When you want the ultimate in sonic purity, there’s no more direct path than sending your pickup output directly to the guitar’s output jack, without any intervening tone or volume controls to influence the pickup’s inherent sound. And that’s exactly what the Pure Bypass function does—it sends your bridge pickup output directly to the guitar output, thanks to a push switch on the bridge pickup tone control. It’s that simple.
But we are dealing with Gibson, so you’d be correct in assuming there’s a little something extra as well. The Les Paul Standard, Les Paul Standard Plus, and Les Paul Standard Premium Quilt can choose between standard humbucking pickup mode or the new Tuned Coil Tap mode, and this option is still available with Pure Bypass because they’re functions that are internal to the pickup itself.
What’s more, Pure Bypass also provides the equivalent of “preset selection.” You can switch out of Pure Bypass to select a setting with a blended pickup balance and specific tone control settings, then go into Pure Bypass to obtain a higher output with just the bridge pickup. This is ideal for switching between “rhythm” and “lead” pickup setups, and making your life easier on stage—which is always welcome.