The Sonex series were the most competitively priced guitars in the early eighties Gibson line; styled like a Les Paul, but (at least in the case of the Deluxe) a third of the price. Gibson simply had to compete with budget imports from Asia, and although all models were 'made in the US' the Deluxe itself was fitted with cheaper Japanese hardware, including pickups.
The construction was, of course, quite different from a Les Paul - no hardwood body and no set neck - though Gibson claimed the Sonex capable of creating 'very similar' tones. See the main Sonex page for specific details on the three models.
Step into the next guitar generation with the Sonex series by Gibson. Totally new. Technologically unique. With Gibson's exclusive new Multi-phonic body. Built rock solid for rock solid sound... and a sustain that just won't let go. So alive, you can actually feel the vibrations.
This advert only ran briefly in early 1981, and shows either the Sonex Standard or Custom - note the extra Coil tap switch placed near the input jack. Differentiating between the two models is not easy without very close examination of the neck and fingerboard.