One Les Paul, Four Pickups, Eight Knobs

Too many knobs?   01-Aug-13

One Les Paul, Four Pickups, Eight Knobs

We're trying to trace the origin of this photo, recently posted on the Gear Talk forum. It's splitting opinion, with some people saying it's a versatile workhorse, and others saying it's an abomination of a classic guitar.

The picture shows a Les Paul with four pickups - a humbucker, mini humnucker, single coil, and P-90, and also eight knobs.

It divided opinion in the office too, and sparked a bit of debate about where 'the line' is when it comes to modifying classic models such as Les Pauls, a guitar which seems to get modded much less often than Stratocasters or Telecasters.

It was particularly popular and fashionable to modify strats or even build them out of random parts during the 1980s after the trailblazing Super Strat gurus showed us that the iconic guitars could be used for metal.

But generally, Les Pauls remained quite stable in their design, with few people choosing to modify them to any great extent, and Gibson offering only slight variations in pickup configurations, such as the famous triple humbucker design.

One obvious reason for this is that it is physically difficult to mod a Les Paul, the scratchplate does not conceal the electronics as it does in a Stratocaster or a Telecaster, it's a much bigger task to rewire the guts of a Les Paul or to install a new pickup.

On a Stratocaster, you just have to pop the strings off, unscrew the scratch plate, and you've got access to the whole kaboodle.

So if anyone nows the origin of this photo, do let us know.

Amped Editor



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