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Les Paul Recording 72 : Help needed


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Hi, i have a 72 Les Paul Recording which ive owned since about 1995 and after trawling the net to find out more about it there are a couple of things that im struggling on and am hoping for some help with.


Firstly the tuners are not original and if its possible i would like to track some originals down and restore it to its former glory. Problem is, ive seen many different types pictured on this model (gibson and grover types) so im not sure what to go for and also where i should look as im guessing they will be pretty hard to find.


Second, i cant seem to find clear info on how to use the low impedance setting. It seems you need a shure a95u but im not sure how to set it up and whether i need any special cabling such as a low impedance microphone cable or how i need to set up the amp.


Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

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The originals may have been Grovers. Whatever they were, you won't find them.


It does require impedance matching to get it into yer amp, and that was done via cable. I have no idea what kind of cable.


Good luck with it. I remember them well. Just not fondly.



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I have an old ('74ish) catalog that states (and shows) the Recording model as having a built-in transformer, with a "Output - Hi/Low" switch on the control panel.


The link provided above also has some good basic info, including stating that Grovers were factory equipment. The photo in my catalog seems to show metal tulip buttons like would be found on Klusons, but it was a total crap shoot as to what parts Gibson was using during that period. If your Grovers are not original, there will be tell tale signs of replacement such as extra screw holes, and/or an outline or impression in the finish from the original tuners.


It is my understanding that Grovers and Klusons have different size shafts and use different size bushings, so to convert back to Klusons (if period correct) may not be as easy and simple as it may seem. There a few companies out there that make replicas of virtually all modern tuning machines, finding the tuners may be the easy part. Determining what they were, and if you can convert back, will be the hard part.


I'll try to scan this catalog page and post it later.

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Thanks for your replies, I have read the link above but it wasn't clear about how to use the low impedance option other than you need a transformer (shire a95u) and a 'special lead'. I have no idea what this special lead is or how to set it up and I am not a very technical person so i hoped to find someone who could explain it to a simpleton like me! I found a link to a site called woodys les paul recording page which mentions "During 2010 there has been much discussion about always leaving the LPR switched to low impedance and running it through a low-to-high impedance transformer such as a Shure A95U XLRM/Lo-Z - Hi-Z 1/4" Female/Male Transformer. Apparently the enhanced musical range and tonal responses is significant". Needless to say I cannot find any of these discussions..


In regards to the tuners, i know the ones fitted to my guitar are not original (they are a 90's grover with kidney shaped head). Most pictures I have seen of this model/year show a grover tulip style head (although there are lots of variations for sure) so i was thinking of trying to source those. Is it really true that I have no chance of finding replacements because i do see tuners on ebay which seem to fit the bill. I have no idea of the authenticity etc but in theory something like this seems to fit the bill:


Vintage 70's Grovers??


I would appreciate some opinion on buying 'authentic' Gibson parts from ebay as i am always suspicious. Thanks again

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These are the type of tuners I've always seen on the LPR's


The buttons may be different but the tuners are the same, just labled Gibson instead of Schaller. (The buttons match the older Les Paul Personal, leaning on the amp).

Running the guitar with the internal impedance switch to "LOW" & using a chord with an inline transformer does sound much more impressive than running it with the internal transformer. The tones & harmonics are incredible. I've run into many inline mic transformers that have worked just fine, some with a 1/4" jack input.

Here is a link to a brochure on Jules websight...


And a picture of my Low Impedance collection.


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Wow that is an impressive collection. I guess i will just have to experiment with a low impedance microphone cable out of my guitar into the transformer plugged as close to the amp as i can get. It just seems with the mic cables and shure transformer they dont run jack plugs at both ends so i will end up having to use adapters of some kind to get it all to connect together.


In regards to the tuners, the vintage schallers in the link above have the screw hole in the wrong place for my Les Paul. On mine the screw hole is underneath (not at the side), as with the grovers in the ebay link i posted. I am really not sure what to do and am wondering whether i will end up spending a lot of money on some tuners that I cant be sure are period, wont work any better than the ones on it, and probably wont make it any more authentic or original.

