2013 Penfold “Les Paul”

rplp9I have always been a Fender man and never really had a great love for the Les Paul but Gibson changed my mind.  Not because they make a particularly good guitar.  In fact the standard product quality is in my opinion sub-par.  Gibson likes to sue the pants on anyone that makes copies of their guitars, as they have every right to do because they are patented or trademarked or whatever.  Such is the case with Warmoth Guitar Parts in Washington.  Under threat from the Gibson lawyer folk they had a blow-out sale on their Gibson copies.

I really like Warmoth.  I do not think anyone makes better quality after market bodies and necks.  And in this case the price was right for me to build a Les Paul from Warmoth parts before they were gone.  It was my hope that I would end up with something of much greater quality than stock Gibson models.

So I bought a beautiful transparent blue mahogany chambered Les Paul body with a flame maple cap and natural masked binding and a birdseye maple neck with rosewood fretboard.  The thing I immediately like is this is a bolt-on neck rather than a set neck like Gibson makes.  Google bolt-on vs set neck to see the debate.  Normally I would buy an unfinished body and stain/lacquer it myself but the price was too good not to snag this one.  I did finish the neck myself with many coats of nitrocellulose lacquer buffed to a satin finish.  And of course I did my own logo work on the headstock.  Yes I used the actual Les Paul logo…Gibson please don’t sue me, its for my own use and not for sale.

When it came to the pick-ups there was not even a question what I was going to use…Lollars of course.  They are the best.  Period.  For my hardware (tailpiece, bridge and tuners) I went with TonePros on the suggestion of a veteran guitar player I know, Bob Egan.  He’s a member of Blue Rodeo and before that Wilco so when he recommends something, I tend to believe him.  He hasn’t steered me wrong yet.  After it was all said and done, it looks beautiful and sounds even better!  It is probably the best sounding/playing guitar I own.

Body – chambered mahogany, flame maple cap
Body Finish – transparent blue dye, gloss polyurethane finish
Neck – birdseye maple with rosewood fretboard
Neck Finish – nitrocellulose buffed to satin finish
Pick-ups – Lollar High Wind Imperial Humbuckers (nickel finish)
Bridge/Tailpiece – Tonepros (nickle finish)
Tuners – Tonepros Klussen (nickle finish)
Wiring – CTS 500k pots, orange drop caps, switchcraft switch & jack.  Wired to ’57 Les Paul specs

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