In this article, were comparing the Les Paul Traditional vs Standard. Our objective is to help you decide which guitar is better.
Through carefully reviewing each guitars key features, pricing, benefits, and drawbacks, we hope to help you come to the conclusion of which guitar is best.
Well start off with the main differences between the two guitars.
Main Differences Between Les Paul Traditional vs Standard
The main differences between Les Paul Traditional Vs Standard are:
- The Les Paul standard has a compound neck radius, whereas the traditional does not
- The Les Paul traditional has a thicker neck profile, whereas the Standard has a slimmer neck profile
- The Les Paul Standard features the new Ultra-Modern Weight Relief, whereas the traditional has no weight relief
- Standard has locking tuners, whereas the traditional has period correct green keystone pegs.
|Body Shape||Single cutaway||Single cutaway|
|Frets||Ebony or Rosewood, 22 frets||Ebony or Rosewood, 22 frets|
|Latest price||See the latest price here||See the latest price here|
Comparing Key Features: Les Paul Traditional Vs Les Paul Standard
The Les Paul traditional has a thicker neck profile than the Standard. We cant say this is good or bad since it boils down to your preference.
The Les Paul standard has a compound neck radius meaning that the fretboards are curvier at the bottom near the nut and gradually become flatter towards the top end of the neck.
The Les Paul Traditional has a regular neck radius.
Guitarists claim that a smaller radius makes fingering chords easier, while a flatter radius is better for soloing and offers greater sustain. Our advice is to try out both and see what works for you.
Pickups and Sound Difference
If you are into that Les Paul Sound without modifications to it, then the Traditional is your best bet. The guitar is versatile, but it produces a fuller and beefier sound similar to what was prevalent in the late 50s. This is due to its lower output Burstbucker 1&2 pickups and Alnico magnets.
The Les Paul Standard can cater to heavier and more contemporary sounds such as jazz, rock, blues, metal, and even country. This is thanks to its versatile Burstbucker Pro pickups.
The guitar also features a coil tap function that allows you to split the pickups and make them sound single coil. The coil-split feature further allows you to push for a wider variety of tones while remaining punchy and clear.
Another noteworthy feature of the Les Paul Standard is the internal DIP switch, which gives you even more tonal options. Think of it as having a built-in compressor, which comes in handy for recording. The DIP switch is what allows you to split coils on your pickups, engage the treble bleed circuit, and even engage the transient bleed circuit.
The Les Paul traditional is available in 2 finishes- Heritage Cherry Sunburst and Tobacco Burst. The Les Paul Standard is also available in 2 finishes- Seafoam Green and Blueberry Burst.
The Les Paul Traditional features no weight relief, whereas the Les Paul standard does. This means the traditional is a little heavier than the standard. However, the guitars weight contributes to its amazing sustain.
The Les Paul standards ultra-modern weight relief makes the guitar noticeably lighter, and the company claims that this has no effect on the guitars tone.
Another noteworthy feature on both guitars is their tuners. The Les Paul Standard makes use of locking tuners. This helps the guitar stay in tune longer. The traditional guitar uses period-correct green keystone pegs.
Celebrities Who Played Les Paul
Heres a list of famous guitarists that have strummed Les Paul guitars:
- Les Paul
- Jimmy Page
- Billy Gibbons
- Randy Rhoads
- Zakk Wylde
- Ace Frehley
- Bob Marley
- Neal Schon
- Stever Clark
Pricing: Les Paul Traditional Vs Standard
Les Paul guitars arent what you would call cheap, but for their level of performance and quality, theyre well worth the price.
In our opinion, the difference between the Les Paul Standard and the Traditional is too significant to ignore, except you have a big budget. Then the price difference may not be a determining factor for which guitar you get.
The Les Paul standard goes for as high as $ depending on what model youre looking out for. The traditional guitar comes at a lower price, with some models selling for about $ and going as high as $
The reason for the price difference could be the build of both guitars. While they look the same on the surface, one surpasses the other with its modern features. The standard guitar is one that is constantly innovated to offer its users a wider range of tones, while the traditional is meant to maintain the old school sound it started out within the 50s.
Pros and Cons: Les Paul Traditional Vs Standard
Les Paul Traditional Pros
- It is cheaper
- Produces classic Les Paul sound
- Quality build
Les Paul Traditional Cons
- It is heavier
- It does not offer a wide range of tones
Les Paul Standard Pros
- Offers wider tone range
- It is lighter because of the weight relief feature
- Has a built-in compressor.
Les Paul Standard Cons
Factors to Consider When Buying a Les Paul Guitar: Traditional Vs Standard
Standard Les Paul guitars were set in the 50s and use humbucker pickups. These types of pickups are known for their round tones and are a crucial element in most Les Paul guitars.
Since guitar pickups are replaceable and relatively cheap, the Pickup your Les Paul guitar comes with shouldnt be one of the deciding factors for buying it. However, we advise you to keep the original pickup your guitar comes with to keep its resale value high.
Flame Tops and Finish
Its not uncommon for most Les Paul guitars to have a bit of cut maple at the highest point of its mahogany body. Many Les Paul devotees find guitars with a high level of blazing or wood figuring higher in value than others.
Les Paul guitars named as Premium or AAA or in addition to are seen as higher in value.
A notable way to spot the difference in Les guitars is to assess their neck profiles. You want to focus on how well it fits in your grasp. Les Paul guitars have two neck classifications:
- 50s style- neck profile is thicker, rounder, and more C-formed
- 60s style- these are more slender than the 50s style and can be better described as D-shaped
One of the most important things to consider when faced with a buying decision is the value youre getting. This is something that depends on you; hence we cannot tell you which Les Paul guitar will be of greater value between the standard and the traditional.
Model and Family Type
Gibson Lea Paul guitars come in a shocking number of varieties, and within each group of guitars is another list of varieties. Before you buy your Les Paul guitar, it would be a good idea to go through as many varieties as you can and to get a basic knowledge of what each variety is capable of.
