The Gibson Les Paul is the ultimate rock and roll instrument. It is the Ferrari of rock guitars. Its elegant sleek look and smooth yet distinct tones is what guitar and rock music is all about. The Gibson Les Paul is quite simply the king of kings.

However, not all Les Pauls are the same. It is very possible to have an entire collection of Les Paul guitars where each of them has there own characteristics, tone and feel.

Obviously, like anything in life, you get what you pay for. You can easily get a Les Paul that is a great bargain and cheap these days. However, you will find that the more you are willing (or can afford) to spend, the higher up the ladder of quality you will find yourself climbing. Of course there is also a middle ground. But rest assured that any Gibson Les Paul you play, will have a certain amount of quality to it. You very rarely go wrong. Bit why the difference in price, and which one is the best Les Paul guitar? Which one should you choose? Well, some people like the feel of a Les Paul standard. This has a nice comfortable neck and the price is very fair. The wood, hardware and overall care may very well determine the price and quality of the Les Paul. The standard is what the name refers to, a standard. Nothing more, nothing less.

However, sometimes artists have their own signature models, and even this may raise the price even if it happen to be a standard. I have always told my students and fellow guitarists to stay away from signature models. Whereas it may be a great way to pay tribute to your guitar hero or make you feel closer to him/her, you should really try to find your own style and your own “fingerprint” and sound. Now, that is not to say that there are not some truly amazing signature models on the market today. If having a signature is your thing, then by all means go for it. But just because your heroes name is on the instrument does not mean that you will sound nor play like him. And it definitely will not mean that it is the best Les Paul that you can get.

If you want to climb a bit higher up the quality ladder, you should go for a Les Paul Custom. These guitars are truly amazing and they have something extra. You can literally feel the quality in your hands as if some extra care has been given to create these Les Paul models. Some Customs are not even that super expensive. I have a Les Paul Custom Black Beauty which I purchased in 2007. Its is a true gem. But I have seen other Custom models that where way more expensive. A few years back Gibson had the Classic Custom. This was a limited run and was, as its name indicates a mix between a Gibson Classic, and a Les Paul custom. If you like the best of two worlds this may well be one of the best Les Pauls you can get your hands on without breaking the bank.

les paul custom - black beautyles-paul-custom-black-beauty2Learn more about Gibson Custom True Historic 1957 Les Paul Custom “Black Beauty” – Vintage Ebony →

One of the biggest complaints about the Gibson Les Paul is the weight of guitar. However, have no fear, your answer is here. Gibson have made several models that are chambered. This means that they are weight relieved and not a “pain in the back.”

As a matter of fact, they even have the Les Paul Black beauty as a weight relived / chambered version. Some players however want their Les Paul to be heavy and love the way it feels. They even claim that the heavier the guitar, the more sustain and tone you will be able to accomplish. This is a matter of feel and preference of course.

As you can see, finding the best Les Paul guitar will have to do on many issues discussed. How much are you willing to spend, are you after a signature model, would you be happy with a standard, do you want it to be lighter in weight. This is all up to you. However, in my own humble opinion, if you were to ask my advice, I would say get a custom. The value, quality, tone feel and aesthetics of the Les Paul Custom is second to none and a win win instrument indeed.

 


 

About Les Paul (Guitarist)

Lester William Polsfuss, known as Les Paul, was an American jazz, country, and blues guitarist, songwriter, luthier, and inventor. He was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, which made the sound of rock and roll possible.

Born: June 9, 1915, Waukesha
Died: August 12, 2009, White Plains, New York, United States
Spouse: Mary Ford (m. 1949–1964), Virginia Webb (m. 1938–1949)


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About Gibson USA®

Gibson guitars

Gibson USA continues the tradition of innovation, premium quality, and made-in-America hand-craftsmanship that started in 1894. Although their flagship Les Paul is the most iconic guitar in history, other innovative guitars and basses have become standards in their own right – like the SG, Explorer, Flying V, and Firebird. Gibson instruments are truly “American made, world played.”


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