Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition

Epiphone’s 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition is modelled, as the name suggests, on the most famous Les Paul of them all — the 1959 Les Paul Standard. Original Gibson Les Paul Standard’s from 1959 change hands for hundreds of thousands of dollars because it’s regarded by many as being the peak of Gibson’s Les Paul output.

Fifty years later, and just weeks after the death of the man from whom it takes its name, only 1959 of these limited edition guitars are available to buy. The Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Standard Limited Edition features an authentic 1950s rounded neck profile. Nick-named ‘the baseball bat’ this neck, according to Epiphone ‘feels beefy yet comfortable in your hands while adding warmth and sustain with it’s greater mass.’

The solid mahogany neck is hand-fitted to the body with a deep-set long neck tenon which ‘extends well into the neck pickup cavity creating even more tone and sustain.’ The body itself is solid mahogany, with a carved hard maple cap and AAA grade flame maple veneer on top. One look at the pictures and you can see just what a stunning guitar this is.

The Gibson BurstBucker pick-ups have unpolished magnets and non-potted coils and are designed to recreate the sound of the Gibson humbucker pick-ups on the orginal ‘59 Les Paul. Those pick-ups had coils with a different number of turns which gave the sound more ‘bite.’

There’s a Switchcraft toggle switch, Mallory-150 tone capacitors with metal pointers, nickel hardware, and a blank trussrod cover. The serial number is stamped on the back of the headstock.

The Epiphone 1959 Les Paul Limited Edition comes with a replica brown Lifton-style case with pink interior and a certificate of authenticity. It’s available in two finishes; Faded Cherryburst and Faded Iced Tea.

Les Paul 1915 – 2009

By now you’ll have heard the very sad news that Les Paul has died, aged 94. There’s little I can add here to the glowing tributes that have already come from some of the biggest names in the business. Except to say this: stop for a moment and try and imagine how the last fifty years would have sounded without the guitar Les Paul designed and the multi-track recording he invented. Rock and Roll and the music it spawned would have been very different.

Here are some tributes:

Joe Satriani: ‘Les Paul set a standard for musicianship and innovation that remains unsurpassed.’

Slash: ‘Les Paul was a shining example of how full one’s life can be. He was so vibrant and full of positive energy. I’m honoured and humbled to have known and played with him over the years.’

Joan Jett: ‘He was a genius inventor, musical innovator and a wonderful person. Without the advances he pioneered, the recording sciences and the electric guitar would have been left years behind. I will miss him so much.’

Billy Gibbons: ‘Les Paul was an innovator, a groundbreaker, a risk taker, a mentor and a friend. Try to imagine what we’d be doing if he hadn’t come along and changed the world. There will always be more Les to come. That’s certified.’

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B0002CZURY” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31HTfw9v5qL.jpg” width=”184″]The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top is an Epiphone version of the Gibson Les Paul Standard. Originally made in Korea and now manufactured at Gibson’s Epiphone factory in Qingdao, China, it has two-piece flame maple (it’s the flame effect that differentiates the Plus Top from other LP Standard models) top. As you would expect from an Epi Les Paul, attention to detail is acute. Cream bindings, pickguard and pick-up surrounds? Check. Chrome pick-up covers? Check. Green tulip-head tuning pegs? Check.

Also present and correct are the ubiquitous humbuckers, chrome bridge and stopbar tailpiece, and trapezoid fretboard inlays. The set mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard, and mahogany body are all authentic Les Paul.

The Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top is available in Honey Burst, Heritage Cherry Sunburst, Trans Amber, Trans Blue, and Vintage Sunburst. And there’s a left-handed model.

In 2008, Epiphone released the Slash Les Paul Standard Plus Top, a special edition which had features specified by Slash himself, such as a long tenon neck and LockTone stopbar.

Reviewing the original Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus Top back in 2004, Maximum Guitar Magazine’s Nick Bowcott said “Ultimately, what we have here is a well-made, eye-catching instrument that plays like a dream, sounds as good as it looks and wont drain your bank account. If you’re looking for a Les Paul but don’t have the funds, this affordable Epiphone axe is highly recommended.”

If you’re interested in purchasing an one of these great guitars, you can find them here on Amazon.

Epiphone Launches Slash Les Paul Goldtop

Update: The Epiphone Slash Les Paul Gold Top is now available, in-store only, from Amazon.com. You can find it here

Epiphone has announced the introduction of its second Slash signature Les Paul, the Slash Les Paul Gold Top.

