billy gibbons hollow les paul

In the September 2002 Guitar Player on page 28, one of Billy Gibbons’ Burst Les Pauls (not “Pearly Gates”) is featured. The “interesting” facts are:

* It’s a newer reissue, not an original

* Luthier John Bolin removed the top and fretboard, then “scooped out as much wood as possible from the body and neck before putting the Paul back together”.

* Small .081 x .037 frets

* Extra light .008 – .038 strings

* Strings sit low, 4/64″ at the 12th fret

* Bone nut with the strings sitting very low in the nut

* Strings fed backwards (up and over) the tailpiece

* “Standard” Stop Tailpiece (not lightweight?)

* Tailpiece screwed flush to body

* Seymour Duncan “Pearly Gates” pickups with “stock” electronics

* Bridge pickup sits 5/32″ from bass side and 3/32″ on treble side

* Neck pickup sits 1/8″ from strings
Now assuming all this is true, it’s interesting that he DOESN’T go for all the upgrades we live and breath for:

* Obviously lighter than the 8.5 – 9 pounds we feel is “ideal”
* Doesn’t use medium gauge strings (.010 or .011)
* Doesn’t use a lightweight aluminum tailpiece
* Doesn’t use BurstBuckers, TimBuckers, Rolphs, Antiquities, or the current “repro PAF du jour”…
* Doesn’t use NOS caps


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