Skip to main content

More Than a Feeling: Gibson's Tom Scholz Replica Les Paul Looks, Sounds and Feels Like the Real Deal

Among historic Gibsons, Tom Scholz’s 1968 Les Paul “Goldtop”—the first of two that he purchased in the Seventies—certainly ranks high.

It’s the guitar heard on every massive Boston hit and all six of the group’s albums to date. As such, it was an ideal instrument for Gibson to replicate as part of its Collector’s Choice Series.

An MIT-educated engineer and successful manufacturer of guitar gear in his own right, Scholz collaborated closely with Gibson on the replica. “I gotta say, they really worked at it,” Scholz remarks.

“They went back and forth and took all these measurements. Then they’d send it to me and I’d tell them, ‘Well it’s off by 30/100s of the width at this end…’ You know, highly technical stuff. And they stuck with it until it is virtually identical to my guitar. I couldn’t tell the prototype from the one I’ve been playing for years. Gibson did an amazing job.”

Over the years, Scholz modified his 1968 Les Paul in a number of ways. He removed the pickguard, stripped off the original goldtop finish to reveal the natural maple finish beneath, replaced the original P-90 bridge pickup with a DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucker and installed Schaller M6 tuners in place of the original Klusons.

The Collector’s Choice replica incorporates all of these features. Produced in a limited run of less than 300, the Gibson Collector’s Choice #10 Tom Scholz 1968 Les Paul is a significant slab of classic rock history.

For more about this guitar, visit its page at gibson.com.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

In a career that spans five decades, Alan di Perna has written for pretty much every magazine in the world with the word “guitar” in its title, as well as other prestigious outlets such as Rolling Stone, Billboard, Creem, Player, Classic Rock, Musician, Future Music, Keyboard, grammy.com and reverb.com. He is author of Guitar Masters: Intimate Portraits, Green Day: The Ultimate Unauthorized History and co-author of Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Sound Style and Revolution of the Electric Guitar. The latter became the inspiration for the Metropolitan Museum of Art/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibition “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll.” As a professional guitarist/keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist, Alan has worked with recording artists Brianna Lea Pruett, Fawn Wood, Brenda McMorrow, Sat Kartar and Shox Lumania.