Like the Slash Les Paul Standard Plus Top, the Goldtop was designed and built in collaboration with the Guns n Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist and is limited to only 2, 000 units worldwide.

Highlights of the Slash Les Paul Gold Top include the same Slash custom neck as the Plus Top, profiled from the neck on Slash’s own Les Paul, a pair of Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II pick-ups, and a Locktone Tune-o-matic bridgae and tailpiece. There’s also vintage nickel hardware, classic tulip tuning pegs, and a custom Slash truss rod cover.

The body is solid mahogany with a grade-A maple top, the glued on mahogany neck has a long-neck tenon which was originally found on early Les Pauls from the 1950s and 1960s. As well as giving extra strength to the neck, the long-neck tenon provides more ‘wood to wood contact’ between neck and body which gives longer sustain and a sweeter tone, according to Epiphone.

The Goldtop is the same as that introduced on the original Les Paul in 1952. Achieving the finish involves one coat of primer, two coats of gold paint, and four coats of polyurethane, applied over nine days.

Each Slash Les Paul Goldtop comes with a hardshell case with Slash logo, a certificate of authenticity signed by Slash, a laser-cell print of Slash, both of which are presented in a leatherette booklet, a leather metal-studded strap, and 24 Slash picks.

Gibson 1957 Les Paul Goldtop VOS Electric Guitar, Antique Gold

Two great Slash Les Paul videos

It’s been a while since I posted any videos, so I thought I’d make up for it by posting two great ones today.

They both feature Slash. In the first — which is an Epiphone promo, so is a little ‘in your face’ — he talks about the Epiphone version of the Slash Signature Les Paul and how he suggested it to Gibson as a way of making it available to those of us who can’t afford to drop $4,000 on one guitar.

In the second, an interview with Sky News, Slash goes into greater detail about signature guitars in general and the three Slash signature models in particular. He also tells how when he was an up and coming guitar player, he wrote to Gibson asking if it would send him a guitar for free. To Gibson’s credit, it didn’t just file his letter in the bin — it offered to sell him a guitar at cost. Not sure it would do that today. Might be worth a try, though.

< Update: Sorry, the videos have been removed from Youtube >

Video: Learn to play the Slash way

Whatever your view of the man or his music, there’s no escaping that Slash is an icon. One of the most recognisable guitar players on the planet, both physically and in his playing, Slash has built an army of fans and would be imitators over the last 20 or so years.

His influence is so great, he’s the cover star for one of the biggest video games of the decade, Guitar Hero III, and has had a Slash signature model guitar made in his honour by both Gibson and Epiphone — and very fine guitars they are too.

Whether it’s the angst-driven riff in the intro to Guns N’ Roses’ Sweet Child o’ Mine, the metal power chords of Paradise City, or the crunching rhythm playing in Velvet Revolver’s Slither, Slash has a sound all of his own.

It’s a sound that only a Les Paul could produce and in the video below, the guys from The Next Level Guitars show you how to replicate it. It’s a bit long and rambling, but well worth watching if you’ve always wanted to play like the curly-haired one.

The Anatomy of an Epiphone guitar. Part 1: The Humbucker

The humbucker, or humbucking pick-up, is a feature of most of the electric guitars made by Epiphone and its parent company, Gibson.

The humbucker is a two-coil pick-up with coils of reversed polarity, reverse wound, and connected in series. The name is derived from the fact the design of the pick-up significantly reduces the noise and interference associated with single coil pick-ups used in other guitars, such as Fender’s Stratocaster. In other words, they ‘buck the hum.’

Guitars which are fitted with humbuckers have one at the neck and one at the bridge, along with a three-way switch to choose either pick-up individually, or both together. Humbuckers are often covered with a metal plate; where they are uncovered, the coils and six magnetic pole pieces are clearly visible.

Originally invented by a Gibson employee, Seth Lover, in 1957, the humbucker is strongly associated with Gibson, and in particular the Les Paul, although it’s widely used by other manufacturers. Like every other guitar pick-up, the humbucker works by ‘picking up’ the vibrations of the guitar strings, which then induce an alternating current in its coils. The key difference between it and single coil pick-ups is that it is unaffected by the electromagnetic interference which causes an audible hum from a single coil pick-up.