Alternatives to Les Paul Traditional and Standard
Here we listed a few alternatives to the Les Paul electric guitar.
Epiphone Les Paul
The Epiphone Les Paul could be considered as Gibsons younger brother. It easily contends with some of the best guitars on the market and is often used by professionals because of the amazing sound it offers.
The pickups are the same as those on the Gibson, meaning you get to enjoy lush and dynamic sound on both guitars. Also, it uses the same tonewood as the Gibson Les Paul. Finally, theyre a lot cheaper and come in a wider variety of colors.
How does the ESP-LTD EC stack up against the Les Paul guitars? Firstly, it has a look. The guitar is made from the same materials that the Les Paul guitars are made from, and some models have a maple top.
It is considered one of the best guitars for metal. ESP-LTD builds on the concepts pre-established by Les Paul with its impressive options such as EMG pickups and custom guitars.
Many PRS fans will be offended to have this guitar called an alternative to anything. This is because PRS is one of the top guitar makers in the world, and like Gibson Les Paul, it is known for making excellent guitars.
Their single-cutaway guitars are a worthy rival to their Les Paul counterparts. The SE is made with the same materials as the Les Paul guitar, and to an extent, sounds like them. The guitar is a good alternative for intermediate and working guitarists because of its affordability.
Fender Player Stratocaster
All Fender guitars are popular for their impressive sound quality, and the Stratocaster is not an exception. The Fender Player Stratocaster boasts of a strong low end, powerful mids, and an outstanding bell-like high end, which all contribute to its clarity in the production of successive notes.
Fender guitars also feature an original style and feel. The Player Stratocaster will fulfill your musical dreams. Its flexible enough to play all music styles.
This Player Series Stratocaster puts all of the classic features of the Strat at your fingertips while adding a modern edge, including a modern neck profile, medium-jumbo frets and a freshly redesigned 2-point fulcrum vibrato bridge.
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Compared to other models, the Les Paul Standard has a bulkier and more rounded neck structure, while the Les Paul Classic has a slender candle neck structure, which is easier to handle by faster players.
Answer: Possibly one of the guitars that produce the best sound, the Gibson Les Paul is considered the most adaptable model currently. It derives its popularity from its smooth appearance and legendary outlook. The Les Paul comes in different versions with different setups for all players.
Answer: The majority of SG guitars weigh less than most Les Paul guitars. The SG has a more slender structure and does not feature the maple top that most Les Pauls have. The SG guitars are very suitable for lead guitars since their high frets are more accessible.
Our Verdict on Les Paul Traditional Vs Standard
After reviewing both guitars critically, weve come to a conclusion that, in our opinion, the Standard guitar is the better option.
The Les Paul Standard guitar offers a wider range of tones and can cater to modern sounds prevalent in the music industry today. Its compound neck profile makes it a suitable guitar for soloing, and it doesnt give you too much trouble with fingering strings.
It also comes with additional features such as weight relief, which makes the instrument feel lighter. Overall, we think if you have the money, you should consider adding it to your collection.
We would recommend the Les Paul Traditional guitar for people who cant get over the old sound. The standard not only gives you the sound but the look it had when it first launched.
Not to mention it comes in at a more affordable price depending on where you purchase your guitar from. The most recent models of the standard could be cheaper than older models of the standard.
Jodie is a trained classical guitarist. She is also a full-time blogger and loves to write about different types of guitars. Just give her 60 seconds of your time, and she’ll tell you all that you need to know about any guitar of your choice.
Gibson Les Paul
Solid body electric guitar
The Gibson Les Paul is a solid bodyelectric guitar that was first sold by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in  The guitar was designed by factory manager John Huis and his team with input from and endorsement by guitarist Les Paul. Its typical design features a solid mahogany body with a carved maple top and a single cutaway, a mahogany set-in neck with a rosewood fretboard, two pickups with independent volume and tone controls, and a stoptail bridge, although variants exist.
The Les Paul was originally offered with a gold finish and two P pickups. In , humbucking pickups were added, along with sunburst finishes in The – sunburst Les Paul, today one of the best-known electric guitar types in the world, was considered a commercial failure, with low production and sales. For , the Les Paul was redesigned into what is now known as the Gibson SG. The original single-cutaway, carved top bodystyle was re-introduced in The Les Paul has been produced in many versions and editions since. Along with Fender'sTelecaster and Stratocaster, it was one of the first mass-produced electric solid-body guitars. Due to their versatility, Les Paul electric guitars have been used in a wide range of music genres, including rock, country, pop, soul, rhythm and blues, blues, jazz, reggae, punk, and heavy metal.
Les Paul and "Clunker" ()
In , the ancestors of Fender Telecaster (Fender Esquire and Fender Broadcaster) were introduced to the musical market and solid-body electric guitars became a public craze. In reaction to market demand, Gibson Guitar president Ted McCarty brought guitarist Les Paul into the company as a consultant.
Les Paul was a respected innovator who had been experimenting with guitar design for years. He had hand-built a solid-body prototype nicknamed "The Log", often suggested as the first solid-body Spanish guitar ever built. "The Log" was given its name from the pine block running through the middle of the guitar whose width and depth are a little more than the width of the fretboard; conventional hollow guitar sides or "wings" were added for shape. In or , Paul had approached Gibson with "The Log" prototype, but his design was rejected.
In , McCarty and his team at Gibson began work on what would eventually become the Les Paul Model. Early prototypes are very similar to the final version. The new Les Paul guitar was to be an expensive, well-made instrument in accordance with Gibson's reputation at the time, and distinct from growing rival guitar manufacturer Fender's models.
