Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 01/16/2013 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute
A Gibson Les Paul with design cues from the 1960s that ends up sounding more like a modern cousin.
 Sound: 8.6
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 8.6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.5
 Features: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 8.1 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.6 
 Users rating:
 7.6 
 Votes:
 85 
reviews (10) pictures (4) 41 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.2
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: UG Team, on november 09, 2012
6 of 15 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 849

Purchased from: Jim’s Music

Features: The Gibson Les Paul Studio 60s Tribute has features that the Les Paul's did in the beginning of their time. Most notably are the P-90 pickups in this guitar. It does not have a worn' look as the Road Worn series by Fender but Gibson has done their version of aging this guitar which is essentially removing the gloss finish on this Les Paul. Specific Features of this guitar are: ▪ Top wood: maple ▪ Body wood: mahogany ▪ Finish: worn nitrocellulose lacquer ▪ Truss Rod: Gibson Adjustable Truss Rod ▪ Neck: mahogany ▪ Neck profile: slim '60s ▪ Neck joint: set ▪ Nut: Corian ▪ Fingerboard: rosewood ▪ Fingerboard inlays: figured acrylic trapezoids ▪ Hardware plating: Chrome ▪ Tuners: Grover Kluson style green keys ▪ Pickups: Gibson P90 with cream covers ▪ Pickup selector: 3-way ▪ Controls: volume, volume, tone, tone ▪ Knobs: cream top hats with silver inserts ▪ Pickguard: cream ▪ Bridge: Tune-o-matic ▪ Tailpiece: stopbar ▪ Case: Gibson deluxe gig bag The features on this guitar are pretty basic, which is one of the reasons Gibson is able to make this affordable.' This doesn't have any binding, it doesn't have the nice gloss, and it doesn't have the craftsmanship I have come to expect from this company. // 8

Sound: I will be blunt here; I am giving this a 6/10 because it doesn't sound good. It doesn't sound like it should and my point being, these P-90's are way too hot. I know this isn't correct but I generally look at P-90's as a pickup that falls somewhere in between the output of single coils and humbuckers. The pickups that Gibson equipped on this guitar are way too HOT for what this guitar is trying to go out and accomplish. The pickups don't necessarily sound bad in general, I mean they play fine, they pickup and recreate a P-90 sound but it is just too much. For a guitar that is trying to emulate the pickup sounds of the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's this pickup is far too much overkill. The reason this is called the 1960's tribute is because it has a 1960's type of a neck which most modern players love, unfortunately Gibson also gave it modern type of a sound. My problem lies with the fact that the old P-90's weren't that great. It was laborious to get a great tone out of them; one of the first Les Paul's that did a good job was the 1956 Goldtop. That not only looked amazing but it also sounded great. If you want to buy one of those you will nearly be spending $4,000usd so we aren't going to waste our time in an apple and oranges argument. This is a studio, which means it is Gibson's entry level Les Paul. I am really glad that they have given users the option for P-90's but I really do not think they did a great job with these pickups. If this was just a Les Paul Studio with P-90's that would be one thing but this is a Tribute' model. As stated, these are far too hot; these pickups are pushing out more power than they should based on what P-90's of that era did. For this Gibson, you have failed. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: It looks OK'; at best. It really doesn't do it for me. Once again I know the price point, I know how cheap this is compared to other Les Paul's so I am not going to attack this for not having the aesthetic beauty of 57' Black Beauty, however, the craftsmanship on this really doesn't seem that great either. For instance, none of the plastic parts seem to fit the body correctly. Everything has pretty big gaps most notably is where the Pickguard meets the body and where the Pickguard meets the pickup. You look at this guitar closely and just realize to yourself that something doesn't look right. They were going for an older finish and that they did great with making it look older but even without the gloss I don't like any of the color patterns outside of the Honey Burst. The fact that I don't like the majority of the colors had nothing to do with my rating of 7 but it is a point to be made that everything on this just not only feels, but looks cheap. The one saving grace of this guitar are the Grover Kluson tuners Green Keys. These are the same tuners that I have on my Gibson 61' SG. They look great and stay in tune even better! As I have stated, I know this isn't a $2,000 guitar but you can still make something look nice for eight hundred and forty-nine hard earned dollars. It still says Gibson at the top; they still should uphold their company and most importantly their quality. Could it potentially reduce profits to have the quality control team send something back, absolutely, would it be better for all of their consumers, hell yes. Nearly all new Les Paul's rolling off the factory line all have the Plecking system performed on them. My 2008 Les Paul Traditional Pro has that and I was very pleased with that machine. This guitar played fine, had slightly higher action than most would be accustomed to but out of the box an extremely playable guitar. No complaints here. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I really can't imagine anything bad happening with this guitar. I, owning several Gibson guitars, have never encountered any problems when it comes to reliability and durability. I have checked out some online owner feedback reviews in regards to this and no one has had any problems with the electronics of any sort. I did find that some had initial problems with the guitars they ordered online. Some stated that their setup was completely out of wack and that there was some physical damage to the guitar on the fretboard. Lesson being, buy the guitar in person if you have the ability and option to. It seems that some are better than others. // 8

