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Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul
Body and Finish
Neck and Headstock
Pickups and Electronics
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The Gibson Interview: Don Felder
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Neck and Headstock
The neck of the Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul is constructed from one solid piece of mahogany for improved strength and resonance. The luthiers in Gibson's Custom Shop carefully match the grains and weights of these guitars' bodies and necks to optimize tone and sustain.
The neck on the Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul is carved to recreate the feel of the neck on Felder's own '59 Les Paul, which is a thinner than usual '59 profile.
The neck and fingerboard play a big part in the effort of bringing '59 Les Paul tone to the Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul, and the angled, classical-style peg head and mahogany neck work together to provide exceptional tonal richness and resonance, with a good string definition and sustain.
Gibson uses what is known as the Mortise & Tenon joint to bind neck to body so that the two pieces form one solid unit. On the Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul, this technique incorporates the lauded "long neck tenon" which extends further into the body than the tenon on the necks of many other, later guitars, greatly enhancing resonance and sustain, as well as neck strength in general.
4.0° (+/- 15 seconds)
Just like the original Les Pauls of the late '50s, and many classic Gibson models, the Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul headstock is carefully angled at Gibson's traditional 17 degrees, which increases pressure on the strings and helps them stay in the nut slots. An increase in string pressure also means there is no loss of string vibration between the nut and the tuners, which equals better sustain.
Gibson's traditional truss rod, found in most all of our guitars, is highly responsive to the individual adjustments you'll want to make to personalize and optimize string action and sustain.
The traditional, period-correct Gibson logo is inlaid in mother of pearl across the top of a holly headstock veneer, with "Les Paul Model" silkscreened in gold along the center of the headstock face.
Franklin Titebond 50, one of the strongest glues on the market today, is used to join body and neck together.
When fitting the neck and body together, we take advantage of our precise measuring equipment so that all angles, pitches and alignments maintain a correct tolerance. Not only does this help to keep your guitar in tune but it also maintains proper string alignment relative to the fingerboard.
Fingerboard and Nut
The Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul carries a rosewood fingerboard, the traditional fingerboard of the original Les Paul Standard. Rosewood is both hardwearing and sonically superlative, adding sweetness and depth to the guitar's overall sound.
To replicate one of the small but significant changes brought to the Les Paul in 1959, the Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul's fingerboard carries 22 medium-jumbo frets, all smoothly dressed and finished with the optimum crowns for easy, precise playability.
Rosewood fingerboards are known for enhancing the depth and warmth of an outstanding guitar.
In the image of the original 'Bursts, the 12-inch radius of the Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul fingerboard provides smooth note bending capabilities and eliminates "dead" or "choked out" notes, common occurrences on fingerboards with lesser radiuses.
The Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul fingerboard carries aged acrylic trapezoid position-marker inlays, echoing the traditional look of the original Les Paul Standard.
The nut on the Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul is made from bone, a material preferred by many discerning guitarists. It is installed into the top surface of the neck, butting up to the end of the fingerboard to ensure proper tone and sustain transfer, and its nut slots are cut with Gibson's PLEK system to ensure precise fit, break angle, and string spacing.
The width of the nut on the Don Felder "Hotel California" 1959 Les Paul is approximately 1.687", to match the width of the nut on Felder's own Les Paul.