The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus

The Les Paul Tribute Plus is far and away the best Les Paul for the money you can find anywhere in the world, a perfect combination of tradition and innovation. It's the culmination of years of refining what for many was already a perfect guitar. Epiphone features the Les Paul Tribute Plus, one of those rare guitars that expertly combines tradition and innovation.

The Les Paul Tribute Plus features a solid Mahogany back with a solid, carved hard Maple cap for the ultimate combination of warmth and bite. And it's powered by two Gibson USA '57 Classic humbucker pickups with series/parallel pickup switching via two push/pull tone pots with 4-conductor pickup wiring. Best of all for historic-minded players (which all Les Paul players are), the Les Paul Tribute Plus is the very kind of solid body electric that Les himself envisioned when he first started tinkering after hours in the Epiphone factory in Manhattan in 1940 when the R&D department at Epiphone was one of the most advanced instrument laboratories in the country. Les wanted to invent a guitar that could do anything; give a player any tone they could imagine, a sound that had heft, bite, sweet, or sour, while also making the player look outstanding. And the House of Stathopoulo was the place to make it happen.

"When I started playing, well... ever since I was a freckle-faced, red-headed kid, I just attacked the guitar," Les Paul told Epiphone's Ted Drozdowski. "I was terribly aggressive about it. There were certain things that, if they intrigued me, whether it was music or electronics, I just went for the throat."

In many ways, the Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus is the guitar that Les made for himself long before we did. For those who saw the Les Paul Trio in New York at the Iridium or Fat Tuesdays at their weekly gig, it was clear that Les treated the guitar as an instrument--not a collector's item. A good guitar ("Epiphone always made a good guitar," Les once said) should be a tool and the quicker a guitarist could adjust or dramatically alter their sound, the better. For Les, experimentation and spontaneity was key to great artistry and that spirit lives on in the Les Paul Tribute Plus.

The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus

"Les was my guitar idol and I was honored to call him my friend for so many years," Lou Pallo of the Les Paul Trio told Epiphone. "When we put the trio together, Les would say we're going to... well, he'd never tell us what we're going to do (laughs). He would come in and play a song that we'd never played before. But then I'd go home and look at the changes in a fake book or whatever I had to make sure they were the correct changes, which Les loved."

Just flip through the auction catalog for the Estate of Les Paul and you'll find that every guitar Les ever owned--including Epiphones from the 40's through the modern era--were lovingly tinkered with.

'Tinkering'--Les Paul-style--at the original Epiphone factory meant re-wiring pickups, refining, sculpting, and sometimes sawing his favorite Epiphone archtops in half and attaching them to railroad ties, discarded blocks of scrap wood, and anything else he could find in an effort to make a guitar that could "sustain for days" and become the ultimate can-do instrument.

Epiphone owner Epi Stathopoulo had a long friendship with Les and thanks to Epi's generosity (not to mention the factory keys), the primordial version of the Les Paul Tribute Plus can be traced back to Les' first working solid body electric, "the Log," which was made in the off hours at the Epiphone factory on 14th St. in New York City.

Today's Les Paul Tribute Plus is probably closest to what Les was looking for and you won't find a better--or more affordable--Les Paul on the market today.

The Epiphone Tribute Les Paul features a solid Mahogany back with a solid, carved hard Maple cap to create the ultimate combination of warmth and bite. The solid mahogany neck with a hand-fitted, glued-in joint extends well into the neck pickup cavity, creating maximum neck-to-body contact and acting almost like one continuous piece of wood. Combined with the Mahogany/Maple body, the result is a tribute to Les' timeless guitar design with the sound that you can only get from a Les Paul. Color finishes include Black Cherry, Faded Cherry, Midnight Ebony, Midnight Sapphire, and Vintage Sunburst.

