Back in 1997 I briefly owned a 1946 Martin 00-18. It was a wreck, refinished and fragile. I hated it. Seemed like every time I picked it up a brace would pop loose or another crack would open up. Guitars aren't much good if I need to handle them like Faberge eggs. A coked up guitar collector from Canada found out about the Martin and offered to buy it. I had paid $500 for it and at the time a used Les Paul could be bought for $800 or so. I said I wanted "something with humbuckers" and he offered me the gold top here. I just shrugged and said, "Okay" since we both got what we wanted.... it could be argued that I came out ahead even. I've probably owned a dozen Les Pauls, from two LP Personals, one Custom, several Standards including an original 1955 gold top. Add to that a couple more Deluxes and it would appear I've got a fairly good knowledge of LPs. This Les Paul beats ALL of them. They're all gone, this one is still here.
The original pickups were terrible, so I replaced them with Dimarzios. It's loud and weighs as much as a Buick. I will die with this guitar.