Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.2 Good
  • Users' score: 7.6 (85 votes)
Gibson: Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute
0

Price paid: $ 849

Purchased from: Jim’s Music

Sound — 6
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.

Overall Impression — 7
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'.

Reliability & Durability — 8
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.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
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.

Features — 8
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.

38 comments sorted by best / new / date

    wolvenrick
    in my opinion you're blaming the guitar a lot for the pick-up. fact is that these were made for consumers who demanded a les paul with p90's at affordable price. i dont think that any of the people who wanted these bought them for 50's style music but definitly for more modern maybe 60-70-80's music. however no offense for you're marks. i love realistic reviews like these as i prefer to read a review if it doesn't have a (near) perfect score
    TheTwoSteps
    I do think it really comes down to quality control... Some I have played felt great and others felt like crap; this used to not be the case for Gibson. Like the reviewer said, its not just a product, is an image. But as we all know, Gibson is on the slide, pc board and crappy support, so they don't really care. Side note, the hot pickups sounded great with a clean amp and terrible with a crunchy amp - too mid rangey. Which is a modern sound, and not what I am going for.
    thejester
    wolvenrick wrote: in my opinion you're blaming the guitar a lot for the pick-up. fact is that these were made for consumers who demanded a les paul with p90's at affordable price. i dont think that any of the people who wanted these bought them for 50's style music but definitly for more modern maybe 60-70-80's music. however no offense for you're marks. i love realistic reviews like these as i prefer to read a review if it doesn't have a (near) perfect score
    i definitely understand where you are coming from and completely respect your opinion and believe you make a great point as well. thanks for the read
    davy-boy
    Bought my 50's tribute a few months back,and love it-honey burst,sexy matt finish-improved no end by removing pick guard ...I only went in to buy some strings! :-D
    thejester
    Johnneeey wrote: This should be a guitar
    This should have been a good comment.
    SecondCivilWar
    gbgg9409 wrote: So basically what you're telling us is to go and get a $400 Chinese guitar with questionable craftsmanship instead of recommending a guitar that's close to the price point and sound of the Gibson you just reviewed?
    Actually I think he's recommending a guitar that more accurately matches the sound and playability that he expected from the guitar in his review.
    R0MEZ
    Lolllll the guy in the 3rd review thought that his edges got worn off... one of the things gibson did to make it look 60's was relicin and the edges are worn down purposely (look closely and u will see that there is a light spray of laquer over the worn edges). as for the pickups bein too bright, well u were right p90s are technically 50's but in the 60's they were in fact made to sound hotter that is why the 56' gt sounds different. great guitar, if ure in the market for anythin under a grand this guitar is probs the best qualityu can get. Oh and one more thing all the reviews are wrong bout the fretboard... gibson got sued and there rosewood supply was confiscarted by the feds so they used BAKED MAPLE not rosewood, this material is found on the american strats and teles as it makes playin quite faster but a little choppier. Im not a huge fan of bound necks so its great to have a les paul with a "free" neck for a change. great guitar in my opinion! -its a limited run worth havin. Romez
    gbgg9409
    So basically what you're telling us is to go and get a $400 Chinese guitar with questionable craftsmanship instead of recommending a guitar that's close to the price point and sound of the Gibson you just reviewed?
    skinfrakki
    This thing is the biggest piece of garbage. Tried changing the pickups out. Had to replace the wiring due to it being thin crap and going microphonic with good pickups. The switch that was in mine was a Switchcraft that was made in China. Just a piece of junk all over. From now on I'm buying Chinese copies
    Korzack
    I have to admit I did laugh of the irony of a guitar marketed towards a more "retro" audience been given a modern sound - Nice work, Gibson, yer silly fools - in fairness, an $850 rated guitar (I can guarantee it'll wind up costing over 1000 UK) simply leaving a reviewer "moderately impressed" is a sign the company's bollocksed up, in my opinion.
    dexfx69
    Wow, the reviewer really bashed this guitar. That's sad for anyone who believes him, because this Gibson Les Paul is truly one of the best LPs to come out in the last 50 years. The satin finish allows the guitar body to resonate freely, which improves tone substantially. The P90s are superb pickups as well.