McCarty approached Les Paul for the right to imprint the musician's name on the headstock with the intention of increasing sales; in , Gibson presented Paul a nearly finished instrument for approval. McCarty stated that design discussions with Les Paul were limited to the tailpiece and the fitting of a maple cap over the mahogany body for increased density and sustain, which Les Paul had requested reversed. However, this reversal would have caused the guitar to become too heavy, and Paul's request was refused. Paul states that the original Custom should have had the maple cap and the Goldtop was to be all mahogany. The Custom did not appear on the market for another two years following the introduction of the Goldtop; it is possible that Gibson had planned a full model range of guitars (with a roll-out over the course of several years) at the time when initial specifications were being set. Les Paul's contributions to the guitar line bearing his name were more than cosmetic; for example, Paul specified that the guitar be offered in a gold finish, not only for flashiness, but to emphasize the high quality of the Gibson Les Paul instrument. Later Les Paul models included flame maple (tiger stripe) and "quilted" maple tops, again in contrast to the competing Fender line's range of car-like custom color finishes.
The Les Paul featured a mahogany body with a one-inch-thick maple cap, a mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard, two Psingle coil pickups, and a one-piece, 'trapeze'-style bridge/tailpiece with strings fitted under (instead of over) a steel stop-bar.[note 4]
The guitar made its public debut when Paul used it onstage in June at the Paramount theatre in New York. On July 24, , at a special musicians clinic at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, it was previewed by prominent guitarists such as Tiger Haynes, George Barnes, Mundell Lowe, Tony Mottola, and Billy Mure.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January )
"Patent Applied For" (PAF) pickups on a Les Paul Standard
Tune-o-matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece
A second Les Paul model was introduced in Called the Les Paul Custom, this black guitar with gold-plated hardware was dubbed the "Black Beauty". Various bridge and tailpiece designs were added in and , including the popular Tune-o-matic bridge. The Goldtop and Custom models continued without significant changes until In , P pickups were no longer offered on Les Pauls. New humbucker pickups designed by Seth Lover in (U.S. Patent 2,,) debuted on Les Pauls in This innovation in pickups became the flagship pickup design most associated with Gibson. Many other guitar companies followed suit, outfitting their electrics with versions of the humbucking pickup.
Sunburst failure and resurgence (–)
Les Paul Standard Reissue
In , the Les Paul saw its first major design change. A new model, called the Standard, retained most features of the Goldtop. However, Standards featured a cherry-red sunburst finish. These guitars were priced higher than the Goldtop models, but lower than the Customs. At this time, Gibson instruments were marketed toward an older, jazz-oriented audience rather than young burgeoning guitarists. As a result, over the three-year period of production, only c. 1, Standards were made.
These Les Pauls were considered to be too heavy and old-fashioned, and they initially did not find favor amongst guitarists. In , Gibson stopped producing the traditional Les Paul in favor of a lighter redesign which was later called the SG. The mids, however, brought a resurgence of interest in the Les Paul Standard. In , The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards began using a sunburst, Les Paul Standard – becoming the first "star-guitarist" to play a Les Paul on the British scene. The guitar, outfitted with a Bigsby tailpiece, served as one of the guitarist's prominent instruments and provided the first impetus to the use of Les Pauls during the British blues boom. In , Eric Clapton began using Les Pauls because of the influence of Freddie King and Hubert Sumlin, and played a Standard on the groundbreaking album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton. In America, Mike Bloomfield began using a Les Paul goldtop while touring with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and recorded most of his work on the band's East-West album with that guitar. A year later, he traded it for a Standard with which he became most identified. By , Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead was using mids, P pickup-equipped goldtops or black custom models, which he used through  Concurrently, artists such as Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Paul Kossoff, and Jimmy Page began using sunburst Les Paul Standards in the late s. Responding to this influence and increased pressure from the public, Gibson reintroduced the Les Paul single-cutaway guitar in July , and the guitar remains in production today.
ECL and Norlin-era (–)
See also: Chicago Musical Instruments
In , Gibson's parent company (Chicago Musical Instruments) was taken over by the conglomerate ECL. Gibson remained under the control of CMI until when it became a subsidiary of Norlin Musical Instruments.
These ownership changes, often called the "Norlin Era", caused Gibson products of the time to undergo changes in manufacturing and construction. Les Paul designs were altered and a reinforced upper neck volute to decrease headstock breaks was added. Neck woods were changed from one-piece mahogany to a three-piece maple design. The body was also changed from one-piece mahogany with a maple top to multiple slabs of mahogany with multiple pieced maple tops. This is referred to as "multipiece" construction, and sometimes incorrectly referred to as a "pancake" body. The expression "pancake body" actually refers to a body made of a thin layer of maple sandwiched between two slabs of mahogany, with a maple cap. The grain of the maple was placed at 90 degrees to that of the mahogany. The "pancake"-like layers are clearly visible when looking at the edge of the guitar. This process is also known as "crossbanding", and was done to make use of less expensive and more readily available thinner mahogany. Crossbanding was phased out by
In this era, Gibson began experimenting with new models, such as the Les Paul Recording. This guitar was generally unpopular with guitarists because of its complex electronics. Less noticeable changes included, but were not limited to, optional maple fingerboards (added in ), pickup cavity shielding, and the crossover of the ABR1 Tune-o-matic bridge into the wide "Nashville" bridge. During the s, the Les Paul body shape was incorporated into other Gibson models, including the S-1, the Sonex, the L6-S, and other models that did not follow the classic Les Paul layout.
In January , Gibson again changed ownership and began manufacturing a range of varied Les Paul models. The s also saw the end to several design characteristics, including the volute and maple neck. However, because of consumer demand, the Gibson Les Paul guitar is available today in a wide array of choices, ranging from guitars equipped with modern digital electronics to classic re-issue models built to match the look and specifications of the guitar's earliest production runs from to
As of [update], Gibson offers several variations of the Les Paul guitar with differences in price, features, electronics and finishes. For example, the modern 'Standard' offers split-coil pickups for a wider range of sounds. The 'Traditional' model offers the more basic features of guitars available during the s to s, and the 'Classic' model offers yet other features. 'Special' and 'Studio' models have a more basic level of finish and are lower-priced. These models are marketed as 'Gibson USA' guitars, capitalising on their American heritage.
