NGD: 1996 Jimmy Page Signature Les Paul

renatolevanteze

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So I got my third Gibson. It’s a 96 Jimmy Page Les Paul. It’s one of the guitars I used to dream about when I was a teen back in the nineties, when I spent so much time on Gibson’s website (funny to look at it now on archive.org).

My first Gibson was its “sister guitar”, a 97 Joe Perry Signature (the last LP in the signature trio of that period was the Ace Frehley one). My second Gibson I got last year, an incredible Memphis Historic ‘61 ES-335.

So I know the Jimmy Page Gibson USA model is very far from its inspirations (both #1 and #2 bursts). It is much like a regular 90s Les Paul Standard, probably “Swiss-cheese” weight relieved, with wide cutaway binding, short neck tenon, etc.

Its differences are: and allegedly different neck profile, gold hardware, grover tuners, metal jack plate, 4 push/pull pots for splitting both pickups and/or setting them in parallel/series, both in or out of phase. ABR-1 bridge, with two thumb wheels per post, and no use of current ABR studsPickups are the hot ceramics 496R/500T set (uncovered and with gold pole pieces), that used to come on explorers and Flying Vs of the time, as well as Les Paul Classics. The finish is called “Light Honey Burst”, which looks like a cross between the “honey burst” and the later “light burst”. It is nice because the back is still cherry, instead of the dark honey colour of regular “honey burst”.

When we look at both JP’s bursts, we can see Gibson did not do a good job emulating them. Maybe they didn’t want to:

- gold hardware: both bursts have nickel hardware except for #1’s tuners.
- keystone buttons on the grovers: both originals have kidney buttons.
- “standard” truss rod cover instead of a blank one
- crazy hot pickups: maybe it’s the only 4 wire pickups Gibson had at the time for the switching options, but it makes little sense.

They did get right in the following, not in a replica way, but in a tribute way:
- beautiful case interior, with green colour that suits the honey finish
- crazy switching, reminiscent of #2.
- ABR-1 bridge
- special neck profile (not sure it really is special)
- metal jack plate
- grovers, albeit the “wrong” buttons
- close enough finish for a production model


Now, I know the guitar is somewhat collectible, and I plan to replace the pickguard with a regular one (maybe a more vintage looking one or a regular Gibson USA one, to keep the 90s spirit) in order to preserve the etched signature.

But I am in a dilema. Should I take off all that bothers me away (and safely store it in the case or elsewhere for eventually restoring it to its original condition)? Take the gold tailpiece, bridge and screws and put in nickel parts? Change the buttons of the grovers to gold kidney buttons (I like how #1 has the mismatched hardware)? Or maybe change the tuners for nickels like #2, considering the switching seems to indicate that this signature model is related more closely to that burst? Put in a blank truss rod cover (the easiest mod).

What about the pickups? Change out of context ceramics for a set of Duncans Whole Lotta Humbuckers, or Bare Knuckles Mules/RiffRaffs? As long as they have the 4 wires necessary to keep the crazy switching working

Wouldn’t that completely remove the “character” of my pristine 96 JPLP so it is nothing more than a normal standard made to look the part? And if so, what is the problem? The JPLP parts will be at hand if the “status quo ante” is desired.

For the time being, while I decide if something will be done in the future (the pickguard will be replaced nonetheless), I’ll keep enjoying it as it is. I like hot pickups, may be not what I have in mind for Gibsons (I own 4 Ibanez and a Fender Jaguar with hot dimarzios, plus a Peavey Wolfgang, which is medium/hot). Not a fan of gold hardware, but surprisingly looks good on the honey burst.

Hope I’ll be able to post the photos here for you guys and gals to see.

 

jaycoyoyo

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How do you like the sound? If it was my guitar, I would probably swap out the pickups and leave the rest as-is. Then play it a lot.

-Jay
 

Bobby Mahogany

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Nice!

That was a strange Signature model.
I remember telling a clerk "What's so Jimmy Page about that?" Lol.
But it's a nice guitar nevertheless and has a good value because, you know, Jimmy page!

Personally I would remove (and replace if needed) the pickguard to keep it mint.
That's one of the Jimmy Page feature on the guitar that I would keep intact for value.
But if it got worn out with he rest of the guitar, oh well, that's life.

