Les Paul Series - Guitars Collector

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LES PAUL SERIES
from Blue Book of Electric Guitars, Sixth Edition, 1999

The Les Paul models debuted in 1952, and were Gibson's first production solid body electric guitar. Early models are without binding around the fingerboard and do not have a plastic ring around the selector switch. It has been noted that some of the early models have the Gold finish continuing on the sides and back in addition to the top. The original Gold Top finish is prone to a greenish hue around the lower bouts of the instrument where the player's arm(s) rubbed off the clear and/or color coat. Because the color coat was originally mixed with bronze powder, the exposure of the bronze with air will produce a green oxidation (the same type of oxidation that occurs on the metal parts occasionally when the finish is rubbed off). Horizontal weather checking striations are also normal on original Gold Top finishes.

LES PAUL MODEL - single sharp cutaway solid mahogany body, bound carved maple top, raised cream pickguard, one piece mahogany neck, 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlays, trapeze bridge/tailpiece, blackface peghead with holly veneer/pearl logo inlay, silkscreen model name on peghead, 3 per side Kluson tuners with plastic single ring buttons, nickel hardware, 2 single coil P-90 pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch. Available in Gold Top/Natural back finish. Mfd. 1952 to 1958.

LES PAUL STANDARD - single sharp cutaway mahogany body, bound carved flame maple top, raised cream pickguard, one piece mahogany neck, 22 fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop
tailpiece, blackface peghead with holly veneer/pearl logo inlay, 3 per side Kluson tuners with single ring plastic buttons, nickel hardware, 2 covered humbucker PAF pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch. Available in Cherry Sunburst finish. Mfd. 1958 to 1960.

LES PAUL (SG BODY STYLE) - double sharp cutaway mahogany body, layered black pickguard, mahogany neck, 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/side-pull vibrato, blackface
peghead with pearl logo inlay, 3 per side Kluson tuners with double ring plastic tuners, nickel hardware, 2 covered humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch. Available in Cherry finish. Mfd. 1960 to 1963.

