Les Paul Traditional Pro review by Gibson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (95 votes)
Gibson: Les Paul Traditional Pro
8

Price paid: $ 1999.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
For me the sound is the most important part, I personally would rather choose a very hard to play guitar for a better tone. This is something that is incredibly easy to play (if you can hack the weight of a Les Paul) and delivers the best tone out of any of my guitars. To start things off I play Rock/Blues personally and play in cover band where we cover songs from the Beatles to Rage Against the Machine. Thus, I need a guitar that can cover a plethora of musical styles. I will first get started with my setup so you understand the tonality of where I am coming from. From guitar to amp I use Guitar - Wireless sytem - Dunlop Crybaby - Ibanez TS808 - Fulltone Fulldrive Mosfet II - Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb - TC Electronic Polytune - Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker RI. To sum it up in one word: Rock. My amp settings are 12o'clock's across the board outside of the volume where I blend the channels and have Treble on 6/10 and Bass on 5/10. Now I will talk about the glory of this guitar. Even without pedals and plugging straight into the amp I get 2 guitar in one. A humbucking Les Paul and a Single Coil les paul. You can mix and match and set it up however you want but with a simple pull or push on the volume knob, viola! With my amp just slightly being over the start of the breakup realm I am able to superbly control how clean or dirty by adjusting from humbuckers to single coils and using the volume to fine tune it even more. My friend who is extremely critical of nearly everything I do, something is always off on something, described my tone as the opitomy of Rock n' Roll, a compliment I relished in. As guitar players are always after their 'tone' I had seemed to reach it and I was quite happy to hear those words coming out of his mouth. I have a Les Paul Classic which I put Burstbuckers I & II in the neck and bridge, respectively. I absolutely loved my tone in that until I played the '57 Classic and Burstbucker III of of the Traditional Pro. These pickups really deliver that classic rock n' roll sound and will not dissapoint. I was taken back by how much versatility they had in creating different sounds. Many of my heroes did not use effects to get different tones, they turned their amps up and used the volume knob, and thats how I like it. I also have a Fender Standard American Stratocaster that I can compare the single coils to. That guitar is definitely a little noisy and you get a lot of 'hum' when playing through my Marshall but when splitting the humbuckers on the Les Paul I would say I get 50% less 'hum' in comparison to the Strat. Another great feature that really took me by surprise. Playing Rock/Blues I like my tone a little more muddy than more conventional music but my setup always cuts through the mix!

Overall Impression — 9
I really cannot think of anything more I would want out of a guitar. This is still to this day the best instrument I have every played or owned (which has been way more than the average person). This is a guitar that is meant to be played. The tone out of this guitar will blow your mind and I encourage all of you Les Paul doubters to try this out. A ride range of tones from a simple yet sophisticated guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 8
All I have done to this is put straplocks on this because I HATE the Standard Gibson strap buttons. They are absolutely horrible and Gibson needs to take a lesson from Fender! As I have said I use this guitar all the time and it is my new #1. I have already played tons of shows and a whole lot of practice on this and I am not worried about the durability of this workhorse. I know this will be in my life for a very very long time. Thank you to Gibson for crafting a beautiful instrument.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This was something I was just browsing around the Musicians Friend website one night day dreaming and looking at all the different Les Pauls I want (1958 RI, Custom 3 Pickup with Bigsby, Goldtop, etc...) and I came across this. I had never heard of it so I clicked on the information tab and saw it had factory setup Coil Tapping. Being that is something I had always wanted to do to my classic but no local techs would do it for me I knew I had to go in and play this thing. So I went to the evil empire, Guitar Center, and this was in a locked up room with all of the nice instruments. I went in and picked up the first one I saw. IMMEDIATELY BLOWN AWAY. The action, tone, feel, setup, looks, beauty. I fell in love with this guitar immediately. I sadly new right then that my old classic LP was no longer #1. This was in all honestly perfectly set up to my playing style. Now came the hard part $2000 on a guitar I don't think so! Well needless to say I caved and walked out of the store 30 minutes later with the new love of my life (sorry Erin).

