- Body: Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla)
- Arched top: Maple
- Neck: Mahogany
- Fretboard: Ebony (Diospyros classiforia)
- Neck profile: Custom 'C'
- Long neck tenon
- Inlays: Mother-of-pearl block
- 22 Frets
- Scale: 628 mm
- 5-Ply binding
- Headstock inlay: Spit diamond
- Pickups: Gibson 490R (neck) and 498T (bridge) humbuckers
- Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop tail
- Hardware; Gold-plated
- Colour: Black
- Includes a case
- Made in the USA
The classic among classics
Les Paul is undoubtedly one of the few truly iconic names in the history of the electric guitar - and that is true of the man AND the instrument. The Les Paul Custom in the deluxe version of this guitar and has boasted sophisticated craftsmanship and ornamentation - including block inlays for the fingerboard, a "split diamond" headstock inlay, and multi-layer binding - ever since it was first introduced in the mid-1950s. Of course, a "real" Les Paul Custom needs to be black with gold-plated hardware - after all, that is what Les Paul himself wanted. Today, the Les Paul Custom remains as desirable as ever thanks to the Gibson Custom Shop.
The Gibson Les Paul is the archetype on which virtually all other single-cutaway guitars are based and its silhouette is simply unmistakable. Beneath the guitar's all-black finish is a mahogany body with a maple top, and the neck is also made from mahogany. The latter features an ebony fingerboard with 22 relatively low frets, which gives this model a smooth playing feel and a snappier sound than the Les Paul Standard. The sound is generated by two humbucking pickups, which are governed by a dedicated volume and tone control each and selected via a three-way toggle switch.
Not only for Rock musicians
The Gibson Les Paul Custom's visual appearance alone is a statement of style and elegance, so it should come as no surprise that it is often found in guitar afficionados' living rooms and home studios. It also treads a very clear sonic path, delivering a full-bodied sound with plenty of midrange punch and singing sustain that will always stand out well in the mix. It is eminently suited to Rock and Blues music, but by no means confined to just those genres - Les Paul himself, a Jazz musician to the bone, was the living proof of that. Whatever their genre of choice, however, guitarists should be sure to pick up a wide strap to go with this guitar (and make sure that they can handle its weight), since its distinctive sound necessitates a certain amount of mass. On the plus side, however, its slightly shorter scale length means it virtually plays itself.
The Gibson Guitar Corporation was founded in 1902 by Orville Gibson and has its headquarters in Nashville, USA. Gibson is world famous and is loved by many musicians for its cult-status instruments. Gibson was responsible for building the world’s first mass-produced electric guitar, the ES-150, in 1936. The “Les Paul”, one of the first solid-body electric guitars, followed in 1952 and remains hugely popular to this day, in great part thanks to the “humbucker” pickups installed from 1957 onwards. The range has expanded over the years to include such well-known guitar models as the SG, the Flying V, and the ES-335, as well as bass guitars and acoustic guitars including the Thunderbird bass and the Hummingbird dreadnought. Well-known artists such as Pete Townshend, Slash, Angus Young, Tony Iommi, B.B. King, Michael Patrick Kelly, and Nikki Sixx, swear by Gibson guitars.
Choose your sound
The Les Paul Custom has always been the more elegant sister to the Les Paul Standard, and so it is primarily played by musicians who know exactly what they want. The specific pairing of a Les Paul Custom with a Marshall amplifier produces exquisite Rock tones - as ably demonstrated time and again by guitar heroes such as Jimmy Page, Kirk Hammett, Zakk Wylde, Adam Jones, and Slash. The Les Paul Custom's special circuitry enables it to go back and forth between two fundamentally different sounds, making this guitar a sonic chameleon. Incidentally, the popular "stutter" or "killswitch" effect also requires this type of switching system: One of the volume pots must be turned all the way down, so that the player can then use the toggle switch to rhythmically cut off the guitar's signal.
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