I acquired this guitar through an even trade of a pair of Technic SL-1200MK2s. It came brand new with a checkerboard pick guard and the original pick guard. I chose to leave the checkerboard on. My first Les Paul was an Epiphone Standard which I bought back in 2005. I never liked it. I traded it in 2006 for a 2006 Gibson Les Paul Studio Vintage Mahogany, but I never really warmed up to that either. This Studio, for some reason, is 100 times better than the Studio I bought back in 2006. I like the neck much better and it's very "pretty". This guitar also came with a Gibson Modern Vintage Leather Strap with Memory Foam Pad. I really got a great deal on this considering I had three pairs of the SL-1200MK2's and could easily part with one set.