Take the Les Paul Classic, then add a figured maple top and you now have the Les Paul Classic Plus – Take the Les Paul Classic, but now add a highly figured maple top (AAA or AAAA grade) and you now have the Gibson Les Paul Classic Premium Plus and that is exactly what I now offer for sale – One way of looking at this LP is that it possesses many features that you’ll find on various Slash models – The other way of looking at it is that possesses features found on the Historic Collection 1960 LP Standard model, without the hefty price tag – In fact it is the latter that caused somewhat of an issue for Gibson in the 1990’s – The Mk1 version of the LP Classic featured a ‘Les Paul Model’ script on the headstock facia, so add this to the highly figured maple top that you’ll find on LP Classic Premium Plus and it was hard to distinguish between that and the far more expensive Historic Collection 1960 LP Reissue – So much so that many customers and dealers removed the pick-ups from the Premium Plus models, exchanged them for various paf replica humbuckers – Then exchange the engraved ‘classic’ truss rod cover for a plain cover, stand back and look at it from 5 feet away and there was little difference between the two models – To rectify this issue, Gibson changed the script on the headstock facia to read ‘Les Paul Classic’ – So with very little other changes, from around 1993, this effectively became the Mk2 version and that is exactly what I’m offering for sale today – Even so, the LP Classic Premium Plus was such a highly spec’d guitar, with that luxurious and highly figured maple top – Yet it still offered a more affordable and credible option, when compared to the far more expensive Historic Collection 1960 LP reissue models – As such, a short time later, Gibson discontinued the LP Classic Premium Plus, now allowing them to utilise the same luxurious figured maple tops for the Custom Shop R9/R0 vintage replica models, which in turn carried a far more lucrative price tag as far as Gibson were concerned – Whilst Gibson continued with the more ‘Plain Jane’ LP Classic for a number of years, they later ‘downgraded’ including a two piece mahogany body, yet it is the original Mk1 and Mk2 models that are now sought after, in particular the LP Classic Premium Plus, with that luxurious and highly figured maple top
Various spec and features :-
- 60’s neck profile :- This was the only neck profile for the LP Classic and spec’d to be slimmer than an LP Standard – A lot slimmer than the 57, 58 and 59 LP Reissue models and slimmer than many other LP’s I’ve played, but not as slim as say a 61 SG Standard profile – Measures .799″ around the top nut end and .875″ around the 12th fret – Comfortable and easy to handle
- Re-strung and set-up with a new set of 10’s – Frets polished, so already to go with a slick easy playing action
- 5 digit inked serial number
- Vintage hardware :- spec’d with nickel plated hardware that includes the ABR-1 bridge, with wire retainer, mounted on the ‘skinny’ vintage style post as per an R7, R8, R9 etc
- Aged inlays
- Aged cream binding
- Tulip tuning buttons on a set of vintage style Kluzon machine heads, with hexagonal nuts around the string post
- Please note this guitar has never had a pick guard fitted, so no screw holes for the scratch plate on the gloss finish – The 1960 engraved scratchplate is included in the case
- Pointer rings on the volume and tone pots
- Weights wise it comes in at 10lbs and 7oz – One piece mahogany body for this age of model
- All original wiring loom
- Original pick-ups with no covers (factory spec’d this way) 496R in the neck that measures 8.44K with a hotter 500T in the bridge position that kicks out 14.34K
- Includes a brown deluxe Gibson case with handles, catches etc in fine working order
- Look inside the pick-up cavity and you’ll find factory markings LPPP and HS – LPPP confirms the Les Paul Premium Plus model, whilst HS confirms the heritage sunburst finish
- Note the blue Gibson USA and Rosetti tag/paperwork that was a feature of Gibson models of this era – Again LPPP and HS confirms my previous comments – This card also shows that it was originally supplied to Rhodes Music in 1995, so assume the Denmark Street/London dealer
Condition wise :- No fret wear – Frets cleaned and polished – Look on the headstock facia and you’ll find a few ‘stress marks’ which is pretty common on many LP’s in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s – Often caused by the hexagonal nuts, around the string post on the tuners – When I acquired this LP, a previous owner must have applied a ‘protective pad’ on the rear of the body, in order to stop any buckle rash to the soft nitro gloss finish – But they utilised a ‘Sellotape’ style adhesive tape around the pad – When I acquired the guitar, the tape and protective pad had been removed, but it had left a stale residue of adhesive to the body, in what was effectively an A4 style ‘surround/boundary’ – It looked ugly and represented a big negative to any potential buyer – I spent sometime cutting this back, to re-polish and making good – The pics don’t show any hint of the adhesive, but look carefully and you’ll still see slight hints of it – Maybe if it was ‘buffed’ on an appropriate wheel it would polish the rest of this out, but afraid I do not have such a buffer/wheel – I suppose the good news is that no buckle wear to the rear of the body – Maybe if I did not mention it, many would not pass any comment or question it – But I always prefer to be upfront about such matters – Look at the top and rim of the body and any hint of wear and tear is minimal – Any hint of a graze is only slight and at worse to the top surface of the gloss nitro finish – So for a guitar that is now 26 years old, then no issues – Usual signs of oxidization/tarnish to the nickel hardware
Tonal character :- As an overview a Les Paul sounds like a Les Paul – Yet the finer nuances of each Les Paul will deliver a slightly different voice/character, which is more apparent when you actually compare and play each guitar – The 496R and 500T pick-ups, as factory fitted to a Classic, are hotter than many vintage based models and utilise ceramic magnets – As such they tend to find favour amongst players looking for more of a ‘hot rod’ approach to a Les Paul – I suppose with some gain on the amp and the guitars volume + tone pots left on 10, then the full bore option reflects that ‘hot rod’ vibe – Yet only a slight tweak on the volume pots, as you roll them off, to around 8 or 9, ensures a ‘softer’ option that is more more vintage and classic voiced – So don’t think of it as a one trick pony – in fact on a clean amp setting, the neck pick-up can be lush and smooth, so much so that you are in the land of laid back and cool for those jazz/blues flavoured chords and licks – On overdriven amp settings the neck pick-up is still smooth and lush – The bridge pick-up is tight, with plenty of body – Ideal for big power chords and detune work and will scream and sing as required when showing of your favourite licks – Maybe in the words of Spinal Tap it is a Les Paul that goes to 11 so a touch more crunch and bite as required
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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.