To this day, the Gibson Les Paul Artisan remains one of the fanciest LPs that Gibson ever made. Sure, it lacks the AAAAA flame Maple top of the tricked out versions that followed, but its unique appointments and period styling make just as big a statement now as they did almost 50 years ago.
What To Know
Gibson's Les Paul Artisan model was introduced in 1976 and presented the LP in a way not yet seen during its storied production. Combining ornate banjo-style inlays on the peghead and Ebony fingerboard along with gold hardware throughout, the Artisan most certainly elevated the model's aesthetic while bringing in some elements of the Custom model specs to carry it through (multi-ply binding throughout, three pickups).
This is a lovely second-year example that's remained in very good condition, even with clear evidence it had been played and enjoyed for years. The body and neck binding have yellowed and the clear coat has darkened a bit over time. There are various nicks, dings, and scratches throughout, but no significant damage or breaks, and nothing that effects playability. All of the original gold hardware has some level of patina and wear, but it's most prominent on the stopbar tailpiece. The pickups still have quite a bit of gold plating on their covers.
One thing that stands out is the figuring of the Mahogany on the body. It's a beautiful one-piece slab (granted not as thick due to the pancake-style construction of the period) that has nice uniform grain that transitions into some flared rippled grain. The 3-piece Maple top is no slouch either, especially with the Walnut stain applied.
The original Series VII humbuckers combined with a Super Humbucker in the middle position have a healthy amount of output but also have some nice clear top end presence that allows for some nice chimey clean tones. The pseudo-59 carve C neck is fast and comfortable, and combined with the original wide-flat jumbo frets make it a total breeze for lead and melodic work as well as chordal rhythm playing.
To this day, the Artisan remains one of the fanciest LPs that Gibson ever made. Sure, it lacks the AAAAA flame Maple top of the tricked out versions that followed, but its unique appointments and period styling make just as big a statement now as they did almost 50 years ago.
Includes aftermarket Gator hardshell case.