Overall Impression: Even though I really was not a fan of the tone of this thing (which is for me the most important part of any instrument) I am overall moderately impressed. I think Gibson has the right thought but did not carry out the right actions. I like the idea of a 1960's tribute guitar, especially at an affordable price, but I do not like the fact that this is not well put together, doesn't look superb, and doesn't deliver an accurate sound of the period it was aiming to replicate. With a fair amount of refinement and some keener eyes from the quality control team this guitar could be a real smash. Now on a side note if you really like this guitar but want the 1950's neck profile, good luck. These were being produced last year but after a massive flood in the Gibson factory these have moved into the realm of collector's items, with collector item prices. You can find people selling these on eBay and Craigs List for nearly $400 more than their original MSRP. It is honestly a bummer that this guitar with the 50's neck profile is commanding those big dollars, great for the people that own them but I think they are really taking advantage of the market for no reason, simply because they got lucky and got theirs before the great flood.' So if you really want a Les Paul with P-90's buy yourself the Gibson Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Electric Guitar Epiphone Limited Edition 1956 Les Paul Goldtop. I used to have one of these and it was an amazing guitar, to this day it is the one piece of gear I will always regret selling. Years ago these were $399usd brand new, now though they have moved to $499. Pick yourself up a used one and enjoy the better craftsmanship and better sound of the P-90's. The reason I say this is because I really believe it is true. I do not see any reason why the Gibson is double the price of this Epiphone, where in comparison everyone I have seen is extremely well crafted. Go try those out back to back and tell me what you think. Enjoy the tone and happy picking'. // 7


- Jesse Kleinow ‘thejester’ (c) 2012

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overall: 8
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: Paddynbob, on november 09, 2012
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 750

Purchased from: Kenny's Music

Features: The features includes in this guitar are blissfully simple, giving you the simple core of the Les Paul. This guitar has a very punk look, with no binding or super fancy finish. Here are some specifics about the guitar I got: - Handcrafted in US - 22 frets, SlimTape neck profile, mahogany neck, figured acrylic trapezoid inlays - Rosewood fingerboard - Maple top - Mahogany bottom - Chambered body - Finishes - Worn cherry burst, Worn ebony, Worn goldtop, Worn Honeyburst, Worn white (nitrocellulose sealer) - Les Paul style body - Tune-o-matic bridge - P90 Pickups - 2 Volume, 2 Tone, 3-way pickup selector - Gibson Deluxe tuners with perloid heads - Gigbag, owners manual When comparing this to my Epiphone, the main difference in body is the fact that this is chambered, back it lighter. This is a plus if you like light guitars, which I don't. A side effect of this is that the neck (Which you can't chamber or it'll snap) is heavier in proportion, making it tilt down. An investment in a hard case is a good idea, as mohogany is a soft wood. // 7