The 496R and 500T aren't for everyone.
I prefer more Vintage type tone myself and the "Whole Lotta Love" pickups or whatever they are called
aren't too expensive and sound very good.
I also prefer more Vintage type hardware.
There's plenty to choose from if that's your cup of tea.
Aluminum tailpiece, Nashville bridge, Grovers, etc.

Anyway, Congratulations on your find.
It certainly has a nice top too!
:thumb:
 

madhermit

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So I got my third Gibson. It’s a 96 Jimmy Page Les Paul. It’s one of the guitars I used to dream about when I was a teen back in the nineties, when I spent so much time on Gibson’s website (funny to look at it now on archive.org).

My first Gibson was its “sister guitar”, a 97 Joe Perry Signature (the last LP in the signature trio of that period was the Ace Frehley one). My second Gibson I got last year, an incredible Memphis Historic ‘61 ES-335.

So I know the Jimmy Page Gibson USA model is very far from its inspirations (both #1 and #2 bursts). It is much like a regular 90s Les Paul Standard, probably “Swiss-cheese” weight relieved, with wide cutaway binding, short neck tenon, etc.

Its differences are: and allegedly different neck profile, gold hardware, grover tuners, metal jack plate, 4 push/pull pots for splitting both pickups and/or setting them in parallel/series, both in or out of phase. ABR-1 bridge, with two thumb wheels per post, and no use of current ABR studsPickups are the hot ceramics 496R/500T set (uncovered and with gold pole pieces), that used to come on explorers and Flying Vs of the time, as well as Les Paul Classics. The finish is called “Light Honey Burst”, which looks like a cross between the “honey burst” and the later “light burst”. It is nice because the back is still cherry, instead of the dark honey colour of regular “honey burst”.

When we look at both JP’s bursts, we can see Gibson did not do a good job emulating them. Maybe they didn’t want to:

- gold hardware: both bursts have nickel hardware except for #1’s tuners.
- keystone buttons on the grovers: both originals have kidney buttons.
- “standard” truss rod cover instead of a blank one
- crazy hot pickups: maybe it’s the only 4 wire pickups Gibson had at the time for the switching options, but it makes little sense.

They did get right in the following, not in a replica way, but in a tribute way:
- beautiful case interior, with green colour that suits the honey finish
- crazy switching, reminiscent of #2.
- ABR-1 bridge
- special neck profile (not sure it really is special)
- metal jack plate
- grovers, albeit the “wrong” buttons
- close enough finish for a production model


Now, I know the guitar is somewhat collectible, and I plan to replace the pickguard with a regular one (maybe a more vintage looking one or a regular Gibson USA one, to keep the 90s spirit) in order to preserve the etched signature.

But I am in a dilema. Should I take off all that bothers me away (and safely store it in the case or elsewhere for eventually restoring it to its original condition)? Take the gold tailpiece, bridge and screws and put in nickel parts? Change the buttons of the grovers to gold kidney buttons (I like how #1 has the mismatched hardware)? Or maybe change the tuners for nickels like #2, considering the switching seems to indicate that this signature model is related more closely to that burst? Put in a blank truss rod cover (the easiest mod).

What about the pickups? Change out of context ceramics for a set of Duncans Whole Lotta Humbuckers, or Bare Knuckles Mules/RiffRaffs? As long as they have the 4 wires necessary to keep the crazy switching working

Wouldn’t that completely remove the “character” of my pristine 96 JPLP so it is nothing more than a normal standard made to look the part? And if so, what is the problem? The JPLP parts will be at hand if the “status quo ante” is desired.

For the time being, while I decide if something will be done in the future (the pickguard will be replaced nonetheless), I’ll keep enjoying it as it is. I like hot pickups, may be not what I have in mind for Gibsons (I own 4 Ibanez and a Fender Jaguar with hot dimarzios, plus a Peavey Wolfgang, which is medium/hot). Not a fan of gold hardware, but surprisingly looks good on the honey burst.

Hope I’ll be able to post the photos here for you guys and gals to see.

Nice!
I recall those three guitars too. The Joe Perry had a GIANT neck on it. And that funky mid control that was like a wah! The Ace Frehley was cool too.
But the Jimmy Page. I wanted that one baaaad! I love push pull, and that bad boy has 4 of em! SO many tones in that guitar.
Congrats on the uber cool guitar!
If it were me, I wouldn’t mess with it. Maybe just the things easily reversible.
 