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I pulled out the two guitars & the tuners are different. I just saw a set of tuners that were correct on ebay last week. I posted a photo for reference, they are both Schallers.


I've found several of these type of transformers through the last 10 years or so. I plug the transformer into the amp & a standard guitar chord into it.

Here is a set that could use a bit of polishing...


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Ok I've been doing some further research today and there is one thing I'm really not sure about.. the Shure a95u transponder has an xlr connection on the input side (with a 1/4 male jack on the output side which would plug into the amp) which i somehow need to plug my ts 1/4 inch guitar cable into. The only adapters i can find so far to do this have a stereo trs female 1/4 input. So my question is, is it ok to plug a ts 1/4 inch male jack into a trs female adapter?

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You can buy a high impedance mic chord with a standard 1/4 guitar jack on one end. Many of the earlier shure mics were switchable from hi to low impedance. That was one thing that they changed on the Les Paul Signature guitar & bass. They added the three wire balanced line out jack on the outer bout.





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  • 2 weeks later...


That is one impressive collection. I have been trying for years to locate a Les Paul amp to no success. Kudos to you.

Les would have been very proud to see that set-up.


I've had my LP Professional since 1971. Still consider it the PERFECT guitar.

Looking for a Jumbo too :-)




I wanted to meet Lester before he passed on & talk to him about Low Impedance guitars, I procrastinated too long...........

The amps don't come up too often & if they do, it's local pick-up only. The guy selling this one did a lot of shipping for his job & shipped it on a Conway truck. If you ever see the book,

"Gibson Amplifiers 1933-2008, 75 Years of Tone" a photo of it is in the color section, submitted by the previous owner. I see the LP-1 Preamps on ebay from time to time. They also match well with a Gibson Plus 50.

I had one chance to buy a Les Paul Jumbo, it was only about $800.00 at the time. It had a few issues so I passed. I've never had a second shot at one & wish I had'nt been so picky.. [cursing] Just missed out on a Les Paul Personal also. Have you ever seen any original transformer chords for sale?

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I still have my original cord! They almost never surface.


I got to see Les at the Irridium with my friend Vic Juris. Les called Vic up to the stage to jam.

What an amazing night!

I went to school with the guitar player in Les' son's (Rusty's) band. Russ is a pretty hot Bass player.


Does Les's son play a Les Paul Triumph? That's my favorite short scale bass......... [thumbup]

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  • 1 month later...

The Recording guitars and other low impedance instruments were Les Paul's improvements to Gibson's Les Paul guitars. He evidently felt this was THE WAY to go with electric solid guitars and of course Gibson was interested in selling what they had...When few of the low impedance instruments wold they were discontinued, Again, according to reading some interview with Les, he was disappointed that the low impedance idea was not given enough support and was not accepted by the majority of buyers. The Recording guitar is a very interesting instrument and can effectively sound like almost any other electric guitar made, and can produce several authentic acoustic guitar sounds as well with proper use of the controls. The Forum site mentioned above has some great information on using the controls and how they interact with each other. As you know, Les played his Recording guitar till the end of his life, and he evidently felt this was a much better guitar than the various conventional Les Pauls still around today.


ADDED: See this link for a very good overview of the Recording guitar ...




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my understanding of the Recording Model is this:


The guitar has low impedence pickups. Consequently, it can be plugged straight into the sort of low impedence mic inputs found on mixing boards, which is what Les Paul intended it for. However, as guitar amps have high impedence inputs, its necessary to have a transformer between the low impedence pickups and the guitar amp. The Recording has an internal transformer for this purpose, which is switched in by the Hi/Lo impedence switch. Therefore it is not strictly necessary to use any sort of external transformer, no matter what you're plugging into.


However, it appears that many users are not happy with the quality of the internal transformer, and suggest leaving the guitar on the low impedence setting, and using an external transformer (in this case the Shure) to step it up to a high impedence output. This could have the added advantage of placing the transformer on the amplifier end of the cord, reducing the loss that might be caused by a very long guitar cable.

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