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First Les Paul - 1991 40th Anniversary


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Hi I'm new to these forums and indeed to Gibsons! After gassing for a Les Paul for a while now, I took the plunge and got a 1991 Les Paul 40th Anniversary. I got far too many Strats and Teles and decided on a Gibson to add to my artillary! Glad I did.. this guitar is Sweet. I chose this particular model because I like the look of the black and the P100 pickups. Not saying it's any better (or worse) than my Fenders, but it has opened up a whole new pallette of sounds for me. Don't know a lot about these guitars other than they were produced in a limited run of 300, and a google search doesn't throw up much info. Just wondering what you seasoned Gibson folk here know about them and what are your thoughts? Like I said this is my first Gibson and to be honest it's one of only a few I've ever played, but it ticks all the right boxes for me as far as set up, tone and looks are concerned!





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Very nice!

Well, it's definitely a real LP but I'm not sure about the year.

The first LP was released in 1952; so, the 40th anniversary would be 1992, not 1991...right?

Is yours all original? The only reason I ask is the first few years they were all gold.

I would assume that all anniversary models would also be gold.

What you should do is email your serial number to Gibson with a few pictures and ask them for some info on the guitar.

Either way, you have a great looking LP. I have a LP with P-90s and it sounds fantastic!

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Hi nine, I'm fairly sure this is all original, as the few other 40th anniversary models I've found on the web all have the same spec and colour. Serial number points to '91 as the date of manufacture, and they all seem to have been made in this year. Don't know why this should be. BTW, The pickups are P100's not P90's, I've corrected my post now. On another note, am I right in thinking the difference between P90's and P100's is the P90's are single coil and the P100's are humbuckers? Very nice 'toys' BTW nine!

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First: HNGD That is a beautiful looking guitar. Great condition.


Second: The 40th annv was launched in 1991 according to one of my Gibson books. They make reference in the book regarding Gibsons' premature launch by a year.


So of course, you are both correct.


Good Luck and Enjoy

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Yeah, she's in near mint condition save for a few little nicks too small to mention. The binding and p/ups have aged to a nice cream, although I believe they were made this way? Also the gold coated hardwear shows no sign of wear, so she's seen little use. Got her off the bay, but from a seller I've dealt with loads of times in the past.

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  • 3 years later...

I just got a Les Paul 40th Anniversary with the Soap Bar P-100's and Ebony fretboard.

Guitar is a closet classic... It is literally in MINT condition, like never played... Until now!

I played the black off this thing this week. LOL. I did forget how heavy Original LPs are.


This thing has the old style gibson square box frets like they used to use on the LP Customs back in the day 'Fretless Wonder'.

Really the neck feels just like an old school Les Paul Custom... I say old school because some of Gibson's reissue LP Customs have had jumbo

frets, nothing like the original. I see this thread is old but I imagine there are not many with this LP. 300 made.


So... I'm new to the Gibson Forum, My first post... But certainly glad to be here!

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.... am I right in thinking the difference between P90's and P100's is the P90's are single coil and the P100's are humbuckers?


This is from a Seymour Duncan Forum....


Because P-100 pickups look identical to P-90 pickups, many people mistakenly think that they are also single coil pickups, and that they are something like a P-90’s on steroids. Nothing could be further from the truth. In order to understand how this guitar sounds, it is important to have some understanding of exactly what a P-100 pickup is, and what it is not. The P-100 is often mistakenly thought to be a “hotter” or more powerful version of the classic single coil P-90 pickup. This is far from the truth. The P-100 is not a single coil pickup at all, in fact it is a “stacked humbucker,” designed to look like a standard P-90. The P-100 pickup was designed to be the same size as a P-90, and to fit in the same cover as a P-90, but it is a humbucking pickup and not a single coil pickup like a P-90. The P-100 is often referred to as a “Vintage Vertical” pickup because it is capable of producing a very warm, vintage humbucking sound.



All early pickup designs were single coil designs, such as the P-90, which itself debuted in 1946. Single coil pickups have, you guessed it, a single coil of wire, and although they are specifically designed to pickup the sound of the strings on a guitar, they can act like an antenna, and may also pickup unwanted radiation or signals from the air, such as 60 cycle hum from electrical house wiring, electric appliances, and florescent lighting. Humbucking pickups on the other hand have two coils, and each coil has wiring that is wound with opposing electrical polarity. The polarity of the noise signal, or unwanted hum, that is picked up is thus negated or “bucked” because the signals are going in opposite directions, and the result is that they cancel each other out. Typically, humbucking pickups have two coils that are side by side. However, the P-100 is a “stacked” humbucker, and it has two reversed single coil pickups or wound bobbins of wire that are stacked one on top of the other, which serve to cancel out unwanted noise and hum. A “stacked” humbucker does not sound exactly the same as conventional side by side humbucker, nor does it sound the same as a single coil pickup. The P-100 has slightly less high frequency response than a P-90, but much more so than a conventional side-by-side humbucker, without the “midrange” hump associated with humbucking pickups. However, because of its humbucking design, it also has a fatter, warmer, and richer sound than could ever be gotten from a P-90, and it is also a “hotter” pickup as well.



How hot is the P-100? Well, for comparison purposes, a P-100 has more output than a Gibson Burstbucker Pro, a Burstbucker # 2, a 490R, and/or a 1957 PAF Classic Humbucking Pickup. On the other hand, a P-100 has less output than a Gibson Burstbucker # 3, 498T, 496R and/or a 500T Humbucking Pickup. The P-100 has the same output as a 1957 PAF Classic Plus and a P-94T Pickup.


I am not making any judgements here but for the most part players did not care for the P-100 pickups. They do not sound anything like a P-90. I am sure there are loads of players that love them. I have never played a guitar with them in it so I cannot give an opinion on them at all.


Still that is a beautiful guitar you got there. Use it in good health.

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I've been playing the hell out of my 40th over the past week and a half I've owned it...

I think these P-100's sound very similar to the 57 PAF Classics... My friend has a CS-339 with 57's

in it and it sounds a bit more warmer, slightly less bite in bridge position. Neck PUs sound very very similar.


Here's a nice pic, paired with my 100% Original 1964 Fender Champ


post-47746-054676400 1349919515_thumb.jpg

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