'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

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danmc_27
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'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by danmc_27 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:28 am

I picked up this Les Paul copy in a trade recently. It's branded 'Profile' and is obviously an older Japanese LP copy but while attempting to research it online, I found I could find almost no information on the guitar. There are a few Strat copies out there and there seems to be a (unconfirmed) story floating around that the 'Profile' guitars may have been made when a guitar shop took some American guitars over to Japan in order to have them make copies of them. Other than that there is next to no info about them and nothing I can really find at all on the Les Paul except what appears to be a photo of one other one in white. I thought I would post it on here in the hopes that someone may be able to help me work out when and in which factory this guitar may have been made and also to document and just show off what I think is really a very nice and seemingly quite rare early Japanese Les Paul copy

Here it is:

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Headstock showing silk-screened 'Profile' logo, inlay is a little bit wonky looking but I like it and it looks like it may actually be real mother of pearl(?) from the colour, unlike the neck inlays. Truss-rod cover is a squared bell shape:

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Truss rod:

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Poker chip; it's a bit wonky looking and seems to be glued down, don't know whether this is original or not. Sadly the guitar was missing one strap button when I got it so I've replaced them with Gotoh oversize buttons

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Last edited by danmc_27 on Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

danmc_27
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'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by danmc_27 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:29 am

The original strap button:

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Heel joint showing 7-ply body binding. Can's see any cracks around the joint thankfully, even though the guitar has had at least one bad drop in it's lifetime (see below). She's a hefty beast and feels solid enough that you could strap it on and run through a brick wall :P

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Neck has a small volute, the original nut was bone but it looked like someone had hacked at it with something and a couple of strings were buzzing on the first few frets so had to replace that. The neck is chunky and of the 'baseball bat' variety but is very comfortable for me and my hands aren't overly large. I'm no expert on Gibson type neck profiles but I'd say it is closer to a 50s or R7 type neck than a 60s style in terms of profile:

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Back of the headstock showing tuners with large 'key-stone' shaped buttons. They have no branding on them sadly:

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Last edited by danmc_27 on Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

danmc_27
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'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by danmc_27 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:30 am

One of the tuners:

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When I got the guitar, someone had obviously lost the original bracket and unfortunately screwed the pickguard directly to the body:

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Output jack and the damage from the guitar obviously having been dropped at some point. I've covered it up with a bit of black nitrocellulose, I'll polish it up to look a bit nicer eventually:

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The neck, showing some of the fretboard wear and inlays. Don't know whether this is just a very dark rosewood or is it actually ebony?

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Fretboard radius is 10 inches:

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Last edited by danmc_27 on Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

danmc_27
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'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by danmc_27 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:31 am

Bridge and tail-piece; Bridge is mounted directly into the guitar body in genuine 'ABR-1" style. Bridge is marked 'L S Bridge', tail piece is marked LP-S and both are stamped 'made in Japan'

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danmc_27
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'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by danmc_27 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:32 am

Pickups are Gotohs and were once gold though that has long worn off on the front. They're a touch dark for my personal taste and quite hot at over 10k ohms each:

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Neck pickup cavity showing what appears to be a long neck tenon. You can just about make out the join lines between what appears to be (correct me if I'm wrong here) a real maple top and mahogany back construction:

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Bridge pickup cavity shows join between top and body more clearly. I can see no other join lines anywhere on the guitar (although they may of course be hidden by the finish) and again I'm no expert here but it looks almost like the guitar was constructed with single piece body and top which were routed separately and then laminated and bound together(?)

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danmc_27
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'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by danmc_27 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:33 am

Control cavities; Think that the selector switch and possibly the pots have been replaced although there was still quite a bit of original sawdust in there when I first opened her up. Switch looks fairly new and has brown 4-core shielded wiring leading to it. Pots are branded 'Noble' and look to be older but I can find no date codes on them. Note the odd wiring with the capacitors connecting the volume and tone pots (leading not off the ground but the 'hot' pickup wire) that it had when I got it. Fixed that up now but the guitar was even darker than it is now with it wired up properly:

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So, if anyone on here could help me out in helping me identifying this guitar and when and in which factory it may have been built, that'd be great. If you'd like to know or see anything more of it, feel free to let me know.