In , responding to the high demand for vintage models, Gibson formed a Custom Shop division. Originally, the Custom Shop began producing accurate reproductions of early Les Pauls, as well as one-offs. Today, the Custom Shop produces numerous limited-run "historic-spec" models, as well as signature artist models. The first Custom Shop artist guitar was the Joe Perry Les Paul, and today, several artist models are offered. "Reliced" or "aged" models are made in the Custom Shop to replicate well used vintage guitars.
Models and variations
The first model, simply called the "Gibson Les Paul" was released in , and has since been retroactively named "The Goldtop", as the model came only in one finish, an old gold solid paint, with two P pickups and nickel plated hardware. In , the Gibson Les Paul Custom was added to the model line. The Custom featured a solid black finish, gold-plated hardware, and other high-end appointments, including becoming one of the first Gibson models to have 3 pickups. The standard goldtop model received PAF humbucking pickups in , and the goldtop paint job was retired in and replaced with a two-tone translucent sunburst paint job. From onwards, this main model was known as the Les Paul Standard, nicknamed "the Burst", and is known for its high collectability. The original Les Paul body shape was retired in and radically redesigned as the Gibson SG (which for the first several years was known as the Les Paul SG, before Les Paul's endorsement deal ran out). In the mid-late s, the unique tonal quality of the humbucker-equipped "Burst" models became a favorite among rock guitarists, and this renewed interest caused Gibson to bring back the Standard and Custom models in They have remained in production ever since; as well Gibson added a number of other model lines over the years, including budget/student lines such as the Les Paul Junior and Les Paul Special, studio-quality guitars with basic appointments but upgraded electronics, such as the Les Paul Professional and Les Paul Recording, and other short-lived models, including dozens of celebrity endorsed models.
Goldtop (–, present)
The first Les Paul model Goldtops were produced from – Early Les Pauls were not issued serial numbers, did not have bound fingerboards, and are considered by some as "LP Model prototypes". However, later Les Pauls were issued serial numbers and also came with bound fingerboards. The design scheme of some of these early models varied. For instance, some early Les Pauls were fitted with black covered P pickups instead of the usual cream-colored plastic covers. The weight and the tonal characteristics of the Goldtop Les Paul were largely due to the mahogany and maple construction.
In , the trapeze tailpiece was dropped, and a new stopbar design was added. This design combined a pre-intonated bridge and tailpiece with two studs just behind the bridge pickup. This increased the sustain of the Goldtop noticeably; however, the intonation and string height adjustability were limited. A new design, the Tune-o-matic, replaced the stopbar in It consisted of a separate bridge and tailpiece attached directly to the top of the guitar, combining an easily adjustable bridge with a sustain-carrying tailpiece. This design has been used on most Les Pauls ever since. The tuners were produced by Kluson.
Custom (–, –present)
Main article: Gibson Les Paul Custom
Custom with P90 and Alnico pickups
Custom reissue with PAF pickups
The Les Paul Custom features gold hardware, multilayer binding including the headstock, ebony fingerboard, real mother-of-pearl inlays and two or three-pickup layout. s Customs were all-mahogany, rather than the mahogany-with-maple-cap of the Goldtop. The original Customs were fitted with a P pickup in the bridge position and an Alnico V "staple" pickup in the neck. In , the Custom was fitted with Gibson's new PAF humbucker pickups, and later became available with three pickups instead of the usual two. The traditional Les Paul Custom was discontinued in and its name transferred to the custom version of the then-new Gibson SG.
In , Gibson reintroduced the Les Paul Custom as a two-pickup-only model. The headstock angle was changed from 17 degrees to 14, and a wider headstock and a maple top (in lieu of the original mahogany top construction) were added. White and two sunburst finish options were added to the color palette in Also new in was the optional TP-6 fine-tuner tailpiece, allowing for micro-adjustment of string tuning from the bridge. The mahogany neck was replaced with a three-piece maple neck in (though mahogany still saw limited use) with this change lasting until around Popular colors, such as wine red and "silverburst," were added in the s and '80s. Gibson currently produces several Custom models with various finishes and pickups.
Standard (–, –present)
See also: Flame maple §Gibson Les Paul Standard
In , new Standard model retained most specifications of the Goldtop, including PAF humbucker pickups, a maple top, and a tune-o-matic bridge with a stop tailpiece or Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. The gold color used since was replaced by a cherry-red version of the Sunburst finish long used on Gibson's flat-top and archtop acoustic and hollow electric guitars. Since the maple cap was now visible, tops were made either with a solid "plaintop" piece of maple or two bookmatched pieces of figured (curly or quilted) maple. To differentiate from the earlier Goldtop model, the new Les Paul was referred to as The Les Paul Standard. Specifications during –60 varied from year to year and also from guitar to guitar. Typical Les Paul Standard necks had a thicker neck, thinner frets and lower fret height, which changed during the course of to develop into typical necks with a thinner cross-section and wider, higher frets.[note 6][note 7] The cherry dye used on the –59 models faded rapidly from ultraviolet light exposure, so in early Gibson switched to a new, fade-resistant formulation which was also less translucent and slightly more orange; this is sometimes called the "tomato soup burst." Fading of the original paint job was unpredictable, as the red color could either lighten or darken depending on the specific formulation and on the conditions the guitar had been exposed to, resulting in a wide array of nicknames, such as "lemon burst" or "tobacco burst", for the resulting colorations. Despite the wide variety of color variations now found on the original –59 models, they all went to market with nearly identical paint jobs. Furthermore, during the production run, Gibson changed the color of plastic used on the pickup bobbins multiple times between black and white again; however during assembly, pickups were assembled semi-randomly, with no attention given to matching the two single-coil bobbins to each other when building the humbucking pickups; the guitar was sold with a nickel-plated pickup cover, so Gibson didn't consider the color of the bobbins to be an aesthetic consideration. Additionally, since the translucent finish allowed the wood grain to show, each Sunburst model has a unique combination of finish fade, wood grain, and pickup colors resulting in a highly individualized guitar, adding to the collectability of the model. Many famous original Les Paul standards can be easily identified by their unique appearance.