Les Paul Standard (1968-1969 Mfr.) - single sharp cutaway solid mahogany body, deeper cutaway binding, bound
carved maple top, raised cream pickguard, mahogany neck, 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid
inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, 3 per side Kluson tuners with double
ring plastic buttons, nickel hardware, 2 single coil P-90 pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch. Available
in Gold Top/Natural Back finish. Mfd. 1968 to 1969.
Les Paul Standard (1971 Mfr.) - single sharp cutaway solid mahogany body, bound carved maple top, raised cream
pickguard, mahogany neck, 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, wrapover bridge tailpiece,
blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, 3 per side Kluson tuners with plastic double ring buttons, nickel hardware, 2
single coil P-90 pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch. Available in Gold Top finish. Mfd. 1971 to 1973.
LES PAUL STANDARD (LPS-)(1974-1997 Mfr.) - single cutaway mahogany body, set-in mahogany (or maple)
neck, bound carved 3 piece maple top, 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, tune-o-matic
bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, "Standard" engraved on truss rod cover, 3 per side tuners
with pearloid buttons, chrome hardware, cream pickguard, 2 covered humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3
position switch. Available in Cherry Sunburst, Dark Sunburst, Ebony (EB), Gold Top, Heritage Sunburst, Honey Burst,
Natural, Tobacco Sunburst, TV Yellow, Vintage Sunburst and Wine Red (WR) finishes. Mfd. 1974 to 1997.
LES PAUL STANDARD (LPS-8) - single cutaway mahogany body, set-in mahogany neck, bound carved maple top,
24.75" scale, 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece,
blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, "Standard" engraved on truss rod cover, 3 per side tuners, chrome hardware,
cream pickguard, 2 covered humbucker (490R/498T) pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 way toggle switch.
Available in Ebony (EB, disc.), Heritage Cherry Sunburst (HS), Honey Burst (HB), and Wine Red (WR, disc.) and
Vintage Sunburst (new 1999) finishes. Mfr. 1998 to date.
Les Paul Standard Lite (LPLI) - double cutaway design, carved maple top, mahogany back, 24 3/4 in. scale, includes
treble '57 Classic Plus humbucker and rythmn 492R Alnico magnet humbucker pickups, gold hardware, choice of
Translucent Amber, Translucent Black, or Translucent Blue finish. New 1999.
Les Paul Standard bird's-eye - similar to Les Paul Standard (LPS-), except has bird's-eye maple top. Available in
Heritage Sunburst, Honey Burst and Vintage Sunburst finishes. Mfd. 1993 to 1995.
Les Paul Standard Plus (LPS+) - Available in Heritage Cherry Sunburst (HS), Honey Burst (HB), and Vintage
Sunburst (VS). Disc. 1997.
LES PAUL ARTISAN - single sharp cutaway mahogany body, multi-bound carved maple top, raised bound black
pickguard, mahogany neck, 22 fret bound ebony fingerboard with pearl flowers/heart inlay, tune-o-matic
bridge/tunable stop tailpiece, multi-bound peghead with pearl split flowers/heart/logo inlay, 3 per side tuners, gold
hardware, 2 single coil pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch. Available in Ebony, Tobacco Sunburst
and Walnut finishes. Mfd. 1976 to 1982.
LES PAUL ARTIST - single cutaway mahogany body, multi-bound carved maple top, raised black pickguard,
mahogany neck, 22 fret bound ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/tunable stop tailpiece,
multibound blackface peghead with pearl script LP/logo, 3 per side tuners, gold hardware, 2 covered humbucker
pickups, volume/treble/bass controls, 3 position selector/3 mini switches, active electronics. Available in Sunburst
finish. Mfd. 1979 to 1981.
LES PAUL DELUXE - single sharp cutaway 3 piece mahogany/maple body, deeper cutaway binding, bound carved
maple top, raised cream pickguard, mahogany neck, 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay,
tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, widened blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, 3 per side Kluson tuners with
plastic double ring buttons, nickel hardware, 2 mini humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch.
Available in Blue Sparkle Top, Cherry, Cherry Sunburst, Gold Top, Red Sparkle Top, Tobacco Sunburst, Walnut and
Wine Red finishes. Mfd. 1969 to 1985.
Les Paul Pro-Deluxe - similar to Les Paul Deluxe, except has ebony fingerboard, chrome hardware. Available in
Black, Cherry Sunburst, Gold Top and Tobacco Sunburst finishes. Mfd. 1978 to 1982.
LES PAUL DELUXE 30th ANNIVERSARY - similar to Les Paul Deluxe, except has mini-humbucker pickups,
chrome hardware, standard pearloid trapezoid inlays (w/o anniversary markings), available in Ebony or Wine Red
finish. New 1999.
KALAMAZOO CUSTOM ORDER '59 REISSUE LES PAUL - '59 LP Standard style appointments, highly figured
(flame or quilted) maple tops, ebonized holly veneered pegheads, original inked serialization, other '59 Standard
features. Mfd. circa 1978 to 1979.
LES PAUL (1985 REISSUE) - similar specifications to the current Gibson Historic Collection Les Paul '59 Flametop
Reissue (this was Gibson's first authorized 1959 Les Paul reissue). Mfd. 1985 only.
LES PAUL KALAMAZOO - single sharp cutaway solid mahogany body, bound carved maple top, raised cream
pickguard, mahogany neck, 22 fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, Nashville tune-o-matic
bridge/stop tailpiece, large blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, "Les Paul K.M." engraved on truss cover, 3 per
side Grover tuners, nickel hardware, 2 cream colored covered humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position
switch. Available in Antique Sunburst, Cherry Sunburst and Natural finishes. Mfd. 1979 only.
LES PAUL HERITAGE 80 - single sharp cutaway mahogany body, bound carved flame maple top, raised cream
pickguard, 3 piece mahogany neck, 22 fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop
tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, "Heritage 80" on truss cover, 3 per side Grover tuners, nickel
hardware, 2 covered humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch. Available in Cherry Sunburst
and Honey Sunburst finishes. Mfd. 1980 to 1982.
Les Paul Heritage 80 Elite - similar to Les Paul Heritage 80, except has quilted maple top, one piece neck, ebony
fingerboard.
LES PAUL LP-XPL - single sharp cutaway solid mahogany body, bound carved maple top, raised cream pickguard,
mahogany neck, 22 fret bound ebony fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface
peghead with pearl logo inlay, 6 on one side tuners, chrome hardware, 2 single coil pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls,
3 position switch. Available in Cherry Sunburst finish. Mfd. 1984 to 1987.
LES PAUL SMARTWOOD STANDARD (LPSW) - (Alternative wood project Les Paul model) single cutaway
