The Gibson Les Paul
The Gibson Les Paul is a thick, heavy guitar, both physically and sonically. It features a mahogany body with a maple top, and a set mahogany neck. Mahogany is a very warm-sounding tonewood and accounts for the depth and resonance of Les Pauls are known for.
The maple cap helps to add some clarity to the tone, as maple is a brighter wood. Most Les Pauls have 22-fret rosewood fingerboards, but some feature ebony, and in some recent years Gibson has been using some interesting alternatives like baked Maple.
This traditional combination of woods has served Gibson well over the years and made for some classic instruments. Les Pauls are more elaborately constructed than Strats, with binding around the neck and body, and block inlays in the fingerboard.
Les Pauls have two humbucking pickups, specially made by Gibson. Each pickup has one tone and one volume control, and there’s a toggle switch that flips between the pickups or allows both to be active simultaneously.
The bridge is a Tune-o-Matic with a stop-bar tailpiece. The tailpiece, along with the wood and set neck, gives the Les Paul great sustain capabilities. The simple bridge also means it tends to stay in tune fairly well.