In 1954, Les Paul himself is said to have asked Gibson to make an even more luxurious version of the guitar that bore his name. The ultra-high-end guitar Gibson designed to meet Les' request featured various upgrades to the hardware and electronics, such as frets so low and flat that the Les Paul Custom was nicknamed "The Fretless Wonder." The standard version of the Les Paul was already known as one of the best guitars available -- the custom version simply took things a step further for guitarists who wanted the absolute best of everything, from sound to design to hardware. In the 1950s, Gibson described their Les Paul Custom as "the ultimate in a solidbody electric guitar." More than half a century later, Gibson rightfully stands by that statement.
The original Les Paul guitars featured a shiny gold finish as a symbol of their high-end quality. But Les Paul himself wanted something that looked even classier, so the first Les Paul Customs featured an elegant, glossy tuxedo-black finish that earned the model the nickname "The Black Beauty". Today's models are available in different finishes that are every bit as elegant as the original. Paired with glistening hardware, exquisite binding, and a unique headstock inlay, the Les Paul Custom makes a striking visual statement to compliment its bold and beautiful tone.
Of course, the gorgeous look of the Les Paul Custom wouldn't mean much if the sound and feel wasn't equally impressive. While the newest edition of the Les Paul Custom is based on the models produced in the mid-1950s, Gibson has done an excellent job integrating a set of modern innovations. Every Les Paul Custom is expertly crafted with a hand-carved maple top fitted to a solid piece of mahogany with strategically-routed chambers. These chambers not only enhance the resonance and overall acoustic qualities of the guitar, they also make the guitar much lighter, making it easier to play for hours on end without getting a sore shoulder. Adding to the playability is an ultra-smooth fretboard and '59 rounded neck profile.
The Les Paul Custom features two distinct pickups: a 490R at the neck and a 498T at the bridge. The 490R gives a similar tone to that of the classic '57, with a slight increase in the upper mids for a more contemporary sound. The 498T uses a slightly hotter Alnico V magnet and a specially wound coil combo for a higher output with an emphasis on highs and mids. Combined you get a full range of vintage rock tone with outstanding balance through the entire frequency range.
- Top-of-the-line Gibson Les Paul
- Dual humbuckers with 490R at the neck and a 498T at the bridge.
- Precisely chambered body for diminished weight and enhanced tone
- Stunning multi-ply binding on the body and single-ply binding on the neck
- Mahogany neck with '59 rounded Les Paul profile
- Tune-o-matic with stop-bar tailpiece
- Included hardshell case and certificate of authenticity
With custom-cut solid woods, pearl inlays, metal tulip tuners, and Gibson's famous Tune-O-Matic Bridge, everything about the Les Paul Custom says "luxury." The Les Paul is already known as a high-end guitar, and the Les Paul Custom is the top of the line. Naturally, that kind of luxury comes with a price tag, but it's an investment that will keep paying off as long as you keep playing. A brand new model may not appreciate in value quite as much as the 1950s models have (they routinely sell for half a million dollars or more), but Les Paul Custom electric guitars are designed and built to endure. Other guitars will come and go, but with a Les Paul Custom, you'll always be among the elite.
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