Gibson Custom Shop - Zakk Wylde Camo Les Paul
Gibson Custom Shop - Zakk Wylde Camo Les Paul

Custom Shop - Zakk Wylde Camo Les Paul, Chitarra Corpo tipo Les Paul from Gibson in the Les Paul series.

content in English
tjon901 23/06/2011

Gibson Custom Shop - Zakk Wylde Camo Les Paul : Recensione di tjon901 (content in English)

"Zakks maple fretboard signature model"

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Gibson recently started to expand the Zakk Wylde Signature line to cash in on his popularity. They have come out with different colored designs but this guitar most importantly has a maple fretboard. Maple fretboards are pretty rare on Les Pauls and even rarer on Camo Les Pauls with EMG's. This Les Paul Custom is a signature model of Zakk Wyldes 70s Les Paul that he has been playing for years. Zakks guitar has some personal touches. Many 70s Les Pauls had maple necks like this one and on Zakk's guitar the paint on the back of the neck is removed for a raw finish. The pickups are a set of EMG's. There is an 81 in the bridge and an 85 in the neck. This is now a classic configuration for EMG's. On the face of the guitar you can see Zakk's classic bullseye motif changed up with a camo design. The neck has an maple fretboard with block inlays and 22 jumbo frets. After these mods the guitar is pretty much a typical Les Paul Custom. It has a tone and volume control for each pickup and a 3 way switch. The guitar is 1 piece mahogany with a maple top.


The guitar plays slightly better than your typical Les Paul. The raw finish on the back of the neck means the neck is faster to play. The finish on the back of a neck can cause the neck to become sticky when you are playing and cause you to snag on the neck. The frets are larger than on a normal Les Paul so you can get a better action on the neck for easy bends. The upper fret access is typical of a Les Paul beacause of the design the upper frets are not that easy to reach. The maple fretboard has creme inlays and they do not really stand out against the light colored wood. They can be hard to see sometimes if you are looking down at the fretboard. You have to reach around the whole body to get to the upper frets on the guitar. All the hardware is gold so it may tarnish on you or rub off. Gibson still does not use locking tune-o-matic bridges so when you are changing strings the bridge may fall off. Gibson did not put a separate compartment for the EMG's battery so whenever you need to change batteries you have to take the whole electronics compartment cavity off. This means you cannot really change batteries on the fly. If you do the 18v mod to the pickups you will pretty much need a separate compartment for the batteries since there will be two.


This guitar is as heavy as a Les Paul can get. With EMG's from the factory the guitar rips faces. The extra brightness from the maple fretboard means this guitar has even more clarity and can handle even lower tunings. The 81 in the bridge has been an iconic metal pickup for decades. It has a high end crunch and distortion that gives it clarity no matter how much gain you are using or how low you tune. The 85 in the neck is a great pickup too. It has a more fuller sound than the 81 so in the neck position you can get fat lead tones. The 85 is also good too in the bridge. With EMG's quick connect system you can easily swap these pickups position without soldering anything. The 85 in the bridge produces a super thick tone and cleans up better than the 81. Speaking of cleans if you do the 18v mod on the EMG's. With the 18v mod you run the pickups on two batteries instead of one. This provides a more organic tone with more headroom. This tone produces better cleans than stock EMG's and clean tones are usually the weakest part of the EMG sound.


If you are looking for a Les Paul with a maple fretboard and EMG pickups with a camo bullseye finish you do not have many options. It is too bad Zakk decided to put the bullseye on his guitar when he got it. I think a plain Les Paul with the Zakk Wylde mods would be an even better seller. The Zakk motif puts off a lot of people and it is a shame because this is a great metal guitar. So as I said, if you are looking for a Les Paul Custom with a maple fretboard with EMG pickups and a Bullseye camo finish this really is your only choice.