Original production of the Standards lasted from to early As Gibson only kept records on shipments of "Les Paul" models, and the Sunburst Standard overlapped production years with both the earlier Goldtop and later SG models, nailing down exact production numbers is difficult. Depending on the source, it is estimated anywhere from 1, to 1, of these early models were made and have subsequently become highly valuable.[note 7]
Production ended when, in , Gibson redesigned the Les Paul to feature a "double cutaway" body, which has subsequently become the Gibson SG. Because of high demand, Gibson resumed production of Les Paul Standards in They have remained in continuous production since then, as well as periodic reissues from the Gibson Custom Shop, using the original –60 specs.
Junior (–) and TV (–)
Main article: Gibson Les Paul Junior
TV reissue (Junior DC in TV Yellow)
In , the Les Paul Junior debuted, targeted the beginning or student guitarist. As a cost-saving measure, many of the appointments of the Standard and Custom models are absent from the Junior. Ths Junior is characterized by its flat-top "slab" mahogany body (in contrast to the carved maple top on other models), finished in sunburst. It had a single P pickup (in contrast to the two- and three-humbucker pickup configurations on the more expensive models), simple volume and tone controls, an unbound rosewood fingerboard with plain dot-shape position markers, and a combination bridge/tailpiece unit similar to the Goldtop.
In , Gibson launched the Les Paul TV model, which was identical to the Junior except for the name and a fashionable contemporary "limed oak" style finish, later more accurately named "limed mahogany". This natural wood finish with white grain filler often aged into a natural wood or dull yellow appearance, and eventually evolved into the opaque mustard yellow, popularly called "TV yellow". The model was not, as a popular myth says, to avoid glare from old TV cameras, but a modern look and a name to promote "The Les Paul & Mary Ford Show" then on television.
Gibson made a radical design change to their Junior and TV models in to accommodate player requests for more access to the top frets than the previous designs allowed, these electric guitar models were revamped with a new double-cutaway body shape. In addition, Juniors were now available with a cherry red finish, while the re-shaped TV adopted a more yellow-tinged finish.
Les Paul Special Singlecut in TV Yellow
Les Paul Special Doublecut
Main articles: Gibson Les Paul Special and Gibson Les Paul Doublecut
The Les Paul Special was released in , featuring a slab body, two soapbar P single coil pickups, and was finished in a color similar to TV Yellow (but not called a TV model). It fit in the model line between the Junior and the Standard, having the two-pickup configuration of the Standard, but featuring the simpler, more basic appointments of the Junior.
In , the Special was given the same new double-cutaway body shape as the Junior and the TV received in Around this time, Les Paul decided to discontinue his affiliation with Gibson; the model was renamed "SG Special" in late  However, when the new design was applied to the two-pickup Special, the cavity for the neck pickup overlapped the neck-to-body joint. This weakened the joint to the point that the neck could break after only moderate handling. The problem was soon resolved when Gibson designers moved the neck pickup farther down the body, producing a stronger joint and eliminating the breakage problem.
Deluxe with mini-humbuckers
The Deluxe was among the "new" Les Pauls. This model featured "mini-humbuckers", also known as "New York" humbuckers, and did not initially prove popular. The mini-humbucker pickups fit into the pre-carved P pickup cavity using an adaptor ring developed by Gibson in order to use a surplus supply of Epiphone mini-humbuckers. The Deluxe was introduced in and helped to standardize production among Gibson's U.S.-built Les Pauls. The first incarnation of the Deluxe featured a one-piece body and slim three-piece neck. (It has been thought that some of these early "one-piece" bodies were actually leftovers from original 's Les Paul parts) The multipiece body (a thin layer of maple on top of two layers of Honduran mahogany) arrived later in Towards the end of that year, a reinforcing neck volute was added. Deluxes feature the Gibson logo devoid of the dot over the "i" in Gibson. By late /early , the dot over the "i" had returned, plus a "Made In USA" stamp on the back of the headstock. Gibson produced Deluxe Gold Top as specially-ordered guitars with full-size humbucker t-tops pickups between and ( in , 28 in and 9 in ), as a Les Paul Standard pickup specification. These Gold Tops are quite rare to find today and are worth US$9, to US$10, in the collector's market, because they were the first guitars since the Gold Top fitted with humbucker pickups from the factory. Until the end of the year , 90% of the Gibson Les Paul Deluxe manufactured were Gold Top. New colors emerged from , less valued than the Gold Top. By in late , the neck construction was changed from mahogany to maple, until the early s, when the construction returned to mahogany. The body changed back to solid mahogany from the pancake design in late or early In the Gibson canceled the Deluxe model.
Adrian Smith, of Iron Maiden, uses a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top , with the bridge pickup converted to a humbucker, and has been using it since joining Iron Maiden in Pete Townshend used Les Paul Deluxes onstage almost exclusively between and , often with additional middle pickups.
Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin, used a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Red, converted to humbuckers, during the s, and reunion of Vivian Campbell, of Dio, used a Deluxe Black , with a humbucker conversion, during his period in the band. Ace Frehley used Deluxe converted humbucker in 70s. Steve Lukather has Deluxe Gold Top original humbucker.
Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson, of Thin Lizzy, also used Les Paul Deluxes in the s (Robbo converted his Deluxe Cherry Sunburst to humbuckers in , and plays the guitar to this day). Slash has a Deluxe Tobacco Sunburst , converted to Humbuckers, and uses it during live shows. Yngwie Malmsteen had a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top in his collection for more than 30 years, converted to humbuckers. It was sold for over U$$25, a few years ago.
