Before I introduce you to this used 2004 Gibson Les Paul Standard, with a nicely faded honey burst finish, can I give you a brief history lesson ? – It is fair to say that the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, did not reflect Gibson’s finest period of history – Don’t get me wrong, in that all Gibson Guitars from this era are considered poor, as that is not the case – Yet a serious lack of attention to detail, various mass production methods, a curious supply of ingredients, along with a corporate management structure, that was influenced by a bean counter style of accountancy, ensured a steady supply of mediocre models – Granted you can find some good guitars from this period, but you can also find many that are way below par – Yet original vintage models, as well as the Custom Shop vintage replicas, come with a price tag that is considered unaffordable by many – So was it possible to build a superior production Les Paul Standard ? – In 2002, following various price adjustments, coupled with a superior build quality, the Gibson team finally woke up and smelt the coffee – To put it simply, Gibson Les Paul Standard’s built in 2002, until around 2008, represents a small era of significant improvement – Sadly since 2008, we’ve seen an almost annual change to the product line, with some models and features better than others – But for many players, the period from 2002 to 2008 represents good news – Superior ingredients – Improved build quality – Improved playing performance – Enhanced aesthetic appeal that reminds us of LP’s from the late 50’s golden era – Without getting into the more expensive vintage replicas, it is generally agreed that Les Paul Standard’s from 2002 to 2008 represent something ‘better’
So let me supply you with a few key points regarding this 2004 Gibson Les Paul Standard :-
- Honey burst nitro gloss finish on a figured maple top that is loaded with plenty of individual character and nicely faded over the last 17 years or so – Note HB marking in the pick up cavity indicates honey burst
- One piece mahogany body with a one piece mahogany neck – The neck measures .823″ around the top nut end and .980″ around the 12th fret – so a medium profile that feels like it is the fuller 50’s profile – The feint LP5F marking in the pick-up cavity indicates this is a 50’s profile – Note the 50’s profile on a production model, as per this LP, tend to be less meaty’ than the profile found on most 57/58/59 vintage replica models – So more of a medium plus depth
- Smooth and even grained rosewood fingerboard
- Whole guitar weighs 9lbs and 14oz – A touch distorted info in that LP’s of this era are tagged as weight relieved but not chambered – Weight relief generally means ‘Swiss Cheese’ holes mainly on the wings of the body – Chambered bodies have far larger cavities
- Kluson vintage style machine heads with tulip buttons, plus the push in ferule collars around the string posts
- Condition wise, wear and tear is on the lighter side – Nicely faded to ensure it does not have that ‘brand new too shiny’ character – It almost reminds me of the new VOS character found on the Custom Shop vintage replicas – Mainly surface grazes to the top of nitro gloss finish – Certainly nothing nasty with no blemish that shows the actually wood – Overall used but not abused and on reflection think of it as buying a car with around 20K on the clock – Frets are fine
- Re-strung with a set of 10’s and set up with a sensible playing action – ie not shred metal low and not high – Frets polished plus lemon oil applied to the fingerboard
- Includes the Gibson deluxe LP case with the appropriate scratch plate in the case
- Fitted with Gibson Burst Bucker pick-ups – paf flavoured, with alnico magnets and ‘unmatched’ windings – #1 at the neck position plus #2 at the bridge position
- All original wiring loom
Tonal character :- Do you start of with a cleaner amp setting, that is on the edge of overdrive, for that Pete Green character, or add more overdrive for that sultry Kossoff character, or add even more gain to take you in the direction of the Moore/Bonamassa house hold ? – These tend to be reference points that many of us judge LP’s by, or certainly the tonal characteristics many strive for when playing a LP – The pots are fully interactive, so leaving them on 10 will seriously limit the subtle, yet effective, variations that you can obtain by rolling them back, as required – Use these correctly and you can almost leave the amp alone, allowing you to control the emotion, soul and gain levels from the guitar itself, so maybe just utilise an additional gain switch or pedal when you require that ‘turbo’ boost – On hi gain amp settings, pinched harmonics are easy to find, whilst scorching lead licks possess a bite and edge, yet still retain a musical vintage character – Remember a softer voice can be found just by rolling off the volume pot a touch – From succulent warmth and soul, to a throaty musical bite this LP is packed with expression – The neck pick-up is sultry, whilst the bridge pick up has that throaty bite and bark, with tight focussed lows and smooth highs that sizzle, whilst possessing just enough mids to thicken up the overall voice – At all times you’ll find and LP with an open voice, with mids that do not overpower, yet still thicken up the overall character, excellent articulation and above all, warmth and soul – Further more it blossom and blooms when you play those moody blues licks – It is hard not to judge a 59 LP by playing a few Kossoff, Green or Moore style licks and when you do, you instantly know you are somewhat in the right direction – Yet try a few Robben Ford style licks and chords and it is equally jazz/blues flavoured with clarity, warmth and excellent note separation – It certainly captures all the key attributes that many LP fans desire and should offer years of satisfaction to any potential buyer
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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.