Sound: This is where people who have made reviews have began to annoy me. They say the P90s are "too hot". If you don't want a HOT sound, don't buy the guitar. Or, alternitively, buy the guitar, spend a hundred or so changing a pickup to a burstbucker, you have a half 60s tribute, half standard, without the massive price difference. In fact, the only thing that separates this guitar from a normal LP, is the pickups, neck profile and finish (lack of binding etc, which personally, I prefer the look of). So therefor, is it worth spending an extra 1000 getting binding on your Les Paul? I don't think so. However, I don't even think they are too hot. The P90s sound crisp as crisp can be. Surprisingly, one of their strongest suits is jazz. My main style of music is metal/punk. And with the right effects, this provides a quirky match for both. The pickups downfall is the rubbish palm muting sounds and pinch harmonics. Even putting a small amount of pressure on the Bridge makes it clack. But, if you put a really heavy metal distortion sound on it, you'd never even tell it had problems on light distortion. Another problem raised, was the lack of "60s" features. I don't know what these people want. The guitar has P90s (which were techically 50s) and a slim neck. I'm sure a massive corperation like Gibson would not put forward this guitar if it were not suitably 60s sounding. Short of having Lennon painted on it, I'm not sure what more could be done. However, if like me you don't give a crap whether it sounds 60s or not, and just really love the genuine crisp sound, this will not be a problem. I use a Guitar through guitar port through Marshall MG100. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: As you would expect, I could not find a single flaw in the setup of this guitar. The fretboard is beautiful flat rose wood, which sounds consistantly bright on every fret, with a reasonably low action for ease of playing (action is easily adjusted with a screw driver. Pickups perfect, no gaps, bridge - shining, no scratches. Only thing I will say though, is that the finish has been worn away at edges of the maple top, in the short time I've had it, which is slightly disappointing, but easily fixed. Everything else perfect. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I can't see this guitar breaking easily at a gig, short of taking it off and smashing it against an amp, however, plastic strap locks may be a wise investment. Hardware seems like it will last, however the toggle Switch has become very stiff in the short time I've had it, which isnt very pleasing. Although I always bring many guitars to a gig for versatility of sound, I would be confident in only taking this guitar; The finish around the edges will wear off in time, no doubt about it. However, this is easily and cheaply re-done by a professional, or you may just leave it to contribute to the aged look! // 7

Overall Impression: The styles of music this guitar can play are extremely versatile. But if you really want to take advantage of the crisp clean tone, jazz or blues is brilliant. This expands to bluesy rock like Guns N Roses or Aerosmith etc. Punk is also a strong suit, with the crunchy tones like '90s Green Day style. Metal tones can be accomplished through use of Heavy distorion, but is not an ideal style to be playing. However, for a small amount of cash, fit an Invader or Super Distorion pickup, I believe this might give it an amazing metal sound. Personally, I've been playing for four years, own an Epiphone Les Paul fitted with Invader, Bc Rich Warbeast, Stratocaster, Tanglewood semi-hollow, Peavey ES-50K and Marshall MG100. I have a large amount of knowledge on guitars and have done my fair share of tinkering. I wish when I was trying this out in the shop I'd asked to play with a strap, standing up, where I would have discovered the lack of balance, which is this guitars only downfall. I would have bought it anyway. I love this guitars simple look (I bought it in white), some people may hate the lack of bling, but I think it just brings out the pure raw beauty of the Les Paul line. The pickups are brilliant, however I do think I may replace one with a humbucker. Compared to the Epiphone, this is alot nicer to play, the tone sounds more crispy and lush. However, I do like my Epiphone just as much. The tone is different though, for sure. The one thing I wish it had though, was a fatter neck. I don't like the slimtaper neck as much as the fat one, but its not big issue in the wrong run. The pros of this guitar far outweigh the cons. Some of the other reviews for this guitar are very stuck up for this guitar. I know its not a Diamond encrusted black beauty, but you don't expect that at this price. This is the perfect guitar for the money, much better than hundreds of other wannabe Gibsons at this price. A must have. // 8

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overall: 9
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: Sam Ash (slightly used)

Features: Made in USA, 2011. Medium Jumbo Frets. 2 P-90 pickups, mahogany chambered body and mahogany neck. 2 volume, 2 tone. Tune-O-Matic bridge. Gibson Klutz tuners. Honey burst finish. Looks amazing, basic standard Les Paul configuration - what I was looking for. // 9

Sound: As you would expect with P-90s, a bit noisy. However, the neck clean is really nice. Both pickups may seem a bit hotter than you would expect for P-90s, which lends itself nicely to distortion. I was surprised how rocking it sounded with max gain on my Blackstar HT-5. I think it can cover many different genres prove itself quite versatile. Acoustically, this thing really sounds nice. I am not always plugged in so it's nice to get good sound out of it acoustically. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Mine was slightly used but was well set up and playable. Could be factory set up or the original owner. The neck is quite easy to play and fast. Bends and slides were easy. The neck feels quite nice to my hands. I see nothing wrong with the finish, however, I am not overly picky, but nothing seemed out sorts. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Hardware seems quite sturdy. The strap buttons are kinda small, so I am thinking I will replace with a locking strap set. Not sure but it seems tough. Though I will handle it with care. I don't play out anywhere, though I couldn't see this thing not being road worthy. I'll give it a 9 since it feels solid. // 9

Overall Impression: I was pleasantly surprised. I feel like it's an excellent playing guitar compared to $500-$700 Les Paul copies and a definite step up in quality and tone. I can't compare it to Gibsons of the Past or other Gibsons, but this seems like a well built guitar. I tried it out before I bought it and I felt like I couldn't leave without it. // 9