The Les Paul Professional was produced from –, it was a rare model as only around were ever produced. Designed primarily as a studio guitar, it featured an unadorned dark-stained mahogany slab body with two low-impedance pickups mounted at an angle and a unique control layout that included not only the standard "rhythm/lead" switch, but also two toggles between the tailpiece and the volume/tone knobs that allowed for additional tone options. The low-impedance pickups required a special cable that included an on-board transformer. The model came with either a stop tailpiece or a Gibson-branded Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. Chicago guitarist Terry Kath used a Les Paul Professional both in the studio and on stage. The model was never popular, and was phased out in and replaced with the Les Paul Recording model, which itself was replaced in by the Les Paul Studio model. A few Professionals shipped in and , though the catalogues had switched to the Recording model by then.
The Les Paul Recording was produced from late – (the first models shipped in ) and was re-issued in It was a slightly modified version of the Professional model, and featured the same low-impedance pickups and same body, though with a lighter-colored stain. The control layout was changed, the rhythm/lead selector switch was moved near the other controls from the upper left to lower right side of the guitar body, and the tone control toggle switches were rotated 90 degrees. The plastic plate to label the switches and knobs was larger than the Professional model as well. Les Paul himself favored the Recording model among all of the guitars to bear his name; it was his main guitar during his years playing at the Iridium Jazz Club and other New York venues.
See also: Gibson The Paul
A single sharp cutaway Les Paul-style walnut body, set walnut neck, fret ebony fingerboard with pearl dot inlays, walnutheadstockoverlay with gold Gibson logo () or Gibson logo branded into the headstock (Firebrand, ), three-per-side tuners, tune-o-matic bridge, stop tailpiece, two exposed humbucker pickups, four knobs (two volume, two tone), three-way pickup switch, chrome hardware, available in Natural Walnut finish, in. scale, in. nut width, mfg. It included such high end items as the Grover tuning keys and theTune-O-Maticbridge. Affectionately called by some, "The Coffee Table Burst"because of its natural finish.
Les Paul SG (–)
Main article: Gibson SG
In , Gibson experienced a decline in electric guitar sales due to strong competition from Fender's comparable but much lighter double-cutaway design, the Stratocaster. In response, Gibson modified the Les Paul line. For , the Les Paul was thinner and much lighter than earlier models, with two sharply pointed cutaways and a vibrato system. However, the redesign was done without Les Paul's knowledge, and he hated the design, so he asked Gibson to remove his name. The double cutaway design retained the "Les Paul" name until when Les Paul's endorsement deal with Gibson ended. Without a contract, Gibson could no longer call its guitars "Les Pauls', and it renamed them "SGs" (for "Solid Guitars").
See also: Gibson Les Paul Studio
The Studio model was introduced in , and is still in production. The guitar is intended for the studio musician; therefore, the design features of the "Les Paul Studio" are centered on optimal sound output and not on flashy appearance. This model retains only the elements of the Gibson Les Paul that contribute to tone and playability, including the carved maple top and standard mechanical and electronic hardware. However, the Studio design, until , omits several stock Gibson ornamentations that do not affect sound quality, including body/neck binding. The first Studios from to were made with alder bodies rather than mahogany/maple. The current Studios come with a chambered mahogany body with either a maple or mahogany cap. The entry level Les Paul Studio "faded" has a weight relieved mahogany body and top and a satin finish. In neck binding and a pair of Gibson's most popular humbucking pickups, 57 Classic and 57 Classic+, and two push-pull pots were introduced. In order to guarantee the stability of the tuning and an excellent sustain were introduced the Grover tuners, the self-lubricating nut and the aluminium tune-o-matic bridge.
Gibson also offered the Studio in a "standard" model. This variant was adorned with neck and body binding, ebony fretboard and sunburst paint job. All Studios at the time had dot fretboard markers and a thinner body.
Memphis ES-Les Paul (–)
Gibson released the Memphis ES-Les Paul in It is a semi-acoustic model with f-holes and most with two Alnico humbuckers. There was a limited Custom Shop run of VOS Black Beauty ES Les Pauls with three humbuckers. Some of these limited run guitars were also fitted with Bigsby tailpieces. The neck is mahogany, but the sides and back are laminated maple and poplar. A mahogany block runs throughout the body to increase sustain.
The Les Paul Memphis ES was released with Gibson’s MHS (Memphis Historic Spec) humbuckers. These scatter wound pickups have unbalanced coils to emulate vintage PAFs. The bridge and middle pickups both have Alnico II magnets while the neck pickup houses an Alnico III.
Due to its limited run the Memphis ES-Les Paul has become a sought-after and collectible Les Paul model.
The Gibson Les Paul HP – which stands for "High Performance" – was introduced in , intending to be a Les Paul version featuring the most modern features, like the G-Force automatic tuner, a compound radius fretboard, a titanium adjustable zero-fret nut, and a carved fast access neck heel, similar to the Axcess model. Each knob had a push/pull function allowing to split the pickups and transient suppression. The guitar came in a special hardshell case, with a polished aluminium finish.
The model was slightly modified in , when the toggle-switch plate was removed, the knobs changed from ordinary speed knobs to chrome top hat ones, and the pickup rings changed from white to chrome.
The model had a major change in , with the complete removal of the pickup rings – the pickups were now mounted at the back of the guitar, with two screws for each pickup. This change made pickup swap noticeably harder, demanding a modification of the mounting piece of each pickup, which had to be bent inwards.
The model was again changed in , reversing the pickup ring removal. The knobs changed to transpared top hat ones, and the G-Force tuner was removed with locking tuners being added. This was the last of the HP series, which was discontinued in
The Gibson Dark Fire is a variant of the Les Paul. It was a second generation Robot Guitar, using an updated version of the Powertune self-tuning system produced by Tronical Gmbh. The Dark Fire also introduced Gibson's Chameleon Tone Technology, a system consisting of onboard electronics designed to simulate various guitar tones. Additionally, the guitar included an audio interface called the Robot Interface Pack or RIP.