    magnix
    i don't believe that this is a bad guitar if u do not like the pick up you always can change them right? and its gibson witch is a litle over rated but stil its a gibson GIBSON G I B S O N. and it does'nt matter what guitar you have its the guitar player
    markleehunter
    I'd like to thank Jesse Kleinow for that blunt, expert and precise review. He's right about the pickups: They're too darn hot. Luckily I've got a set of Lollars that I'll throw in mine; otherwise I'd rarely use it, because the overdrive from those pickups is hard to manage. I'm not really sure what music that axe is made for with the stock pickups (I play various kinds of slide myself); for most anything you need better cleans than they provide, and I like my grease in the sound. I'll sell them soon enough, lotsa folks want anything with Gibson on it. As for the finish, I have the Goldtop, and I quite like it, looks used in a nice way. I will pull the pickguard anyway, I don't like or need them. I got mine as a near-even trade for a guitar I wasn't playing that cost me less, and I like the feel and (light) weight of it. No regrets on the purchase, and if I don't like it after the mod an easy sell.
    markleehunter
    Update: I replaced the stock pickups with Lollar vintage wounds, and the guitar sounds great -- in fact, like a Les Paul, with a shining top end and strong bass. I like carrying it (nice and light) and playing it (sound gets compliments) and will keep it. That said, I would not recommend it as a new purchase. My main guitars are Reverends, and any Korean-made Reverend P90 guitar has better electronics (vintage wound pups, no hum, bass control), a better neck, better tuning stability and stronger finish than this Gibson, for about $100 less street new, and you don't have to mod it. Regarding finish, since I wrote the above comment the guitar has picked up noticeable scratches and dings, without mistreatment; not tops. Rereading the above reviews, most seem too enthusiastic. It's a good guitar, sure, but you can find better out there for the price. The guy who applauded Epiphone is right on, they are making very sweet guitars these days, including a 1961 tribute SG with P90s that equals or betters this LP on every ground. BTW, I've been playing 47 years and have owned great, good and garbage gear.
    twinsoul
    I tried one in a smaller music store in my area, it was the cherry sunburst.I did think the craftmanship was a bit under par for Gibson,but i still thought the tone was great. The playability was a bit clumsy. I am more of a fender guy so i realy havent played a lot of Paul's, just familiar with the tone of p90's (i did own an SG jr. about 10 years ago). I was in the market for a Paul and was selling one of my Tele's,i passed on this one. I decided to go to Guitar Center whear i saw a Honey Burst model.It was remarkable the differance between this git to the previous cherry i played.I plugged into a Deluxe Reverb and from the first note i was hooked. Not clumsy and great playability. As far as the pups, with 4 tone controls (i'm used to 2)i have no problem with these creamy overpowering little bars of soap. I can bring them up , down and all around.I'd rather have overdriven pups than weak ones.Tribute shmibute i'm getting this guitar. I like the matte finish ,it looks great to me and not like every other Les Paul. i will probably take the pic guard off to show more wood he,he,he....more wood.For me this Paul will fit good in my collection. I once again have some p-90 growl !
    HarrySmallwood
    Would this be good for 70's/80's punk stuff like Black Flag, and at the same time a Foo Fighters kind of sound?
    Grey Hawk
    I would like to know if all the complaints about this model are valid owners, many I have found are unfounded and made by persons barely old enough to really know about early model Gibson guitars, let alone to be able to afford them. One problem may be is that in order for any Gibson with P90's to sound good is that your playing ability is not enough to make any guitar sound good and not really about the guitar model your complaining about. I have the Gibson Studio 60's Tribute Honeyburst with a solid one piece back, rosewood fretboard, Gibson USA plush lined, black snake skin patterned hard shell case, with great sounding P90's played through a Peavey Classic 50 210 tweed amp. Cleanest sounding Gibson Studio & amp around my area. I have been playing rock, country, blues and jazz music since 1959 and do know what good equipment is and is not for the music I play. I still jam and gig with a few different groups and will until they pry my cold fingers of the neck of my USA made Gibson or Fender Stratocaster HSS. Just my two cents worth of comment. Not to offend everybody, but just those of you who know who I speak of.
    jess58ful
    i enjoy my worn ebony les paul p90...no issues...the look and the sound are just perfect for the price.
