Gibson Les Paul Personal

personal.gif (18672 bytes) At one point in my guitar collecting frenzy, I thought I had to own at least one example of every Les Paul model ever made. So I went and bought a trio, consisting of the Personal, the Professional and the Signature. If I recall correctly I got them all at a bargain at Gil Southworth's.

The Les Paul Personal is one of those big, bulky and heavy low-impedance guitars that probably bear Les Paul's personal handwriting and preference more than any other model. Note how the shape resembles that of a Les Paul Standard, but the dimensions of the body are different. This large, and consequently heavy design is fine as long as you're playing in a seated position, like Mr. Polsfuss does. But if you're Slash, forget it.

The neck is similar to a Les Paul Custom, with large block inlays, ebony fretboard and Custom-like headstock logo. The pickups are low-impedance, and on this model you do need a special low-impedance cable to get it to work. So, if you ever buy one, see that the seller provides you with that cable. The Personal, unlike the Professional, has a microphone input socket and an input volume control, if you please. You may have seen Les Paul play a customized LP Recording with a mike set up this way and his Les Pulverizer. Again, let's see Slash or Joe Perry do that onstage!

There is an out-of -phase switch and a coil tap that taps the windings at various levels, if you want to get really fancy with electronics. If you're Les Paul and up to all sorts of electronic trickery, that's OK, but guitars nowadays tend to have the effects externally, so needless to say, this model was never really successful.