Nintari

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Man, I just love the look of coverless humbuckers on a Les Paul. Nice top on that one too!
 

PauloQS

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Very nice. I’d change the pickups though. Bareknuckles The Mule/Riff Raff combo is in my opinion one of and perhaps the absolute best Jimmy Page humbucker set. They do come in 4 conductors wire configuration.

I see a lot of people claiming Jimmy Page put T-tops on the bridge of his LPs, despite Jimmy Page claiming he replaced his broken bridge pickups with PAFs. Given how close the Riff Riff, which is a PAF clone, gets to Jimmy Page’s tones, I believe Jimmy Page’s claims. Furthermore, I saw Jimmy Page’s number 1 at the MET and whatever he had in the bridge at that point, it wasn’t a T-top.
 

Gibsonrocknroll

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Beautiful guitar. I never understood the gold hardware. His #1 gibson had nickel hardware with gold tuners. His #2 had nickel hardware. Both guitars originally didn't have that wiring figuration.
 

renatolevanteze

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Thank you for the various replies and suggestions. I'm still sorting out if I like how the pickups sound. Have not had a chance to play it much still. Need a little bit of free time. Will not change anything for some months now, while I still get to know the guitar.

I see a lot of people claiming Jimmy Page put T-tops on the bridge of his LPs, despite Jimmy Page claiming he replaced his broken bridge pickups with PAFs. Given how close the Riff Riff, which is a PAF clone, gets to Jimmy Page’s tones, I believe Jimmy Page’s claims. Furthermore, I saw Jimmy Page’s number 1 at the MET and whatever he had in the bridge at that point, it wasn’t a T-top.
I think the T-tops were after 72. In the 80s I think the bridge pickup was replaced by a Duncan. That might be the one currently in it. I'm not sure I would go with open cover double cream on the bridge pickup and covered neck, like the #1 used to be before the t-tops. I think #2 also has uncovered double whites/cream nowadays.

Beautiful guitar. I never understood the gold hardware. His #1 gibson had nickel hardware with gold tuners. His #2 had nickel hardware. Both guitars originally didn't have that wiring figuration.
I think back in the 90s, for a production guitar, they probably thought it would be strange to mix hardware finishes. I think the wiring is close to #2, that had/has, if I'm not mistaken, coil split and parallel/series/phase switching in some push pulls and the mini switches under the pickguard. I think that was the idea behind the signature model wiring. Pickups make no sense.
 

madhermit

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All the switching gizmos on Jimmy's #2 are post Zeppelin. After 1980.
It’s been a LONG time since I read articles about his guitar, but I thought he had a switch under the pickguard on his guitars to cop a tele-type tone or somethng while in LZ?
I bet there is way more info out there now than back in the magazine days, so it could easily be wrong or mis-remembered info in my head.
 

mudface

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It’s been a LONG time since I read articles about his guitar, but I thought he had a switch under the pickguard on his guitars to cop a tele-type tone or somethng while in LZ?
I bet there is way more info out there now than back in the magazine days, so it could easily be wrong or mis-remembered info in my head.
Nope....not in Zeppelin. There is huge thread in the Vintage section that has a lot of details on Jimmy's gear. I'll see if i can bump it up. He also mentions it in his new book "Anthology"
 

TheWelder

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So I got my third Gibson. It’s a 96 Jimmy Page Les Paul. It’s one of the guitars I used to dream about when I was a teen back in the nineties, when I spent so much time on Gibson’s website (funny to look at it now on archive.org).

My first Gibson was its “sister guitar”, a 97 Joe Perry Signature (the last LP in the signature trio of that period was the Ace Frehley one). My second Gibson I got last year, an incredible Memphis Historic ‘61 ES-335.

So I know the Jimmy Page Gibson USA model is very far from its inspirations (both #1 and #2 bursts). It is much like a regular 90s Les Paul Standard, probably “Swiss-cheese” weight relieved, with wide cutaway binding, short neck tenon, etc.

Its differences are: and allegedly different neck profile, gold hardware, grover tuners, metal jack plate, 4 push/pull pots for splitting both pickups and/or setting them in parallel/series, both in or out of phase. ABR-1 bridge, with two thumb wheels per post, and no use of current ABR studsPickups are the hot ceramics 496R/500T set (uncovered and with gold pole pieces), that used to come on explorers and Flying Vs of the time, as well as Les Paul Classics. The finish is called “Light Honey Burst”, which looks like a cross between the “honey burst” and the later “light burst”. It is nice because the back is still cherry, instead of the dark honey colour of regular “honey burst”.