mahogany body, carved top, 22 fret fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface
peghead with pearl logo inlay, "SmartWood" engraved on truss rod cover, 3 per side tuners, gold hardware, 2 covered
humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch. Available in Antique Natural (AN) finish. Mfr. 1995
to date.
LES PAUL SMARTWOOD EXOTICS - single cutaway mahogany body, carved Ambay Guasu (or Banara or
Cancharana or Curupay or Peroba or Taperyva Guasu) top, 22 fret Curupay fingerboard with pearloid dot inlay, tune-omatic
bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, "Exotic Wood" engraved on truss rod cover, 3 per
side tuners with plastic buttons, gold hardware, 2 covered humbucker (490R/498T) pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls,
3 position switch. Available in UV-Cured Matte finish. Mfr. 1998 to date.
LES PAUL SPOTLIGHT SPECIAL - single sharp cutaway mahogany body, bound carved 3 piece
maple/mahogany/maple top, raised cream pickguard, mahogany neck, 22 fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl
trapezoid inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, 3 per side tuners with
plastic buttons, chrome hardware, 2 covered humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch.
Available in Natural finish. Mfd. 1980 to 1985.
Les Paul CMT - similar to Les Paul Spotlight Special, except has maple/walnut/maple body, curly maple top. Mfd.
1986 to 1989.
THE LES PAUL - single sharp cutaway body, rosewood bound carved 2 piece bookmatched flame maple
top/back/sides, mahogany core, raised rosewood pickguard, maple neck, 22 fret bound 3 piece ebony/rosewood/ebony
fingerboard with abalone block inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, pearl split diamond/logo peghead inlay, 3 per
side Schaller tuners with pearl buttons, serial number engraved pearl plate on peghead back, gold hardware, 2 Super
humbucker pickups with rosewood surrounds, 2 volume/2 tone rosewood control knobs, 3 position switch, rosewood
control plate on back. Available in Natural and Wine Red finishes. Mfd. 1976 to 1980.
Les Paul Anniversary Models
LES PAUL STANDARD THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY - single sharp cutaway mahogany body, bound carved
maple top, raised cream pickguard, mahogany neck, 22 fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, pearl
Thirtieth Anniversary inlay at 15th fret, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, 3
per side tuners with plastic buttons, nickel hardware, 2 covered humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3
position switch. Available in Gold Top finish. Mfd. 1982 to 1984.
LES PAUL STANDARD FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY - similar to Les Paul Standard Thirtieth Anniversary,
except has ebony fingerboard, gold hardware, 2 stacked humbucker pickups. Mfd. 1992 only.
LES PAUL 25/50 ANNIVERSARY - mahogany body, carved maple top, slashed block fingerboard inlay, 25/50
peghead inlay, 2 humbuckers. Mfd. 1979 only.
LES PAUL CUSTOM TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY - single sharp cutaway multi-bound mahogany body with
carved top, raised bound black pickguard, mahogany neck, 22 fret bound ebony fingerboard with pearl block inlay,
Twentieth Anniversary engraved into block inlay at 15th fret, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, multi-bound peghead
with pearl split diamond/logo inlay, 3 per side tuners with plastic buttons, gold hardware, 2 single coil pickups, 2
volume/2 tone controls, 3 position switch. Available in Black and White finishes. Mfd. 1974 only.
LES PAUL CUSTOM THIRTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY - similar to original Les Paul Custom Twentieth
Anniversary, except has Thirty-Fifth Anniversary etched on peghead inlay, 3 humbucker pickups. Mfd. 1989 only.
LES PAUL DELUXE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY - similar to Les Paul Deluxe, except has mini-humbucker
pickups, chrome hardware, standard pearloid trapezoid inlays (w/o anniversary markings), available in Ebony or Wine
Red finish. New 1999.
Les Paul Custom Shop Signature Series
More more information on the Les Paul Custom Shop Signature Series, please refer to the Les Paul Custom Shop
section later in this text.
Les Paul Classic Series
LES PAUL CLASSIC (LPCS) - single sharp cutaway mahogany body, bound carved maple top, bound rosewood
fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay,
pearloid button tuners, nickel hardware, cream pickguard with engraved "1960", 2 exposed humbucker pickups, 2
volume/2 tone controls, 3 way toggle selector.
Les Paul Classic Plus - similar to Les Paul Classic, except has curly maple top. Available in Honey Burst (disc.),
Heritage Cherry Sunburs (disc.)t, Translucent Amber, Translucent Purple (disc.), Translucent Red and Vintage
Sunburst (disc.) finishes. Disc. 1995, retinroduced 1999.
Les Paul Classic Premium Plus (LPPP) - similar to Les Paul Classic, except has higher quality curly maple top.
Available in Honey Burst (HB), Heritage Cherry Sunburst (HS), Translucent Amber (TA), Translucent Purple,
Translucent Red and Vintage Sunburst finishes. Disc. 1996.
Les Paul Classic Bird's-eye - similar to Les Paul Classic, except has bird's-eye maple top. Available in Honey Burst,
Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Translucent Amber, Translucent Purple, Translucent Red and Vintage Sunburst finishes.
Disc. 1994.
Les Paul Classic Premium Bird's-eye - similar to Les Paul Classic, except has highest quality bird's-eye maple top.
Available in Honey Burst, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Translucent Amber, Translucent Purple, Translucent Red and
Vintage Sunburst finishes. Disc. 1994.
The Les Paul Classic Premium Plus Versus the Les Paul Reissue:
Evolution of the Les Paul Reissue (An Overview)
The origin of the Les Paul Reissue dates back to the mid 1970s when a few vintage-oriented dealers began requesting
reproductions of the increasingly precious late 1950s Les Paul Standards. In the early 1980s Gibson added a variation
of the model to the product line. At the time, merely applying a figured maple top to the current stock model seemed to
suffice. Although it received minor cosmetic and hardware changes through the 1980s, it was not based on accurate
1950s design and detail until 1993. The Les Paul Reissue had been distinguishable because of its figured maple top,
inked serial number, ABR bridge, etc. until the appearance of the Les Paul Classic in the early 1990s.
Designed by J.T. Ribiloff of Gibson R & D, the Classic featured a noticeably thinner 1960 neck profile as well as
features previously exclusively found on the Reissue. To enhance the vintage look, Ribiloff redesigned a smaller
headstock with push-in bushing tuners and aged fingerboard inlays. Of course, these features soon made their way to
the Reissue. It was at this point that the Reissue and the Classic were structurally very similar.

