1952 Goldtop Tribute review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.2 (40 votes)
Gibson: 1952 Goldtop Tribute
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Price paid: £ 1800

Sound — 9
Well my sound is heavy influenced by ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin etc. My use of the guitar is slightly limited in the sense that I don't really go too far off the beaten track in terms of different sounds, I'm using a 1979 Marshall JMP 50W and the 1960a Cab and the only effect that I use is an MXR micro-amp, so in essence what I'm trying to say is that the guitar does blues rock tones very well and has a pleasent warm clean tone when you roll off the volume. The midrange of the guitar is in my opinion the guitars strongest asset its strong and bassy but still offers enough punch to ensure clarity of note. The guitar can also get pretty high end treble aswell which I'm sure is down to the choice of pots that Gibson has very wisely decided to use in this guitar. In terms of feedback and noise the guitar is suprisingly good considering the p90's you have to get pretty close to your amplifier for it to get a bit crazy and background noise is overwhelmingly loud.

Overall Impression — 9
My overall impression of this guitar is that it suits me very well. I feel that the guitar does reflect the price tag and Gibson have done a very good job on this one despite its stupid strap buttons. In comparison to my black beauty I much prefer the tone on this and I find a good tone on this guitar much easier to find than the custom. The only things that I would change on the entire guitar are the strap buttons and the tuners which I feel are not as good as the grovers that I have on the custom. But well done Gibson excellent guitar all round just a couple of minor improvements needed.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I mean this is Gibson guitar and I would have absolutely no issues playing it live and not worrying about it failing on me. Hardware is solid, the finish on the guitar is also solid pretty much a given with a Gibson. I'm one problem with this guitar is that although it is an excellent guitar the strap buttons are too small and I have already caught it mid air twice. I personally think that this really needs to be looked at by Gibson as frankly strap button of this size are crap and no use to anyone who isnt sitting in their bedroom with it and I don't want to change them and invalidate my warranty.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Suprisingly enough my guitar was very well setup from the Gibson factory considering some of the less impressive ones I've had. The pickups on the guitar I intially felt were set slightly high but in reality someone at the factory clearly knows better than me and mounted them perfectly it just took a little time to get used to how they were mounted. The guitar has a beautiful mahoghany back and and and almost flawless finish apart from a tiny bit of paint run on the very edge (really picking holes here) everything on the guitar has been machined properly and I have no insecurities about the guitars solidness. My only really problem with it was that I felt that the fretboard was a little dry from the factory but that was easily remedied although for an 1800 guitar I would expect not to have to deal with this problem. I also feel that the strap buttons are far too small and the Vintage style are not nearly as good as the grover that I have on my black beauty but in fairness to Gibson do look good and are solid enough to withstand anything that I throw at them.

Features — 9
Made in USA at the Nashville Plant in 2010. 22 frets with a 50's neck profile, supposed jumbo frets but I would say more medium to large. 1 piece mahoghany body with a maple cap and 1 piece mahoghany neck. Finished in nitrocellulose lacquer. Originally designed tailpiece that was designed by Les Paul himself and wraps over rather than under unlike the original. 2 300k CTS volume pots and 2 500k CTS tone pots. Dual p90 pickups, 3 way pickup selector, switchcraft output jack. The guitar came with Standard Gibson USA hardshell case COA and the usual Gibson documents and checklists. So pretty much your Standard Gibson setup which is a bit hard to rate hence the 9.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ibanezbass4life
    merlinosheep wrote: Users rating: 10 Jesus christ, stop rating 10's!
    Are you one of those elitist jerks who run around complaining that a guitar is a 10? i mean, this is even a Gibson, TOP OF THE LINE guitar, and you're still b*tching about a 10? my god...grow the hell up dude!
    Seref
    I think the "User's Ratings" need to be removed. It's usually just saturated by votes from people that have no idea what they're doing anyway.
    assparade69
    Kerry_King_1990 wrote: For the comment about changing the strap locks, i own 3 gibsons and the straps are fine. everyone complains about them. everyone i know thinks theyre fine, i think its how you play. they work fine for me, but why does everyone say they suck?
    gibson strap buttons are great if you don't use them. they start to suck after a few months of heavy use on stage and such
    Kerry_King_1990
    For the comment about changing the strap locks, i own 3 gibsons and the straps are fine. everyone complains about them. everyone i know thinks theyre fine, i think its how you play. they work fine for me, but why does everyone say they suck?
    kmaster 1337
    CaliforniaKid wrote: I thought they changed from the trapeze tailpiece to the TOM because you couldn't intonate the trapeze, yet here they're selling them again. Rather confusing.
    52-styled reissue
    CaliforniaKid
    I thought they changed from the trapeze tailpiece to the TOM because you couldn't intonate the trapeze, yet here they're selling them again. Rather confusing.
    quesadilla1118
    Seref wrote: I think the "User's Ratings" need to be removed. It's usually just saturated by votes from people that have no idea what they're doing anyway.
    agreed. people who do that probably don't even know what a gibson is. don't rate unless you have used it before. that's why its called "users rating" emphasis on user
    Brendan.Clace
    It's not necessarily that people are rating 10's....I mean if a guitar is honestly PERFECT, then it deserves a 10, but I think his complaint is the fact that a lot of people who have never even touched the model, are rating it a 10 just because it says Gibson on the headstock, or just because it has a "beautiful" tailpiece (I honestly think its super ugly, does that mean I should rate the guitar a 1??) I believe that was his point. Also, a lot of people rate guitars 10's without even thinking about it. You can't think of ONE bad thing, or ONE mistake the shop made? It's HONESTLY and LEGITIMATELY PERFECT?? If so, rate a 10, by all means.
    Ibanezbass4life
    merlinosheep wrote: Users rating: 10 Jesus christ, stop rating 10's!
    seriously, if you always complain about everything being 10's, we need a new system where people like YOU can't complain anymore! stupid complainers!
    Kog_Les_Paul
    Sounds like a good guitar, i wouldn't buy it, as i simply don't like the colour! but from the looks of previous comments, it's just me whom feels this way.
    ThePushMan
    Mine came with body dents that Gibson painted over, could see them but couldnt feel them, and hollow sounding pickups... best non refundable shipping cost I ever spent.
    thejester
    merlinosheep wrote: Users rating: 10 Jesus christ, stop rating 10's!
    you mean the people that rate it that have never played it. haha. i find it comical too
    Joe-Floyd-lover
    That Tailpiece is a beauty, but I think I prefer the ToM, or a Bigsby... ToM probably has more tuning stability. Still is an incredible guitar!
    thejester
    looks like a great guitar, need to find one to play. yes i have to change all my gibby's strap buttons, they are just pathetic. worst part about them, i am confident that you will not void your warranty though. if you change your strap buttons that has nothing to do if the pickups fail for some reason. plus everyone who plays a gibson live has changed the strap buttons