The Dark Fire had one Burstbucker 3 humbucker in the bridge position, a PH at the neck, and a special Tronical-designed piezoelectric tune-o-matic sat in place of the bridge. The Burstbucker 3 and PH were selected via the three-way selector switch. The piezoelectric could be activated via the MCK, blending the magnetic and piezoelectric together under a standard 1/4" guitar cable. Gibson supplied a TRS stereo cable that allowed the piezo signal and the magnetic signal to be split between two different amps.
Epiphone Les Paul
Main article: Epiphone Les Paul
Les Paul Special II
Les Paul Ultra II
The Gibson-owned Epiphone Company makes around 20 models of the Les Paul; most are similar copies of Gibson-made models. Made outside the United States, the Epiphone Les Pauls are made from more commonly available woods using less expensive foreign labor and have less hand detailing than the Gibson models, and as a result sell for a lower price. Epiphone has been owned by Gibson Guitars since the s.
Epiphone also makes several less common models of the Les Paul such as the Les Paul Goth, Les Paul Ultra/Ultra II, Les Paul Prophecy, and Les Paul Tribute Plus.
Main article: Jimmy Page §Signature models
Gibson has produced three Jimmy Page signature models. The first was issued in the mids. It is based on a stock sunburst Les Paul Standard. In , the Gibson Custom Shop issued a limited run of Jimmy Page Signature guitars based on Page's "No. 1". Several years later, Gibson issued its third Jimmy Page Signature guitar, this one based on Page's #2, issued in a production run of guitars.
Gary Moore Les Paul
Gibson version of Slash "AFD/Appetite for Destruction" Les Paul
Gary Moore created his own signature Les Paul in the early s, characterised by a yellow flame top, no binding and signature truss rod cover. It featured two open-topped humbucker pickups, one with "zebra coils" (one white and one black bobbin). In , Gibson released another Gary Moore signature guitar, the Gibson Gary Moore BFG Les Paul. The Gary Moore BFG is much like their previous Les Paul BFG series, with the added styling of Moore's various s Les Paul Standards.
Slash has collaborated with Gibson on seventeen signature Les Paul models.
The first of these guitars is the Slash "Snakepit" Les Paul Standard, which was introduced by the Gibson Custom Shop in , based on the smoking snake graphic off the cover of Slash's Snakepit's debut album and a mother of pearl snake inlay covering the length of the ebony fretboard. An Epiphone version was released as well. Production was limited to 
In , the Gibson Custom Shop introduced the Slash Signature Les Paul Standard, a guitar that Gibson has used ever since as the "standard" non-limited edition Slash Les Paul. In , Gibson USA released the Slash Signature Les Paul Standard Plus Top, an authentic replica of one of two Les Pauls Slash received from Gibson in It has an Antique Vintage Sunburst finish over a solid mahogany body with a maple top. An Epiphone version was released as well. Also in , the Gibson Custom Shop introduced the Slash "Inspired By" Les Paul Standard. This guitar is a replica of his Les Paul Standard.
In , Gibson released the Slash "AFD/Appetite for Destruction" Les Paul Standard II as a tribute to Guns N' Roses' debut album, Appetite for Destruction, which resembles the Kris Derrig built Les Paul replica Slash used for the recording of the album. Production was limited to , with aged guitars signed by Slash, and another finished with the Custom Shop's VOS process. An Epiphone version was simultaneously released as well.
In , Gibson and Epiphone both released the Slash "Rosso Corsa" Les Paul Standard, and also the Gibson USA's Slash "Vermillion" Les Paul Standard. In the year of , Gibson released Slash "Anaconda Burst" Les Paul, which consist of both a Plain Top, as well as a Flame Top. An Epiphone version of the guitar was released as well. In , Gibson Custom Shop released the Slash Firebird, a guitar which is a radical departure from the Les Paul style association he is well known for. The finish was produced in only two separate colors, which is Trans Black and Trans White. Only 50 copies of each color were produced.
Gibson has issued two signature Les Paul guitars for Joe Perry of Aerosmith. The first was developed in and was customized with an active mid-boost control, black chrome hardware, and a translucent black finish. It was replaced in by a second, more visually distinctive Les Paul, the "Boneyard" Les Paul. This guitar is characterized by Perry's custom "Boneyard" logo on the headstock and a figured maple top with a green tiger finish, and is available with either a stop bar tailpiece or a Bigsby tailpiece.
Joe Perry owned a Gibson Les Paul Standard. Perry is not sure how, but he lost track of his Les Paul in When he wanted to get the guitar back it was in the possession of Slash (which he later used in the music video for November Rain). Perry asked if he could buy back the guitar but Slash refused. Perry continued to ask about the guitar from time to time, and eventually received the guitar back from Slash as a 50th birthday present in 
A replica of the three-pickup "Black Beauty" Les Paul Custom used by Peter Frampton as his main guitar from his days in Humble Pie through his early solo career was introduced through the Gibson Custom Shop in Frampton's original guitar was a Les Paul modified extensively. His guitar was presumed lost in a South American plane crash in , but was returned to Frampton in
Gibson used hundreds of photographs of the late blues guitarist's instrument to produce the limited-edition Bloomfield signature. The company produced one hundred Bloomfield models with custom-aged finishes and two hundred more with the company's VOS finishing in They reproduced the tailpiece crack on the aged version, plus the mismatched volume and tone control knobs and the "Les Paul"-engraved truss rod cover on both versions, while including a toggle switch cover. The headstock was characterized by the kidney-shaped Grover tuning keys installed on the guitar before Bloomfield traded for it.
In , Gibson issued three Pete Townshend signature edition Les Paul Deluxe guitars, based on Townshend's heavily customised "#1" Wine Red Les Paul Deluxe, "#3" Gold top , and "#9" Cherry Sunburst These guitars were modified by Alan Rogan and used extensively on stage and in the studio with The Who. In addition to the two mini-humbuckers the guitar carried, Rogan modified Townshend's originals with a DiMarzio humbucker in the middle. Toggle switches located behind the guitar's tailpiece turned the pickup on and off and added volume boost. The control knobs were wired for volume, one for each pickup and a master tone. The reissues differed from Townshend's originals in that the reissues had an inlay at the first fret while the originals did not.
