This is my Les Paul.
As you can see, it's not a Gibson, but an Epiphone.
It's a 1995 Les Paul Standard, made in Korea by Samick. I bought it new, it was my first electric guitar. At the time I was quite into Slash and Gary Moore, so getting a Les Paul was the obvious choice. I loved both the look (almost violin-like, and nice warm wood colours) and the mega-fat tone and sustain.
I later discovered that superstrats aren't necessarily 'strats', if you know what I mean. They can have a fat mahogany sound and sustain aswell, and they can have nice figured maple tops and all that (like the RG570CT you can see in the back at the left in that picture). Since I discovered Vai and Satriani and such (and re-discovered Van Halen... I grew up with Eddie's music, but I didn't play guitar back then), superstrat guitars are my weapon of choice, with Ibanez being my brand of choice.. but the Les Paul still has a special place.
Anyway, the guitar has been pimped in various ways:
- Electronics completely replaced with high grade copper wire, CTS pots, Switchcraft switch and jack, and original Gibson 490R and 498T hot alnico pickups, secondhand, originally out of a Les Paul Custom (the polepieces are actually gold-coloured although they're so worn that you can't tell anymore, and the gold covers were ugly so I left them off).
- Graphtech nut installed (this picture was taken before that time).
- Frets leveled and recrowned by a local luthier.
- Jackplate replaced with a chrome-coloured metal plate.
- D'Addario's special .0095-.044 guage strings.
When I originally bought the guitar, I was about 16 years old, and had only been playing for a short while... I couldn't afford a real Gibson, and I certainly wouldn't be worth one.
I've had it for about 13 years now, and although I could afford a Gibson now, I have little desire to. The guitar still looks good, and the playability and tone are still great to me. I suppose it's partly out of respect for this old and special guitar that I don't want to 'replace' it with a real Gibson. It'd feel like retiring this one.
Anyway, enough chit-chat... Here's a video of me playing the guitar (no problems reaching upper frets... in fact, I prefer Les Pauls to Strats... I hate the heel on a Strat.. I often bang my hand hard into it because you don't feel it coming when sliding up, unlike a Les Paul's heel):
And here are some tracks on which I used that guitar: