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The Les Paul guitar is probably the most recognised, and copied guitar design, along with the Gibson SG and Fender stratocaster and telecaster. It was developed by the famous jazz guitarist Les Paul, who not only played, but also invented instruments. Gibson had resisted solid-bodied guitars whilst Rickenbacker had a solid body twenty years earlier, and Fender had recently launched the esquire and broadcaster (which became the telecaster). In 1952 Gibson responded to public demand and with Les Paul created a guitar carrying his name. It has been in production (on and off) for the last 50 years.
Gibson Les Paul Special 55 - 77 Gibson Les Paul Personal Advice Needed about Gibson Les Paul Custom Gibson Les Paul Custom
Gibson Les Paul Special 55 - 77
Gibson Les Paul Personal
Advice Needed about Gibson Les Paul Custom
Gibson Les Paul Custom
The Les Paul came in several variations. The first was produced in 1952 as the 'Les Paul Model'. It had a mahogany body and neck, with a gold finished maple top (gold top), Gibsons first solid body. It was regularly upgraded throughout the 1950s, and many would argue that it was at its pinacle in 1958. It had had two soap bar P90 pickups from 1952, however in late 57 they were replaced by standard Gibson humbuckers. Cherry sunburst became the standard colour rather than the goldtop, and to differentiate itself from the other Les Paul models, it was renamed the Les Paul Standard.
The single pickup Les Paul Junior was launched in 1954. One again this was a mahogany instrument, both body and neck, but without the carved maple tops of the other Les Pauls. It was the only model not to change its pickup to a humbucker in 1957. A limed-mahogany version was also available (at a slightly increased price, and was known as the Les Paul TV.
1955 saw the two pickup custom (the black beauty), which again started out with single coil pickups, but became a three humbucker model in '58. By 1960 the whole range was redesigned - it was given a new double cutaway shape (todays SG) however Les Paul did not approve, and his name was removed from these guitars.
Public demand for Les Paul guitars precipitated a reissue in 1968; they sold well and have been available ever since, both in well-known and a myriad of lesser-known configurations. Some of the first, developed by Les Paul himself, were the low-impedence Professional, Personal, and Recording designed largely for studio use.
|There are 3 comments on this article so far. Add your comment|
|Cherry Sunburst Comment left 14th August 2012 09:09:33|
Is there a best Les Paul? I mean surely the 1958 Les Paul Standard *should* be, but is it really any better than a 1968 or even a 2008? My 72 LP Custom absolutely rocks, but it's only worth 2k apparently. Best damn geetar i've ever touched.
|James E Sampson Comment left 11th May 2013 06:06:43|
I have an original 53 and a half Gibson Les Paul without the trapeze, with case that I'm trying to sell. Not restored still plays great, has that cool green stain all across the body. My father bought it in 53, played 25 years on that same guitar. Kills me to part with it but it was made to play not sit on display. If you would like pictures I will send pictures of guitar and case. I need to know its true value SN 3-2236.
|Alan Totten Comment left 28th June 2013 08:08:35|
Hi there, I have a Les Paul with an inked on number 8 7772. I think it is supposed to be a Custom Shop 58 reissue but theseller also said prehistoric, R8 and goodwood era which sounds like gobbledgegook to me. Could you please confirm what I've got? Do you need photos? Thanks Alan