We love an early 60’s Les Paul (SG) here at ATB Guitars and its always a treat when a new one comes in like this 1961 Gibson Les Paul Standard.
Especially one with not a single hint of a crack, repair, over spray or 'stress crack' anywhere..!
Advertised as ‘the fastest neck in the world’ when it was introduced in 1961, the new design was a step too far for Les Paul who asked Ted McCarthy (Gibson president) to remove his name from the model. The better access to the neck, unique voice and reduced weight did make it popular with artists such as Duane Allman, Dickie Betts, Eric Clapton, Micky Jones of Man, Jerry Garcia…the list goes on!
We’ve seen faded cherry finishes before but the evenness of this fade all over the body and neck is a sight to behold. Very little of the original shade remains save for the striking colour found underneath the pickup surrounds and the pickguard. There are also a few minor dings and scratches but no serious wear. The neck has faded to a mahogany shade with the pigment almost entirely gone which gives the impression of a sunburst which is quite attractive. The lacquer has worn to a comfortable surface and like the body there are a few minor dinks here that don’t affect playability. The fretboard is in good shape with only a little wear to the surface and has been refretted. The electronics are correct, the PAF pickups don’t seem to have had the covers off.
The guitar comes with its correct black tolex hardshell case with yellow lining.
Sonically,, this guitar doesn’t disappoint. Those of you familiar with the SG will know that it has a higher texture than its older sibling with more of a bite. Add to this a pair PAF pickups and it all opens up. This guitar screams, both pickups are well balanced and there is so much variation available by simply adjusting the volume and tone. The neck is comfortable and not too slim, as can be the case with models from the following year.
The current and correct vibrato is at the moment fitted with a MoJo Ax Vibrostop which is probably best left alone, as seems to be the consensus, however the original internal gubbings are in a bag in the case and can be reinstated if needs be.
If you’re looking for a guitar with character, you can’t go wrong with this 1961 Gibson Les Paul Standard. Great tone and looks to die for with a lovely broken in feel. It won’t break your back either!