What Les Paul would you recommend?

Hey folks. I think it’s time I got myself a Les Paul for work purposes (pickup reviews and demos, pics for my Gibson.com articles and Mixdown magazine column, stuff like that). And I thought I might throw it open to see if you can recommend a particular model to me. I can’t afford a super-mega expensive top shelf model right now (unless someone buys a whole bunch of ads), but I think that for my particular requirements I need a traditional-sounding mahogany body/maple top Les Paul with two full-sized humbuckers and traditional Les Paul ‘two volumes, two tones and a toggle switch’ wiring. Although I play a lot of Ibanez guitars with very thin necks, I quite like thick guitar necks too.

Here are a few I’m thinking of, each of which meets my requirements in terms of body woods and electronics configurations. Can you suggest any others or offer your opinion? Leave a comment below or here on the I Heart Guitar Facebook page.

Les Paul Studio 50s Tribute Humbucker

I’ve really liked the other Tribute models I’ve played, and Satin Honeybust looks pretty tasty.

Les Paul Studio Silverburst

Why? Because Silverburst!

Les Paul Gothic Morte

I like this one because back in the day I used to be way into the goth scene. I guess it’s still a part of me (literally, since my ear piercing was a door prize I won at a goth club years ago!) and I like the idea of this very very black guitar.

Les Paul Studio

I just showed this Inverness Green Les Paul Studio to Pilgrim Lee and she pretty much insists that I get one. So that’s a pretty strong vote! This model has the additional advantage of push-pull coil splits for each pickup, which I like a lot.

Les Paul Traditional 1960 Zebra

Part of the reason I want a Les Paul is to do pickup reviews, but it’s pretty hard to resist the zebra humbuckers in this baby!

Les Paul Traditional

Now this would be my number one choice. Iced Tea is my number one favourite Gibson finish. And again, HoneyBurst is pretty nice too.

Sammy Hagar Red Rocker Les Paul

Because there’s only one way, there’s only one way to rock.

Les Paul Florentine With Bigsby

I’m a huge fan of Bigsby vibrato bridges, and I also really like the look of the Florentine cutaway. This one would be my second choice, cash permitting, after the Traditional.

Slash Appetite Les Paul

We’re way beyond my price range now but this one has to be on the list anyway.

Should I throw in a few Gibson Custom models as well just to provide daydream fodder? Yeah, why not…

Les Paul Axcess Standard

Les Paul with a Floyd Rose and a sculpted easy-access neck joint. Sounds good to me!

Collector’s Choice #1 1959 Les Paul Standard

Man, just look at that thing. Sure, it’d kinda be sacrilege to change anything on this beautiful guitar, but… y’know what, I just put it here because I like to look at it.


16 Replies to “What Les Paul would you recommend?”

  1. WHAT????
    No Heritage Cherry Sunburst?????
    SHOCKED!!! You Shock ME!! haha like that?

    OK I like you No.1 preference as well. Ice Tea looks good, not tooo $$$ (they aint cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

  2. Peter, it seems like your main concern is color. I would suggest you take the cash you would spend on a Les Paul and spend it on a couple of good copies (Epiphone etc). You can get more variety of colors and if you want to upgrade the tone down the road you can swap in pickups for a fraction of the cost. Buying a LP you are paying much more for tone, quality parts and workmanship than you are for color.

  3. I’ve been an Ibanez man for over 20 years, loving the “naked” thin neck, etc. When I went Paul shopping, I tried many, and I did love the Slash model, but ultimately I bought a Traditional Pro. It has a satin-finish neck that I love, and is not too thick, coil-taps on the humbuckers, lots of other features, a great finish and tone for days. I picked it up brand new for about 2 large at Guitar Center. I’ve had it about 2 years now, and I absolutely love it. I would avoid the “Axcess” as the fixed bridge really is part of what makes a Les Paul a Les Paul. I’m not a purist by any means, but if you’re buying a Les Paul, why get one with wanky-noodly Ibanez bits on it? Just get another Ibanez if that’s what you’re after. A good, fixed-bridge Paul brings a different style out of you – you should relish it! MHO, good luck!

  4. I got me a Honeyburst Les Paul Classic that I like a lot. Out of those above I would go with the Iced Tea Traditional.

  5. Interesting you went with the standard silver burst and not the custom version… I agree with most of then of.the rest – I’d get a bfg les paul.and mod the everything… a jnr with p-90 and a root beer standard to round out the selection

  6. Shockme.au: Yeah, not really into Heritage Cherry Sunburst. I don’t dislike it, I just prefer Iced Tea and Honeyburst.

    Roj: Yeah, that would be even better. As you can see from my list, I started out with guitars that I could almost possibly come close to affording in a few months, then let my daydreaming get away from me.

  7. Oh I don’t want to give the wrong impression. My main concern is mahogany/maple construction and standard Les Paul control layout, since I’d be using it for pickup reviews and stuff like that. All the models I’ve selected here have those features in place, so after that it comes down to other features and cosmetics. Plus, since it would be used in photos to accompany lesson articles as well, it doesn’t hurt if it looks cool. ;)
    But thanks, maybe I’ll do a similar post about Epiphones. I’ve played a lot of nice Epiphones but my ego would like a Gibson.

  8. Thanks for the advice! I think you’re right – a Floyd would be fun but I already have plenty of locking vibratos.

  9. Gotcha. Mine is like the Sammy Hagar, gorgeous guitar. I really love the look of the LP pick guard but I much prefer playing without.

  10. I second the Traditional Pro. I bought one about a year and a half ago in vintage sunburst and couldn’t be happier. I went to go play one of the tribute models and the Trad Pro blew it out of the water. Plus you gain a lot of versatility with the coil taps and the Burstbucker 3 in the bridge rips for heavy rhythm work.

  11. Don’t Laugh Peter, but I purchased a Black Epiphone Custom before they started using this funky Philippines grade Mahogany and wired in a JB (bridge) and an SH2 (neck) and it’s brilliant! Now I’m on the hunt for another used one that I can Frankenstein-ize but still has decent tone wood at it’s core. I really want a 60’s era neck with full chambering for weight relief but I can’t find a new one off the shelf with a decent fret board on it. I wish Big Brother over here in the states would quit picking on the company that lost all of it’s prized instrument wood in an epic flood. Gibsons getting a raw deal.

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