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
and I didn’t want to start out with a new guitar
with a twisted neck. It was very, very, very mild but just
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
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
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
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 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.