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overall: 8
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 986

Purchased from: Ebay

Features: Pretty much just your standard Les Paul Studio format with some minor changes. Most notably the P-90 pickups, satin (or worn) finish, and of course the thin 60's profile neck, hence the name. The rest of the guitar is basically just a Les Paul Studio. I got mine in the Goldtop finish. // 8

Sound: I'm mostly a Blues/Blues rock orientated player who occasionally delves into harder rock. The P-90's offer a sound a little bit different then the generic Strat or traditional Les Paul tones, none of which I dislike however. Nice bright snappy sound. Both pickups played clean sound great. The neck pickup is very bassy however. Often times I find it is to much and causes alot of rumble and is almost felt just as much as heard. These pickups are not really ideal for more modern tones but manage really nice classic rock and general bluesy tones without sounding to familiar. It offers something a tad different to the typical Blues players aural palette. Plus p-90s really sing through a fuzz. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The satin finish is a large part of what makes this guitar so affordable. Personally I love it. I cannot stand high gloss finishes and love the feel and natural wear of the satin finish. After about 5-6 months of frequent playing the edges have started to turn green due to my sweaty, greasy blues fits. Buckle rash has also set in. These are all things that don't bother me really. Some finishes have looked very different from mine though. Things such as wood showing in the corners and gross looking factory wear. Mine had none of this. The nut has caused some fret buzz on the first string but really again not that big of a deal. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Seems durable. I went out and bought some little plastic tabs to help keep the guitar more stable because it was slipping. Then again it was slipping out of a worn old guitar straps I've had for close to 3 years. The tuning stability out of the box was not the greatest. For whatever reason it became more stable overtime. Probaly the typical case of poor factory strings. The finish will wear more and is fairly well worn currently but I really don't care about that. // 8

Overall Impression: All in all this guitar is great for me. I saved a long time and many might say that a even payed to much but I love it. I bought it blindly of eBay (really not that advisable), plugged it in and it was instant love. The tone, the looks, the feel, they all suited exactly what I had dreamt of and desired. It will never get lost or stolen because no one is crafty enough to steal a guitar when I'm playing it 24/7. There are better guitars and there are definitely richer people but I love my Tribute for what it is. // 9

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overall: 10
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: dexfx69, on november 09, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 850

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Features: Classic Les Paul body, neck, fast feel. HOT P90s which effortlessly evoke classic sounds of the 70s and 80s. Comes with a high quality gig bag. The neck is ridiculously fast and comfortable. As with any guitar, put lead and petroleum jelly in the nut slots to help keep tuning more stable. // 10

Sound: The P90s are astounding. You'll find yourself hearing tones from Zep to ZZ Top to a plethora of 70s and 80s rock. Extremely responsive to your touch, and almost plays itself! Not only that, but the P90s have a sweet sparkle that Humbuckers do not, so great for clean playing as well. Astounding for blues and classic rock. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Great setup, beautiful woodgrain. The satin finish allows the wood to resonate and the tone is better than glossy Les Pauls - this was even stated by a Gibson representative, which is surprising they would admit it, considering the glossy models are their bread and butter. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Classic Les Paul reliability, and the gig bag is really really thick and cool looking too! The hardware is all classic Les Paul hardware. This is a US made instrument which is carefully crafted and inspected by Gibson employees - most of which have been with the company for decades, and are old pros. // 10

Overall Impression: Blown away at the quality of guitar for the price. You get a true Les Paul minus the decorative binding and gloss finish, for a steal of a price and with all the tone. Better tone than the glossy ones due to the satin finish. A no-brainer based on that. I got 2. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: reptorroedor, on november 09, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 730

Purchased from: musikia paris

Features: This review is for the model I have purchased, a 2012 USA made Gibson Les Paul Studio 60s Tribute, Its 22 frets, classic Gibson scale, medium jumbo, backed Maple fretboard, solid mahogany neck, mahogany body and maple top. Classic acrylic trapezoid inlays, worm-satin nitro cellulose finish, classic Gibson tune-o-matic bridge with stop bar, two P90s mics with the classic three way switch and 2 volume, 2 control knobs. Kluson type tuners (finished white perloids) honey burst finish. It comes with the luxury gig bag. // 8

