Les Paul Studio Faded review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (92 votes)
Gibson: Les Paul Studio Faded

Price paid: $ 650

Purchased from: ebay

Sound — 10
I play a cross of Stevie Ray meets Slash meets Neil Young. Rocking blues and some modern covers, along with my blues based originals and she has not let me down yet. It is quickly becoming my primary road guitar by a wide margin. Very dank sound, a little meatier than the standard, not quite as searing or airy, and I know that's because of the mahogany top. I play through a 15w Fender super champ XD, slightly dirty, that feeds a homemade cabinet that is switchable between 2 and 4 speakers, depending on the setting, and use just a few pedals to get what I want. Boss TU2 tuner, Boss Blues driver (mostly clean, just use it for a little volume boost on my leads), Dunlop crybaby, and Boss digital delay. that's my rig. The amp has plenty of features but that will be another review. Whatever I dial up on the amp, this guitar is ready for it.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing for about 20 years now, gigging regularly for 8, and this is a great battle axe for being on stage. Plus at the price, I'm not going to commit hari-kari over an accident or theft like I would say over a '66 SG that has never fully recovered or my prized '72 Standard that I don't let my kids breathe on! It's durable, affordable, and more than capable.

Reliability & Durability — 10
OMG! Again, It's a Gibson. I have never had a problem with any of my gibsons (or epiphones for that matter) that I have not caused myself. Again straplocks! A balsa wood guitar would still fall on stage if not for straplocks. Any brand will do, I have used them all. Personally like the look of the hennessey NSL series. Every guitar I own will outlive me, and hopefully my children if they take care of them when I'm gone. Over 100 years and people still shell out a months salary or more on their product... That speaks for itself. If I ever go to a gig without a second guitar shoot me where I stand. Accidents happen. But, if I could guarantee my clumsiness not a factor, I don't need any other guitar on stage.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
It's a Gibson! For crying out loud! I hear all kind of complaints about Gibson's quality of late, I own now 6, and have owned close to 20 Gibsons and they are all flawless. They are the most well put together guitar I have ever run into, I sold all my other guitar but one of my fenders and just play Gibson now. I do have a couple of Epiphones that I use when I want a little less punch on recordings but on stage it's Gibson only. Any flaws I could point out are my personal choices when it comes to hardware, not any negative towards what Gibson puts out every single day. The faded mahogany top looks great, it's supposed to look aged and it does. It's not a $2k standard, so I am very pleased with the color and look of the guitar. I might try and find a cherry one for my second road axe.

Features — 9
2005 all mahogany LP studio. Purchased in '10 off of ebay. Wow. This is not my first LP, or even my first Gibson, but it is my first Studio model and my first guitar made of only one kind of wood. Very tough looking guitar, Faded mahogany color, Black trimmings, nickel hardware. She has such a different tone as compared to standards I've owned. Fat and muddy rhythm and sweet, dusky treble. I play alot of blues and classic rock and she powers through every song I play. Really gave me a danker sound that I was looking for on stage. Not as bright as the standard, but perfect for my style. '59 style rounded neck, kinda fat but I'm getting used to it, actually makes solos easier but a little tougher to fret some of the stretchier chords. All my Epis and Stds in the past have had the 60's slim taper neck, this is a different animal but an absolute joy to play nonetheless. Came with (I am assuming) stock humbuckers that have a "patent applied for" sticker on the back of them. They sound alright to me, but I think a set of SD APH's is in order. Again, a personal preference on my tone, no knock on the quality of the pickups, they sing just fine, just not my sound. Action came to me a little high but (as on any Gibson) was an easy fix. Has Vintage style Gibson deluxe tuners with the green knobs. They work great, but I will soon be putting Grover Locking tuners on. Another personal preference, once I discovered those, there was no turning back and they are on every guitar I own (9). Also, straplocks. Invest in them. Even though this has a Gibson chambered body for tonality, it is still a heavy guitar (about 8 lbs) and I learned the hard way on a '66 SG how valuable they are. Must have on any guitar with a strap.

