Gibson Les Paul Recording owners manual page 2
Description of controls
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Gibson produced this owners manual for the Les Paul Recording guitar from the instruments launch in 1971. The features (most notably the low impedance pickups), precise set-up, and controls of the Les Paul Recording guitar are somewhat complicated; page 2 labels key components and begins their description, which is continued on page 3.
This manual is relevant for guitars produced from 1971-76; in '76 the control plate was replaced with a slightly less complicated version with two output jacks replacing the hi/lo impedance switch. See the second version controls.
The Les Paul Recording is the only guitar on the market with two humbucking, low impedance pickups. These pickups offer a new concept in tonal response. The pickup height, in relation to the strings, has been carefully adjusted to produce maximum performance. Maintain the factory adjusted string setting for best results.
The Les Paul Recording was effectively an updated version of the Les Paul Personal and Professional models first shipped in 1969 - and this booklet is an updated (and somewhat improved!) version of the manual for those guitars. The most important change was the addition of an impedance switch alowing the Recording guitar to use both high and low impedance amplifier inputs without the need for a transformer. See the Person/Professional owners manual here.
Your Les Paul Recording guitar is equipped with a unique switch that enables you to use a "high" or "low" impedance amplifier without the use of a special transformer cable. In most cases you will probably be using a high impedance guitar amplifier. Be sure that your impedance switch is in the "Hi" position. In the event you are using a low impedance amplification system, your impedance switch must be in the "Lo" position.
Although the functionality of the controls seem self-explanatory (and to some extent they are) a thorough understanding of them is essential to really get the best out of this instrument. It would be logical to assume that the tone switch would simply offer three different tones, upon which the other controls would build - and this is the case with the Recordings sibling, the Triumph bass - however the switch offers entirely different functionality in the Les Paul Recording guitar. In fact it does not alter the tone at all - it simply bypasses certain sections of the controls - allowing a player to seemlessly switch from one chosen setting to another and back again just using one switch. The middle position is the guitar with nothing bypassed. For example a player could change from an extremely bright setting just using the bridge pickup with treble turned up and bass backed off in tone position 2 to a full on sound using both pickups, and bypassing the treble/bass and pickup selector simply by moving the tone switch up to position 1.