1976 Gibson L-6S Custom, 1978 Guild B302F bass, 1967 Fender Coronado guitar
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Gibson Les Paul Recording

Low impedance electric solid body

Gibson Les Paul > Les Paul Recording > Schematics

1971 Gibson Les Paul low impedance catalogue
Gibson 1970 Les Paul catalogueThe two precursors to the Les Paul recording (LP professional, and LP personal) were featured in this 1970 Les Paul catalogue

1971 Gibson Les Paul low impedance catalogueThe 1971 Low Impedance brochure was put out to highlight the very different sounds that the new Les Paul recording guitar and Les Paul Triumph bass were capable of producing

1972 Gibson LP recording guitarIn 1972 Gibson launched a flyer devoted to the newly launched LP recording guitar - The Gibson Les Paul Recording Guitar of the Month Showcase. Introduced in 1971, the Les Paul Recording astounded the music world with its extreme versatility and playing performance

1975 Gibson Les Paul catalogueThe Gibson Les Paul Recording Guitar in the 1975 Les Paul catalogue. The materials that make up a Gibson come from the world only

Gibson 1978 full line catalogueThe 1978 Gibson catalogue was the last to feature the Les Paul Recording guitar

The Les Paul Recording guitar evolved from a couple other models, first produced in the late sixties. These were pivotal times for the world guitar markets. Mass production was becoming the norm, and American guitar companies were struggling to compete with their cheaper Japanese rivals. Gibson did not stop experimenting, however, and guitars such as the Les Paul Personal, and Les Paul Professional (with a matching Les Paul Bass) appeared, sporting novel electronics combined with the quality of materials and craftsmanship that Gibson was famous for. These were low impedance instruments designed specifically for recording; 'a guitar that can virtually produce any sound that you would want'. Les Paul describes the thinking behind this series

'For years i've worked to produce a multitude of distinctive guitar sounds. The hang-up was to obtain everything in one guitar, now i'm not talking about gimmickry, i'm talking about the real McCoy; authentic guitar sounds, the type of highs that can rip your ears off, the type of bass response that's clean and clear. Every note must be balanced and offer maximum sustain.'.

Gibson changed hands in December 1969, and number of models changed significantly over the next few years; the Les Paul Bass and Professional guitar were redesigned to become the Les Paul Recording guitar and Les Paul Triumph bass respectively. So in 1971, to launch the newly redesigned models a 4 side low impedance Les Paul catalogue was produced including an interesting flexi-disc demonstrating some of the many sounds possible. The disc was narrated by Les Paul himself, and guitars were played by Bruce Bolen.

Side one featured the Les Paul Recording guitar, whilst side 2 featured a track named Tomorrow, today recorded by Bruce Bolen using both instruments. Have a listen

Controls for the Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar


Bass, Treble and Volume Self explanetory. The bass and treble have a very wide range.

Decade Control This eleven position switch tunes or alters the treble harmonics. Produce "biting" or "silky" highs with simplicity.

Tone Selector Three settings: 1, 2, and 3.

Phase Control Only works when both pickups are selected.

Impedance Selector Hi for live use or Low for studio use (or live use with a Low-Impedance amplifier).

Vintage advertisements for the Gibson Les Paul Recording

Electric Guitar advertisements originally published from 1972 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies.
Check out other vintage Gibson advertisements

Gibson Les Paul Recording - Say it All With the New Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul Recording - Say it All With the New Les Paul (1972)
Early seventies advertisement for the Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar

Gibson's new Les Paul Recording turns on more guitar sounds than there are guitars! It's...

Gibson Les Paul Recording - If You Ever Lost a Les Paul, You

Gibson Les Paul Recording - If You Ever Lost a Les Paul, You'd Just Have to Buy Another (1972)
Early seventies British advert for the Les Paul Recording guitar, by Selmer, UK Gibson distributors at the time.

A Gibson Les Paul electric guitar is unique. A...

Gibson Les Paul Recording - Show us a man whos too good for a Gibson Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul Recording - Show us a man whos too good for a Gibson Les Paul (1974)
UK ad for the Triumph bass and Les Paul Recording guitar. The add was produced by Selmer who were the British distributors of Gibson Instruments.
...he's flipp...

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There are 3 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
BaddiH Comment left 29th July 2012 20:08:59
Best guitar i've ever played. Great to see all that old literature. Mine has serial number 737189 or maybe 139. I think it is an early 70s model as it has the two post bridge rather than the three post. Can you confirm date at all? Any tone you want. BH
John Creech Comment left 17th April 2015 21:09:30
I've got a Les Paul Recording Bass Serial #173955 and was supposed to be a 1982 model that I found out supposedly 44 of them were made including my natural and a white one also! They couldn't tell me how many of each were made but mine is of a natural finish! Could anyone tell me what year date and any details about this instrument!! Even in 1982 it was about $1650.00 case and all and I would like to know more about it!! It's in perfect shape and even had a brass nut added to it by Gibson themselves which could make it very unique!! HELP!
Normondo Comment left 16th December 2016 15:03:02
700000 numbers are 70-73 You mention a possible second number of 139. Is this a stamped in number, under the "made in USA" but done after the finish was applied and cured?

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