Slash’s ‘New’ Favorite Les Paul

November 4, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Slash_BrauerBurstIf you’re a diehard Slash fan, you might know this already, but it was news to me – interesting news.

Lately, Slash has been spotted playing only a Les Paul (no surprise), but one that is not one of his many signature Les Pauls (a surprise). Naturally lots of people have been curious about the guitar.

Here’s what I could find on it, courtesy of the fine folks at at the forum (for the heads-up) and Andy Brauer. If Andy’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s a well-known guitar guy (repair, alteration and, most importantly, improvement), and was recently involved in helping Gibson reproduce Slash’s “Appetite”-era Les Paul clone.

This time Andy is involved because Slash’s new favorite is Andy’s former R9, meaning a reissue of a holy grail ’59 Les Paul Standard. In this case, the reissue is an ’07 and is nicknamed the “Brauer Burst” – I guess unless Slash starts calling it something else!

It’s not a stock R9, as you might expect from someone with Andy’s knowledge. What did he do to it? A lot. Here’s more on the guitar, from a Facebook page and Twitter posts:

Andy: “I installed vintage tuners and replaced knobs, toggle tip and truss cover with genuine 1950s Gibson parts…the pickup rings, jack plate and pickguard were changed to Vintage Clone.

“This R9 has Sheptone PAF pickups. Another tonal improvement: I installed vintage Sprague bumblebee capacitors.”

Andy Brauer

Andy Brauer

We can all understand that the pickups and caps will result in a tonal improvement. But how about the rest? I mean, would anyone seriously want old tuners? According to an interview with Andy in the January ’09 Vintage Guitar magazine, the answer is yes. Some excerpts:

> “Much like old wood, old plastic has a timbre you can hear if you tap it with your finger.  Changing the rings and pickguard for vintage-clone plastic will help tone.”

> “Many modern guitars are assembled with ‘lock-in’ bushings – metal rings that go through the hole in the headstock into which the tuner post slides. These compress and inhibit the transfer of sound from the string to the guitar.”

> Plus there’s the surgical tubing trick.

Andy has some pics of a Brauer-improved Les Paul on his MySpace page, as well as pics of the VG interview – which you can read if you get close enough to the screen.

Re: the pickups, the Sheptone pickups Andy is referring to presumably are the AB (for Andy Brauer) Customs, which Sheptone owner Jeff (last name?) calls a variation on his Tribute set. Here are the specs:

Specs, AB Custom Set
2 conductor – stock
Output – lead 8.30 K
Output – neck 8.10 K
> Andy sells these for $289 per pair, which includes a choice of nickel or gold covers, aged or new and aged comes with four aged screws.
> Sheptone sells these for $249 per pair ($125 single), but only in black, zebra or reverse zebra.

Specs, Tribute Standard Set (PAF “clone”)
2 conductor – stock
Output – lead (7.99) K – 8.00 K
Output – neck 7.62 K
> These are $269 per pair, same choices, from Andy.
> From Sheptone they are $229 per pair (same three options as above), $125 single.

These pickup prices may look expensive, but are about the same as Seymour Duncan Custom Shop pickups.

The bottom line is when it comes to the Brauer Burst: Slash loved it so much that he eventually wrangled it from Andy – for a pretty penny, I bet. As Andy has written, “I originally owned that LP, Slash owns it now and it has become his favorite/main guitar. I’m like a proud papa to that LP burst.”


> Andy Brauer’s website is

Category: Les Paul, Sheptone, Slash

Comments (1)

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  1. Kris says:

    Sheptone's name is Jeff Shepherd

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