Guitars

Playing on the Holy Grail of Electric Guitars: 1960 Les Paul Standard

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Some time ago I had the opportunity to play on a real “Burst”, a 1960 Les Paul Standard. You will probably know that Les Paul Standards between 1958 and 1960 are something like the ‘Holy Grai’l for guitar players and collectors, with prices ranging over $ 200,000. (And yes, Mark Knopfler has even two of these!) As you might guess from the surrounding in the video, the guitar belongs to the same collector as Mark Knopfler’s sunburst Schecter Strat, or the blue 1961 Stratocaster I played in one of the last videos. Only about 1,700 of these were made (possibly 434 in 1958, 643 in 1959, and 635 in 1960). After that the model was discontinued because it failed commercially, as it was too conventional […]

Guitars

The Häussel 1959 pickups for the Mark Knopfler Les Paul sound

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Those beautiful 1958/59 Les Paul Standards are probably the holy grail not only for Mark Knopfler fans – Mark owns a 1958 and a 1959 and plays them on all his tours – but for all guitar players. Unfortunately the prices for these are in the region you’d normally pay for a house, so most of us will hardly ever get the chance to touch one of these. They came with those legendary original PAF humbucker pickups. Germany’s top pickup winder Harry Häussel has tried to replicate all tonal nuances of these with his 1959 model. Here is what the manufacturer himself says about his pickup: The “Häussel-1959” model gives you that legendary old PAF sound, still sought-after by professionals the world over. Manufactured with […]

Guitars

The Gibson Chet Atkins CEC – Classical Electric Guitar with Nylon Strings

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This week I had a nice guitar here – a Gibson Chet Atkins CEC. The CE stands for classical electric, in other words a solid-body guitar with nylon strings and a piezo pickup, while the last C stands for conventional neck width (2″/5.1 cm  at the nut, a CE model with a neck width of 1.825″ / 4.6 cm was also available). This guitar model was developed by Chet Atkins who approached Gibson with his prototype. The model appeared in Gibson’s catalogue in 1982, right at the time when Dire Straits recorded the Love over Gold album. This album features two songs – Private Investigations and the title track – on which a classical (=nylon-strung) guitar was used. Note that on the album it was […]