Hearing Is Believing

About Les Paul Guitars

The Les Paul Standard

While all late-’50s Les Paul Standards are coveted today, most aficionados consider the 1959 Les Paul the “Holy Grail” of ’Bursts, the most desirable of all electric guitars. The Les Paul had already evolved a long way over the course of the ’50s, but by 1959, with the arrival of wider frets that allowed smoother and more dramatic bends, the Les Paul Standard had evolved into the epitome of the world’s most revered electric guitar. The Les Paul Standard as we know it vanished from the catalog after 1960, with fewer than 2,000 examples of the Sunburst model having been produced in its three-year run. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of this archetypal model, Epiphone introduces the Limited Edition 1959 Les Paul Standard, a tribute both to the legendary Gibson solidbody, and to Les Paul the man, who would visit the Epiphone company in New York back in the 1940s to work on his famous prototype of the solidbody electric guitar, the “Log.”

The Les Paul Sound

To capture the work of all this classic tonewood, a pair of US-made BurstBucker™ pickups, the most accurate renditions of the original PAF that Gibson has ever made, translate all this warmth and woody resonance into a sweet, vocal electric tone, via high-quality electronics such as a Switchcraft™ toggle switch and Mallory 150™ tone capacitors. Made just like the originals, with unpolished alnico II magnets and non-potted coils, these pickups include the unevenly wound coils that were a part of the magic of original PAFs, a result of the lack of automatic shutoffs on Gibson's winding machines in the late 1950s. Seth Lover, who invented the humbucker, always said they wound the bobbins "until they were full." When two coils in a pickup have a different number of turns, that variation puts a little "edge" or "bite" on the classic humbucker sound. That's the sound BurstBuckers replicate. The neck pickup is a Burstbucker-2 and is wound in the range of Gibson's '57 Classic. The bridge pickup is a Burstbucker-3 and is slightly over-wound with a hotter output that works well in combination with the BB-2 in the neck. One listen and you’ll think you have a 1959 in your hands!