While Les Paul remains deeply influential as a guitar player, perhaps his greatest legacy will be his contribution to the evolution of electric guitars. By 1951, Les Paul was a respected guitar player, and he was known as a bit of an innovator, too. He had experimented with the solid body electric guitar concept for years, so Gibson president Ted McCarty approached him that year to discuss a collaboration. The result was the Gibson Les Paul Model, which remains one of the most influential and forward-thinking electric designs ever conceived. Since the 1950s, it has been the flagship of Gibson's electric lineup.
By the early 2000s, the Les Paul Standard model very closely resembled the late-'50s humbucker-equipped icon, and it was offered with a "Plus" AAA Flame Maple top. This 2003 Les Paul Standard Plus features the Desert Burst finish, which has aged and mellowed nicely. The original owner of this one stuffed it in a storage locker for a few years, and that caused very cool aging of the finish and metallic parts (especially the pickup covers, bridge, and tailpiece). Fortunately, there was no damage to the guitar—all of the binding is 100%, and all of the original parts and hardware function as they should.
This 2003 Standard Plus sports two PAF-inspired Burstbucker pickups that help deliver smooth, powerful Les Paul tone. The Burstbucker utilizes Alnico V magnets to recreate the touch-sensitive PAF feel. In the Gibson catalog, its neck carve would've been described as a '60s neck, but it's a bit chunkier than the classic "slim taper" '60s profile. At the first fret, the neck depth is .860", and the depth measures .990" at the 12th fret. The current setup is low and inviting, and the original frets have plenty of life left.
This 2003 Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus shows some wear and tear around the body, especially on the back and around the back edge (see photos), but it is free of any repair or issues. The unintentional aging gives it a cool look and vibe, and when plug it in and crank it up, this guitar delivers all of the Les Paul tone you could ask for. It includes a Gibson USA gig bag w/ white plush lining.