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
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 (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'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 (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.
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