Les Paul Guitars
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The first Gibson Les Paul guitar was introduced in 1952, and set the template for the model, which was meant to continue the Gibson tradition of finely crafted instruments, with luxurious appointments, to contrast with Fender's assembly-line approach to guitar building. The Les Paul featured a body of solid mahogany and a carved maple cap, for deep, rich tone with plenty of sustain, and a "set," or glued-in neck, in contrast to Fender's bolt-on one-piece necks. The guitar also featured dual single-coil P-90's pickups, a trapeze tailpiece, and a striking gold finish. By 1957, the Les Paul featured Gibson's revolutionary humbucking pickups, which delivered a deeper, warmer tone without the annoying hum from electrical interference common to single-coils, as well as a stunning sunburst finish. These Les Paul Standards from the 1957-60 model years have since become some of the most valuable vintage guitars in history. The Les Paul name was dropped in the early '60's, as Gibson switched focus to the easier-to-produce SG model, but demand picked up by the late '60's as rock and blues players like Eric Clapton and Mike Bloomfield favored the late 50's models for their incredible tone and sustain. The Les Paul model was reintroduced in 1968, and has been a best-seller ever since. Today there are dozens of variants, both from Gibson and their Epiphone subsidiary, including models loaded with three humbuckers, ones with dual P-90 single coils, Bigsby vibrato bridges, 12-string and baritone versions, self-tuning Robot models, double-cutaway versions, stripped-down Studios, Custom models with fancier binding and other details, and entry-level Jr. and Melody Maker models, as well as numerous signature axes from such luminaries as Slash and Zakk Wylde. In short, there's bound to be a Les Paul loaded with anything you could want on your own piece of guitar history. Get yours and make some!