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1990 Gibson Les Paul Studio

Last Updated 4/20/2012 2:54:08 PM

By: Troy Michael

1990 Gibson Les Paul Studio1990 Gibson Les Paul Studio

I never thought I would be lucky enough to own an actual Gibson Les Paul guitar in my life let alone two of them.

I recently picked up this sweet black Gibson Les Paul Studio guitar from a musician friend of mine - Todd Fletcher of June and the Exit Wounds. He was getting rid of it to buy something that fit his new style of playing….he went rockabilly instead of indie pop.

I was very aware of this style of guitar because a mutual friend of ours – Matt Talbott of the band Hum – has the same model.

For a Les Paul that has literally been around the world, the shape of this guitar is excellent. There are no chips, scratches or dents. When I bought the guitar for a very nice price I must add, all it really needed was a new toggle switch, new strings and a little clean up. As standard with any Les Paul I have to take off the pick guard – I don’t know what the deal is with pick guards – I just don’t like them on Les Paul’s. After taking the one off this guitar, it was clear it had never been taken off before. It was pretty dull and dirty under there, but with a little polish the paint was sparkling black again.

After everything was set up to my liking I began to play it more often. The sound you get from this two-decade-old guitar is thick, crunchy and raw. The pickups still hold their strength and give you a few options when you play with the toggle switch as most guitars do.

The biggest difference between this 1990 Gibson Les Paul Studio compared to modern Les Paul is the body is a thick chunk of wood. There is no other way to describe it. During the time period Gibson didn’t chamber any of the bodies on the guitars like they do now. So this guitar weighs a ton compared to my others. I am guessing eight pounds or more. The good point of this is that the guitar has tremendous sustain with its neck-through body. The bad news about this is, the guitar nearly seperates your shoulder when you stand up and play.

All in all, I was lucky to find this gem for the price. Apparently these older model Gibson Les Paul Studios are going for a good price because players love that heavy sound and feel, but they will have to look elsewhere because this one is sticking around in my collection.

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