Posts Tagged ‘les paul standard’

It has been a long time coming, but I finally got an actual Gibson Les Paul. I’ve mentioned that I’ve been wanting to get one for quite awhile, and when the opportunity presented itself, I went for it. It took me about two years to get just the right deal, but it was definitely worth the wait!

When I first considered getting one, I didn’t know too much about Les Pauls and just how many different ones there are! But then meeting Jeff Aragaki of Aracom Amps helped me educate myself on the type of Les Paul to get. Jeff has an encyclopedic knowledge of Les Pauls; especially vintage ones as he has a fine collection of them himself. So it was fortuitous to meet and befriend him; otherwise, I wouldn’t have a clue as to what to get.

I looked at and played countless Les Pauls in shops, and several months ago, almost pulled the trigger on a ’58 VOS at Gelb Music. But then I discovered the Gibson Nighthawk, and I got distracted. Luckily I did that because the Nighthawk is very Les Paul-like, though with the super hot pickups, it has a much fatter sound. Then I got a ’59 replica, and that was a real game changer for me. But still, I wanted a real Gibson. So I waited some more, and that gave me more time to narrow down exactly what I wanted.

I finally narrowed it down to the Standard Reissues, from ’58 to ’60. So I started monitoring auctions on EBay. I must’ve looked at hundreds of guitars, and I did a lot of sifting. It was a bit mind-numbing, but I wanted to make sure I’d get exactly what I wanted. Here were my parameters:

  • Didn’t want to spend over $2200
  • The Standard had to have all the case candy in addition to the Certificate of Authenticity (there were a lot that only had the COA and were missing some or all of the case candy).
  • It had to be a Standard Reissue
  • The guitar had to be in great shape: No worming down to the finish and minimal dings.
  • Finally, the EBay seller had to have lots of positive ratings, 99% positive and above.

That was a fairly tall order, but then Jeff had mentioned he’d seen a few in his own searches that were going for a good price and had all the right stuff. So I waited. And waited. And waited, until I finally found what appeared to be a fantastic deal, and now I have the guitar.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to “Amber.”

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Here are some clips I recorded this evening. The first two and the fourth and fifth clips are of Amber recorded raw. With the fourth, I added a touch of reverb to both tracks, and the sixth is an excerpt from a song I wrote.

Neck, Clean

Neck, Dirty

Middle, Clean (Rhythm) Neck, Clean (Lead)

Middle, Dirty

Bridge, Dirty Lead

Bridge, Dirty Lead Again as part of a song

3D Sound

It’s hard to capture in a recording, but Amber projects a real 3D sound; especially when she’s cranked up. Her tone is so complex, and has all these subtle overtones and harmonics. It’s the type of tone that just makes you close your eyes and smile while you’re playing to soak up all that tonal goodness.


Being that this was a purchase of a guitar I had never even played, I was a little concerned about how fat the neck might be, as I have short fingers, and fat necks and short fingers don’t go well together. But when I took Amber out of her case for the first time, and started playing, yeah, her neck is hefty, but not like a baseball bat. In fact, the size of her neck was absolutely perfect, and I found that I could move up and down her neck with utter ease!

The setup is absolutely perfect. The original owner really took good care of her! Even though it’s a 2005, before Gibson started to plek its Les Pauls, there is no setup necessary. The intonation is perfect, and the fretboard – oh that wonderful fretboard – just plays like butter!

I Finally Understand

After getting my ’59 replica, I really started getting the vibe about vintage and historic Les Pauls. I used to dismiss those who extolled the Les Paul – especially the historics – as people spouting semi-religious drivel. But now that I have one, I understand why it’s hard to put one the guitar down. I’m hooked!!!

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