The Gibson Les Paul is undoubtedly one of the Holy Grails of the guitar world. Its famed weighty sustain and buttery tone has left a timeless legacy and defined the sound of countless artists over the years. We decided to pick out 5 of our favourite Les Paul players a revisit how the Les Paul helped shape their sound. But what else did they use? If you’ve got a Les Paul, you might be wondering what your next bit of gear will be to find that sound in your head. With the help of Matt & Rabea, we delve into the best gear that perfectly complements the Les Paul – whatever it takes to get you the sound that you seek!
Our list begins with the late, great Gary Moore. Widely considered one of the most influential blues players of all time, Moore’s influence extends far beyond the blues arena. He had lengthy stints with Skid Row & Thin Lizzy (as well as handling guitar duties for Phil Lynott’s solo material). It’s undeniable that he left a lasting impression on the guitar world. It’s no secret that his expressive playing style shaped his sound, but the gear played a huge part.
First up, the Gibson Les Paul. Moore played a number of guitars in his time, but his 1959 Les Paul Standard offered that famous soaring sustain and gloriously warm PAF-style sound. Rabea and Matt chose a ‘50s Tribute Les Paul, but any humbucker-loaded Mahogany body Les Paul will do the trick. Bonus points for vintage pickups and non-weight relieved models for extra sustain!
In terms of amps and pedals, any vintage British-style valve amp will do the trick. Moore’s backline usually consisted of some Marshall Plexi or Hiwatt action. He used an original TS808 to enrich the front end of the amp, which again added to his famed saturated sustain. Rabea and Matt went for an Egnater Tweaker valve combo, with a TS808 reissue, Boss Reverb and Tone City delay for huge ambience. Well done boys!