Sound: I don't know if this type of guitar fits my style, but I was looking for a Les Paul type model for recording some tracks on a record and a friend who has had some Les Paul models bought one of these and was quite happy with the sound and feel. I tested in the clean channel of a tweed valve amp and it was just sounding perfect, although the P90s are more noisy than a humbucker, they are different, that is why they haven't been totally replaced so far. The sound is specially deep in clean channels and fat in neck position, but really thin on the bridge, it could emulate an acoustic sound; I don't like it much when too many effects are used, I recommend humbucker fitted guitars for that. It fits a part of my music, then there are limitations that are from the design itself, you don't buy a Les Paul model because its functional or rational, there are plenty other guitars that are more versatile and have decent upper fret access; Les Paul models are a matter of taste. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was very well set up, (no buzzing at all) the finish its very good, I was going to buy a Les Paul Traditional (from 1600 to 1800 euro), and I looked at this model and just tested because it looked nice and well built, I liked the fact that is much lighter (and cost almost one K less) which many players don't like, but I'm a long time SG player, and I cannot stand the weight of the Les Pauls... This one although its lighter and I like that, as I said, Les Pauls are not a rational choice, they are a matter of style, like a nice Italian shoe, you don't use 'em for running. Here although I have to make a good advice. There are models that are called dark back, and they are cheaper, I have the model in which actually you see the wood, and if you can choose from different guitars be careful and wise. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I saw many differences in woods from one guitar to another, for instance the one I got has a 2 piece really nice built mahogany body, and it looks really nice, its not very pleasant when you see the body made of 3 parts in a guitar that has so much wood to look at. The baked maple is another issue, many of us, we just don't like it, and now you can found it in models that are twice the price of this entry level Les Pauls. So, the problem with backed maple its not only that you don't have the texture of rose wood or ebony or any other fine wood, the problem is that is very dry. Its almost burnt wood, so I took the time to give to it some humidity by using lemon oil. The feeling and look improved much. I recommend to take time to do that, then you get used to it, and its more like ebony than rosewood. Long ago, studio models where only black and had like custom Les Pauls, they had ebony frets, but if you realize that almost 40% of the guitar's frets are acrylic blocks or trapezoids, at the end, its a lost discussion... And you are playing mostly over plastic. // 10

Overall Impression: The recommendation is to really be careful when picking it, cherry, honey and gold finishes, you can actually see the wood, so pick a nice one, as there are many differences in all the Gibson entry range. I do not recommend the solid finishes, white and black, they really look cheap to me, they look bad finished, I don't know why Gibson charges so much for the extra coats of varnish on more expensive models, the binding is not present but, in the gold and honey models its nice the way the top finds the back, making a line that suits a lot the shape of the guitar as the binding does. As I wrote I compared it to a traditional Les Paul and to my mind, its hard to see the extra money. A binding (that after 20 years will be all cracked) and a glossy finish, shouldn't cost so much more. Today there are tons of models and sub labels in all the classic Gibson models, when I entered for the first time the Gibson world, you could only pick standards, customs, and the solo studio model in only two colors, if white and black are considered as colors. You could have one special Les Paul model, that to me is not a Les Paul at all. Today they try to get the attention of a wide range of pockets and guys attention, some models they look well priced, others over priced, this one is a good guitar for the money. I have been an Epiphone user for quite a while and the guitar's electronics and construction they are not as reliable as the Gibsons. Just open 'em up and you'll see the differences, and the paint stays intact for ever, which at the end, I never liked it. I have been playing for 20 years, and I have tried many different guitars, as I couldn't afford when kid a Les Paul I got an SG, which was the only thing to do when the Les Pauls were so out of any kid's pocket, there were not entry Gibsons, and I just got used to SGs, to me SGs are the more comfortable guitars you can own without having a custom made object, but the Les Paul has that something that make 'em so appealing, I recommend this guitar for beginners and long time players. If you begin, an instrument you like to see, to play and feel, makes a lot of a difference. Final recommendation, don't buy directly from internet, try them if you can, buying a guitar is not like buying an iPod. // 9

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overall: 9.4
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: Jermu97, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 830

Purchased from: TopSound.fi

Features: - Made in USA, 2011 - Slimneck - Baked maple fingerboard - Worn Ebony finish - P-90 pickups - Came with the Gibson gig bag - Both pickups volume and tone controls - 3-way selector - Chambered mahogany body - Carved maple top - Stopbar tailpiece - Mahogany neck - The hole guitar weights about 6.10 lbs // 9

