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Les Paul Tribute 1952
The passing of the incomparable Les Paul in August 2009 broke the hearts of guitar enthusiasts around the world. What can never be broken, though, is the legacy of innovation and creativity that he built during 94 years of constant musicianship. Though the original guitar he designed in 1952 has informed every Gibson guitar since, our engineers were inspired anew to handcraft a guitar just the way Les demanded it nearly 60 years ago. Never before has a Les Paul guitar been so completely designed to Les’ original specifications. Until now. Anchored by a golden mahogany body, maple top and rosewood fingerboard, the Les Paul Tribute 1952 is equipped with an all-new bridge that’s an exact replica of Les’ original 1952 patent. Our luthiers have also added historical interest with details like stamping “prototype” into the back of the peg head and staying true to Les’ preference for P-90 pickups. The Les Paul Tribute 1952 honors the most important figure in all of guitar history and the guitar he designed and loved.
Each Les Paul Tribute 1952 is topped with a two-piece maple top that fits snugly onto a two-piece mahogany body. Top and body are bonded together with ultra-strong Franklin Titebond 50 glue. This wood combination yields not only a gorgeous exterior but also a specific yet versatile tone that many guitarists have come to demand.
This Les Paul’s maple top is Grade C and its mahogany body is Grade A.
The gleaming gold finish of the Les Paul Tribute 1952 is complemented with stunning antique binding, done painstakingly by hand in Gibson’s Nashville, TN shop. 
  Average Weight
The average weight of a Les Paul Tribute 1952 body is 5.70 lbs.
  Tonal Characteristics
The mahogany body of the Les Paul Tribute 1952 cranks out tone that is somewhat soft, but extremely well-balanced, with good grind and bite. It has the potential for good depth, with full (though not super-tight) lows, velvety highs and a slightly compressed response. Its maple cap adds snap, sizzle and sustain. The guitar’s resonance also benefits from not having any bridge or stopbar holes.
The top of the Les Paul Tribute 1952 comes in a classically beautiful Gold finish, just as Les’ first Les Paul Model guitars did. The rim, back and neck showcase the beautiful grain patterns of Grade A mahogany and are treated to many coats of high-gloss lacquer. This lacquer accentuates the beautiful wood grain patterns of the mahogany body and protects its maple top.
  Surface Texture
The 90-sheen lacquer finish gives the Les Paul Tribute 1952 a sleek surface that’s smooth to the touch.
The Les Paul Tribute 1952 gets it finish by hand in a process that demands several coats and many hours. Unlike many other manufacturers who settle for a polyurethane finish, Gibson opts for a nitrocellulose finish that will encourage the natural vibration of the instrument for a purer tone. In addition, a nitro finish is very porous and actually gets thinner over time. That way your guitar’s wood can breathe and age beautifully.
Neck and Headstock
The neck of the Les Paul Tribute 1952 is constructed from a solid piece of Grade-A mahogany, the hands-down best choice for guitarists who demand a strong but lightweight neck. Before becoming “putty” in the hands of Gibson’s skilled craftsmen, the mahogany is milled and cut to a highly desirable “quarter sawn” wood grain orientation and then kiln dried until it has reached optimum moisture levels.
Truss Rod
Gibson’s traditional truss rod, found in most all of our guitars, is highly responsive to the individual adjustments you’ll want to make to personalize and optimize string action and sustain. The truss rod cover on this guitar is chrome.
This Les Paul is fitted with Gibson’s classic ’50s neck profile, which is a thicker, rounder profile than the necks that followed in the ’60s.
  Joint Angle
5.0° (+/- 15 seconds)
Headstock Angle
The Les Paul Tribute 1952 headstock is carefully angled at a tried-and-true 17 degrees, which increases pressure on the strings and helps them stay in the nut slots. An increase in string pressure also means there is no loss of string vibration between the nut and the tuners, which equals better sustain.
The Gibson logo — one of the most globally recognized logos of all time — is inlaid in mother of pearl onto the headstock of the Les Paul Tribute 1952. The “Les Paul Model” signature is silkscreened in gold just below the logo. To offer historical interest, the word “prototype” is stamped into the back of the peg head.
  Tonal Characteristics
The angled, classical-style peg headoffers enhanced sustain.
  Average Weight
The average weight of the neck on a Les Paul Tribute 1952 is .98 lbs.
Neck Fit
Gibson uses what is known as the Mortise & Tenon joint to bind neck to body so that the two pieces form one solid unit. This time-tested joint style has been used in all the great woodworking arts — from shipbuilding to cabinetry — and has been proven to yield a stronger neck and body than if the instrument was made from a single piece of wood.
The adhesive used to join neck and body on the Les Paul Tribute 1952 is Franklin Titebond 50, one of the strongest glues on the market today.