Features — 8
Here are the Standard features of the Made in USA beauty: Body Style: Non-chambered Top: Carved maple Back: Mahogany Neck: Set mahogany Neck Profile: '60s Headstock: Angled Scale length: 24-3/4" Fingerboard: Bound Rosewood No. of frets: 22 Nut width: 1.69" Inlays: Trapezoid Binding: Antique Bridge: Tune-O-Matic with stopbar tailpiece Tuners: Locking Grover Hardware: Chrome Bridge pickup: potted BurstBucker 3 humbucker with coil-splitting Neck Pickup: '57 Classic with coil-splitting Electronics: 2 volume with push/pull coil-splitting, 2 tone, 3-way toggle pickup selector Knobs: Vintage Gibson top hats Pickguard: Period-correct Case: Hardshell Other: Plek setup So thats the boring features. But I will say the tuning pegs with the tightning and loosening feature makes restringing and staying in tune a breeze! Another feature that I absolutely love.

67 comments sorted by best / new / date

    KenG
    I think the point here isn't about which guitar is "better" , that's a very personal opinion. If you read my review of the LP Trad I don't compare it to others but to itself as it's designed to be when built. If you want a Les Paul (as defined and orignally defined) very few guitars even really emulate it & many just look like one. Many players prefer a more "modern" feel with slimmer neck, less weight and more frets. That's fine, it doesn't or shouldn't reflect on a guitar that wasn't designed to have those qualities to begin with.
    Vabolo
    MofoZofo wrote: At least these guitars are still made in America. Buy American. Buy japanese.
    Buy canadian. Ever heard of Godin?
    thejester
    EpiExplorer wrote: 2 weeks ago it was a Custom. week after it was a traditional. Now its a traditional Pro. Why cant it just be 'Les Paul in red' or whatever..
    i truly have no idea what you are talking about
    Stringslinger25
    I have played guitars costing $4000+ that dont play or sound as good as this amazing instrument. It may cost a lot but you get the best of the best for the rest of your life. TRY ONE!!!!! I couldnt live without mine now.
    Stringslinger25
    People that complain about price dont understand the cost of making a guitar. I know and have worked with pro luthiers that build custom guitars from scratch. Lets break it down. The Wood: $500. The neck,fretboard, and truss rod: $300. The Tuning machines: $100. The fiish:$75. The Electronics: $350. Misc parts: $60 Add that up and you get $1385!!! then add the wages of the 30 or so people that built this guitar and I start wondering how they dont charge more!! It comes down to this. You wont get a world class quality built and sounding guitar at mid level prices. Period. Any one who says otherwise is iether too prideful to admit it or has never REALLY done a side by side comparison. This guitar is the one of the best i have EVER played!!
    Jadena
    Wow, alot of broke kids on UG. Stop whining over the price tag, try one out and dont think about the price tag, then you'll be able to justify the price.
    leftinflinflon
    rgman13....sorry dude, but if I owned that guitar store, I would fire your ass. And I can tell you with certainty, there is a difference between a $500 guitar and a $2,000 guitar, and if you don't know the difference you should find another line of work. ie The Gibson J-45 vs any $500 acoustic guitar, the quality, precision, tone, neck and even smell are vastly different and superior. Yeah...your fired....dude.
    MofoZofo
    Vabolo wrote: MofoZofo wrote: At least these guitars are still made in America. Buy American. Buy japanese. Buy canadian. Ever heard of Godin?
    Yes, I used to own one, sold it to my buddy and got myself a jackson and an ibanez, Godin is pretty good, pure canadian maple chyea
    PatVanHalen5150
    MofoZofo wrote: wafl wrote: MofoZofo wrote: At least these guitars are still made in America. Buy American. Buy japanese. I must agree with this statement. A $1000 ibanez is just as good if not better. EXACTLY !!! Thank you.
    Tone wise, not even close. A non chambered LP has at least 2-3 pounds on any Ibanez & will sound loads better.
    wafl
    MofoZofo wrote: At least these guitars are still made in America. Buy American. Buy japanese.
    I must agree with this statement. A $1000 ibanez is just as good if not better.
    MofoZofo
    wafl wrote: MofoZofo wrote: At least these guitars are still made in America. Buy American. Buy japanese. I must agree with this statement. A $1000 ibanez is just as good if not better.
    EXACTLY !!! Thank you.
    voidSkipper
    Even I think this thing plays and sounds delicious, and I usually can't stand Gibsons.
    loinmute
    I would really like to see some reviews from custom makers like; Blackmachine, Suhr, Vigier, and Framus and Flaxwood.
    lespaul4eveR
    I have the top of the line epi standard les paul, now i have this guitar.. basically but its a DC(same exact features) and a few different LP's, anyone who says an epi can compare to this is stupid, it sounds so much better and it feels so much better, price does not matter, tone is the only thing that matters when buying a guitar. don't complain cause you can't afford it, just start saving, or you can cave and buy the epi, i don't suggest that.
