I Bought Steve Howe's "The Les Paul"

Trogly

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Wow, the Wine Red finish is stunning, but I think it would look better in Pehlam Blue and with an ABR-1 - ditch those weird tuning pegs put on it too. Sending to my luthier tomorrow...



KIDDING!

I saw this guitar and knew I had to get ahold of it. The 4 advertised photos in the seller's listing were not enough - the world needed more detailed shots of this guitar. I went and bought it from him to give it the proper documentation it deserves.

I can see why Howe liked this guitar. It really is the "King of Power Chords." The ebony-rosewood-ebony fretboard feels like silk to play on. It's not overly bright sounding like my last 3 The Les Pauls. The neck is more of a 60s/medium profile rather than the super slim 60s like the other one I still have. - it's just the perfect player all around. The finish feels like glass - so smooth.

Howe's might have a first-year 1976 serial # plaque - Reg. No. 26, but it was definitely made before that - unstamped Tttops, '75 pot codes, transitional tenon - and the mahogany core to this guitar is actually a PANCAKE! - first time I've seen that on a TLP. The wooden appointments to this one more closely match that of the ANT TLPs instead of other Wine Red TLPs giving it an even eviler look. She weighs in right in at 11lbs. All original minus new tuner buttons put on by Howe back in the 70s/80s and one replaced fine tuning piece on the TP-6.

This guitar is far from mint condition, but not trashed like you'd think a toured-with-guitar would be. It was well cared for, but there are scratches and a few light dings on the top, some buckle worming on the back and more light finish dings and some stand rash on the sides of the neck. The gold hardware is fairly worn on the pickup covers, bridge and tailpiece. Howe toured with this guitar - played it in his music videos - even put it in his book. It's in well-loved, played condition.

I made a video of it - I start playing at 17:35


I love this guitar.



Next to my other ANT TLP - Now I can join the Ranks of Mr. Slubowski in posting a photo of both a Wine Red and Antique Natural TLP in the same shot! A right of passage in my eyes.

 
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jojo

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Those are pretty wild looking. Never seen them before. Cool collection :)
 

Trogly

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Are the red/black stripes binding?

View attachment 268617

The workmanship here looks so good, nibs in the black, with the other colors below:
View attachment 268618
It appears to be so. A thick black/red/black/red follows around the whole neck and headstock. It makes the fretboard look really fancy, but it almost feels like playing a guitar that doesn't have binding at all since the black blends with the ebony parts of the board.

The body's binding is a little bit different with the wooden binding. It goes Wood/Red/MotherOfPearlWhite/black
 
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Les Paul Newb

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SO FU***NG COOL!

Soon as I saw this I had to open up "The modern era of the Les Paul Legacy" to read up. I knew it had a 2-page spread with lots of photos. Crazy guitar, so amazing.


IMG_9278.JPG



"It was the brainchild of president Stan Rendell and local talents of Kalamazoo luthier Richard Schneider. While traveling in Europe Stan had bought a private reserve of well seasoned top-grade Austrian flame maple that was intended for fine violins. The violin maker had recently died, and the estate sold his specially aged maple to Stan. His initial idea was to use this amazing wood for 50 bicentennial Gibson instruments for each state in the union. This instrument was certainly the fanciest Les Paul at the time, and featured the finest combinations of woods. Carved rosewood was used in place of the customary plastic components. It was fashioned for the binding, pickup bezels, pickguard, switch surround and tip, truss cover, backplates, and knobs. Both Richard's brother Donnie and Gibson's Abe Wechter assisted in the project. With a basic lightweight mahogany core, they added the special maple across the back and sides, and used multicolored strips of dark, light and red-dyed maple for the border trim around the body and neck. Much of this trim was from the innovative Mark series acoustics.

No expense was spared. Such labor-intensive construction made this model so time-consuming and so costly that the 50 guitars planned for 1976 proved to be an impossibility. Manufacturing continued into 1979, with the guitars selling for $3199—according to the January list price.

The last versions used less red binding and plastic parts, since all the pre-done rosewood had run out after Schneider left town. Natural was deemed the premium finish, while others were a translucent ruddy red over the exquisite maple. Some sunburst versions exist, too."

