Gibson Les Paul Studio - Ebony w/ Chrome Hardware
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Gibson Les Paul Studio - Ebony w/ Chrome Hardware

Les Paul Studio - Ebony w/ Chrome Hardware, Chitarra Corpo tipo Les Paul from Gibson belonging to the Les Paul Studio model.

content in English
glassjaw7 21/03/2011

Gibson Les Paul Studio - Ebony w/ Chrome Hardware : Recensione di glassjaw7 (content in English)

"A stripped-down, iconic tone machine...though it doesn't stay in tune"
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The Gibson Les Paul is an icon in the music world. One of the most popular guitars of all time, the classic solidbody shape is equally at home in rock, country, pop, metal, blues and just about every other genre of music.

The Studio model (mine dates from 1995) is Gibson stripped down offering of the popular Les Paul. It doesn't have a figured top or fancy binding on the body, but it delivers all the Gibson tone!

It came equipped with two Gibson alnico humbuckers: a 498t in the bridge and a 490 in the neck position.
These pups deliver a classic "PAF on steroids" tone and feel and are constructed with Alnico V magnets which give them a muscular, yet classic tone.

The body is crafted of mahogany with a plain maple cap, and the glued-in neck is mahogany with a rosewood fingerboard and "trapezoid" pearl inlays.

Standard fixed, stop tailpiece bridge, dual humbuckers with three way pup selector, and 4 knobs (two volume, two tone) are some of the features on this classy instrument. There is no coil-tap option.

UTILIZATION

Upon delivery of the Studio, my initial thoughts on it's playability were just, well...meh. It felt a bit stiff and the intonation was off. I took it to my guitar teacher (I was young and didn't know how to set up an axe yet;) and he lowered the action, adjusted the pickup height, and fixed the slight intonation issue. Now this guitar played pretty nicely. It took me a little while to get used to the neck thickness and the shorter 24 3/4" scale as I had been playing a strat and a Jackson "super-strat" guitar with thinner necks and 25 1/2" scale, but once I got used to the thick neck I loved how it felt. To this day I prefer a wider 50's style neck.

The guitar does have some clumsy feeling qualities and attributes, which I'll get into later...

SOUNDS

This is why you buy a Les Paul; the SOUND!!! Nothing sounds like a Les Paul. Its thick singing sustain and full clean tones are to die for!

The 498T alnico pup in the bridge delivers a very good tone for rock, blues and some metal. Though with the body's thickness and weight, I feel that a slightly underwound design, or maybe an Alnico II based pup would be more appropriate. Don't get me wrong, this thing sounds phenomenal on cleans and sings on leads, but it sounds just the slightest bit congested. A more "airy" pickup would benefit this guitar, but the stock pups are not bad at all. In fact they are great and would probably sound amazing in a thinner bodied guitar, like an SG or a lighter, thinner Les Paul.

OVERALL OPINION

Now for some negative qualities. For all that great LP tone, you unfortunately must sacrifice some playability. The vintage style Gibson tuners are absolutely AWFUL!!! There's no excuse for how poor these tuners are, and it's not just me who feels this way. It's widely known that Les Pauls do not stay in tune well. If you are a lead player who likes to bend notes on the G, B and E strings, you MUST change tuners and possibly the nut as well (I replaced both) in order to stay in tune, and even then for some reason, the guitar still isn't completely stable.

I don't understand why Gibson doesn't use locking tuners and self-lubricating nuts. Some models come stock with Grovers, which are a huge improvement, but still not as stable as locking tuners.

For the price you pay for a Gibson, you should get quality parts and features that are superior to other lower and equally priced instruments, but that's just not the case. I've played $400 dollar Schecters and ESP LTD guitars that stay in tune perfectly after having been dropped or thrown across the stage (seriously) and the Gibson goes out of tune if you look at it wrong...not cool. Carvin is another example of perfect tuning stability in an inexpensive instrument. What are you doing GIbson???

All in all, I'd have to recommend this guitar, only because I feel every guitarist should own a Les Paul, just as every one should own a strat. Only a Les Paul can deliver the thick singing tones that they made famous. The bad part is that if you want this guitar to play as well as it sounds, you have to do some modifying, which is unfortunate because the cost of the guitar is already high and should include quality parts. It's a love/hate thing...