    Tuckerdafox
    people keep complaining about the price, but that's what a GOOD guitar will run for..and i say GOOD because it really depends on what sound you want, in my opinion a PRS is pristine and those run for a lot more than 2000 and same with Martins
    shaofu0424
    interesting guitar... sounds like it is half of the jimmy page mod... interesting...
    foREVer666
    I feel rather lucky that I own 2 Gibsons, a Les Paul and a 84 reissue flying V
    thejester
    in regards to what something is worth. people, look, to me this guitar was worth $1999.99. for you maybe its not. so lets say you play a $600 ibanez. to me that is WAY overpriced and not even worth $100. make sense? so the morale of the story is what something is worth is what YOU would pay for it.
    Cannibal Koala
    Sandman11 wrote: 'DC fan wrote: Gibson should really do a 24 fret Les Paul. That would be cool. Yeah I've always wondered why they don't :S They make some epi's now that are 24 frets. They're part of the Prophecy series. They're not that cheap and the ones that are cheap have EMG's in them which I despise. Epi needs to make a good, affordable, normal looking guitar with hot (PASSIVE) pickups in them with 24 frets. If they did I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But instead I'll buy a Schecter or an Ibanez.
    Don't forget the Buckethead LP.
    shellsav
    I own one in vintage sunburst ain't nothing like it, also american standard strat
    Becke
    I just got this as a souvenir when I was in the US and I just love this guitar. I tried a whole bunch of Les Pauls (Guitar Center, Plano, TX) but they just did not fit me. After trying a lot of Les Pauls I thought that maybe I just wasnt a Les Paul guitarist, cause the neck never felt ok, not smooth enough and the shape didnt fit my hand properly. Then I found this one in Kansas City, TX (Guit. Cent.) and fell in love. This Les Paul Traditional Pro just puts a smile on my face whenever I play it. Im sure it will keep doing so long after the memories of the departure of my hard earned cash is long gone. I now got 10 guitars, some more expensive than this one. For sure it will be one of my most loved guitars if not THE guitar. I like the 57 pickup best.
    Marley Tokunaga
    Tuckerdafox wrote: people keep complaining about the price, but that's what a GOOD guitar will run for..and i say GOOD because it really depends on what sound you want, in my opinion a PRS is pristine and those run for a lot more than 2000 and same with Martins
    +1 I love PRS
    playgr8gtr
    [quote] JustLikeMe m : thejester wrote: great to hear we got another review to add to mine. enjoy Your review is pretty good one. Maybe you would like to write more gear reviews and join UG Team? POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 092 am / quote | Chad11491 : It's not really that much. Anyone working a decent job ,it's like two weeks pay at MAX. So I don't understand, just save up. If you don't work at mcdonalds it's not super expensive. Most of the complaints about price are probably kids. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 09:14 am / quote | Gibson1983 : How come you only paid $2,000 for that machine, it costs $3,400 on the Gibson website. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 09:17 am / quote | Jadena : Gibson1983 wrote: How come you only paid $2,000 for that machine, it costs $3,400 on the Gibson website. The price on the Gibson site is the MRSP, street price is aprox 2k. Imptheshrimp wrote: I have absolutely no doubt that this guitar sounds and feels amazing, but price-wise, you might as well just get an ESP or LTD and save yourself a lot of money. So basically get an entirely different guitar? Why would you want do that if you want the sound and feel of a Gibson? POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 09:40 am / quote | legend shredder : Jadena wrote: Wow, alot of broke kids on UG. Stop whining over the price tag, try one out and dont think about the price tag, then you'll be able to justify the price. This ^ +1 You pay for what you get, its that simple. If 2K is too much for you, I'm sure Epiphone has something for you. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 09:54 am / quote | Cannibal Koala : Sandman11 wrote: 'DC fan wrote: Gibson should really do a 24 fret Les Paul. That would be cool. Yeah I've always wondered why they don't :S They make some epi's now that are 24 frets. They're part of the Prophecy series. They're not that cheap and the ones that are cheap have EMG's in them which I despise. Epi needs to make a good, affordable, normal looking guitar with hot (PASSIVE) pickups in them with 24 frets. If they did I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But instead I'll buy a Schecter or an Ibanez. Don't forget the Buckethead LP. