What Is The 1959 Les Paul Sound?

asapmaz

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People completely forget that the tone of a burst actually has very little to do with the market pricing.
Even most burst owners will tell you that.
They’re valuable because that’s the way it is and nothing’s going to change that. If our classic rock or blues heroes played something else, everyone would be categorically arguing about the price of that piece of gear or that tone, etc.
A burst and also many vintage paf or p90 guitars can do things, subtle things, that are only appreciated by some. Can those things be replicated? Only to a certain extent. Listen to JB and other burst owners and they’ll gladly tell you that you can get 98% of the way there tone-wise or feel-wise but the last 2% is magic. What that magic is, again, depends on a player being able to define or appreciate it. And, whether that magic inspires a player to play a little better, a little differently, a little slower, a little more in the zone is all that matters.
But, to say that I’m not paying $250k extra for that extra 2% is just ludicrous and completely misses the point of vintage instruments.
 

rhys1157

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This and we have no idea what microphone was used to record the audio portion of said video.

Nothing replicates the 1959 sound like a compressed audio recorded using a cheap microphone played through cheap speakers thru a garbage sound card
Exactly!
You’re judging a sound so in-depth which is being played through your phone or computer 9 times out of 10.
Or listening to the tone on record with who knows what mics/board/ or whatever. I think it’s just impossible to know until you’re hearing the amp in the room etc.
That being said, what about the amp haha. Does a burst sound replicate through a solid state gorilla amp or trainwrreck best haha
 

rogue3

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.... Most of them sound like Telecasters :acoustic:
Zeppelin, Hendrix, and many others recorded with Teles and then gigged LPs on stage.

.
I had to laugh at this,jvin. The best Telecasters, cranked through a Marshall half-stack have always sounded what i thought to be what a great Les Paul should sound like! I think a nice Tele, mated in the neck pocket tight as a drum,no glue to filter the vibration transfer,and the minimal wood routing that is a telecaster,string through body,makes it simple for great tone.
The single coils, have that bite,which, a fine vintage les paul has,by way of unbalanced coil winds.and the ageing magnets.jmho.

to the video, its on the brighter end of the spectrum for Lesters, imho, in a good way.That clarity thing. Got the hollow thing going too. Got the sustain and bloom thing happening.Decent power in the pups. Nice sound,and, a classic sound,based on only recordings i have heard.
 
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Zylo

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.... Most of them sound like Telecasters :acoustic:
Zeppelin, Hendrix, and many others recorded with Teles and then gigged LPs on stage.

.
Shhhhh

dont destroy the myth! its a bit like trying to recreat that "slash tone"
 

jeggz

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I chase the dragon as much as the next guy, but let’s be clear:

Any decent Les Paul, with any decent PAF type pickup, sounds like a Burst through a cranked decent Plexi clone.
 

101ABN327

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If you want to hear the tone, in the hands of a player wh can get all out of it, download Gary Moore live at Montreux 2010! That's Classic Les Paul tone!
 

abracadaben

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If you want to hear the tone, in the hands of a player wh can get all out of it, download Gary Moore live at Montreux 2010! That's Classic Les Paul tone!
I dont think he even plays a single burst on that live lol
 

jsegel

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2 cents here, my avatar here is playing a 1960 les paul at Chicago Music Exchange. I have a '73 Standard and later onesalso and have played newer ones.
I think there's something to it, but it may be entirely in the mind and ears and hands of the player, in the room you're hearing it in. Probably depends on amps too.
I had this experience about a year and a half ago at Guitar Center in Hollywood in the Vintage Room, a young guy was checking out ES335s, and he was going to compare to a '61 or something with PAFs. I was checking out other things, he was plugged into a Blackface Fender of some sort. When he switched to the older one, it was immediately different in terms of the depth of the sound, like a lot of humbuckers splat onto the tubes and the speaker, these went through the initial strength of the sound to a depth like it was 3d in the room (I wasn't high.)
My experience playing the one in my avatar pic was similar, but I didn't have other Gibsons to compare with except in memory: it was light and very resonant unplugged, plugged in the pickups sounded that same sort of 3d. Plus the guitar was incredibly comfortable and with the sound being produced it felt like you could play anything.
Probably all in the mind, and I think it has more to do with the player and the type of music. I doubt most people could point out the difference on a recording or especially in a live situation, but if it inspires the player, all the better. I doubt I could point out the difference in a recording, frankly.
 

