Gibson Les Paul Doublecut

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1960 SG Special
renamed from “Les Paul Special Doublecut” in the late 1959, due to the discontinuation of Les Paul affiliation.[1]

The Gibson Les Paul Doublecut is a double-cutaway version of the Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

Models[edit]

Except for Gibson Custom Shop/Historic models, there are currently four types of the Les Paul double cut model, all of which have been discontinued:

Historic models include
Custom Shop models
  • Les Paul Doublecut Longhorn

Les Paul Faded Doublecut[edit]

The Faded Doublecut has its origin in the Les Paul Special Doublecut, which is an all-mahogany flat-top guitar with P-90 pickups first produced from 1958–1960. The "Faded" model is called such because it does not have a glossy nitrocellulose finish, and has "wear" marks added at the factory to make the guitar look aged. The body is composed of multiple mahogany (usually four) pieces and is sold with a gig-bag (as opposed to a hard-case).

Doublecut design

The Doublecut had one major design change: the original models had the neck pickup mounted closer to the neck/body join which resulted in a weak neck join. This was changed by moving the neck pick up further into the body.

Other faded finish models

The "Faded Doublecut" is one of a series (at least as of 2007) "faded" models being the SG, Les Paul (single cut with humbuckers) and Flying V. All of these models are made in the USA.

Les Paul Special Doublecut[edit]

It is also one of the cheapest Les Paul guitars available. It appears that Gibson has since decided to discontinue much of the faded lines, including the Les Paul Special Double cut for its 2009 lineup.

A much more expensive and historically accurate version of this guitar, the 1960 Les Paul Special, is available as a Custom Shop/Historic Reissue model.

For many years after 1960 no Les Paul Doublecut guitars were produced by Gibson, and when Gibson did start making doublecut Les Pauls again, they were re-issues closely following the original Les Paul Special flat-top (no carved maple cap) design, with P-90 pickups rather than humbucker pickups. In the interim, during the 1970s, a small boutique USA guitar producer, Hamer, began making both flat-top and carved-top doublecutaway guitars very similar to the then-dormant Gibson designs. These Hamer versions of doublecutaway Les Pauls got widespread publicity for their use by the members of the rock band Cheap Trick and others.

Les Paul Standard & Pro Doublecut[edit]

The Les Paul Standard and Pro models of the doublecut LP are a newer concept, based on an arched-top Les Paul with humbucker pickups, similar to the Hamer design. The Pro has 22 frets; the Standard has 24 frets. Unlike other 2-pickup single cutaway Les Pauls, these Gibson doublecutaway versions have one master volume and one master tone control (singlecut Les Pauls with two pickups have two sets of tone and volume controls, one for each pickup). Many believe these newer archtop doublecut Les Pauls were developed in response to the high-end guitars of Gibson competitor Paul Reed Smith (PRS), whose PRS guitars most typically have a doublecut design and master tone and volume controls, and whose production eventually went from a small shop (as Hamer's has stayed) to an assembly-line production rivaling Gibson's. This opinion is further supported by the fact that the first of Gibson's archtop doublecut Les Pauls, the now-discontinued Les Paul Studio doublecut (produced in the late 1990s), had 24 frets, as opposed to Gibson's more standard 22 frets. 24-fret necks are featured on some PRS guitars, and are more popular with heavy metal players who often solo at the high end of the neck. Thus the archtop Gibson Les Paul doublecut models are seen by many to be one of Gibson's bids to stay competitive with more "modern" oriented rock guitarists, though many doublecut owners do not play metal or similar styles.

Les Paul Junior Doublecut[edit]

1959 Gibson Les Paul Junior (TV Yellow)
Main article: Les Paul Junior

Another version of the Les Paul Doublecut is the Les Paul Junior Doublecut. Like the singlecut version of the LP Junior, it has a single "dog-eared" P-90 single coil pickup. This Les Paul doublecut is currently only available as a Gibson Custom Shop/Historic Reissue model, called the "1958 Junior Doublecut." The Junior, in both its singlecut and doublecut forms, was originally Gibson's "student" model. The initial price of the Les Paul Junior was originally $49.50.

Notable Users[edit]

  • Alana Haim uses a Gibson Les Paul Classic Goldtop Double Cutaway during many recordings, live shows, photoshoots and music videos with the band.
  • Billie Joe Armstrong uses and has released a Signature version alongside the release of the Green Day Albums; Uno Dos Tre!
  • Duane Allman used the double cutaway Les Paul (in addition to the SG) for slide guitar.
  • Johnny Thunders played a late 1950's double cutaway Les Paul Junior.
  • Matt Bellamy, the guitarist of the English band Muse, used the Les Paul Doublecut Lite before he started using custom Manson guitars.
  • Claudio Marciello, the guitarist of the Argentinian band Almafuerte, uses this guitar.
  • Tak Matsumoto, the guitarist for Japanese band duo B'z, is known to use a Gibson Les Paul Doublecut.
  • Peter Tosh used Gibson Les Paul Doublecut Special.
  • Thomas Erak used a Gibson Les Paul Doublecut Standard/Plus during most of his time with The Fall of Troy.
  • Lincoln Woo and Logan Middleton of SMGM both use black Les Paul double cuts. Woo's being the Faded model, with 24 frets, and Middleton's being a Les Paul Special with a nitro gloss finish.
  • Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones plays a 1957 Gibson Les Paul double cut in TV Model Yellow. It's always used on Midnight Rambler with a capo at the 7th fret and played with standard tuning.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Duchossoir, A. R. (1998). "Les Paul Special & SG Special". Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years: An Illustrated History of the Electric Guitars Produced by Gibson Up to the Mid-1960s. Musical Instruments Series (revised ed.). Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-79359210-4. "The Les Paul Special was introduced in 1955 as an intermediate model between the regular Les Paul guitar and the lower-priced Junior and TV instruments. Like the latter, the Special underwent two successive body redesigns in 1958 and 1961 while the Les Paul affiliation was discontinued in late 1959. The model was then renamed SG Special without any apparent changes in the specification other than the removal of Les Paul marking. Overall four variants of the Special can be distinguished between 1955 and 1965.”, “Les Paul Special (1955-1958) ...”, “Les Paul Special (1955-1958) ...”, “Les Paul Special (1959) ...”, “SG Special (1959-1961) ...”, “SG Special (1961-...) ..." 

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