was to fabricate a magnetic pickup with two coils in one unit. Each coil bobbin would be wound with wire in opposite directions, one clockwise and the other counter-clockwise. The current now running through the pickup in opposing polarity effectively canceled the interference. It “bucked the hum”. With the coils wired in a series, they produced a stronger and thus a more powerful pickup and the Humbucker was born.First mounted on Gibson steel guitars in 1955, they were advertised in the Gibson catalogue …with powerful hum-bucking pickups eliminate all electronic disturbances. In early 1957 the Humbucker was next mounted on Gibson’s hollow-body ES-175. When installed later that year on the Les Paul, Gibson now offered the most powerful and tonally balanced electric guitar in history. The Les Paul Model with Humbucker pickups, Tune-O-Matic bridge and stud tailpiece is a guitar design that is universally copied and remains unchanged to this day.


Inlaid at the headstock Gibson, engraved on the truss rod cover Les Paul / CUSTOM and ink stamped to the reverse 9 1398, black finish, with later hardshell case bearing a label inscribed GIBSON LES PAUL CUSTOM 1959 BLACK #9 1398 and SERIAL NO. DG1059; accompanied by facsimile copies of the original sales invoice from California Guitar to Mr. Dave Gilmour, dated 27th September 1979, and the UK customs receipt, dated 1st December 1979, together with a candid color snapshot of David Gilmour playing this guitar in 2001
Length of back 17 1/8 in. (43.4 cm.)
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Please note this lot incorporates material from endangered and/or protected species of wildlife which could result in export restrictions. Please see Paragraph H2(b) of the Conditions of Sale for further information.

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Lot Essay

The first Les Paul Customs were manufactured with two single-coil pickups, until mid-1957 when Humbucker pickups were first offered on the Les Paul. The change was quickly made that all Customs would have three pickups.
David Gilmour purchased this guitar in December 1979 from Frank Lucido of California Guitar in Ventura, California, during a brief interlude between completing final recording and mixing sessions for The Wall at Producer's Workshop in Los Angeles in November 1979 and beginning rehearsals for the upcoming The Wall Tour in January 1980. Purchased to replace an identical guitar that had been stolen in 1976, Gilmour kept this guitar for studio use.
Gilmour told us: A lot of the guitars, I have to say, I purchased because I saw someone using one and I thought “Oh I love that, I love the look of that,” and I’m sure there was a Smokey Robinson and the Miracles 7in. cover which had him holding a black Gibson Les Paul with three pickups on it. Now this may be false memory, because memory gets a little unreliable these days, but that is my memory and I did want to get one of those, and in fact I did get one of those eventually. I think it got stolen, but I then did find another one which is the one we have now and is being sold.

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