This page is about my love of guitars more than anything, in particular the Gibson Les Paul Standard and the Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster.
In 2010 I sold my only electric guitar to Cash converters and started buying and repairing several fender stratocasters from ebay that were dire need of rerpairs, once sold on I would use the money to buy another guitar and parts and after moving a few guitars I moved onto building my dream guitar. originally I had intended to build and sell replica Gibon Les Pauls, as was in fasion at the time "Ghost building" I wasn't, but certinaly not mis-representing. Anyway after I built my first guitar I fell in love with it and could not part, with familly life and work it another 9 years had gone by to the point where I have 7 guitars. 2 Les Paul copies I made myself (one branded a Gibson and the other branded Riley after my pre-adopted surname and my youngest daughers middle name), a Fender Telecaster copy I branded "The Smuggler" as is a copy of a 1968 tele that took that name due to unusual routing (and hence tone), a 2012 Epiphone Les Paul, a 1982 Tokai Silver Star (1970's "bullett" Fender Stratocaster copy), another Les Paul copy - this one was a fake Gibson so I stripped the logo off and turned it into a 12 string and lastly a Yamaha 6-string acoustic. note: all guitars are 6 string unless noted otherwise..
As I cant really afford a pre-1960's Les Paul standard (or a modern one) - but having a love of the vintage look and some of the ealry design considerations I decided after trawling forums and website pictures that I would build my own 1954 Gibson les Paul Standard to close enough specs that it appear vintage, but to a collector would be obvisouly not... Most people think its real so I have written isndie it in various places that I made it... also I made one strikingly obvious difference - no neck binding, which only appeared in the first half of the first year of the first Gibson Les Paul production run in 1952. Those guitars were so bad that most people dont buy them as have a lot of work to get the playable.
My Guitar I feel has some defining qualities - most of all its tone, this guitar like so many I'd of online got better as the years went on, plus my playing it 30mins every day over 8 years would have helped.... The pictures below are what it looked like when I first made it, since then it has aged as only a 8 year old guitar can - nicely (its 2019 at time of writing this)
Called "plus top" so because of the wavy laminate maple over a maple cap, takes a while to figure out they arent one piece of wood, certainly caught me out when buying it.... lovely guitar but must 5 Kilo!.... or 12 Pounds... its heavy, too heavy for me and hurt my shoulder, so now is used to play "The Rain Song" by Led Zeppelin as requires an odd tuning of DGCGCD!
A Burstbucker Pro pick up bottom, showing the "Patent Applied For" sticker...this is a replica pick up designed by Gibson to be as close as they could get to the original 1958-1962 "PAF" humbucker style pickups found in the Les Paul Standards, known today as "bursts". There were other guitars that also had the highly sought after pickups such as the 1962-64 SG Standard and Customs, also the "Black Beauty" and ES type semi-electrics. But the P.A.F as they are known pickups will forever it seems be the 'buzz-word' for seeling very expensive guitar pick-ups. Between 2009 and 2019 the scale of 'boutique pick-up makers' has exploded onto the guitar mod markets, which are now swamped with many different brands.
Above is the fake Gibson in front of the Epiphone Les Paul I own, you can see some similarities here which give away the fakes, I wont go into it though as is a quamire of deception, fraud and general skull-duggery I dont have time to re-tell, there are many you-tube channels dedicated to the 'fake' Gisbsons and their in-equalities and similarities over th last few years making their detection even harder. Apart from fake Gibsons coming out of china by the thousands every year into western bedrooms we also have the discerning 'vintage' guitar market which also has its fakes, those these arguably of of such a high quality product that they often are comparbale or better than what the company itself can produce en-masse.