The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus

Capturing all the power and nuances of the "Tribute's" tonewoods is a pair of authentic Gibson USA '57 Classic humbucker pickups. With their "Patent Applied For" decal on the base plate, the '57 Classic and '57 Classic Plus are faithful replicas of the famous PAF Gibson humbuckers created by Seth Lover that helped define the "Les Paul" sound. The '57 Classic gives you a tone that is warm and subtle with full, even response that doesn't hold back when you need that classic Gibson humbucker crunch! The '57 Classic Plus is the perfect bridge pickup and mimics humbuckers from the late '50s that often received a few extra turns of wire. This treatment gives the pickup a slightly higher output without sacrificing its rich, vintage tone. When combined, these humbuckers overdrive tube preamps to a smooth level of saturation without becoming overpowering. Both '57 Classic humbuckers feature Gibson's special Alnico II magnets, vintage enamel coated wire, nickel plated pole pieces, nickel slugs, maple spacers and vintage-style braided wiring.

But this Les Paul is not just about recreating the "old", it's also about looking ahead, just as Les himself continued to do throughout his lifetime. Using 4-conductor pickup wiring, Epiphone has added two push/pull tone pots to allow for series/parallel pickup switching. The result gives you a Les Paul with all the legendary sounds plus a huge palette of tonal possibilities at your fingertips. Other key upgrades include a USA Switchcraft™ 3-way toggle, Mallory-150 tone capacitors, Epiphone StrapLocks, 18:1 ratio premium Grover® 106 Series Locking Rotomatic machine heads, and a premium hard case.

Zakk Wylde, who today is one of the Les Paul guitar's greatest ambassadors, put the power of Les's invention in perspective in a classic interview with Epiphone. "How much more perfect can you make a Les Paul? They are beyond perfect. The Les Paul embodied all the greats, everybody played Les Pauls. He is also the sickest guitar player who ever lived! I know, 'cause I've played with him. First time I met him, he told me: I have heard your name before, I said: 'yeah, I've got a Les Paul named after me!' He said, well damn, I do too!"

The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus is what Epiphone--and Les--are all about: innovation and tradition. What else do you expect from a company full of mavericks and guitar players? Find a Les Paul Tribute Plus today at your authorized Epiphone dealer.

"Once Miles Davis asked me, 'What's the secret, Les? People love you.' I said, "The secret is, I don't play for myself; I play for the people. I do my best to entertain."---Les Paul

Les Paul Tribute Plus Specifications:

 

Body Material: Mahogany
Top Material: Carved Hard Maple w/AAA Flame Maple Veneer
Neck Material: Mahogany
Neck Shape Options: 1960's SlimTaper™, D Profile
Neck Joint: Vintage "Deep-Set", Glued-In
Truss Rod: Adjustable
Scale Length: 24.75"
Fingerboard Material: Rosewood w/Mother-Of-Pearl Trapezoid Inlays
Neck Pickup: Gibson USA '57 Classic™ Humbucker (4-Wire)
Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA '57 Classic Plus™ Humbucker (4-Wire)
Controls: Switchcraft™ 3-Way Pickup Selector, Neck Pickup Volume, Bridge Pickup Volume, Neck Pickup Tone (push/pull - series/parallel), Bridge Pickup Tone (push/pull - series/parallel)
Electronics: Mallory-150 Tone Capacitors
Binding: Fingerboard-1-Ply (Cream), Body - 1-Ply (Cream)
Fingerboard Radius: 12"
Frets: 22, Medium-Jumbo
Bridge: LockTone™ Tune-o-Matic/Stopbar
Nut Width: 1-11/16"
Hardware: Nickel
Machine Heads: Grover™ Locking
Colors: Black Cherry (BC), Faded Cherry Sunburst (FC), Midnight Ebony (ME), Midnight Sapphire (MS), Vintage Sunburst (VS)
Warranty: Epiphone Limited Lifetime
Est. USA Street Price: $599

 

Les Paul Tribute Plus Gallery:

The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus

The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus

The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus

The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus

The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus

The Epiphone Les Paul Tribute Plus