The Gibson Les Paul had been deleted in early 1961 (actually it had evolved into the Gibson SG, but that's another story), but had only increased in popularity during its absence. And nowhere moreso than in the UK. Guitarists like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Paul Kossoff and Peter Green had so successfully demonstrated the good looks, and thick tonal properties of the Les Paul, that Selmer and in turn Gibson simply had to take note. The Les Paul was reissued in 1968, and two models were initially available, the black Les Paul Custom and gold top Les Paul Standard.
Here is the ultimate in a solid body Gibson Electric Spanish Guitar. Players rave about the extremely low smooth frets and playing action, call it the "Fretless Wonder". Features clear, resonant and sparkling tone, with widest range of tone colourings. Finished in solid ebony colour for rich contrast with gold plated metal fittings. Solid Honduras mahogany body with carved top; graceful cut-away design; bound with alternating white and black strips. Mahogany neck with exclusive Gibson Truss Rod neck construction. Bound, ebony finger board, deluxe pearl inlays. Exclusive peghead design with distinctive pearl inlays. Two powerful magnetic type pick-ups. Individually adjustable gold plated polepieces. Humbucking style for increased power, greater sustaining and reduced hum and noises from electrical disturbances. Separate tone and volume control for each pick-up which can be preset. Three-way toggle switch select either front or back pick up, or both simultaneously. Tailpiece can be moved up or down to adjust string tension. Tune-O-Matic bridge permits adjusting string action and individual string lengths for perfect intonation. Gold plated Sealfast individual machine heads with deluxe buttons. Gold-plated metal end pin and strap holder.
Note, the Les Paul Custom is one of the most expensive guitars in this catalog, only beaten by the Barney Kessel guitars shown on page 64. 1968/1969 UK prices for the Gibson Les Paul were as follows:
|5545||Les Paul Standard||245 gns|
|5436||Les Paul Custom||339 gns|
Demand for these instruments was incredible, but with such a price tag, few budding guitarists could afford the real thing. It was not long before Les Paul-styled copies were very widely available. But Selmer provided some of the very first, with their Hofner Club guitars. Like the Les Paul, these were very well respected guitars that had also been discontinued earlier in the 1960s (1963?), and were now due a comeback. A new version, the Hofner Club 70 appears for the first time on page 44 of this catalog. Although it has some visual similarity to the Les Paul, it really bears little similarity tonally. It's a nice guitar, but if you were after that fat Les Paul sound, you'd be disapointed.
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