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Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul
Out of Production
Neck and Headstock
Jimmy Page’s 40-Year Les Paul Legacy
Jimmy Page: Out of Led
Myth Busters: Jimmy Page’s Recording Secrets
True Adventures in Rock Journalism: Jimmy Page (Real Audio from '77!)
At a glance, or even from a slight distance, the Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul appears exactly like a standard, unmodified Les Paul, with two Volume controls, two Tone controls, and a three-way pickup selector switch—and, essentially, that’s what it still is. But on this Les Paul each of the controls’ potentiometers has been replaced with a push-pull pot for individual pickup switching functions, while two miniature push-pull DPDT switches have been mounted under the pickguard to provide additional universal switching functions. This wiring scheme was recreated with detailed study of Jimmy Page’s original “Number Two”, and with hands-on consultation from Steve Hoyland, who originally rewired Page’s ’59 Les Paul to this configuration.
With both pickguard-mounted switches pushed in and all push-pull pots in the down (in) position the Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul functions as a normal Les Paul, with the bridge, both, or neck pickup in standard humbucking mode selected by the three-way Switchcraft toggle switch. From this starting point, the functions of the push-pull pots include:
The Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul is equipped with a pair of humbucking pickups, a covered Gibson Custom Bucker in the neck (rhythm) position and an uncovered Page Version 2 in the bridge (lead) position, both of which are wax potted to enable them to withstand high-gain playing without succumbing to annoying microphonic feedback. The designs of these two pickups have been chosen to accurately replicate the pickups in Jimmy Page’s own 1959 Les Paul, and the final results have been tested and approved by him.
The Custom Bucker contains an Alnico III magnet for a smooth yet well-defined response, while the Page Version 2 contains an Alnico V magnet for added punch and clarity.
The Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul features the classic three-way Switchcraft toggle switch with vintage plastic tip.
The guitar features a 1⁄4” output jack made by Switchcraft, for years of trouble-free service.
Bridge Pickup Volume Control
Pulling this knob out switches the bridge pickup’s coils from series (standard) to parallel.
Bridge Pickup Tone Control
Pulling this knob out switches the bridge pickup from humbucking to single coil.
Neck Pickup Volume Control
Pulling this knob out switches the neck pickup’s coils from series (standard) to parallel.
Neck Pickup Tone Control
Pulling this knob out switches the neck pickup from humbucking to single coil.
Pickguard-Mounted Push-Pull Switches
The two push-button DPDT switches mounted beneath the pickguard provide universal switching functions, regardless of the positions of the push-pull pots. With the switch mounted toward the bridge-end of the pickguard in the out position, the bridge pickup’s phase is reversed. With the switch mounted toward the neck-end of the pickguard in the out position, both pickups are wired in series and out of phase. With both switches out, both pickups are in series and in phase.
The Custom Bucker in the neck position offers deep, vocal tones with outstanding warmth and richness; the Page Version 2 in the bridge position yields more sizzle and aggression, and a biting, cutting tone for brighter lead work. Between them, they provided the classic blend of Les Paul thickness and clarity. Modified through the custom switching arrangement (see below) on the Custom Shop Jimmy Page “Number Two” Les Paul, however, the sky’s the limit.