My 2001 58 Historic Lemon Top

Here is my Les Paul. It is a 2001 58 Historic Lemon Top. It has been a great guitar for me. I had just previously bought new a 2008 58 VOS Les Paul and it had a slightly twisted neck and I didn’t want to start out with a new guitar with a twisted neck. It was very, very, very mild but just knowing it was there bugged me. I returned that one and bought this one last summer.

This 2001 58 has a neck as straight as a pin. It weighs 8.8 pounds. Supposedly all the great sounding original Les Paul guitars weighed less than nine pounds. I only know the ones I have had and I cringe at what I have had and sold. I will talk no further of my previous Les Paul guitars. It makes me sick what I have let go of. But anyway I guess the lighter the Les Paul the better sustain and tone. I will say that there is generally more bass sound coming out of a lighter archtop guitar. Although, I still have a couple of archtops that thump (have good bottom end) that are quite heavy.

I use fairly heavy strings on my Les Paul. I use .011, .015, unwound .020, and of course wound.030, .042. .052. On my archtops I usually use .012, .016. unwound .020, and if the scale length is shorter like my Gibson L-7 Custom I will use an unwound .022 and of course wound .030, .042, and on all my archtops short and long scale I use a heavier .054 to bet more thump from the archtop. Because I play my archtops most of the time my fingers have become quite strong so when I go to the Les Paul with 11’s on it, it is like rubber to play.

I like the faded finish (Lemon Burst) because many of the old Les Paul guitars that I have seen through the years were faded. The guitar sustains as good as any Les Paul that I have owned. The sound is fat and thick on the highs as well as the rest of the lower notes. I also use thick picks. Thick picks and heavy strings make a fat sound and make the guitar sustain better. I know there are many good and maybe great players that use thin strings and thin picks but since I am not great I need all the help I can get and what I use does the trick for me.

I once bought a Les Paul and it looked beautiful but it sounded dead to me. It was harsh and had little sustain. I bought it for it’s looks and wow what a fool I was. Since I was a starving musician at the time I just put up with it because I could not afford to get another guitar.

After about nine months of complaining about the guitar something happened to it. It just started to sound better. Within 30 days it opened up and became a tone monster. Everyone in the band noticed and asked me what I did to the lame Les Paul. I told them nothing but play it.

I said all that to say this. I believe that all guitars and especially including the Les Paul will take upon themselves the sound of their owner. Many people will buy a guitar and be disappointed by its sound or performance and sell it off and blame the guitar for their lack of ability. They spend their years looking for an instrument to fulfill them instead of putting in the long hours of hard work that it takes to sound good.

Remember it is in the player and not the guitar where the sound comes from. I do know that there are better guitars than others but most of it is in the player and not the guitars fault. It is human nature to not take responsibility for our faults and misfortunes. It is easier to shift the blame than really grow up and do what is necessary in any situation to make it the best you can in spite of everyone and everything else. The road to failure is littered with excuses and blame shifting.

Sorry for the philosophy but that’s the way I see it. If it rings in your ear fine, if not, ignore it and look at the guitars.

The Les Paul is like the most amazing electric solid body guitar that has ever existed. I own a Strat and love it but my early years where I learned my chops were on a Les Paul. So did many of the greats like Clapton and Beck and so many others. For many years I thought I could never play anything but a Les Paul.

I eventually bought a Strat and fell in love with it and my trusty Les Paul sat in the corner for a long time. I eventually sold it “ouch”. Even though I love my Strat there are certain sounds that you can’t get with it. Now that I do a bunch of recording I found that some songs just require the sound of a Les Paul and nothing else will do. There is also nothing like a Les Paul to me for blues when just stretching out and playing licks in a jam session. Wow!!!!! Only a Les Paul can make those sounds.

In defense of the Strat there are sounds that you can get out of it that you cannot get out of a Les Paul. The Strat is more versatile in many ways than a Les Paul. It is generally easier to get cleaner rhythms more easily and still have a good lead tone. Many players get the nicest clean tone out of a Strat like Knoffler and many others as well as the countless fantastic country players on their Tellies.

Yes the Strat is a great historic instrument and rock would not be what it is without it. But the humbucking pickup distorted in a way that no other pickup in the early days of rock could do. The P90 distorted very well but it hummed and has never been quite as popular. Guitarists made sounds with a humbucking equipped Les Paul that had never been made before.

The age of distortion and all the guitar music that was spawned from it came from the Les Paul (with a humbucker) first and then translated to the Strat. As the distortion sound became more and more popular people started putting humbuckers on their Strats. Many of the great metal players of today and of the recent past like Vai, Van Halen, Satrioni and many more too numerable to mention play a guitar that is a hybrid of a Strat type body with a humbucking pickup array of some sorts. If it were not for the Les Paul with humbuckers the modern Strat with humbuckers would not have evolved quite as easy.

No other humbucking-equipped guitar of the early days of rock could make the sounds that a Les Paul could make. A Gibson SG did a good second best but it came later and was over shadowed by the mystique and beauty of the original Les Paul with humbuckers.

Now I know that musicians are the most opinionated and fussy people in the world because I am one. I am sure some will disagree with what I have said. It would be fun for someone with a differing opinion to send their opinion to me and I will place it on my site and let others decide. Maybe between all of us we could get it right.

After all that here are the pictures. I love the flame and took mucho pictures of the front. The front of the Les Paul is mysterious how the flame changes with the light and the angle of the view. I hope you like it too.

I sold this baby and bought another. I will be putting it up soon. Fickle fickle fickle.

       Site Design By: