'73 Les Paul Deluxe
My girlfriend and I were innocently going to a movie nearby Southside guitars in Williamsburg, we had a few minutes to kill and we happened into the store as a result.
Southside guitars has an amazing selection of gear, mostly vintage stuff. Hanging on the wall was the '73 Les Paul Deluxe that would soon be mine. It's a beat up looking guitar with a headstock repair, a refinish job and not a few scars and nicks on it. Even one of those blemishes effects the value of the guitar, especially the refinish, which knocks much of the price down on the vintage market but does not effect the overall tone on an electric guitar. The Deluxe LP's are also made with mini humbuckers which are not as prized as the vintage PAFS that come on other models. It's a great option for someone who wants a old Gibson but has a budget to think about. My guitars will gig in some not-so-savory places. It's ideal for me to have something that sounds great but isn't so flashy.
When I picked up the guitar it all came together immediately. Sometimes 1+1=3 as Springsteen says. The neck of the guitar felt perfect to my hand, and thats the first sign to me that a guitar should be purchased. Tone is one thing, but I have to be able to play it. The Mini Humbuckers are super spanky but will take as much drive as you can give 'em without blowing the treble out. That's not something that Fender can do straight through an amp. The sustain on the guitar is unbelievable, I have to re-learn some of my playing technique because of how long a note will hang in midair. Playing in a trio it can be hard for a guitar to cut through the mix at a lower volume but this thing has no problem. It's piercing and thick at the same time. It sparkles with bottom end. I guess thats what you call midrange? Run it through a Fender amp and it takes the best qualities of Fender tone, through Marshall it does the same thing. It's versatile but each thing it will do sounds authentic.
I got it setup at Carmine street guitars in the West village, it's the best damn repair shop in NYC, and run by kind, fair people who have forgotten more about guitars than I will ever learn. The nut was a little run down and had to be raised, but there is plenty of life left in the frets and everything else is sound. Whew!
My only complaint is that it is heavy as hell. I guess they aren't kidding when they talk about back problems on LP players, or why every aging rock star switches to Fender. I traded the Duesenberg for it, one guitar I don't like in exchange for one that I love? Yes please. Come hear it in action at my EP release at Rockwood music hall Stage 3 11/4. Tickets still available here