There's just something cool about chopper motorcycles and vintage hot rods—sometimes, the right parts come together to create something special, something with it's own unique character. The same can be true of guitars, and these old "choppers" are great players that stand out on stage. In the right hands, these guitars can inspire magic unlike standard factory specs. Sometimes, you need something different that's customized just right.
This old Les Paul started its life in Kalamazoo, Mich., in 1971 as a Gibson Les Paul Deluxe. At some point along they—we're told the conversion started when seeking new frets—this Les Paul was heavily modified and made into something brand new. The Deluxe model usually has Mini Humbuckers, but this one has been routed out to fit full-size humbuckers. From there, it has a mid-'60s patent # humbucker in the neck position and an early-edition Seymour Duncan Seth Lover in the bridge. It was refinished to be a goldtop and set up with a Bigsby, too. It has tricked-out hardware including Grover "Milk Bottle" tuners and a MIJ bridge.
All of the modifications were done with the utmost care, and this Les Paul Deluxe has been turned into a mean, rock-and-roll machine. It plays smooth and fast all the way up the neck, and it produces powerful humbucker tones. The Bigsby adds another tool for expression, and if you've ever tried a vintage, broken-in Bigsby, you know the sweet subtlety and feel.
Any way you look at it, this '71 Les Paul Deluxe is a badass Gold Top that does the LP thing in spades. The bridge pickup has a ton of bite—more than capable of setting your amp on fire—but the controls lend a wide range of flexibility and tones. It includes its original Gibson-branded case.