Since the 1950’s sales of the electric guitar, in popular music, have largely been dominated by two American Companies – Yet for one of the most famous guitars, the Les Paul, it was somewhat of a false start regarding sales and popularity – However it is fair to say that we can attribute the birth of a new style of blues and certainly a new voice, to August 1966, when Clapton plugged his Les Paul into a Marshall ‘Blues Breakers’ Combo – From that moment on wards, the fat warm overdriven tones of a Les Paul has been heard around the world on a regular basis – As such, for many guitar players a wish list might start off with the following criteria :- Gibson – Les Paul – Then the choice might be 57 Gold Top or a 58/59 burst – So how does this Gibson Custom LPR8 Aged 1958 Les Paul Standard entice you into parting with some hard earned beer vouchers – It is part of a limited run released by Gibson in 2013, with a seriously aged finish, a figured maple top plus a faded burst finish, so far more of the visual character of a 59 model
Let me update you on a few key details following my evaluation :-
- Whole guitar weighs 8lbs and 14oz – So totally credible within an acceptable weight of a good LP – more important is the guitars natural vibrant acoustic character
- Dark, smooth plus even grained rosewood fingerboard
- Gibson MHS paf flavoured humbuckers – measure 7.71K neck and 7.72K bridge
- All vintage spec and aged hardware, including the ABR bridge, with no wire retainer and the lightweight aluminium tailpiece
- Neck measures .948″ around the top nut end and gently fattens out to 1.02″ around the 12th fret – So a meaty C profile with fat shoulders
- Aged from tip to toe, so no shortage of ‘played in’ character, with a smokey faded burst finish that captures the mojo of good old ‘un – It is not a Tom Murphy aged model but it certainly possesses a similar character
- Worn faded ‘Les Paul Model’ decal on the headstock facia
- No finish over spill on the body and fingerboard vintage cream binding
- The usual bumble bee tone capacitors with vintage 50’s style wiring
- Square shouldered pick guard
- Includes the brown lifton case with modern catches – Certificate of authenticity in CD size wallet, along with the factory warranty/check list
Restrung and set up with 10’s and a sensible action that allows you to dig in and bend as well as handle a few cascading melodic licks – As always I can fine tune the set-up to suit individual taste – More of a meaty C profile with ‘full shoulders’ – Yet with an easy playing action it still responds to a light touch – As such it is certainly not a handful to handle – Maybe this approach allows you to dig in and savour each and every note as there is no shortage of soul and sustain in this LP
Tonal character :- For many the first experience is to judge it unplugged – Played acoustically, you’ll wish to check out how it feels, performs and sounds and in doing so, you’ll find there is no negative experience at this stage – You can both feel and hear it ring out loud as you play a few chosen open chords and obviously a chunky neck assists with this vibrant character, assisted by a hand select one piece mahogany body – But I dare say you’ll be in a hurry to hook it up to your amp – Initially, you’ll maybe rush through a few chosen licks, as you switch from clean to overdriven amp settings and again no complaints so far – So now a more thorough sound check is required and I start off with a clean amp setting – It possesses enough natural character to ensure that it does not sound bland whatsoever – Rich, smooth and warm with almost a single coil clarity from both pick-ups, so no shortage of articulation – At around 7.71K the custom wound paf replicas are on the lower output side of life, but the tone is lush and musical, with a nice useable contrast between both pick-ups – Chilled out blues chords and licks, or country twang and it possess plenty of character, with good depth, body and articulation – I’m sure many will play such a guitar in some form of rock/blues environment, with a decent level of gain on the amp, yet it is nice to know that you can still experience such a lush clean tone to fall back on as required
To me playing the Aged R8, through an overdriven amp setting, is discovering how it will respond with subtle variations to the volume and indeed the tone pots – This is were you should find so much soul, emotion and expression and again this LP does not let you down – Many great R8’s sound like great R’8s, so it is often the finer nuances of tone that sets them apart – Lower gain amp settings with the LP turned up, or hi-gain amp levels with the volume pots rolled off, will produce distinctively different and useable voices, so instantly both options have there place, be it for chord work, riffs, shuffle patterns or lead licks – It is this expression that allows you to become fully infatuated with such a guitar – With everything on 10 you’ll experience a big tone, with clear lows, crisp highs and just enough fat mids, but not to the extent they overpower – Roll off the volume pots a touch, for subtle but effective variations and now you’ll experience a softer voice that is more sultry, but certainly not muddy, as the guitar retains its articulation and sparkling clarity – With the amp on moderate distortion levels, this approach allows you to morph from Pete Green style blues licks, with the volume pot around 6 or 7, through to Bonamassa rock blues licks with the volume pot now on 10 – On hi-gain amp settings, the same approach allows for subtle but effective levels of gain to be controlled by you and the volume pot – From full on ‘Still Got The Blues’ to a more tender approach as required – Hence so much emotion available to you – Try Less gain, along with a boost pedal and the guitar on 8 through to 10, or hi-gain and the guitar now around 6 and both produce different voices that are totally useable – As I said so much emotional control at your fingertips – Overall this LP always sounds more melodic and tender, so in control, as against pushed to its limits
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Guitars4You Offers Reliability, Integrity and Expertise
Every guitar in stock at Guitars4You has been personally selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention paid to the set-up and playing performance – Every sale, phone call, mail order transaction or e-mail is handled my me – Mark Hopkin, the owner, Managing Director, cleaner and coffee maker (Jo, my wife helps with the coffee) – A 35 year journey has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars – This reflects in every aspect of our business.
I have no desire to run an Amazon style 'click to buy' guitar shop, that lacks any soul or passion, or indeed to fill a showroom with a selection of dirty, shop soiled or dusty guitars that are in need of a set-up.
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