Sound: This Guitar suits pretty much any style. I play rock, blues, metal etc. And the guitar works perfectly. It has 2 P-90's which hum a bit, but sound great. I use a Marshall MG15FX, and sometimes I use Marshall MS-2 with it. It sounds great with 'em both. It's 1 of those perfect compilations: Gibson and Marshall, and Fender and Vox. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The action is perfect, and the neck is very forgivable. It doesn't matter how you play, what you play or what do you play with. The neck does it all. The pickups are just great. I love playing this guitar! There was nothing wrong with this guitar when it came. The guitars tuners are great shaped, and fit your hand perfectly. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will last. I'm going to play with it 'till the end of (my) time. The hardware is great and reliable, and the strap buttons are small but they could carry two guitars at a time. Though not possible but anyway... I don't do gigs, but for me, it's very reliable. I don't need no backup guitars with this baby. // 9

Overall Impression: As I told before, I play pretty much everything. Mostly blues though. And this Guitar is just made for it. Depends on the amp, But you can play ANYTHING with this guitar. From heavy metal to jazz and so on. There is nothing in this guitar I DON'T like. If this was stolen, I would beat the crap out of the thief. If it was lost(not going to happen) I would definitely buy it again! I had a Star Sounds Stratocaster copy before this. It was my first ELECTRIC guitar and it didn't work properly, it sounded awful etc. I had my mums confession, that with the star sound, when I started playing she always thought like: oh no, not again... And when the Gibson came and I started playing, she said just: oh my god! Can a guitar really sound that good? // 10

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overall: 7.4
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: Picklelerner, on november 09, 2012
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 849.99

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: First review, so please just criticize me for the better :) The guitar was made in 2011 in Nasville, TN USA. I'm big on buying USA products, and adding the fact that it was also a Gibson and at this price, I could not pass it up. It's got a smooth Rosewood fingerboard with 22 frets. The mahogany neck has a slim 60's profile which makes moving up and down the neck a lot smoother and easier compared to the heavier and thicker Les Pauls. It has a chambered mahogany body with a maple top, and I have to admit, the lightness of the guitar does give it a sort of cheap feel. I've held my fair share of Les Pauls, and as many of you know, they're pretty heavey and fairly thick... Do not expect the same feel with this guitar. For those of you who like a thinner and lighter guitar, this would be a plus. For those of you who like the genuine heavey and thick feel of a Les Paul, this guitar may not satisfy. The finish on the guitar varies by which color option you choose and I have seen every available option so far. My least favorite was the Worn Honeyburst, the finish just looked like plain wood and looked incredibly cheap. The Worn Cherryburst was pretty nice, it did also have that "plain" look, but definitely looked much nicer and more vibrant than the Honeyburst. The Worn Ebony looked just awful to me, when I first saw it I thought the guitar store had just spraypainted it. The Worn White looked very nice from a distance, but up close it looked kind of like chalk. My favorite, and the one I purchased, is the Worn Goldtop finish. With the other finishes, the "Worn" characteristic was easily identifiable, but on the GT, I can't see it anywhere. I actually put it side by side to a much more expensive Gibson Les Paul Standard Goldtop and could not see any difference in the finishes. If you want the best bang for you buck, the Goldtop finish is a must. It is the most sought after finish for this guitar so it took me over 2 months to get it, but it was definitely worth it. It has a stoptail Bridge and truly just the basic set up that defines a Les Paul. It has Nickel Vintage Tuners with Perloid Buttons, and I must say, the color of the tuners is quite unattractive up close, but sort of ends up complimenting the Goldtop finish on my guitar. Of course, the big selling point of this guitar is the soapbar P-90 pickups. I never had a guitar with P-90s before, let alone a guitar with single coil pickups, so I was not sure what to expect. I was actually surprised at how versatile the pickups were, people had so often told me how harsh they sound and all the buzz they produce, but I found it to be hardly noticeable. More than anything though, they were just too hot. The guitar came with a gigbag, which none of us are ever really thrilled about, given that the guitar is apparently not "good enough" to come with a hardshell case, but believe me, the gigbag is awesome. The padding inside the gigbag is just perfect - strong and thick enough to support the guitar and soft and smooth enough to protect its finish. // 8

