Epiphone Les Paul Guitars
The timeless design of the Epiphone Les Paul guitar is one of the most enduring in all of music history. The single-cutaway design carved on a whole piece of mahogany, capped with a premium maple top is enough to conjure images of rock n' roll stars belting out hit after hit in crowded arenas. As one of the most popular products from Gibson Guitars, it has gained a status of a premium instrument good for any kind of music.
Unfortunately the premium quality of a Gibson Les Paul also comes at a premium price out of the reach of many struggling musicians, especially in this time of economic turmoil. The Epiphone line of Les Paul Guitars are made to cater to musicians at lower price points while still offering the fat, meaty tones that they are known for. Do you and your wallet a favor; if you are considering buying that guitar you've always wanted but don't have the money for a Gibson, then the Epiphone Les Paul guitars are the next best thing.
History of the Les Paul
Like many other electric guitar designs, the Gibson Les Paul has a long history and was the invention of a curious mind. Lester William Polsfuss, known throughout the world as Les Paul, was as much of an inventor as he was a great musician. His name is now commonly associated with the Les Paul guitar, which was credited with making the sound of rock and roll as we know it today possible.
His start with the electric guitar began in the 1940's, where he built “The Log,” one of the first known solid body guitar designs. This was a simple, 4 by 4 inch piece of pine wood that had a neck and pickup which enabled the crude instrument to be plugged into amplifiers. Other guitar manufacturers were quick to pick up on the design, with companies such as Fender putting out solid body guitar designs such as the Esquire and Telecaster in mass production.
Les Paul's skills and prominence as a jazz guitarist helped him earn a collaboration with Gibson Guitar Corporation. Gibson aimed to capitalize on the new found electric solid body guitar craze created with the Fender Telecaster, so Les Paul collaborated with then-president Ted McCarty in order to make a design that could compete on the market.
The result of this collaboration was the Les Paul guitar. After several designs were rejected from both Les Paul and McCarty, the characteristic design of the Les Paul was born. Much of the design as we know it today can be attributed to McCarty rather than Les Paul's initial designs, as the inclusion of the Les Paul name on the headstock were merely there to promote the guitar under his well-known reputation as a skilled jazz musician.
As the state of music began to evolve, many changes in the Les Paul design were made to keep up with the changing times. The original Gibson Les Paul came out in a gold finish with a trapeze tailpiece, but later on, the tuxedo black Les Paul Custom model came out. This model featured the initial P-90 Soapbar pickups, but later donned the characteristic covered humbuckers and the Gibson Tune-o-matic tailpiece.
More basic models aimed at beginner players began to come out in the following years, such as the Les Paul Junior and the Les Paul Special. The Les Paul Standard also came out in the late 50's, and, like its name implies, is now known as one of the gold standards that all rock and roll guitars are judged by. Epiphone, which was heavily involved with Les Paul's initial solidbody guitar inventions, now offers Les Paul guitars at affordable prices.
The Epiphone Les Paul Guitars
Epiphone Les Paul Guitars have been praised by players, guitar publications and critics as being a faithful rendition of the original Les Paul design. As all of the Epiphone Les Paul guitars are fully licensed and supported by the Gibson Guitar Corporation, a player is guaranteed to get the quality and playability of the more expensive Gibson guitars at more affordable price points. After all, the solid body guitar invented by Les Paul himself was built in Epiphone's factories.
The Standard line of Epiphone Les Paul guitars come in plain and plus top models for guitarists wanting a great looking guitar to go along with sound and playability. These guitars in the Standard line come with premium maple caps which are either plain or flamed, catering to musicians with varying aesthetic tastes. These guitars play as good as they look too, with Gibson-designed pickups, Grover Tuners, and improved electronics for the best sound and playability for your money.
Commonly said to be a guitar to go along with a tuxedo, the Epiphone Les Paul Custom guitar are for guitarists looking for luxury at an affordable price. The Epiphone Les Paul Custom comes in Ebony or Alpine White finishes to-go with any occasion, with Plus tops available in Vintage Sunburst and Heritage Cherry Sunburst for players who want more out of their guitar finishes. Like the Standard, the Les Paul Custom also comes with player-grade electronics and hardware to make playing any style of music a breeze.
The years of experience that Epiphone has in the guitar market has made them leaders in the craft. Epiphone Les Paul guitars are part of this heritage, and are made with the skills and experience gained from both Gibson and Epiphone in order to cater better to musicians hit hard by the recession.