1all's Pub

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but DeCola is wrong about 60 Bursts getting Grovers from the factory. Lots of players added them after the fact, but I’ve never seen factory installed Grovers on any year Burst. Also, Rhett’s Reissue is in no way a “clown burst”. LOL!
 

omstrat

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So much of sound sound is in the amp, the guitarist fingers and of course the guitar. If you blind folded someone and played a real 59 then played a few other nice Les Pauls from different years I doubt many could tell which one was the 59 .
 

captdan61

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Jolly. Great. Just what we need, another one of those "Ha ha, there were fewer than 2000 of these guitars and I've got one and you don't!" videos. I'll grant that it is pretty, but it sounds thin on top to me, even in the neck position. I don't think there's $250,000 worth of tone there. Maybe we are really in love with the amplification they had in 1969.
watch to Doug and Pat show YouTube they do use an old Fox I think it's in a C10 and they're chasing the tone of a very specific 1958 Les Paul Goldtop named Oscar and it is an amazing sounding guitar you're really is they're very transparent about what they're using when they're recording it and they're very anal about chasing the tone. I'm happy with the R9 Les Paul I have in the pickup spots and whatnot that I have in it but if I am able to buy a second one I will follow all of their advice because they goddamn damn close
 

tiller2

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Gents, would you say that amp is a Tweed style? I can't ID it, but that compressed sound is what I associate with Tweed. Guitar + amp = tone, right? Thanks.
 

dasherf17

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I played a few Bursts from 1958 to 1960s, early Goldtops, nearly all the stuff most guys dream about. But I honestly say that not all guitars did sound great.

There's way too much Voodoo about Bursts and vintage gear imo. Of course many of them are well-played instruments but it doesn't have to be an old Burst. Sure, great story behind that guitar but you don't need a '59 to say you own one of the best Les Pauls ever made.

I'm tired of such videos. Never understood how important this vintage blah-blah is for the guitar world today.
While I do get off on the Voodoo bit, I do get tired, m'self, of the wankers..."loogit me" type of thing...
 

bentfinger

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Eric Clapton playing in John Mayalls Bluesbrakers on the "Beano" album
or Mike Bloomfield playing anywhere!
That does it for me
 

gridbias

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Dear Kakerlak, no, that's not the album I had. That one was recorded live, and MB was on the cover playing a top-wrapped Sunburst. It sounded to me like he was playing through a cranked-up Twin or possibly Twins. But thanks, I'll put your album on my wish list.
 

abracadaben

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Thats my biased POV. There is something definitely. Probably mostly electronics though (PAFs and POTs). Ive hear replicas with PAFs and 50s harness that sounded like that...

when I first played a 50s PAF, it sounded just like it should sound. like you have that in your head. Its a subtle difference. but feels like more usable dynamic range and clarity..... that makes you play/enjoy differently. It was more evident after a couple weeks playing.
Its not a big difference but it does make one IMO...

Its like a keyboard with keys that have 24 levels of sensitivity vs an analog one with 256.... you'll get a lot more range and tones on the latter and more fun....

PAFS+CL POTs are bright and have more clarity in the trebles than modern PAFs
 

palmerfralick

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Now it seems everyone's desperate to show off their knowledge of all the extra crap they've installed on their Mac and it masks the guitar and the amp, even if the production is all very clever and 'professional'.
Could not agree more Bob!
 


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