Gibson Reissues the Obscure "The Paul" Les Paul

All through the news of Gibson's bankruptcy earlier this year and its corporate restructuring, there have been some vocal critics asking the company to drop the flashy finishes, focus on classic models, and offer cheaper instruments. While its "Back to Basics" 2019 lineup certainly started down this path, Gibson has now announced the return of one of its most unadorned models of its history: The Paul.

Gibson "The Paul" Reissue

Originally released in 1978, The Paul is a stripped-down take on the classic Les Paul design. It was an early attempt at making an affordable model as Gibson was coming out of its Norlin era.

Available at first in only a natural finish over its walnut body and neck, The Paul had no binding, uncovered pickups, and dot inlays. A carved curvature in the lower bout distinguished it from the Les Paul, while it kept the stopbar tailpiece and tune-o-matic bridge. In 1980, Gibson introduced the Firebrand "The Paul" Deluxe, which featured a mahogany body, a slightly different cutaway, and some optional finishes.

Gibson's The Paul Reissue stays true to the 1978 design, coming in a "walnut vintage gloss" finish. It features nickel-finished aluminum hardware, black control knobs, and no mention of the "Firebrand" branding on its truss rod cover. The uncovered pickups are a 490R in the neck position and a 498T at the bridge.

Gibson dealers are selling this new model for $1,399, and you can find your own here. While vintage models can be found cheaper on Reverb, many of these older guitars have replacement parts. Will this simple, unfussy attempt at a new affordable model find new fans?


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