The reason for this is that the twin coils are reverse wound and reversed in polarity, this means that the electromagnetic interference induces current in opposing directions in each coil and the interference from each coil cancels out that in the other. By contrast, the signal from the vibration of the strings is increased. This is known as common-mode rejection.

The humbucker is known for its fat, warm tone which differs from the clear, bright tone produced by single coil pick-ups.This tone is key to the sound of guitars like the Les Paul and SG, as well as archtop guitars like the Casino and Sheraton. The reason for the tone is that the two coils resonate at different frequencies and therefore, the resonant peak is broader than that of a single coil pick-up.

Epiphone Slash Les Paul Standard Plus Top

[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B0002CZURY” locale=”us” height=”500″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31HTfw9v5qL.jpg” width=”184″]The Epiphone Slash Les Paul Standard Plus Top is one of two guitars, the other by Gibson and costing twice as much, released to celebrate the man who Total Guitar magazine credited with reinventing the Les Paul.

Cast your mind back to 1988 if you can remember that far back. Blues and rock guitarists alike were ignoring the great guitar in favour of Fender Strats and variations on the Strat body shape from the likes of Ibanez and Charvel. Think of the big name guitarists of the time Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Vai, Joe Satriani, SRV, Clapton, and there’s not an LP among them. Then along came the curly-haired, top-hatted, chain-smoking, goofy-grinned genius sporting a Les Paul and playing what would become some of the greatest riffs of the decade on Guns n Roses seminal album, Appetite for Destruction. The Les Paul was back.

Fast forward nearly twenty years to the launch of Guitar Hero III and there he is again. On the front of the box, in the adverts, on the marketing material, playing a Les Paul.

Is it any wonder Gibson released special editions as a tribute?

But what of the Epiphone Slash Les Paul Standard Plus Top itself? Well, it’s as true to the great man as you would expect. Specified by Slash himself and finished in tobacco sunburst, the Les Paul Standard has a special Slash-profile mahogany set long tenon neck, LockTone tun-o-matic bridge and stopbar which has clasps to stop it coming loose while you change strings, and twin Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro II humbuckers.

Click here to see a list of Epiphone Slash Les Paul Standard Plus Top guitars currently for sale on Amazon.

Total Guitar magazine in the UK gave it four stars out of five, and Guitar World said “Epiphone’s Custom Shop Slash Signature Les Paul Standard Plus Top lives up to the hype, delivering the Slash sound at a price that average players can afford.”

At around $1200, its several hundred dollars more expensive than a regular Epi Les Paul Standard, but it’s also less than half the price of the Gibson Slash signature. Whether or not you’re a Slash fan, elements like the long tenon neck, LockTone stopbar and Duncan humbuckers make this a great guitar.

The Epiphone Les Paul – How The Very First One Was Built

f there’s a single electric guitar range that’s synonymous with Epiphone , and in particular its Gibson copies, it’s the Les Paul. Epiphone currently lists 19 Les Paul guitars in its line-up, including legends like the Les Paul Custom, Les Paul Studio, and the Les Paul Junior.

While it’s widely assumed that Les Paul designed the original guitar which bore his name for Gibson and that Epiphone later made less expensive versions from factories in Korea and Japan, this only scratches the surface of the real, much more interesting, story.

Paul started building what eventually became the Gibson Les Paul in 1941, using Epiphone parts and facilities in Epiphone’s New York factory. The Log, as Paul nicknamed that first guitar was made by attaching an Epiphone neck, fingerboard and body parts to a 4in by 4in board. Les Paul then took a couple of body halves from an Epiphone and attached them either side of a centre block.

Sometime later, while he was in Chicago, Paul took The Log to the Chicago Musical Instruments Company, which owned Gibson. He was politely, but firmly, shown the door. The words of CMI’s president, MH Berlin, who described The Log as a ‘broomstick with pick-ups’, must have stung, but they didn’t discourage him from designing and building guitars. Eventually he managed to attract Gibson’s interest and in 1952, the first Les Paul solid body electric guitar was produced, and the rest, is history.

The Gibson Les Paul, in its many and various models, has become arguably the most recognised electric guitar shape on the planet. Only Fender’s Stratocaster comes close. Almost every great rock and blues guitar player has owned and played at least one. And even guitarists like Eric Clapton who later became identified with other makes and models, played some of their best riffs on a Les Paul.

And of course, the Les Paul was introduced to a whole new set of fans when it was used as the basis for the controller in the video game, Guitar Hero III.