Les Paul Studio Plus review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (34 votes)
Gibson: Les Paul Studio Plus
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Purchased from: Long and Mcquade

Sound — 7
The guitar came with Gibson .09-.42 strings and were promptly changed to .10-.46 sized strings, which are my personal favorites. Set up was excellent from the factory with intonation dead on, even with the string change. I did notice that the "B" string saddle rattled when I bent a note on that string. I turned the screw a few turns and then readjusted the intonation. That took care of the loose spring. I played the Les Paul Studio Plus through a 1966 Deluxe Reverb, 1999 Fender Twin Reverb reissue, a Marshall JCM2000 DSL201, and a solid state Fender Deluxe 90. Through all the amps the guitar was pure Gibson tone. It sounds like a Les Paul, but the character is slightly darker. Acoustically, my Les Paul Standard rings with more treble because of the thicker maple top. The Les Paul Studio Plus is more mahogany sounding with a warm compressed tone, great for power chords and neck PU jazz runs. The excellent sustain was as good as my Standard. All this Gibson Les Paul sound comes from a significantly lighter guitar than my Standard which is a whale in terms of weight. The Studio Plus is so much easier to play when strapped around your neck. This is a Les Paul a little guy can play. One caveat: the guitar still weighs enough to snap off the steeply angled head stock if it falls on a hard surface. Keep it in the case or locked in a stand. I had no complaints with the Studio Plus. The only thing I would change are the PUs. I like the 490/498 PUs, but I like the Classic 57/57 Plus PUs a little bit more for clean work. They are not quite as sharp in the midrange.

Overall Impression — 6
The Gibson folks were excited about the introduction of this new product and rightly so. The Gibson Les Paul Studio Plus is one great humbucker guitar! It is lighter, less expensive, sounds like a premium Les Paul and has a killer look. What else do you want?

Reliability & Durability — 8
The Les Paul is Often played live, and the guitar will withstand years of durability. With Solid hardwear and strap buttons, it would withstand a lot of playing, depenable enough to bring it to a gig without a backup! The finish is perhaps one of it's better qualties, will withstand lots of playing and will last year.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
As previously mentioned, the guitar has a 24.75" scale, 22-fret neck with the typical Gibson trapezoid inlays. It feels similar, but with a little less girth, to the current Les Paul Standard neck. The head stock is adorned with gold plated Kluson Vintage style tuners, and the 17-degree head stock angle ensures the infamous Les Paul sustain. Besides the gold Klusons, other gold plated hardware includes the tune-o-matic bridge, stop-bar tailpiece, Gibson's 498 bridge humbucker and 490R neck humbucker, selector switch, strap hangers and volume and tone pots (black "speed" knobs). The PUs, which are often described as PAF-like with extra midrange and output come standard on many guitars including the Les Paul Standard.

Features — 10
The Les Paul Studio Plus is made from a select, solid mahogany body with a two-piece book-matched, AA grade maple top. My sample came in a beautiful desert sunburst with plenty of flame maple showing through. The top appears less thick than the carved top on my 1998 Les Paul Standard, and there is no body or neck binding. But to my eye, those omissions do not take away from the eye-pleasing appearance. The guitar has a 24.75-inch scale, 22-fret neck with the typical Gibson trapezoid inlays. It feels similar, but with a little less girth, to the current Les Paul Standard neck. The head stock is adorned with gold plated Kluson Vintage style tuners, and the 17-degree head stock angle ensures the infamous Les Paul sustain. Besides the gold Klusons, other gold plated hardware includes the tune-o-matic bridge, stop-bar tailpiece, Gibson's 498 bridge humbucker and 490R neck humbucker, selector Switch, strap hangers and volume and tone pots (black "speed" knobs). The PUs, which are often described as PAF-like with extra midrange and output, come standard on many guitars including the Les Paul Standard. The Studio Plus includes the same high quality Gibson case that the Standard ships with. A trans red color option is also available for the guitar.

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