Originally, the Classic was not to have a figured maple top, but the grading standards for the figuring in the tops for the
Reissues became so high that the tops that did not qualify as Reissue quality were applied to the Classic - thus creating
the Les Paul Classic Plus. Some of these "Plus" tops would turn out to be more figured than others, and thus became
"Premium Plus" tops - and introduced the Les Paul Classic Premium Plus.
By 1992, there existed the Les Paul Classic, the Classic Plus, the Classic Premium Plus, and the Les Paul Reissue -
and one more! The thin profile 1960 "classic" neck was offered on the Reissue, creating the 1960 Reissue. At this
point, there was some confusion between the 1960 Classic and the 1960 Reissue.
Gibson actually began addressing the problem as early as 1991, and began blueprinting original instruments in 1992.
By the winter NAMM show in 1993, the redesigned '59 Reissue (Model LPR9) was introduced.
In the spring of 1993, Gibson changed the model decal on the headstock face of the Classic to read Les Paul Classic.
Reissue Les Paul models in 1993 retained the silkscreened logo (just like the originals). The Historic Reissue line can
be identified by the "R" plus the model year (R9 = '59 Reissue, R7 = '57 Reissue, R6 = '56 Reissue) stamped into the
ledge in the bottom of the control cavity. From 1993 until the spring of 1994 all Reissues received a Historic decal on
the back of the headstock (some early 1993 models may have the Custom Shop decal instead).
(Reissue Information courtesy Gibson Guitar Corporation)
LES PAUL XR-I - single cutaway mahogany body, carved maple top, 22 fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot
inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, 3 per side tuners with pearloid buttons, chrome hardware, 2 exposed
humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3 position/coil tap switches. Available in Cherry Sunburst, Goldburst
and Tobacco Sunburst finishes. Mfd. 1981 to 1983.
Les Paul XR-II - similar to Les Paul XR-I, except has bound figured maple top, "Gibson" embossed pickup covers.
Available in Honey Sunburst finish.
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