    thejester
    meadowz06 wrote: Great guitar for the money. Mine has no quality issues and sounds great. Great tone. And the price will only continue to go up, seeing as they are limited production. Four stars ****!
    glad you got a good one, thanks for the read!
    cammy90
    i tried a white one out in guitarguitar in glasgow and couldnt find a flaw on it and actually really liked the hot pups. i'd go as far as to say you could maybe even play metal through them if you had a noise suppresor to cut out some of the buzz!!! i know thats not what this guitar is built for but it sounds okay through the fender mustang v head i was using in the shop
    AeolianSeventh
    Quality on mine is amazing, but really that's not surprising. I bought it after playing six Les Pauls, and if it wasn't better than the Standards and Customs I would never have bought it. Fit and finish flawless except for the somewhat clumsily cut pickguard. I guess it varies pretty widely. The pickups are definitely hotter than I'd like, though.
    lilqueenie
    I agree with the first post and more.. the frets are way high.. need milling. The guitar is like a hunk of wood with pickups and parts on it.. quality not good. I am selling mine.. also the fret board at the 4th fret looks like it has filler in it.. like a hole? I am afraid of even scrapping it to see what the heck. I build guitars and would be embarrassed to present this as a builder.. shame on Gibson.. I would buy an Epiphone.. better made.
    larsberculo
    probably going to buy this guitar in ebony. Am I the only one who doesn't really like the color of the pickups/pickguard? But I simply love the sound op p90s, so i'm probably going to cover the pickups and buy another pickgaurd... looking forward to have this in my collection..
    steve24bus
    Just taken delivery of this guitar and find no issues with build quality or set up out of the box,I did not buy the guitar to play 50,s music on it,I bought it because it is a gibson les paul with p90,s on it at a decent price.Yes the pickups scream but i would have been suprised if they didnt,I also own a 2007 custom les paul which i paid an arm and a leg for.I love both guitars.I also paid 62 for a guitar made in indonisia under the make of adam black with asbo humbuckers on it,the build quality and sound of this guitar is incredible which just goes to show there,s a lot of hype with brand weather its gibson,fender or any other major brand.Problem is ,if we want the product we will pay the price they set.
    meadowz06
    Great guitar for the money. Mine has no quality issues and sounds great. Great tone. And the price will only continue to go up, seeing as they are limited production. Four stars ****!
    thejester
    gbgg9409 wrote: So basically what you're telling us is to go and get a $400 Chinese guitar with questionable craftsmanship instead of recommending a guitar that's close to the price point and sound of the Gibson you just reviewed?
    Well SecondCivilWar already made this point but yes that is exactly what I am doing. And after seeing a good amount of both guitars (if you would have read the end of the review) I stated that the Epiphone exceeded in Quality Control and Craftsmanship. Is that really your gripe about this review, me telling you that a guitar half the price within the same bloodline of companies does a better job to emulate the sound? Furthermore, for $849 I am having a really difficult time finding a chambered Les Paul that is supposed to emulate the sound of the 60's with P-90's. If you find one let me know.
    Wakisazhi
    Actually despite what the review says this actually sounds more like something I would want in a les paul, a slim-ish neck with moderately hot p90s. If you want a better deal just buy an Agile 3000 equipped with p90s and replace those with a set of more vintage voiced aftermarket p90s.
    guitarman1992
    Nice read, it really was an unbiased review. Sure is a shame they had to put modern sounding PUPs on such a beauty.
    SilverSpider71
    Korzack wrote: I have to admit I did laugh of the irony of a guitar marketed towards a more "retro" audience been given a modern sound - Nice work, Gibson, yer silly fools - in fairness, an $850 rated guitar (I can guarantee it'll wind up costing over 1000 UK) simply leaving a reviewer "moderately impressed" is a sign the company's bollocksed up, in my opinion.
    What he said
    xlrious
    I guess your editors were working at the Gibson QC Department that day. Made me feel good about my Epi '56 GT Reissue though. Cheers!
    Charlie4
    Where I stay, RSA,the rand is 8x weaker than the dollar so because of this we buy Tokai Guitars over a Gibson because the quality to price ratio is a lot better on a Tokai. The reviewer summed up this guitar with a euphemism: "it doesnt have the craftsmanship I have come to expect from this company." Have to admit though, the pic that UG used does not look bad at all.
    ris789
    My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do, Fox92dotcom