Gibson Les Paul

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About Gibson Les Paul

The Gibson Les Paul has cast a massive shadow over modern music with its unmistakable sounds and outstanding beauty. Played by superstars including Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Billy Gibbons, this single cutaway, archtop guitar has provided the sounds that made the 'British Invasion' of the 60s, Heavy Metal of the 70s and every genre since, up to the present day.

Les Pauls come in a large range of variations. Some are traditional recreations of famous Les Paul Standards and Customs of the 50s and 60s models, while others are modern hard rock and metal riff machines such as the stripped back Les Paul Studio. However, all of them share that undeniable spark of genius that makes the Gibson Les Paul greater than the sum of its parts: the Mahogany body, the carved, arched top, the pitched neck with the back angled headstock and the humbucking pickups. These elements and more combine to make an electric guitar that has been frequently imitated but never matched.

At guitarguitar we absolutely adore the Gibson Les Paul. As one of the UK's largest authorised Gibson dealers, we bring you the best range of Les Paul guitars available anywhere!

Frequently Asked Questions about Gibson Les Paul

The unique sonic properties of the Gibson Les Paul exist due to a few factors colliding in perfect harmony to create something bigger than the sum of its parts. The Mahogany body is a huge factor, as is the glued in Mahogany neck, effectively making the guitar one big piece of vibrating mahogany. Add to this the thick sounding humbucker pickups and the hard tail bridge which is anchored down to the body along with a metal tailpiece and you have a recipe for sustain and beautiful, cello-like tones.
The most famous Gibson Les Paul is arguably the 'Sunburst' Standard model from the late fifties and ones similar to it. This is the one with the bright cherry-into-amber burst top, often known as a 'Tiger top' or 'Tiger stripe' Les Paul due to the similarities to the markings of a Bengal Tiger. This Sunburst Les Paul is the type of guitar played by Jimmy Page, Slash, Peter Green, Eric Clapton, The Eagles and other rock legends. It is instantly recognisable and is available in many guises today from the Standard 2018 and Traditional 2018 (choose Heritage Cherry Sunburst for that classic look) to a range of 58, 59 and 60 reissue Les Paul Standards from the Gibson Custom Shop.
They both refer to largely the same thing, yes. These are both terms to describe certain Les Paul models that have had areas of their Mahogany body removed in an effort to make the guitar lighter in weight. These are invisible due to the guitar's Maple cap which sits on top of the Mahogany and covers up the holes. Some claim that the weight relief has an affect on the tone whilst others argue that you can't tell the difference sonically. Les Pauls have a reputation for being extremely heavy in weight and whilst this is an opinion more than a fact, many Les Paul fans are glad to see some of the weight disappear.
Les Paul, or Lester Polsfuss to give him his proper name, was an American musician, inventor and producer. His list of lifetime achievements is far too long to list but here are a few highlights: he invented the solid body electric guitar, multitrack recording, flanging, tape delay and the harmonica holder (the type that Bob Dylan uses). He also had lots of input on the guitar that would go on to bear his name! Les was a successful Jazz musician and even hosted a TV show at the height of his fame. He continued to play in public at least once a week up until his death in 2009.