When fitting the neck and body together, we take advantage of our precise measuring equipment so that all angles, pitches and alignments maintain a tolerance within .005 of an inch. Not only does this help to keep your guitar in tune but it also maintains proper string alignment relative to the fingerboard.
  Joint Angle Tolerance
0.0° (+/- 15 seconds)
The Les Paul Tribute 1952 is equipped with a Grade-A rosewood fingerboard, loved by guitarists the world over for its comfortable playability and mellow tone.
The 12-inch radius of the Les Paul Tribute 1952 fingerboard provides smooth note bending capabilities and eliminates “dead” or “choked out” notes, common occurrences on fingerboards with lesser radiuses.
The Les Paul Tribute 1952 sports 22 frets.
The acrylic trapezoid inlays that decorate the fingerboard of this Les Paul are made of white ABS plastic, giving these classic inlays the look you lust for. The neck is also accented by gorgeous antique binding.
  Average Weight
The average weight of a rosewood fingerboard is approximately .24 lbs.
  Tonal Characteristics
Rosewood is a very popular fingerboard material, known worldwide for its warm tone.
The nut on the Les Paul Tribute 1952 is made from Corian, which is mainly composed of acrylic polymer. It’s a very durable material, delivers enhanced sustain, and holds the tolerances of the precision cuts made by Gibson’s PLEK machine. It is installed into the top surface of the neck, butting up to the end of the fingerboard to ensure proper tone and sustain transfer.
The width of the nut on the Les Paul Tribute 1952 is approximately 1.695”.
Both the neck and bridge position pickups are equipped with cream-colored screaming single-coil P-90 pickups. The P-90 was the standard pickup on all Gibson models in the late 1940s and into the 1950s and because of its crisp, bright tone it has experienced resurgence in popularity with many of today’s modern rockers.
  Wire Material
The wire used in the P-90 pickup is made of copper.
  Coil Material
The coil of each pickup is made from ABS plastic, which is hard and durable and can withstand a broad range of temperatures.
  Tonal Characteristics
These classic Gibson pickups deliver sizzling, slightly gritty midrange roar. You’ll find that the P-90s’ high output and biting treble has more nuanced harmonic coloring than the typical Fender single coil pickup.
Volume Controls
The Les Paul Tribute 1952 features two Gold Speedvolume controls with potentiometers made by CTS. The pots (short for potentiometer) have an ohm reading of 300k, which allows for a smooth variation from soft to loud.
Tone Controls
The Les Paul Tribute 1952 features two Gold Speedtone control knobs with a potentiometer made by CTS. The pot has an ohm reading of 500k, which is the highest value for a panel pot, and provides a very smooth transition between highs and lows.
Toggle Switch
The Les Paul Tribute 1952 features one three-way toggle switch made of stainless steel and adorned with a crème cap and a crème washer. This switch acts as the instrument’s pickup selector. In the down position, only the bridge pickup is active. In the middle position, both pickups are active. In the up position, only the neck pickup is active.
Output Jack
The Les Paul Tribute 1952 features a 1⁄4” output jack made by Switchcraft. Its super heavy duty construction holds your guitar cable securely in place. The jack is offset by a plastic crème jack plate.
Tuning Keys
The headstock of the Les Paul Tribute 1952 is equipped with vintage-style tuning keys with press-in bushings. Plated in nickel and sealed with a special lubricant, these keys are designed to withstand a lifetime of tunings.
The bridge on this Les Paul is a tribute to Les. Gibson engineers designed it after the original Les Paul patent of 1952. The story goes that Les and Gibson had a difference of opinion on the string wrap direction. Gibson wanted it to wrap underneath and Les wanted to be able to palm mute the strings so he needed it to wrap over the top of the bar. When Gibson’s didn’t see it his way, Les designed and patented one himself in 1952. So here it is, Les, just for you …
The brass trapeze tailpiece on the Les Paul Tribute 1952 guitar is also closely modeled after the hardware on the original model.
Strap Buttons
The Les Paul’s aluminum strap buttons are the same style and design that Gibson has used since the early 1950s.
Control Knobs
The control knobs on the Les Paul Tribute 1952 are Gibson’s Gold Speed knobs, found on many vintage and modern Gibson guitars.
The pickguard on this guitar is made of cream-colored ABS plastic and is designed specially to fit around P-90 pickups.
The Les Paul Tribute 1952 is fitted with genuine Gibson strings, sizes .010 - .046.
  Hardshell Case
Your Les Paul Tribute 1952 Plain Top comes protected in one of Gibson’s durable hardshell cases.
  Certificate of Authenticity
Each Les Paul Tribute 1952 comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, which carries an Les Paul photo insert and the details of your guitar.
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