Cheers,

Dan
Last edited by danmc_27 on Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

mdvineng
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Re: 'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by mdvineng » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:34 am

Tokai VSB80 OF, Michael Kelly Patriot custom, Epiphone Elite SG & EB3. 8)

brokentoes
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Re: 'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by brokentoes » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:12 pm

Looks to be a well made copy. I don't think its Fujigen or Tokai made but it looks to be made from nice woods and has the usual MIJ hardware that is pretty good quality. It looks MIJ to me.

The way that one pot is indented that way should be a giveaway as to what factory it might have come out of. Also on the side of the pot there are numbers, they'd give you a rough est. of the year of man.

What would you compare it too ??

danmc_27
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Re: 'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by danmc_27 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:23 pm

Again, that's all stuff about the Strat copy (Silhouette). No one seems to have anything on the LPs (and the links in that post are now broken if it once did). I found that sort of thing researching it previously and no one there has much solid info like where and when it may have been made although I did see one guy suggest it may have been Matsumoto made somewhere
Last edited by danmc_27 on Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

danmc_27
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Re: 'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by danmc_27 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:27 pm

brokentoes wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:12 pm
Looks to be a well made copy. I don't think its Fujigen or Tokai made but it looks to be made from nice woods and has the usual MIJ hardware that is pretty good quality. It looks MIJ to me.

The way that one pot is indented that way should be a giveaway as to what factory it might have come out of. Also on the side of the pot there are numbers, they'd give you a rough est. of the year of man.

What would you compare it too ??
I don't really have enough experience with MIJ Les Pauls to compare it to anything sadly. It feels very solid and plays well, which are the main things for me. With a set of Dimarzios or Symour Duncans in it, I reckon it would compete with just about any vintage LP of the same sort of era. There's only 'Noble A500k' and a single Greek letter which I think is an Eta marked on the pots
Last edited by danmc_27 on Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ozeguitarguy
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Re: 'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by Ozeguitarguy » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:26 pm

Sadly there's nothing in the pics that really pins down the builder :(
As mentioned there is a lot of info regarding the Profile Fender style guitars but zero on the Les Pauls.
They DID make bolt on LP copies and they're easier to pin down compared to the set necks.
It DOES look like a solid cap to me and with a rewire and a set of decent pups it'll be a great player for sure.
1985 LS80...1974 Diplomat SG...1980 Maya MSG Flying Vee

guitar hiro
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Re: 'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by guitar hiro » Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:14 pm

*neck tenon is off-set like the Fresher brand
*wire channel route looks like Fresher brand
*wire group running from toggle to control route has the 'desert sand' colored insulator like Fresher
*Fresher style truss rod cover

Fresher was produced by Matsumoto Musical Instruments Mfg.

I'm guessing your Profile was also made by Matsumoto Musical Instruments Mfg.

YMMV

EDIT: just noticed the frets are super wide & they also look pretty tall; Fresher had the same type wire with the big angle like your fret ends. The frets are a hallmark of the Fresher Leo Nine models = more reason to believe your Profile is from Matsumoto Musical Instruments Mfg., IMO
A = Alnico :lol:

Well, the reason I like PAFs is because they are the most single coil sounding of the buckers - Possum

danmc_27
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Re: 'Profile' Les Paul copy (possibly 70s or 80s?)

Post by danmc_27 » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:48 am

guitar hiro wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:14 pm
*neck tenon is off-set like the Fresher brand
*wire channel route looks like Fresher brand
*wire group running from toggle to control route has the 'desert sand' colored insulator like Fresher
*Fresher style truss rod cover

Fresher was produced by Matsumoto Musical Instruments Mfg.

I'm guessing your Profile was also made by Matsumoto Musical Instruments Mfg.

YMMV

EDIT: just noticed the frets are super wide & they also look pretty tall; Fresher had the same type wire with the big angle like your fret ends. The frets are a hallmark of the Fresher Leo Nine models = more reason to believe your Profile is from Matsumoto Musical Instruments Mfg., IMO
Hey, thanks very much. There are a couple of other indications I've found that said it 'might' have been Matsumoto but if your info there is correct then I think that pretty much ties it up for sure.

Cheers,

Dan

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