Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars

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Gibson: Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior
The feature most focused on this guitar is either the special H-90 pickup, which adds more of a punch to the tone and is noise-cancelling, or the fact that it's a named-guitar from a very popular pop-punk rock band of a generation.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 33 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior Reviewed by: fencernick, on november 09, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: This guitar is very expensive compared to its other counterpart, the Standard Les Paul Jr., which I found for $800-$900 price range compared to this axe. The feature most focused on this guitar is either the special H-90 pickup, which adds more of a punch to the tone and is noise-cancelling, or the fact that it's a named-guitar from a very popular pop-punk rock band of a generation. There is only a volume knob and one tone knob, which is on any Standard Les Paul Jr. This guitar is equipped with a 60's style slim-fitting rosewood neck, 22-frets, and are each hand-made so that each of these guitars will have their own dimension to the guitar. Also built is mahogany body with an air-tight space between the neck and body, an excellently crafted bridge, and it comes in three colors: classic white, ebony, and Vintage sunburst. At the back of the headstock there is a signature from Billie Joe Armstrong artfully written. It also comes with a free case with Green Day's Lightning Man logo and a leopard finish inside. Nickel hardware. // 10

Sound: I play through a Vox Valvetronix VT30, no pedals. I play usually punk rock, a bit of classic rock, rockabilly, alternative, and a bit of blues riffing here and there. I typically just use stock overdrive and sometimes a bit of delay. This guitar fills each music category well, although chords seem to be the strength of this Les Paul Jr. This guitar can give sparkling clean tones, deep and rich bass tones, and definitely packs a punch with some good crunch tones and hardcore blues. Metal isn't really an option for this guitar, maybe so, but I've tried and it only fairs barely (the musicality and dynamics in metal with this guitar is lost in my opinion). The H-90 pick-up, I am sad to say, does not exist and is only a P-90 pick-up, which is a bit noisy but better than an average single-coil's noise. I often have to roll down the volume knob while recording so the humming doesn't interfere, but this is just a small thing. The tone knob is basic and easy to use, and I can get some nice tones from the guitar without adjusting my amp. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I've had this guitar for about a year, and I have to say, a year has seemed to change this guitar quite a bit. At first, the action was nice, but the neck was a bit too straight and didn't fit my hands too well (compared to a Fender). A slight buzz exists in when hitting the low E string, but that's easily fixed. The finish for classic white is easily dirtied by certain leathers, but a quick cleaning should do the trick. The pick-up was beautifully placed for that nice, punchy output, and the bridge and nickel-hardware helps with delivering nice sustain. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is a tough one. It's very heavy, and for a year I haven't had to change the strings because it maintained a bright, loud output. None of the hardware has broken yet, and I've dropped this guitar more than a lot. You may want a strap-lock, because when the straps fell off that usually led to most of the fallings of the guitar. I would definitely gig with this alone, but its emphasis on chords might lead you to bring a backup just for other songs involving more intricate playing. The finish is thick and very nicely made, and will last for a long time to come. // 9

Overall Impression: I am very impressed with this guitar, although it did take me a good amount of time to start getting used to playing a Gibson. I've been playing for 2-3 years now, and I also own a Squier Strat with a Seymour Duncan Hot Rail SH-1 bridge pick-up and a Fender Acoustic guitar. I wish the H-90 pick-up did come with this guitar, or the noise-cancelling came with this guitar. I would definitely buy this guitar again, maybe in a Vintage sunburst finish or again in classic white. I love a lot about this guitar, mostly how long the nickel hardware I think will last. Anything else? Buy it. It will be worth it. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Billie Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 1500

Purchased from: Sky Music, Melbourne

Features: I picked this guitar up late last year and it was made in 2009, and of course made in Nashville. It has an ebony fretboard, which is extremely fast, and has a slim 60's neck so the guitar is very easy to play. It has a nitrocellulose lacquer and the one I own is in Classic White but it also comes in Vintage Sunburst and Ebony. It has one H-90, which essentially is a P-90 wrapped many times to reduce hum and it has Gibson tuners. // 8

Sound: This guitar is perfect for all kinds of rock it growls like an 100 angry dogs. I'm using a Marshall DSL 401 with this and Cry Baby Wah and sometimes a DigiTech Delay. This guitar can make many tones and it's not a one trick pony as many say, the only thing it can't do is mellow rich blues, which I don't play. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was perfectly set-up from the factory and I have found no problems with it. The pickups are great no rust anywhere nothing poorly cut although once when I was playing the string slipped out of the nut but it went back in by itself. So overall this guitar is perfect right out of the box. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I don't gig but this guitar seems pretty slid and I would take it to a gig without a backup. The strap buttons are not bad but I but Schaller Strap Locks on just in case, which I do with all my guitars. The finish is great and if you look close enough you can see the grain of the wood. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a great guitar and I highly recommend it. I have heard that it is much better than regular juniors but I haven't played one myself so I'm not sure, it does have better features though nitro lacquer, hard case, H-90 etc. If it were stolen I would be very upset because this guitar is the only one that was great and I would try and find another like it. This is a great guitar and I highly recommend it. // 9

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