If you believe a real 50s Les Paul only has historical value, show me a modern one that can do this


There's not much quality gear demos available about '50s Les Pauls played in a high quality modern recording environment by a skilled guitarist. Here's one I go back to time and time again. I think it's a great example and explains the reason people tend to talk about these things - sometimes laughably - with a religious awe.

There's certain times and places in history when everything comes together just fine. In the history of electric guitar making I believe it was the invention of the Les Paul model and the exceptional materials available in that short 8-year time period.

Listen to the endless capability, musicality, dynamic range and the insane clarity that this '59 Burst produces. You can easily hear the classical guitar, the Strat and the Tele in there too, all in one package within the reach of the volume and tone pots. The bell-like and glassy clarity and super percussive note attack on the low-end throughout every pickup position and every pot adjustment is absolutely crazy. Just like the true violin-like sustain up high when he unleashes the beast.

I believe this is not "the Les Paul sound" in the way the majority refers to that - certainly not the typical big fat, often boomy and muddy short-scale mahogany guitar tone that symbolizes the "LP sound" in many people's mind.

Listen to it from the fixed timestamp until 09:37 to hear all the nuances as he goes through the different adjustments and pickup positions:

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Would like to hear a blindfold test. We tend to be influenced going in... oh it's a real 59! A blindfold shootout with a real one, a reissue, maybe a Tokai or Eastman or Epiphone would be interesting.

This would actually apply to any brand-, price-, or era bias we all have... Very applicable as well to the Philip Sayce SS/vintage Strat comp.

I believe everyone would hear the difference, however small they may be, but if you take the visual out, how many people would actually be able to identify which is which correctly? How many would prefer the vintage/pricey one without seeing it first?


Sounds fantastic! Wouldn't sound like that if I were playing it though.... It would probably sound more like my Les Paul. But I'll bet if that guy was playing my Les Paul through that amp he could get it to sound pretty close...

If I'm going to believe in magic, I'm much more likely to believe it coming from the fingers than from a collection of wood and wire.

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