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For many years I had coveted one of these beauties and and after saving up ( for a long time) managed to get one from the states in a turquoise quilt finish. Les Paul guitars are one of the most recognisable guitars in the world and have a long and incredible history. Designed by Lester William Polsfuss aka Les Paul who was an American blues and jazz guitarist, Les was one of the main pioneers of the solid bodied electric instrument which contributed hugely to the historic sound of rock and roll. Many famous guitarists have recorded some of their best work on a Les Paul guitar from Jimmy Page to Slash. These guitars have a very distinctive look and sound. They are stunning works of art in their own right and the sound is rich and bluesy and delicious.
Les Paul guitars are crafted from solid mahogany with a maple top so are very heavy to play. I always use a high quality strap with mine or sat on the floor cross legged with it on my lap. Due to weight, it can be hard to play for long periods of time and that is the only drawback that I can find with this guitar.
Each Les Paul is carved from solid Grade AA figured maple and the back is solid mahogany which gives the guitar its famous warm sound. The neck is crafted from quarter-sawn grade A mahogany which is carved into the celebrated rounded shape that Les Paul guitars are known for. This is based on a 1950's profile. The neck is topped with an A grade rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and shaped mother of pearl inlays. There is a cream binding around the body which matches the cream pickguard and pick up surrounds. The gold coloured volume and tone knobs have dial markings.
The typical design of the Les Paul is based on an arch-top guitar. There are two humbucker pick-ups and four muted gold knobs on the body ( volume and tone - two of each ). The humbuckers give the Les Paul its famous warm sound and look very appealing on the guitar. The guitar has an excellent sustain and can be made to sound crunchy and distorted via the pick-ups. This is a very easy to play instrument, the action is great and the intonation is clean and tight. The design is such that it is very simple to bend the strings and make a fantastic noise doing so. I use mine with a Line 6 amp which gives me a greater range of available sounds and warmth and this would be my favourite set up for this guitar. If I want it to sound punchier then I will play it through a Marshall amp.
Equally at home with delicately hand-plucked intros or heavy barre chords, playing this guitar is a versatile and joyful experience. The hardware ( mine is chrome coloured ) is top quality and the high-gloss nitrocellulose paint finish is flawless. As I have said, mine is the turquoise quilted which is a colour reminiscent of Caribbean waters with some appearance of texture. The shape is curvy and sensual, very appealing to the eye. I love the simple design of the trademark trapezoid mother of pearl markers all up the fingerboard and the angular and decent sized scratchplate to protect the body.
This beauty has what could be described as a "vintage voice" which is partly due to the '57 Classic pickups with traditional chromed covers. These contain Alnico II magnets and both pick ups are wax potted which avoids mic shrieking at higher volumes. It has a clever Tune-o-Matic bridge which is easy to adjust for intonation correction with each string having its own adjustable screw. The guitar pegs do not slip and the guitar stays in tune easily even with temperature and humidity changes.
The Les Paul comes in a good range of colours and finishes. Accessories and replacement parts are very easy to source all over the internet. The guitar comes with a hard case, truss rod wrench, manual and Gibson's lifetime warranty.
Some years ago Les Paul paired up with Epiphone to deliver some cheaper versions of the Les Paul guitar, making it more accessible to buyers. As it stands a non Epiphone Les Paul will start at £800 minimum and goes up to £6k and beyond. You are buying an expensive piece of history but this is my favourite guitar by a long shot and that slot in my affections could only possibly be replaced by taking ownership of a Gretsch archtop...... One day.....well a girl can dream.
Firstly, I should get one thing straight. The LP is made of solid mahogany so it's very heavy. Despite having a very thick and comfortable shoulder strap, I still find it difficult to play for long periods of time. However, that's probably the only drawback of a truly legendary guitar that is played by (among others) Jimmy Page, Gary Moore and Slash.
The standard design of the Les Paul is arch-top with single cutaway, two humbucking pick-ups and two volume, two tone controls. A three way tone control gives a good range of sounds-one good for picked intros, one for warm sounding chords and one for distorted powerchords. The mahogany construction gives the guitar a 20 second sustain, which coupled with the high output on the pickups makes it ideal for long and distorted sounds.
Despite the weight factor, the guitar is a very ergonomic and thus comfortable shape and comes in a variety of colours. The nicest I've found is a red mahogany body with gold plated tone controls and mother-of-pearl fret markers! They come in a solid case, which is well padded on the inside and securely fastened, but won't last as long as the guitar. When left in the loft, my Les Paul case rusted up and had to be sawn open so it's best to have a cool, dry place to store it for long periods of time. As it's a well known model, accessories are easy to find, if a little pricey.
For those on a budget there are more basic designs without the pearl or gold plating. In terms of replicas, the Japanese models are the best whereas the Korean and American versions tend to be sub-standard. Due to the high price, I would only buy this guitar if you plan to make full use of its features. If you need a variety of tones for a long sustain and good distortion it's ideal, but if you just need a guitar to play around with I'd go for something cheaper like a Squier Telecaster, which is also easier to play for beginners.
Same review posted on www.ciao.co.uk under the same username
I've had my black Gibson Les Paul almost ten years now, up until I bought it I had an overwhelming desire to own one, and it has not dissappointed. Everything about the guitar from the look, the build quality and the sound are top notch. I have since tried many other Gibsons, from SG's to Flying V's but I have to say that my Custom is one of the best I have played.
