Les Paul® style Guitar Kits, A DIY Classic

DIY Les Paul® style kits are a popular choice for guitar builders. This mirrors actual sales of electric guitars with the Gibson Les Paul® remaining very popular up to this day along with the Gibson SG® and Les Paul Jr®.

But how simple are DIY Les Paul® style guitar kits to assemble?

Do they sound anything like the real thing?

les paul junior DIY guitar

Les Paul® Junior style DIY guitar

Why Buy a DIY Les Paul® Style Kit?

Why not purchase a Stratocaster® or Telecaster® style DIY kits? Why are LP guitar kits popular? It really comes down to the style of music you prefer playing. Les Paul®'s are fitted out with two humbuckers (more on guitar pickups here) allowing for more gain than a single-coil guitar such as an ST guitar, making them ideal for rock and heavier styles of music.

Recommended: Beginner Friendly Guitar Kits

Les Paul®'s are traditionally a warmer sounding instrument and many argue they also have better sustain, largely due to the set neck as opposed to the bolt-on neck most commonly seen on Fender® style guitar kits. While some may make the point that these qualities are only the case with an actual store-bought instrument, many of these characteristics of the guitar are due to the style of the guitar e.g. the shape of the body, timber used for crafting the body, the bridge, and electrical components.

Also read: Guitar Kit Styles For Musical Genres

Obviously, if you're buying a sub $299 Les Paul® style Guitar kit the pickups and associated hardware won't be of the same quality (far from it in fact) but in most cases, the body will be made from mahogany with a flamed maple top. In most cases however the maple top is a veneer (1mm-3mm in depth) as opposed to a maple cap which is typically 10+mm in depth.
Check out this video to see how a Les Paul® style guitar kit sounds: (*please note the owner has fitted this out with Wilkinson Pickups).


A history lesson, Les Paul® Guitars

You are probably familiar with the name Les Paul®, one of the early pioneers of electric guitar and a highly regarded musical pioneer in his own right. Gibson® and Les Paul® collaborated on the first version of the Les Paul® introduced in 1951, featuring the distinctive archtop single-cutaway body, two P90 pickups, and a distinctive trapeze style bridge.

Also read: Archtop Guitar Kits Review

Ten years later most likely due to dwindling sales, Gibson® re-engineered Les Paul®, adding an additional cutaway and reducing the thickness of the body which eventually went on to become the Gibson SG®. Best known as the guitar of choice for players such as Angus Young, Jerry Garcia and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath.

Also read: Iconic Electric Guitars and How to Build Them (Zakk Wylde’s ‘Grail’ Guitar)

Les Paul® himself wasn't overly impressed with the SG® and parted ways with Gibson® during this time. However, after a number of well-known guitarists such as Eric Clapton started using the traditional Les Paul® the guitar regained its popularity and Les Paul® again started working with Gibson®.

Here's an early clip of Les Paul® playing his iconic Les Paul® guitar. Out of interest, the lady in the clip is Mary Ford, Les Paul®'s then-wife prior to their divorce in 1961.

DIY Les Paul® style Guitar Kits

Most of our in-stock LP kits come with mahogany, alder or basswood bodies and have flamed, quilted or spalted maple veneers.

All holes are pre-drilled, which will obviously save a lot of time and effort but does increase the chances of screw hole misalignment which can be a problem. The neck is also a bolt-on which will obviously be a lot simpler for assembly but not as authentic as the traditional set neck Gibson Les Paul®.

Most of our in-stock kits come with all the necessary hardware and electronics but make sure you read the product descriptions because some of our kits are sold without hardware.

Since we produce them in batches the prices for our in-stock kits are lower than our Custom Shop LP DIY kits. All in all a well-regarded DIY guitar kit for the price and a good starting point if this is your first build.

You can find available in-stock LP-style guitar kits from the LP style DIY Guitar Kits page.

Summing Things Up

As you can see from our LP style kits page you have a few choices when it comes to purchasing an LP style guitar kit. If you are new to guitar kit building, however, I'd recommend sticking to our in-stock LP kits (usually under $299 with worldwide free shipping) as it is made with ease of assembly in mind.

You can find our in-stock Les Paul® Junior style kits from here: LPJ DIY Guitar Kits

If however, you have already assembled a few kit guitars and want to build something unique it might be worth your while to take a look at our Custom Shop LP style guitars kits.

Also Read: PRS® Style Guitar Kit Review

Disclaimer: GuitarKitWorld.com is not affiliated with Gibson Brands Inc., Fender Musical Instruments Corporation or PRS Guitars. Fender®, Gibson®, and other brand names are trademarks of their respective owners. 

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Tim - October 30, 2019

Can you build a left handed Les Paul arch top body routed for a Floyd Rose Tremolo, humbucker at the bridge and a slanted single coil at the neck? Also, one spot for volume and a mini toggle just behind the volume?

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