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Essentially a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe is the same as an LP Standard, albeit with a change in the pick-up department – Mini humbuckers v Regular Humbuckers – Otherwise the whole construction, quality, feel, playability etc is identical – Yet when a small range of LP’s was re-introduced into the Gibson catalogue, in the late 60’s, what we now know of as the Standard was absent – But a new model, called the LP Deluxe was introduced – As I mentioned earlier, effectively an LP Standard, albeit with mini humbuckers – The story goes that Gibson still had left in stock a host of Epiphone mini humbuckers, that had been previously utilised on select models like the Riviera (335 style semi acoustic) – As such, spare/excess stock was introduced to the LP Deluxe – Please note, that whilst the Firebird mini humbucker is the same physical size as an LP Deluxe Mini Humbucker, they are in fact chalk ‘n’ cheese with regards to how they are constructed and indeed how they sound – Look under the cover and they are not related at all

The Original Les Paul Deluxe – Introduced in to the Gibson catalogue around 1968/69 and made available until around 1985 – Then a long gap with no availability, but in recent years Gibson have produced the odd  small run of the LP Deluxe, from time to time – Yet not really as an exact copy of the original model – Some will say that is a good thing – Many original LP Deluxe models from the Norlin era would be built with a 3 piece maple neck  – Some would be built with the infamous pancake mahogany body – All would be spec’d with a 14 degree headstock angle – Many could weigh slightly less than a boat anchor – Such models from the Norlin era now have a strong fan base – Partly as they are still affordable, compared to many other vintage based models – They are seen as cool and different – Plus strong interest from fans of The Who/Pete Townshend and indeed Scott Gorham/Thin Lizzy – Whilst other colour options, at the time included wine red and a cherry sunburst, the gold top finish was always a popular option – A red sparkle (essentially a red ‘gold top’ is a rare yet sought after model) – Today’s LP Deluxe is built as per an LP Standard and in fact as per what many believe is the correct spec for an LP – One piece mahogany body – One piece mahogany neck – Bound rosewood fingerboard – 2 piece carved maple top – 17 degree  headstock angle – So maybe not a vintage LP Deluxe spec for a true historian – Yet a favourable spec for LP fans – You pay your money and take your choice – £2K ish for a modern LP Deluxe – £3k-5K for many original Norlin era models

Host of details and spec for this used Gibson Les Paul Deluxe from 2005 with a gold top finish 

Condition wise :- Other than a few signs of lacquer checking, which is certainly common on many modern gold top finishes, the actual nitro gloss finish is in very good condition – Certainly doesn’t look 20 odd years old – Other than a blemish near the bridge string post, any other graze to the gloss finish is subtle at worse – No dings or dints – No fret wear – So for a guitar that is pushing towards it’s 20th birthday the condition defies its age – The actual lacquer checking is not exactly a sign of use – Buy such a guitar brand new – Leave it un-opened under your bed for 20 years and chances are it would look the same as this LP Deluxe – Not a warranty issue and just a feature of a modern gold top finish – Having sold many original gold top models from the Norlin era I would like to see this LP Deluxe in another 5-10 years time, when hopefully it will have collected some natural wear ‘n’ tear, along with some fade to the gold top finish – As such more natural ‘played’ in character

Playability and feel :- If you’ve played any/many LP Standards, with a 50’s neck profile, that was built in the last 20/30 years or so, then chances are you’ll be familiar with the feel of such a guitar – It is not a fat neck when compared to the Custom Shop Historic replicas of the late 50’s models   – Yet neither is it skinny/slim – Set-up with a sensible easy action then it is not a challenge to play and certainly familiar territory for many LP players

Tonal character :- The mini humbucking pick-ups possess more of a single coil clarity – More snap and sparkle than a regular humbucker – But with more depth/body than you’ll hear on a regular Strat single coil pick-up – The neck pick-up can be lush, smooth and creamy, yet always with plenty of articulation and sparkling crisp highs – The bridge pick-up has a hint of a good Tele pick-up about it – Bite and snap with good depth and again excellent clarity – Add some gain and it snarls back at you – I suppose a listen to some of the Who around the early mid 70’s will tell you about how such a guitar sounds like as a powerful rhythm tool – Listen to Thin Lizzy with Scott Gorham and again you’ll hear part of what an LP Deluxe can offer – The tone won’t suit everyone and as an overview, the mini humbuckers don’t work at their best with shed loads of gain – At least not in my opinion – But in a crunch rhythm mode, think Rolling Stones and Brown Sugar, or in an Oasis style indie band, a Blondie pop/punk-esq band, Crowded House style pop band with catchy melodic solos and riffs, or even for the cool laid back styles of say JJ Cale I could find a home for such a guitar – Allen Collins and Gary Rossington were both users of an LP Deluxe at times – Ditto Steve Hackett – Ditto Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) – For some it might be the only LP you’ll need – For others players it will always bring something different to the table as part of any collection

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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.