"A third pickup height screw gave the humbuckings the extra angle adjustment for better coil-to-string placement. The headstock was another exercise in laminations pearl and binding extravagance. The split diamond inlay is in abalone while the Gibson logo is mother of pearl. It's Ebony and red Maple truss cover was engraved for the guitars scripted title. Note the laminated nut finely carved down between the strings. Somehow they forgot to dot the "i".

"A heel view shows the cutaway with a full treatment of multi-colored trim along side the rosewood contrasting binding. Such high-quality maple had never been used on a solid body guitar before."


What an instrument!
 

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mfoster

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Dang.... nice guitars. Great tones from Howe in that era.
 

moreles

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Love your red one way, way more than the naturals, which I find boring. I really dislike red (wine, cherry) guitars but on yours, with the combination of bindings, gold, etc., it really looks incredible. Everything works together really well to a degree not always present in the more decorative LPs, which can just look "fancy" rather than "beautiful." I love the side views -- gorgeous. Congratulations, and thanks for posting. You're clearly enjoying this guitar mightily, which is wonderful.
 

Trogly

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Love your red one way, way more than the naturals, which I find boring. I really dislike red (wine, cherry) guitars but on yours, with the combination of bindings, gold, etc., it really looks incredible. Everything works together really well to a degree not always present in the more decorative LPs, which can just look "fancy" rather than "beautiful." I love the side views -- gorgeous. Congratulations, and thanks for posting. You're clearly enjoying this guitar mightily, which is wonderful.

The Red is very exotic looking. It's not quite the same as other Wine Red / Cherry Gibson guitars. This finish has a hint of purple in it and is a bit darker - I think the wide flames help the darkness in the color as well. I wish I had some other wine customs currently to compare it to. The current one in Natural I have, I'll admit isn't the best example I've had since the lacquer has aged some, but check this one out.



This was my favorite natural one I've had -
First year, unaged. The flames danced like crazy. The flame does appear to 'move' more on the natural ones in my experience. They shimmer in the light more so than the Wine. The red binding lines fit better with the theme of the Wine Red ones though. They're both awesome - but owning one of the 18 wine Red ones is a treat!
 

Trogly

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SO FU***NG COOL!

Soon as I saw this I had to open up "The modern era of the Les Paul Legacy" to read up. I knew it had a 2-page spread with lots of photos. Crazy guitar, so amazing.


View attachment 268780


"It was the brainchild of president Stan Rendell and local talents of Kalamazoo luthier Richard Schneider. While traveling in Europe Stan had bought a private reserve of well seasoned top-grade Austrian flame maple that was intended for fine violins. The violin maker had recently died, and the estate sold his specially aged maple to Stan. His initial idea was to use this amazing wood for 50 bicentennial Gibson instruments for each state in the union. This instrument was certainly the fanciest Les Paul at the time, and featured the finest combinations of woods. Carved rosewood was used in place of the customary plastic components. It was fashioned for the binding, pickup bezels, pickguard, switch surround and tip, truss cover, backplates, and knobs. Both Richard's brother Donnie and Gibson's Abe Wechter assisted in the project. With a basic lightweight mahogany core, they added the special maple across the back and sides, and used multicolored s


What an instrument!

Yes, I believe it was that book that turned me on to the The Les Pauls as I didn't know they existed prior. I had gotten that book to read up on the spotlight specials as those are my favorite model. I would've never had guessed I would actually get one - let alone 4 with one being an ex-rockers guitar. These are very cool guitars!

I did a Tone comparison today of the 2 TLPs I currently have. I was curious how the brass nut and different neck tenons would make them sound

 

macg1

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Dang, I saw that just a couple of days ago. Killer score, congrats!
 

kakerlak

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I always assumed the pickup rings were pentagonal in order to make them a little thicker and less susceptible to cracking -- never realized that extra screw was a pickup height/angle adjust. What's the setup with the pickups? Do they have a third leg or some sort of adapter plate that connects to the pickup somehow?
 
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Trogly

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I always assumed the pickup rings were pentagonal in order to make them a little thicker and less susceptible to cracking -- never realized that extra screw was a pickup height/angle adjust. What's the setup with the pickups? Do they have a third leg or some sort of adapter plate that connects to the pickup somehow?
Ttops pickups and yes, they have a 3rd leg crudely soldered on to them. You can see it around the 6:20 mark on the inside look video I did of it

 
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