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

by Alan Di Perna
Posted Apr 2, 2014 at 2:41pm

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