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Guitarist extraordinaire Warren Haynes’, who has performed with Government Mule, the Allman Brothers Band, the Dead, Phil Lesh and Friends, the Dave Matthews Band and many other concert heavyweights, has become a recognized music industry standard. Frequently at his side and often behind the signature sound is Haynes’ pricey Gibson Les Paul Standard.
Haynes’ guitar, modeled after a ’58 Les Paul, is both a vintage and contemporary appointment. While its fingerboard, top and mahogany body maintain traditional standards, the fretwork, finish and electronics offer something aesthetically unique and sonically bold.
The neck on Haynes’ Les Paul, formed from a solid piece of mahogany with 22 frets, has a recognizable rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid inlays.
Though the neck is modeled after a ’58, Haynes had the ends of the fret wires extended slightly past the expected length; the edges of the frets are machine rolled to a smooth finish while they actually hang over the rim of the cream colored binding.
The carved maple top and solid mahogany back are familiar Gibson trademarks.The beauty of this instrument is not limited to its sound.
Gibson explains, “The finish is a carefully faded burst, given the name Haynes Burst in honor of the guitar’s namesake.”
Generally speaking, the Haynes Burst falls approximately between Gibson’s Honey Burst and its Iced Tea finishes but as some may say, beauty is a matter of degree.
Just the pickups and CTS potentiometers set this axe apart from most others. A BurstBucker 1 pickup sits at the neck and a BurstBucker 2 lies at the bridge. Add to that the four knob markers that sit flat on the soundboard, making it easier for players to see the numbers.
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. This Les Paul comes equipped with a CAE sound-unity gain buffer which, with a flip of the switch, forces the tone to remain steady and not dissolve when the volume is changed.
A Tonepros locking bridge, bone nut, stopbar tailpiece, Schaller strap locks, nickel hardware and tulip tuners round out this special bundle of harmonious joy. For purchasers, each Warren Haynes Les Paul Standard comes with a certificate of authenticity personally signed by the artist.
The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” is brutally true when it comes to Haynes’ Les Paul. He may be one of the few working musicians who can afford the guitar. The instrument, which retails for $6,115, goes for about $4,300 at major dealers.
Perhaps the only thing as compelling as Warren Haynes incomparable guitar playing may be his distinct vocals or possibly the price of his Gibson guitar.