Sound: Now, before the hating begins about the amp I most often play it through, please know my review and opinions of the sound are based off of a number of amps I have played the guitar through. I most often play it through a Line 6 Spider 75, and I must say the guitar sounds flawless. I was expecting it to really Shine with full distortion and other such effects that would best fit the dirty sounding P90s, but the guitar seemed just perfect for blues. The pickups honestly did not meet my expecations, let alone actually fit the "60s" part of the guitar. Like many have said, it just has a 60s neck, and that's the only thing that really seems to be "60s" about it, especially given that humbuckers were created in like '57 and pretty much used in every Les Paul after. The P90s are much more modern than the outfit of the guitar, they are very HOT compared to what you would expect from the earlier P90s of the 50s. They still sound good and can be pretty versatile, but they're definitely far from what I would have expected from a Gibson. You can always put in different pickups either way, and for the price that may not be all that bad of an idea. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The one thing that bothers me the most though is the way the pickups were set up when I recieved the guitar. It was very cheaply done and definitely lowered my impression of Gibson, but thankfully a quick visit from my guitar techie friend fixed it up. Another problem I have with it is the G string, and I am not sure if it is just the strings Gibson shipped it with or if I just need to break it out, but it hurts like hell to bend the G string. I assume it has something to do with the tension of the string that Gibson set it up with. Other than that, all the strings bend just fine on every fet with an easy amount of tension. Hopefully changing the strings might fix the problem. The big thing with these guitars that many may not have known is their origin. The manufacturing plant in Nashville where supposedly this whole line of guitars is produced had major flooding last year, and out of nowhere came this very inexpensive line up. It did worry me when I purhcased my guitar because I had to buy my Goldtop online due to unavailability and would not get the chance to inspect it before purchasing. Thankfully, there were no flaws on the guitar other than the awkwardly set up pickups and G string issue. I believe there are only 3 pieces of wood blended into the guitar, which is great considering that many people who I have talked to who have also purchased the guitar had some with 4 to 5. It's always preferred to have consistency in the wood. It makes Gibson look even worse to me though considering that they did not put the same care and quality into all of their guitars, even the cheaper models. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It is sort of hard for me to give a good review on reliability and durability because I have only had it for a few weeks or so, let alone even play it live yet. I treat the guitar like a precious gem. I rarely spend so much on a guitar so I'm not really going to ever risk finding out whether or not it is durable. I will say though that it does feel like a sturdy piece of wood, and the finish seems like it would last quite a long time, under the right conditions, of course. The strap buttons are solid, I have not had any problems with the hardware on the guitar. // 8

Overall Impression: I play a lot of 60s and 70s music, and despite the name, I'd say its not the best fit. It sounds good and feels great, but tonally I know I could be getting something better. I have only been playing for about 4 years or so and have a few other much cheaper guitas and stringed instruments, but out of my collection, this is still my favorite. There is something about the guitar that just makes it worth it despite some of its mediocre characterists. When people come see my collection, its the first thing they notice. It is after all a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, and for the price, you just can't beat that. I wish I had looked into the P90s a lot more before purchasing, the guitar made me realize I'm really a humbucker man, but it still sounds good. I love the finish and feel of the guitar. When you pick up this guitar you know you're holding a Gibson Les Paul, despite the light weight and chambered body. If it were stolen or lost I would possibly consider getting another, I would just have to weigh my options out again. I am moderately impressed for the price, but fairly unimpressed for it being a real Gibson. I am highly impressed with the Goldtop finish, to me its what makes the guitar so special. Ever since I was very little I always wanted a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, and I know many guitar players feel that way as well, so at this price, I just could not pass it up. The P90s are much too HOT for my taste, but I'm looking into possibly switching them out for ones I know I would like more. // 7

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overall: 9
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: liquidmedecin, on november 09, 2012
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Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 2011 USA, all specs online. // 8

Sound: My genre is blues/classic rock. Marshall combo / Chameleon 2000 rack processor. This guitar surprised the Hell out of me. When you think of P90s you think anything but a hard rock tone. That is exactly what they produce. They can be toned down to get that single coil twang they are known for. The neck is thick and rich with a solid punch while the bridge has a bright twang that really opens up for a great lead sound. Mixed is a fair combo of both of their high points, but can seem a little muddy when the bridge is overpowered by the neck pup. Surprisingly they sound closer to a mini humbucker than I imagined. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This was on the floor at GC. Set up well, and played as a Gibson should. The satin finish is basic, nothing eye catching. Its "road worn" look entails a thinner nitro cell finish with a few small intentional "worn" spots..its seemingly pointless as a road worn finish should look the part, this looks more like it was played in a garage band at best. The hardware is all a product of Gibson USA enough said.., its solid, sturdy and impressive for the price tag. The tuners are solid and smooth holding a tune perfectly. The 60s neck is what won me over. 70s Tribute Goldtop ihand, I stopped and thought am I really buying this because its prettier? I set it aside and grabbed a 60's plain old satin ebony instead... The neck and playability is just that smooth. This is my personal preference, the 70's is just too thick. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's a Gibson, minus the bells and whistles... Its gonna last. As with anything a back up is always smart... One thing great about Gibson is the way the nitro cellulose ages. It brings out the character in the finish and wood as it thins with age. // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar has a surprising tone range in my opinion. While the general consensus is the P90s are far too hot. I find those little round knobs on the side do well in taming them and bringing the tones to more subtle ranges. Just because it says 10 on the knob doesn't mean that's the best setting and in most cases... It isn't. If I could describe the overall tone, imagine a cross bt a mini humbucker and a single coil. The 60's Tribute is not a head Turner, you won't find yourself basking in the awe of a flamed gloss top, but you also won't cry if it gets knocked around... Its a player's guitar cut and dry.

