OK, I’ve got nice guitars and precious ones, precious to me at least because I am no Rockefeller. And because I am not Rockefeller, I wanted to have a guitar I could carry without much anxiety of breaking something.
Apart from these considerations, I am a big fan of Les Pauls (if you still wondered) but also an esthete and a man full of contradictions.
Having all these parameters in hand, I headed to a Gibson Les Paul Standard T with its QuickConnect PCB (printed circuit board) offering the versatility of coil taping, pure bypass and phase reversal. As for the color, I chose something I didn’t have yet but stil in a “classical style” (pink is not for me): the Bourbon burst.
If you ever had a brand new Gibson USA guitar in hands, your nose must have been saturated by this famous vanilla smell. It was the case for me and I immediately associated this guitar to a piece of caramel that I would savor next to a warm fireplace while it’s cold and rainy outside. From this image came the name of this guitar: ‘Autumn Treat’. Furthermore, I like to customize my stuff, that’s why I added some white sugar crystals with a mother of pearl switch tip and mother of pearl tuner buttons.
Time goes on, fortunately you get a bit wealthier and your dreams may become affordable… or close to.
Some years ago, I felt in love (again) with the 2009 Gibson Les Paul Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates 59′ VOS but my pockets were empty. In 2017, looking at the classified, I found one of the non aged Pearlies in excellent condition. Unfortunately, the seller and I were not able to agree on the price. Since then I had never been able to make the idea of owning a 59 reissue sink again in the deep of my mind. That is how I brought myself to look for my R9.
I looked at several offers around the world and finally shorten my list to two candidates: a True Historic and a Standard Historic VOS, both new (I let you browse the Internet to look at the differences).
In the end, surprisingly for my guitar players (and Gibson’s LP addicted) mates, I chose the VOS. Why?
Well, what I can tell, is just that when I opened up the case of this one, I just said (or thought) “Wow…”. Sometimes, things happen just like that. The guitar may not have the true true vintage specs but something happened at te first sight: I knew that if I returned back this guitar I would regret it for the rest of my life.
I felt in love with the Les Paul since Cloudbreaker as you may have understood if you had a look at my gear page… Recently, I had been looking for a very simple guitar: one pickup, simple setup, light weight and not too expensive but has a killer look and a good sound. As a good Gibson Les Paul fan, I though about a Melody Maker or a une Junior and then while looking for splittables humbuckers for my SG, I saw the Lace Music Deathbucker : 😍! I then started to look for a Gibson with a single humbucker. At first I wanted to find a second hand SG-1 but I felt (in love with) on an LP CM 2016 T in perfect state an much cheaper. I had a look at Gibson’s because I didn’t know this model and… Bingo ! This was exactly what I was looking for without knowing it existed: LP shape, thin body, one humbucker.
Nevertheless, in my eternal quest for improvement, I decided to bring in some tonal or aesthetic upgrades to this guitar: • New headstock veneer with mother of pearl inlays of Gibson logo and Crown • Blank Gibson bell trussrod cover • ABM aluminium with chrome finish wraparound • Schaller chrome tophat knobs • Lace Music Alumitone Deathbucker Deceptor (Lace recommends 250kΩ pots and 22nF cap with the Alumitone “for better tone”) • 250kΩ push/pull CTS pot to “split” the Alumitone on the tone knob • 250kΩ CTS pot for the volume control • 22nF Orange drop capacitor • Copper shielding of the control cavity and back plate • Dunlop straplocks
Here is the end result but for those of you who want to have a look at the various stages of the projects, I wrote the details below.
This story began in 2005 when I bought this on eBay:
The seller claimed it was a 1956 Les Paul Junior that once looked like this:
Unfortunately, he was never able to tell me the serial number (that’s my big regret about the transaction, but the price was fair enough as the guitar was a real wreck). Did you notice how deep torture this guitar went into? The seller and/or the previous owner(s) added a second pickup and drew holes almost everywhere…
What should I do with this wrecked LP body?
I had two options: 1- Make it look like a ’50s Junior again 2- Change it to some guitar I’d like to own and play with