Les Paul Signature T
mitchoshea, on august 06, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: A$ 2408
Purchased from: Allans / Billy Hyde
Features: This guitar was made in 2013 in the U.S.A. The finish is a Nitrocellulose "Vintage Sunburst" (Looks like a Tobacco Sunburst type thing to me) AA grade maple top, a "traditional weight relieved" (not the crappy modern weight relieved style) mahogany Body and mahogany Neck with a Grade A "Granadillo" finger board. The Granadillo doesn't looks quite as nice as Traditional Rosewood, but I thought it felt and sounded great! This guitar has a few nice features not found on other current model Les Pauls such as Grover locking tuners and split coil pickups ('57 Classic in the Neck and a '57 Classic Plus in the bridge position). The guitar came with a beautiful snake skin style case with white lining on the inside. // 9
Sound: I play mostly older Heavy Metal/Hard Rock (Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Extreme, Ratt, Iron Maiden etc etc) and it seems to suit those styles fairly well. Using the bridge pickup guitar has lots of "bite" and a very well balanced tone. Using the bridge pickup gave me lots of low end and smooth lead tones without sounding muddy. Sounded great through my Marshall JCM2000 on both the Clean and Gain channels. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the sound the pickups gave with the push/pull pot out for single coils. While your never really going to get a true authentic Strat style sound out of this guitar it still gets you 75% of the way there and could save you taking a guitar or two to band rehearsal. The pickups are potted with wax to stop microphonic feedback, they were fairly quite in "humbucker mode" (for lack of a better term haha) but as you'd expect made a fair bit of noise with the pot out. Before buying this guitar I had a go at comparing it "tonewise" next to both a Standard and Traditional LP.
This actually turned out to be my favourite, the Standard LP just didn't do it for me, didn't sound as rounded as the T or the Traditional, I'd say it's got something to do with the modern weight relieving. The Traditional was great as you'd expect, but it seemed a lot brighter than this guitar, which some / most would probably prefer but wasn't for me, I assume this is to do with the Rosewood V Granadillo (which is meant to resemble Brazilian Rosewood) finger board. While this guitar is very versatile I wouldn't buy it in hope achieving say Pantera type tones, the pickups just aren't HOT enough in my opinion. (Take that with a grain of salt though as, if you haven't already figured out by now, I don't really know what I'm talking about haha) A very minor annoyance I had with this guitar visually was the stupid "T" on the truss plate, but that was easily fixed by replacing it with an official Gibson "Standard" cover ($20 on eBay) on it. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The set up was surprisingly good for a Gibson. Action wasn't insanely high like it usually is, but wasn't all that low either, just were I wanted it! Intonation was pretty perfect too actually. Finish was pretty great, the maple top has a nice subtle-ish flame, I did prefer the look of the guitars with the AAA grade tops though. Now here's my biggest problem with the guitar. This guitar has a bound neck, and in between the frets and binding are little nibs where I constantly found my high E string would get caught and make this infuriating buzzing noise as well as cutting the note I was playing out.
I thought this may have been a fault with the guitar (It still might be I'm not even sure) but all the other LP's in the store with bound necks had the same issue and I've seen a lot of people mention this problem on online forums. It's not a huge pain, only when I'm playing wide Van Halen style legato pull offs on the high E string, I'm looking in to a way to possibly fill in these nibs, but if I can't fix it I guess I'll just have to limit that stuff to my Charvel San Dimas' (which are better for that stuff anyway since they have Original FR's and some of the best necks I've ever played, but I digress.) The binding closer to the neck pickup was a bit rough too but nothing that really bothered me that much. The nut seemed ok, Gibson says it's a "Plek Cut - Corian Nut" which seems to be something made up by Du Pont. Really it just looks like nylon to me, but it's probably a little more durable. I suspect though that the high E string might be cut slightly too low contributing to my binding problem. // 7
Reliability & Durability: Everything seems pretty solid on this thing, Hardware is pretty standard, although I do prefer the all metal machine heads this comes with as opposed to the Vintage style ones. My second major issue with this guitar is the abysmal strap locks Gibson fitted it with. Seriously my $270 Kramer Beretta Special (my project guitar) came with better strap buttons. They're tiny and barely have an upper ridge to hang off a strap, like you think with such a weighty guitar you'd have some decent strap buttons but apparently not... Of course this isn't really that bad seeing as I'll be fitting some nice strap locks to this thing ASAP, but it would be nice to be able to play this thing standing while I wait for my strap buttons I bought of eBay to arrive. // 8
Overall Impression: So I'll just re iterate again, I really don't really know what I'm talking about all that much, this is my first time reviewing a guitar that I've bought so take this all with a grain of salt. (Would be great if someone else who owns this could put there review up to give people a better idea of what this guitar is all about!) For me personally, in terms of play ability, this guitar kind of falls down next to my Japanese Charvels, but that's because of the superb hand rolled maple necks on them and the fact that I've always been a "strat body" kinda guy, they just feel more comfortable to me. Saying that, I gotta say this guitar does best them for tone, I suppose that's no surprise given their reputation and the fact that my other guitars are all FR equipped, the difference is particularly if your playing rhythm parts (which I guess you'll usually be playing for 80% of the time on most rock songs) And on top of that it has the open coil pickup config so it makes for a pretty sweet "all rounder."
This is a really great guitar for a first Gibson LP, mainly because of the price difference. The off the shelf price for most other Standard and Traditional models was around $300 - $700 more and for me just wasn't worth it. Personally I preferred this model for it's extra features (locking tuners, open coil PUP's) and the fact that it didn't have huge chunks of wood cut out of it like the Standard does. I even really liked the feel (but not so much look) of the Granadillo fret board. Most importantly it gives you that classic Les Paul tone. I'd say I'll probably take this one to the grave along with my Charvels! (have I mentioned them yet? Haha)