// 9

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overall: 8.8
Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 16, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 529

Purchased from: MusiciansFriend

Features: Mine is a 2011. Made (as all Gibsons are) in the good old USA. 22 medium jumbo frets on a 60's slim taper neck. Mahogany body and neck with a maple cap on the body and a baked maple fretboard (contrary to what many believe, Gibson isn't putting rosewood on most of its guitars any more). Satin finish (officially "worn nitrocellulose) with a stopbar and Tune-O-Matic bridge and 2 P-90 pickups. 3-way selector with separate volume and tone controls for each pickup. Grover Kluson style green tulip tuners. The guitar came with the "deluxe" Gibson gigbag. // 9

Sound: The guitar sounds great for blues, blues-rock, classic rock, and even the little bit of country that I play. I mostly play it through a Vox VT20+ or a Fender Mustang I. People are complaining about the P-90s being hotter than expected, but guess what - there are these things on your guitar called volume and tone knobs, and contrary to popular opinion they don't have to be left at 10 all the time. You can get plenty of variety in tone with just minor adjustments to your volume and tone controls. These pickups are very responsive to both these controls and variations in your attack. Simply put, they sound great. There is some slight hum (as with any single coil), but last time I checked there is no sin in some noise in the background of rock and/or blues music. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I was very surprised at the set-up, because I have not been pleased with other Gibsons out of the box. This one was ready to roll immediately. Action was low, intonation was very good, pickups were well balanced, and the frets were perfectly pleked (Gibson is now putting all their guitars on the plek machines, and it's a real plus). Those who are complaining about the neck pickup overpowering the bridge should try some Ernie Ball SuperSlinky 9's on their guitar. The lighter gauge vibrates more freely and helps eliminate that problem. These strings also open up the sound on virtually any axe (yeah, I know, some of you are going to rip me for using unmanly strings, but sound is more important to me than impressing other men with my steel cable gauge strings that sound muddy and rip up my fingers. Superslinkys are IT when it comes to tone and playability.) I also like the finish (satin ebony) and all parts fit perfectly. I always thought the upscale Les Pauls were a little ostentatious for rock and roll anyway. Isn't it supposed to be raw and raunchy? Besides, who ever decided that surrounding beautiful tonewood with a strip of cheap plastic somehow made a guitar more classy? I can understand people loving the natural wood binding on PRS's, but the plastic stripping on Gibsons? - I never got the attraction. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Everything is solid and well built, but this is a Gibson, and you just know it's one drop away from a snapped-off headstock, so I would be lying if I went higher than a 7. Like I said, other than that, it's fine. Neck is solidly inserted into the body, bridge is as stable as it would be if it was inserted in concrete, and I am a huge fan of the green tuners (in fact, if I ever got a Les Paul with any others, I would immediately switch them out - Les Pauls only look complete with the green tulips on the headstock). // 7

Overall Impression: Some final impressions - again disagreeing with many other reviewers. I really appreciate the chambered body. Les Pauls are heavy, but this one is far lighter than many I have played - a big plus for my aging back and shoulders. I don't notice that this hurts the sound even a little. The baked maple fretboards are a huge improvement over the rosewood. They feel far more firm and result in a much lower tendency for the sound to muddy up - always an issue with LP's. I love the 60's neck taper. My last Paul had a 50's neck and it was like a baseball bat. This is far more comfortable and easy to play. While I would have liked a hardshell case, Gibson has definitely improved its gigbags. This one is very nicely padded and has a very clunky zipper that looks like it will last forever. Kudos also to Gibson for going back to including a trussrod wrench with their guitars. Getting rid of them a few years ago was a STUPID idea. Final note - If anyone's wondering about the price - Thanks to MusiciansFriend for their 150% price match guarantee. I know some people lament that sites like this have killed local guitar businesses, but MF is an awesomely honest seller. Overall, this is a great guitar and I got it for an even better than great price. // 9

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