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I was talking to someone from the Gibson factory in my local guitar shop and he was telling me that the only reason the Studio series is so cheap is because there's no binding or any other time consuming processes to make it more expensive. You pay extra for the authentic colouring. They use all the same hardware that the top models so that if anyone has a problem, they can send a part regardless of the version of Les Paul they have. He also said that the 2-3 piece body barely effect the tone and its better to have three pieces of good wood than one bit of bad wood.. To sum this all up, even Lenny Kravitz came out on stage with a Les Paul Studio and he has rooms full of vintage guitars and amps
    craigjames4 wrote: I just picked up this guitar recently...it has a solid feel to it, the finish is amazing, the the tone is great!
    Is the finish "amazing"? Without the compulsory binding and the equally compulsory nice body polish? I agree it might sound good - although a pro would notice the same policy of cutting costs in choosing the pickups for this model, arguably the weakest in Gibson's stable - but it looks shameful for a company with Gibson's history to cut costs at the price of ruining an icon's look. I think the management at Gibson's gone mad lately. Have you seen the Firebird X???
    Got mine this month as a christmas present to me, new on blem, online, for only 620. Plays and sounds awesome, better than my Gibson faded flying V (V's strings could use a change tho in all fairness). Destroys all my highend setneck epis. I couldn't find anything blem about it. The maple cap looks absolutely gorgeous, and burl-like. Very dark and smoky. You can see the seam if you look closely but it doesn't detract, the wood characteristics are spread around nicely, very different from the plain mahogany back. Looking at both sides I am glad they went with the maple cap, and the sound is said to be more resonant now...not sure if my ears could tell - super awesome or tiniest bit more super awesome, but I can say the new top is smoother, sexier and looks highend and intentional now, not bottom-of-the-line unfinished. I happen to love how plain ol mahogany looks but this new look is ...whoa! F@#k binding and paint and $2,000 more dollars!...remember this guitar started its history without pickup covers or even a carved top, dots instead of block inlays, and lesser pups than the burstbuckers they come with now, although all gibson pups are magnificent. So you get alot for your money now with less to distinguish it from its higher priced paul-mates. Along with the Highway 1 telecaster, this is the best deal in American-made guitars you will ever find. Its the Gibson every Fender guy should own. It's the Gibson every epi guy should aspire to. Peace, hope and rocknroll! };=D
    I was playing one of these in my local shop a few days ago in faded ebony stain. Google the image for that guitar, it is the sex =D But seriously, I really, really like it, and it'll probably be my next guitar. Plus it's a Gibson for 650... How could you possibly knock that?!
    I have a 2011 faded cherry finish Les Paul Studio and I absolutely love this guitar. I got one that was in transition during the building of these beauties because I got one with a maple cap and BurstBucker Pro pickups. As well as a Canadian made hardshell guitar case instead of that crappy gig bag. Sweet! Yes a Les Paul with all the eye candy is nice, but the Les Paul Studio has all the fury of the Customs and Standards with a very quiet but subtle and deadly exterior. A sleeper so to say. The neck is a sensual delight for the hands, and the chambered body makes for sustain that lasts for days. The BurstBucker Pro pickups are the stuff of dreams and legend. If you want a creamy sound, you get it, Clapton's 'woman sound', you get it, raw sound and fury, you get it too. Then there is the interaction with stompboxes that is not there with many guitars, it's more like bonding than anything else. So again, I don't have anything against the Les Pauls that are all dolled up, but just having this Studio is like having an automatic weapon in your hands. The sound is awesome and the look is deadly. What more does a guitarist need?
    I just picked up this guitar recently...it has a solid feel to it, the finish is amazing, the the tone is great!
    GuernZila wrote: these come with burstbuckers now... This guy is describing the studio faded that used to be called the vintage mahogany not the one in the picture...
    The vintage mahogany is different. I have one, and I like it much more. The burstbuckers are a little too muddy with the mahogany top though, so you might need to make some changes.
    Gibson1983 wrote: Are studios supposed to be so cheap? They're much more expensive on the Gibson website.
    That's MSRP. Nobody sells at that. Or at least nobody is supposed to - they put that price there so stores can sell it for less and make it look like an awesome deal. I think these guitars are awesome. They sound just like the real Les Pauls, and cost a lot less. What's not to like? They're not as pretty, but the tradeoff is that you pay a little over half price new. Tell me that you wouldn't buy a less-pretty BMW for $18,000 or an ugly iPod for $100 if it performed exactly like the more expensive one.
    I wouldn't waste my money on a BMW, if they don't get you on the price, they get you on the maintenance, lol!
    I'm not going to commit hari-kari over an accident or theft like I would say over a '66 SG that has never fully recovered or my prized '72 Standard that I don't let my kids breathe on!
    Umm, isn't it "Hara-kiri?" A nvm; What a reaction Nice second review btw.
    Are studios supposed to be so cheap? They're much more expensive on the Gibson website.
    these come with burstbuckers now... This guy is describing the studio faded that used to be called the vintage mahogany not the one in the picture...
    I'll talk in English so every-one can reed this. what i'm trying to say is: if you want a real Gibson les paul wait a little longer.
    I just prefer the classic
    i second that, i own a classics myself. awesome guitar for heavy music, and lightweight body/slimtaper neck made it love at first sight for me oh and btw i'm dutch haha
    I just prefer the classic,
    hmmm vanilla
    you've got it right kroket hmmm kroket .. you're dutch?