In search of a Les Paul to equip the showroom to have this reference sound in the arsenal available to visitors and for testing gear, The Guitar Channel had the opportunity to test this 2007 Gibson Les Paul Faded at length kindly lent by a member of the network (thank you Sebastien!). This guitar has the double peculiarity that it is largely chambered (which makes it a rather light Les Paul at 3.4Kg) and that it was modified by Larry Corsa (www.corsaguitars.com) to get the famous sound Peter Green.
Larry Corsa mods
Larry Corsa (www.corsaguitars.com) prides himself on how to modify a Les Paul to bring it as close as possible to the sound of Peter Green's famous Les Paul Burst aka "Greeny" which belonged to Gary Moore and who is now in Kirk Hammet (Metallica) collection.
These changes consist in almost changing all the hardware of the guitar including electronics and sometimes the pickups too. This is not the case in this guitar that has the original Gibson Burstbucker Pro pickups.
Larry Corsa's original photo gallery of this guitar: http://cvguitars.com/PGMod/LCPG-56/index.html
The main modification is to invert the magnetic polarity of the neck pickup to allow this sound so characteristic when both pickups are engaged in the middle position. Note that to make this inversion polarity it is necessary to dismantle the pickup to rotate the magnet and not just rotate the pickup itself 180 degrees as is often believed.
In fact, if you only rotate the microphone will not change at all the sound in the intermediate position. I checked this point with Larry Corsa by mail when I got the guitar since his former owner had put the neck pickup in the standard position rather than in the "Peter GReen" position as you can see in the the photos made by Larry.
To find out more about Peter Green's original Les Paul Burst and what makes it special, I refer you to this excellent 2011 Premier Guitar article.
- Sound path: guitar > cable > amp
- Amp: 100% solide stat high-end Jim 81 Heptode amp
- Post prod: Reverb Average Room 20% added in Final Cut Pro, level normalization
2007 Les Paul Faded Gibson Larry Corsa modded review
X-rayed Les Paul
Here's a rare couple of pictures of an X-rayed Les Paul where you can see that most of the Mahogany body of the instrument has been chambered.
What I enjoyed the most
- The sounds in the 3 positions
- The out-of-phase Peter Green sound
- The tuning stability
- Lightweight guitar (around 3kg)
- The timeless class of the Les Paul
What I enjoyed the least
- The sharp edges of the body of the Les Paul ...
Probably the hardcore fans of the Les Paul will cringe at seeing the X-ray photos of this Faded Les Paul that highlights that a large part of the body is hollowed out. Personally, chambered or not, I judge only by the sound and this guitar sounds very very well. Plus, I can' stand to have guitars with a weight of 4.5Kg or more than 5Kg, no thank you! Here we are in around 3Kg, a real feather for a Les Paul: a dream came true.
The sound of this guitar seduced me. It sounds on all pickup positions. In general I'm not a fan of the intermediate positions but there, with this Peter Green mod, if you get used to the lower level since there is phase cancellation, you get access to a great sound palette just by playing with the volume knobs.
In the middle position, with the two volumes at the bottom, we have the maximum Peter Green effect with a very hollow sound, very quacky. As soon as we drop a volume of 1 or 2 notches, curiously we recover volume. In fact it's natural since we then reduce the effect of the cancellation between the two pickups. This allows you to fine-tune the sound palette by touching one of the two volume buttons.
In clear, crunch or saturated sounds, this guitar is a blast!