Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (85 votes)
Gibson: Les Paul Studio '60s Tribute

Price paid: $ 529

Purchased from: MusiciansFriend

Sound — 9
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.

Overall Impression — 9
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.

Reliability & Durability — 7
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).

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
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.

Features — 9
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.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I really like mine. It's not my main guitar but I like the vibe and feeling of this one. Since I bought it couple of years ago I have grown to like it more and more. It's like a car without automatic gears, bench warmers, and other luxuries; it's more like sounds-like-you-play-it guitar. I like to use it for more vintage style music for the vibe of it. I would love to see how it looks like after 20 years or so because it takes dings quite easily. I don't mind. It's a rock n' roll guitar.
    cliff niesen
    I bought a 2013 Dark Burst! It has the awesomely cool 57 classic pups Humbuckers! It is extremely heavy being 60's tribute model that would explain. First thing when I bought it I had heart valve failure from working out to hard. so, I did not get to play it because of my chest being cracked open, with fresh wounds that were still leaking blood. I took it out of the case that was suppose to come with it but they charge me for it so there was no sale after the fact. I noticed it's paint was chipped and it rubbed off in certain places. It was like they took the light color sunburst and never even sanded the back to give it ground to hold the paint! Then I notice that, yeah, the base strings had great sound for heavy music, but when I change the amp clean the high E string had no sustain. It said, the string: " Dink, Dink. I was totally pissed but remember I was unable to leave my house or drive because my chest wounds were fresh. I called Guitar center explain all. They gave me a hard time They told me to call Gibson and even gave me the number. The guy was heartless as all Darwinist, social paths, corporate, greedy, self interest Luciferian doctrine selfish attitude. In other wards, Just a heartless CEO of the Fascist regime! Its must be my fault. It must be the case, or it looks warn off. I said you are correct, it does look warn and I only played it twice because of my surgery. That does not explain the nut that has no grooves, only the ones that the strings made by presser. My othe Gibson Les Paul that is a worn brown look with a polished maple cap is great and had no problems. Then he emails me and gives me some apology like that will change all. told me that all Gibson parts are outsourced, and its had to keep quality control. It has come to a rol of the dice these days with Gibson. its like 1 out of every ten. They might as we call them Epiphone made in America. I will never buy another $1500, to 3 grand Gibson. ESP clips is a way better guitar, and you can even get their LTD 401, or LTD 1000 deluxe for under a grand and the Eclips for $1500 to 4 Grand. The $3 grand eclips ESP is like buying a 10 grand Gibson. They should be shameful, they have no integrity commitment, nor pride in their workmanship! Gibson that is.
    cliff niesen
    Gibson sold me a lemon,! A dark Burst Gibson Les Paul. I found them unwilling to exchange! Todays Gibson Les Paul should be called Epiphone American style. The CEO at Gibson would not help me knowing that it was a lemon! He email me and told me that the parts are outsourced by several corporation and its hard to maintain quality control. and if they really had any he said. I really cant blame him because he most likey not anyone that can do anything. They ( the CEOs) don't care as long as at this moment their pockets are being filled. They are a penny wise and a dollar foolish! they are living off of their grand parents legacy, Made in America for Gibson has now become like buying a Doge automobile. We used to have the best cars but Corporate Greed lost all integrity in the make. The quality of Gibson it failing because instead of getting better and growing in quality they have gotten displacement with who they were . And living off of the aging Rock stars of yesteryear! This is why the Japanes and Germans beat us in most items. Well Gibson ESP has whipped your ars! Because they think about the working class. You have working class make your products and look at them as less than you and that is why as all big corporations the CEO have a Grandiousity that you tell the men that work making your product that you cannot give them a bonus or raise and give yourselves ather summer home, or an extra $6 million bucks because your so greate. It is us that buy your product. Wealthy people don't understand art because the only art is the craft of thiefdom. We know your craft. and its lost to you grandparents that made the company.