Gear corner (part 3)

Les Paul's
 

For this edition of the "gear corner" part of the blog, I'll be taking a look at my Les Paul style guitars. 
 
First up is my Tokai ALS-50 Gold Top. While technically not a Les Paul (only Gibson guitars are allowed to bear that name) it is a copy of the earlier 50's style Les Paul guitars with its gold top finish and P90 pickups. 

 
This guitar was (once again) a gift from Dave for my birthday. Since I've been a "Fender guy" for as long as I can remember, Dave has spent a lot of time trying to convince me of the virtues of the Les Paul and I think he must have thought this was a good way to get me to dip my toes in the water. The P90's being single coil pickups were at least a step along the way, he must have known a Humbucker equipped guitar was going to be too much for me to take in one go. 
 
This guitar is a rarity for me in that it is one of the very few guitars I own that hasn't had any modifications, save for the removal of the pickguard (as Les Paul pickguards are pretty ugly in my opinion).
 
Whilst I've often used this guitar in a live setting, most often to play the rhythm guitar parts on "Bond of Mutual Distrust" it's only had one appearance on a studio album, that being the first guitar solo on "Crimson Stained Romance".

 
Obviously Dave's experiment with supplying me with a Les Paul must have been considered a success, as some time later he gifted me with this next guitar, a Gibson Les Paul Special Faded. 
 
When the guitar was given to me, it was completely bereft of any hardware or electronics, so the next task was to complete the guitar. 
 
I used Grover hardware and tuners and Dimarzio pots and switches to start the project off. For pickups, initially I installed a set of Seymour Duncan's, a JB for the bridge, and a '59 for the neck. Sometime later, I removed the '59 and instead have installed a Dimarzio Bluesbucker which is much more to my liking. 

 
The wiring is also a little non-standard. There's a volume control for each pickup, and a three-way toggle switch for pickup selection, which is all pretty normal, but instead of a tone control for each pickup, there's a master tone control. The other tone control is instead a variable coil tap for the bridge pickup. 
 
I used this guitar for quite a few parts on the "Hitchhiking" album. Specifically on the rhythm parts and main riff of "Partitionists", the rhythm parts on the chorus of "Dead Trees" and both of my solos on "Room with a View". 
 
And that's about it for the Les Paul's in my collection. There are a few more Les Pauls in Dave's collection, but we'll take a look at those another day. Til then, thanks for reading. 

Dean

1 comment

  • Myra

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