Ace Frehley with his 3-pickup Les Paul Custom
Billy Gibbons with a Les Paul Goldtop
The Ace Frehley signature model (released in and re-released in ) has three double-white DiMarzio pickups, a cherry sunburst finish (AAAA), a color image of Frehley's face in his Kiss make-up on the headstock, mother-of-pearl lightning bolt inlays, and Frehley's simulated signature on the 12th fret. A Custom Shop run of only guitars were built with DiMarzio PAF, Super Distortion, and Dual Sound pickups. The production run model was only built with DiMarzio Super Distortion pickups. This was one of Gibson's best selling artist runs. The more recent "Budokan" model, intended to pay tribute to the guitar used during the Kiss' first trip to Japan in , features mother-of-pearl block inlays (no signature at the 12th fret), Grovermachine heads with pearloid banjo buttons, and a grade A maple top.
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top has a signature model, featuring his signature Seymour Duncan pickup set, based on his "Pearly Gates" Les Paul Standard.
Clapton played a (often presumed to be and according to Joe Bonamassa it may be true) Standard as a member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers as well as in the early days of Cream. The guitar was said to have been stolen while Clapton was preparing for the first Cream tour in , following the recording of Fresh Cream, and was long considered an iconic instrument by Clapton's fans. Gibson announced production of the Clapton Standard, also nicknamed the "Beano Burst", in Gibson says the instrument "accurately represents what Eric Clapton personally feels his Les Paul should be", with Clapton consulting on the design of the guitar. Production is limited but all feature period-correct hardware, two Gibson reproduction PAF humbucking pickups, and subtly figured "antiquity burst" maple tops.
Mark Knopfler has a signature model of his Les Paul Standard.
Paul Kossoff, of Free and Back Street Crawler, favored a Les Paul Standard. In –12, Gibson's Custom Shop made a reproduction of Kossoff's Standard, featuring a so-called "green-lemon" flametop, two-piece carved maple top, mahogany body and neck, Custom Bucker humbucking pickups and kidney-bean shaped Grover tuners similar to those Kossoff had installed on the instrument. One hundred Kossoff models were made to resemble the guitar at the time of Kossoff's death in , with another in a VOS finish.
Marc Bolan of T.Rex played a lates Les Paul, potentially a stripped Goldtop, later refitted with a Les Paul Custom neck. Gibson recreated this unique guitar in , producing examples including hand-aged, numbered versions and utilising the vintage original spec process. The guitars are notable for the custom-made PAF-reproduction uncovered humbucker pickups. The guitars feature a custom finish, referred to by Gibson as "Bolan chablis".
Les Paul players
Main article: List of Gibson players
Les Paul copies and lawsuits
Although early Les Paul imitations in the s and s, such as those made by Höfner, Hagström, Harmony Company, and Greco differed from Gibson's designs, with different electronics and even bolt-on necks, in the late s some Japanese companies came very close to perfecting copies of the original Standards.
A lawsuit was brought by the Norlin Corporation (the parent company of Gibson) in , against Elger/Hoshino U.S.A. (manufacturer and distributor, respectively, of Ibanez) over use a headstock shape and logo, both considered similar to the Gibson designs. However, the suit was based on an Ibanez headstock design that had been discontinued by The case was officially closed on February 2, Those mids guitars later became known as "lawsuit era" guitars.
ESP Guitars makes several guitars based on the Les Paul design. The Edwards and Navigator lines are made in Japan in the vein of the late s and s guitars from Tokai, Burny, and Greco, complete with Gibson style headstocks.
Heritage Guitars, founded in by four long-time Gibson employees when Gibson relocated to Nashville, continues to build guitars at the original factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Many of their models are inspired by Gibson's lates/earlys sunbursts and Customs. 
In , Gibson lost a lawsuit against PRS Guitars, Gibson claiming PRS was infringing on the Les Paul shape and design. The court's decision allowed PRS to reintroduce single cutaway versions of its instruments.
In , Gibson lost the trademark for the Les Paul in Finland. According to the court, "Les Paul" has become a common noun for guitars of a certain type. The lawsuit began when Gibson sued Musamaailma, which produces Tokai guitars, for trademark violation. However, several witnesses testified that the term "Les Paul" denotes character in a guitar rather than a particular guitar model. The court also found it aggravating that Gibson had used Les Paul in the plural form and that the importer of Gibson guitars had used Les Paul as a common noun. The court decision will become effective, as Gibson is not going to appeal.
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Condition of InstrumentThis Les Paul is in excellent condition overall with minimal signs of play--just look at this photograph for proof! It has a beautiful AAA figured maple top that pops like none other thanks to the Black Burst finish. It's a sonic stunner, too, thanks to its classic combination of R and T humbucking pickups. Also, it includes its original hardshell case.
|Model||Les Paul Traditional Chad Kroger Blackwater|
|Finish Type||Nitrocellulose Lacquer|
|Finish Color||Black Burst|
|Top Wood||AAA Figured Maple|
|Neck Shape||50's Rounded|
|Neck Dimensions||1st - 12th|
|Width at Nut||"|
|Pickups||Position R, Bridge Position T, Magnet Material Alnico II and Alnico V, Piezo under ABR|
|Controls||2 Volume, 2 Tone, 3-Way Switch|
|Bridge||ResoMax Nashville ABR|
|Tuners||Grover Kidney Tuners|
|Case||Gibson USA Hardshell, All factory paper work|
Why Order from Wildwood Guitars?An instrument from Wildwood isn't just an ordinary guitar. It's your guitar. Each and every instrument we sell includes a full, point by point setup, an exhaustive evaluation, and expert shipping procedures, with first class, industry leading standards from start to finish. Why? Because you deserve it.
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Paul used les traditional
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