Jimmy Page’s 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Number Two”
This is Jimmy’s second 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard – aptly dubbed “Number Two”. He bought it in England shortly after the 1973 U.S. tour, but he didn’t use it on stage until January 1975, when it was brought out on tour as a backup for Number One.
Page usually had this guitar tuned to DADGAD and played “Kashmir” on it. It was sometimes also used for “Dazed and Confused” – when Jimmy played with a violin bow, “Moby Dick”, and “Over the Hills and Far Away”.
Jimmy wanted his Number Two to feel and sound as similar as possible to his Number One, so the neck was shaved and sanded down to replicate the neck profile on Number One, and the Kluson tuners were replaced with Grovers.
Furthermore, he began experimenting with different wirings in the 80s. His “Number Two” Les Paul was the first to succumb to these experiments, as Jimmy sent it off to Steve Hoyland for some pretty extensive mods.
Switches/wiring on Jimmy Page’s #2 Explained
Steve replaced the original pots with four push/pull pots. The two tone pots would enable Jimmy to split the coils in the pickups – basically eliminating one of the coils in the humbuckers. The two volume pots enabled him to put coils of each of the pickups in parallel or in series with each other.
Aside from those four push/pull knobs, Steve also added two additional pushbutton switches tucked below the pickguard. One of these switches put the pickups in series with each other, and the other one would reverse the phase of the bridge pickup, resulting in the famous “Peter Green” out-of-phase tone.
I customized my number two Les Paul, which again is a real od vintage one. However, that gave any combination of all of these (pickups). But, it was a little fussy, because all of the knobs were push/pull, and I had little switches (below the pickguard).
Reality of it was – the thing that I found most important to me was the fact that you could reverse the phase on this. By reversing the phase you get a close approximation to the sound Peter Green would get.Jimmy Page talks about his Gibson Les Paul
As Jimmy explained himself, he eventually found all these mods rather unnecessary, and only ever really used the out-of-phase switch. For that reason, when he decided to mod his #1 Les Paul, he only added a single push/pull knob, which did exactly that.
In 2008 Gibson produced a limited run of Jimmy Page’s “Number Two” Les Paul replicas. Only 325 guitars were made, 25 of which were aged by Tom Murphy of Gibson Custom Shop and then played and hand-signed, and numbered by Jimmy Page personally. An additional 100 guitars were aged but not signed, and 200 were finished to Gibson’s VOS specs.
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