The iconic Gibson Les Paul was first produced in 1952, by then-owner Ted McCarty and manager John Huis and their team. It was named after the late jazz guitarist Lester William Polsfuss, known by his stage name Les Paul because he was the first one to play the guitar and he was the first to advertise it to the public.
Since then the company has produced the Les Paul every single year non-stop because it is still one of the most demanded electric guitars on the market. The Gibson Les Paul Standard has an annual release and this year’s model has marked this guitar’s return to the top of the market. It still has the classic looks, but this time around it has weight-relief and it offers the best tonal shaping in the market.
As I mentioned earlier, it features the same vintage design that we have come to know and love, however, it has plenty of upgrades and tweaks this time around. For starters, the two-piece diagonally grain-matched mahogany back now is equipped with Ultra-Modern Weight Relief that utilizes 12 small chambers and holes, this increases its comfortability that was a major issue with the older models. But it still has that classic Les Paul sound. On top, it sports a maple cover, that can feature all the classic color schemes that Gibson has. I am in love with the Blueberry Burst and is my personal favorite.
It is also worth mentioning that all finishes are covered with high-gloss breathable nitrocellulose lacquer and most importantly all highlight modern weight relief. The neck sports a SlimTaper profile that was perfect and is also made from mahogany. The fretboard is made from rosewood and it has 22 frets with trapezoid inlays that provided exceptional smoothness. I really didn’t expect less from a handbuilt Les Paul a very mouthwatering guitar.
It features made in America Gibson humbuckers, consisting one BurstBucker Pro, a Rhythm at the neck, and a Lead at the bridge. These pickups combined with the contemporary and versatile HP-4 High-Performance Circuit results in a perfect sounding machine.
The Gibson Les Paul stars two volume knobs and two tone knobs, each for one pickup, and all of them have push and pull functionality. I found that these array of controls allows you to explore a remarkable range of tonality, as you can change the phase of the pickups and you can choose between inner and outer coils when split, the most flexible tonality that I have ever seen on a Les Paul. Also, the bridge and the tuning machines combined with the TekTold nut provide plenty of stability and great sustain.
In terms of sound, the Gibson Les Paul Standard can offer you everything imaginable, from jazz pieces, to gritty blues, to heavy riffing. The sound will always come out rich and warm, with loads of character, and with than endless sustain, this guitar offers limitless exploration.
A classic Gibson Les Paul with a modern twist, very well done.