1981 Gibson Les Paul Elite

1981 Gibson Les Paul Elite

Welcome to JTKM STUDIO.


Don’t have £300,000 to buy a 1959 Burst?  That’s ok!  Don’t want to spend almost £20,000 on a 1968 Gibson Les Paul Custom?  That’s ok too!  Don’t want to spend on a 1950’s Les Paul with P90 pickups?  That’s ok too!  Don’t want to spend £7000 on a new Gibson Les Paul from the Murphy Lab for it to lose 50% of its value as soon as it arrives?  That’s ok too!  So no Les Paul then….


Well, no.  If you’re looking for a Gibson Les Paul which sounds incredible and a solid investment we highly recommend the Gibson Les Paul Heritage Series from 1980 to 1983.  The Heritage Series offered three versions of the 1959 Les Paul standard; those being the Standard 80, the Standard Elite 80 and the very rare (approximately only 50 made) Heritage 80 Award.  Korina versions of the Flying V (now sky high in price), Moderne and the Explorer were also offered as part of the Heritage Series.  The Heritage Series was much needed in the early 80’s and thanks to Tim Shaw these were an absolute success.  The pickups equipped on all of these models were built and designed side-by-side against a 1959 PAF.  The result is one of the best sounding pickups very created.  Plug straight into a Watkins Dominator from the late 50’s and there you have it, the tone you’ll likely only ever need, period!


So what JTKM STUDIO have here is a Gibson Les Paul Sandard-80 Elite model.  To summarise the difference between a Standard-80 and a Standard-80 Elite, the Elite is a significant upgrade on the Standard-80.  The Elite has a solid mahogany neck and body (while the Standard has a 3 piece neck) and comes with an ebony board rather than a rosewood board.


This Gibson Les Paul Elite is from early 1981 and was made in the Nashville plant on the 62nd day of 1981.  The Tim Shaw pickups are strong and well balanced (7.35 Neck and 7.39 Bridge).  The pots are CTS branded pots dating to the 45th Week of 1980 X 2, the 29th week on 1980 and the 1X (can’t read) week of 1980.  All soldering and wiring is correct and untouched from the factory.  The cavity cover has been removed but is in the case.  I’ve never seen the point of those covers.  There is a small crack under the cavity cover due to one of cavity screws being forced a little too much, its nothing to worry or care about, it just means one of the screws is a little loose.  The pickups are the expected 137 (neck) and 138 (bridge) winds and were built in December 1980. 


What we love about this Les Paul is that its genuinely starting to look and feel like a true, well cared for vintage Les Paul.  The neck is nicely worn in, the fret board has some wear and feels great, as do the frets and it has signs of age that cannot be replicated in any custom shop!  Lastly, we will let the photos do the talking, just look at that stunning, figured burst!


If you want a Les Paul that you will love for a lifetime, look no further than the Gibson  Heritage Series. 


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