When we look at both JP’s bursts, we can see Gibson did not do a good job emulating them. Maybe they didn’t want to:

- gold hardware: both bursts have nickel hardware except for #1’s tuners.
- keystone buttons on the grovers: both originals have kidney buttons.
- “standard” truss rod cover instead of a blank one
- crazy hot pickups: maybe it’s the only 4 wire pickups Gibson had at the time for the switching options, but it makes little sense.

They did get right in the following, not in a replica way, but in a tribute way:
- beautiful case interior, with green colour that suits the honey finish
- crazy switching, reminiscent of #2.
- ABR-1 bridge
- special neck profile (not sure it really is special)
- metal jack plate
- grovers, albeit the “wrong” buttons
- close enough finish for a production model


Now, I know the guitar is somewhat collectible, and I plan to replace the pickguard with a regular one (maybe a more vintage looking one or a regular Gibson USA one, to keep the 90s spirit) in order to preserve the etched signature.

But I am in a dilema. Should I take off all that bothers me away (and safely store it in the case or elsewhere for eventually restoring it to its original condition)? Take the gold tailpiece, bridge and screws and put in nickel parts? Change the buttons of the grovers to gold kidney buttons (I like how #1 has the mismatched hardware)? Or maybe change the tuners for nickels like #2, considering the switching seems to indicate that this signature model is related more closely to that burst? Put in a blank truss rod cover (the easiest mod).

What about the pickups? Change out of context ceramics for a set of Duncans Whole Lotta Humbuckers, or Bare Knuckles Mules/RiffRaffs? As long as they have the 4 wires necessary to keep the crazy switching working

Wouldn’t that completely remove the “character” of my pristine 96 JPLP so it is nothing more than a normal standard made to look the part? And if so, what is the problem? The JPLP parts will be at hand if the “status quo ante” is desired.

For the time being, while I decide if something will be done in the future (the pickguard will be replaced nonetheless), I’ll keep enjoying it as it is. I like hot pickups, may be not what I have in mind for Gibsons (I own 4 Ibanez and a Fender Jaguar with hot dimarzios, plus a Peavey Wolfgang, which is medium/hot). Not a fan of gold hardware, but surprisingly looks good on the honey burst.

Hope I’ll be able to post the photos here for you guys and gals to see.

Congrats on the guitar. I was working at Guitar Center when these came out in '96. We had one in the store, haven't seen once since. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Nice!
I recall those three guitars too. The Joe Perry had a GIANT neck on it. And that funky mid control that was like a wah! The Ace Frehley was cool too.
But the Jimmy Page. I wanted that one baaaad! I love push pull, and that bad boy has 4 of em! SO many tones in that guitar.
Congrats on the uber cool guitar!
If it were me, I wouldn’t mess with it. Maybe just the things easily reversible.
I remember the Page and Frehley models, but I don't recall the Joe Perry from this era. Sounds kinda cool. I remember at the time ('96) these artist model LPs were considered really expensive. Does anyone recall the asking price back then? I bet today's Standards are more expensive.
 

mudface

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:yesway: I figured. That book should be pretty great, assuming he remembers things correctly :cool2::applause:
It is an awesome book.... you soon realize that Jimmy kept everything he ever used....including his clothes:rofl:

It’s amazing how much detail he can remember,... especially when he couldn’t remember the chord changes when on stage in 1975..... He did keep really good records of everything... from plane tickets to studio diaries.
 

PauloQS

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It is an awesome book.... you soon realize that Jimmy kept everything he ever used....including his clothes:rofl:

It’s amazing how much detail he can remember,... especially when he couldn’t remember the chord changes when on stage in 1975..... He did keep really good records of everything... from plane tickets to studio diaries.
I just received the Anthology book today. It’s absolutely amazing. I’m now considering the other 2014 book, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page. Do think it’s worth it?
 

mudface

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I just received the Anthology book today. It’s absolutely amazing. I’m now considering the other 2014 book, Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page. Do think it’s worth it?
Yes absolutely.... its a great book too.... it covers Jimmy’s entire musical history with all the details as The Anthology.... every tour date.... guest appearances..... and it’s an even a bigger book.
 


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