I got a great deal on mine second hand, but in near perfect condition, for just under £1,000 . Nowadays you'd be hard pressed to find one new for less than £2k so they are expensive, but you get what you pay for - I know I got a good deal, so would have been prepared to pay more.
The string tension coupled with the jumbo frets make this guitar a joy to play - living up to it's original name as 'The Fretless Wonder'! The pickups too have a gorgeous tone - high output but not oversaturated. I particularly like the neck pickup on mine, it has a round thick and warm tone which suits my style of playing perfectly.
The only real down sides to this guitar are that it weighs a ton - which if you are used to lighter guitars like a Strat this might make playing standing up for any length of time difficult - and that it is not a very versatile sounding guitar. It really shines as a heavy rock guitar, with a thick tone and amazing sustain unmatched by others but if you require an instrument that can be used for more subtle clean tones or bright rhythms then you may wish to look elsewhere!
(before I start, this guitar is NOT £109.00 as it states on here, mine was £870.00!!)
Les Pauls are in the same leauge as the Fender Stratocaster, in the sense that the body design and is recognisable to almost everyone, guitarist or not.
I bought my Les Paul Custom because I'd read a lot of great reviews on it, and had always been a fan of the Les Paul shape.
When I finally bought it, I instantly fell in love.
The tone was absolutely superb, a major step up in all round quality from my Epiphone SG.
Though, through time I've been able to develop my skill on playing a Les Paul and I'l tell you why.
They are fairly heavy, compared to a lot of other guitars out there on the market for a similar price range and all round quality.
Also the neck is quite chunky, which makes fast fret access not the easiest of tasks.
But once I got a little older and my hands started to broaden up, the thick neck seemed to be all I could play, as going back to my SG seemed strange, as it felt to light and fragile (though fragile is quite the opposite).
The tone is lovely, creating a good unique sound whichever genre of music you prefer to play, weather it be Technical to death metal to erly year blues, this guitar can help create most tones you would ever want, purely down to the good quality exterior choice of hardware and electronics, aswell as the beasty, and very rich in tone pickups it has.
Over all, a great guitar.
Easy on the eye, nice tone proving that Gibson, still after churning out hundreds of different types of Les Paul still know what they are doing.
Let's Play - Advantages: White Les Paul Custom looks beautiful, Easy To Play, HAnding for pulling girls with - Disadvantages: Expensive, Needs attention, People always mention the Manic Street Preachers when you pley it
I am lucky enough to own a repoduction 1950's Black Beauty and she sure is what her name makes out. A Beauty. Its finished with a solid Black body and Gold metalwork in it. Its quite a rare guitar now so you wont see many in the shops. It looks like the Standard with the toggle switch, triangular scratch plate and sharp growling pick ups that give the Les Paul its unique sound. It sound is so crisp and I think the tones are much deeper than on most standard Les Pauls. Les Paul is the name of the designer of this guitar and it is synonymous with guitarist the world over. Slash from Guns and Roses was a big user as was Jeff Beck. In fact, most rock guitarist of the 20th Century have been seen on stage with one at some stage. The Gibson workmanship and quality is written all over this guitar. The only problem I have with it are strings. I tend to wreck a lot of strings playing this. Its not really meant for the hammer I give it so the metalwork on the head tends to rub them silly. SNAP goes the Top E SNAP goes the B sometimes SNAP goes the G! I have lessened this by using 2 B's and tuning one up to an E. Gives it more strength. AS for staying in tune, it does this remarkably well. Much better than a tremolo type guitar. If you can afford a real one, buy it!
My wife bought my les paul for me as a gift, over twenty years ago. (The bank manager described it as an investment when she asked for the loan apparently.) Silverburst spray job - black with an airburshing of silver around the pickups. It played like a dream. A big rich sound that throbbed and purred. Strings that needed no pressure to produce the sound. It was a wonderful thing, a beautiful thing. I used to caress it, and stroke it. Hey, i even cleaned it once in a while, something my fenders never achieved, and neither did my Harmony sovereign. Of course it ended in tears. Some evil swine stole it - probably to feed an addiction. I was so rattled by the experience that I slept on the settee for months after, and even now, I know where the baseball bat is, even after all these years. REVISION my apologies. I have only just re-read what I wrote and I realise that it's no more than a rant about burglary. Sorry about that! But in a way the strength of my anger tells you just how much I thought of this guitar... It's as if the guitar had a soul and that soul and I were mated... I'm certain that we don't want to go there, so what can I tell you about the guitar. It was perfection to me. Though heavy, the weight felt just right when it was strapped arund my neck. It sustained notes brilliantly, though I am not the world's best guitarist. It was so easy to play. I owned it for years, and the neck stayed true throughout without warping or bending, neading no adjusting. The style of the piece is unmatched in my view. I have never seen another silverburst spray job, and gibson has never produced a better finish. Sure it didn't have a tremelo, unlike the fenders I have owned, and I suppose that for some guitarist this might be a drawback, but for bending notes with fingers alone, it was impeccable.
The Les Paul Custom was introduced in 1954 - nicknamed the Black Beauty and the Fretless Wonder.