If you did not know it, Les Paul was the inventor of multi-track recording. Les first used a method called Sound-on-sound.
|The knob on the left is sound on sound|
By recording the first track and then playing the second track along with the first the result is two recordings. These are then played along with additional tracks, so the engineer/musician/player is bouncing the signal between the tracks.
The trouble with this method was the signal degradation of the previous tracks. Les was able to solve this by using Low Impedence guitar pickups and microphones, which in essence provided less signal and less degradation.
|Les said no to this one|
In 1968 Gibson issued or re-issued several Les Paul Models and wanted Mr. Paul to put his name on an acoustic guitar. Interestingly, the J-160e that the Beatles are seen playing early in their career was originally designated to be a Les Paul acoustic model. However Les would not put his name on the J-160e.
|Les Paul Jumbo|
Therefore, in 1969 Gibson came up with a brand new model to bear the Les Paul name, The Les Paul Jumbo.
The sales were dismal to say the least. Gibson records state that 43 were sold in 1971, 3 were sold in 1972 and 3 were shipped in 1973, the guitars final year.
The guitar sold for $610 and came with a deluxe black Gibson case lined in red velveteen.
The guitar was and extremely well made instrument. The top was book matched spruce, the back and sides were book matched Brazilian rosewood.
The truss rod cover on many units announced this is the Les Paul Jumbo.
The saddle was adjustable by two small wheels on either side of the rosewood bridge. The tuners were custom Schallers made for Gibson. Most L.P. Jumbo’s came with a tortoise-shell pickguard.
|1969 Les Paul Jumbo|
On the bottom of the neck was a low-impedence pickup that was surrounded by a chrome ring. This pickup was designed to be clean and have little or no noise.
The other two switches are a standard volume control, the first knob and an eleven position decade control that emphasizes either high, mid or low end and points in between, which was the second knob.
If you recall the decade control was also utilized on the Les Paul Recording guitar.
The sound of the Les Paul Jumbo is much different than the piezo sound that is associated with most modern guitars. It is a more mellow sound and can be mixed with sounds generated from the guitar by use of a microphone.
|1969 Les Paul Jumbo|
The Les Paul Recording Guitar is a fine instrument and due to low production, it is quite scarce.
There are no videos of the Les Paul Jumbo being played, but this is well worth watching.