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 10:37 am / quote | Tuckerdafox : people keep complaining about the price, but that's what a GOOD guitar will run for..and i say GOOD because it really depends on what sound you want, in my opinion a PRS is pristine and those run for a lot more than 2000 and same with Martins POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 10:45 am / quote | leftinflinflon : rgman13....sorry dude, but if I owned that guitar store, I would fire your ass. And I can tell you with certainty, there is a difference between a $500 guitar and a $2,000 guitar, and if you don't know the difference you should find another line of work. ie The Gibson J-45 vs any $500 acoustic guitar, the quality, precision, tone, neck and even smell are vastly different and superior. Yeah...your fired....dude. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 12:36 pm / quote | loinmute : I would really like to see some reviews from custom makers like; Blackmachine, Suhr, Vigier, and Framus and Flaxwood. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 12:48 pm / quote | lespaul4eveR : I have the top of the line epi standard les paul, now i have this guitar.. basically but its a DC(same exact features) and a few different LP's, anyone who says an epi can compare to this is stupid, it sounds so much better and it feels so much better, price does not matter, tone is the only thing that matters when buying a guitar. don't complain cause you can't afford it, just start saving, or you can cave and buy the epi, i don't suggest that. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 04:37 pm / quote | NickGiovanni : daswalker wrote: Price paid: $ 1999.99 Kkthxbye My thoughts exactly. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 07:54 pm / quote | shaofu0424 : interesting guitar... sounds like it is half of the jimmy page mod... interesting... POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 08:25 pm / quote | foREVer666 : I feel rather lucky that I own 2 Gibsons, a Les Paul and a 84 reissue flying V POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 08:44 pm / quote | thejester : in regards to what something is worth. people, look, to me this guitar was worth $1999.99. for you maybe its not. so lets say you play a $600 ibanez. to me that is WAY overpriced and not even worth $100. make sense? so the morale of the story is what something is worth is what YOU would pay for it. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 08:45 pm / quote | shellsav : I own one in vintage sunburst ain't nothing like it, also american standard strat POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 098 pm / quote | voidSkipper : Even I think this thing plays and sounds delicious, and I usually can't stand Gibsons. POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 09:18 pm / quote | Marley Tokunaga : Tuckerdafox wrote: people keep complaining about the price, but that's what a GOOD guitar will run for..and i say GOOD because it really depends on what sound you want, in my opinion a PRS is pristine and those run for a lot more than 2000 and same with Martins +1 I love PRS POSTED: 12/16/2010 - 11:15 pm / quote | wrote: thejester wrote: great to hear we
    playgr8gtr
    I do plan on adding more reviews (have a ton of gear) and joining the UG team. Thanks.
    Jadena
    Gibson1983 wrote: How come you only paid $2,000 for that machine, it costs $3,400 on the Gibson website.
    The price on the Gibson site is the MRSP, street price is aprox 2k.
    Imptheshrimp wrote: I have absolutely no doubt that this guitar sounds and feels amazing, but price-wise, you might as well just get an ESP or LTD and save yourself a lot of money.
    So basically get an entirely different guitar? Why would you want do that if you want the sound and feel of a Gibson?
    stinkyduck96
    speaking of all these broke kids on UG, let me put it in perspective. I'm 14, have no job, and i could still afford this guitar with odd jobs and such. Quit whining, get a job, and buy one of the best guitars made.
    battere
    I live in South America and it surprises me that often Americans don't realize the real good things they have. In a globalized world foreign products may be less expensive than domestic ones but thanks God life it is not always only a matter of price. If I lived in USA I would own a Ford, a Harley-Davidson and a GIBSON Les Paul: truly American symbols. I'm planning to visit NYC next August and guess what is the first item in my priority list: Yes!, a Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro.
    southernshred7
    Reviews are straight. I walked into Guitar Center just to look, no intentions of buyin strings even, saw a tobacco burst trad on the wall, plugged it up to a marshal and 30 min later i was paying 2 grand on my new baby. only problem, the g string grover tuning head locked up rendering it impossible to string but luckily i just pulled one off my Epiphone.
    TheAbsentOne
    This guitar sounds extremely nice, but I still can't find a single thing that justifies a 2k price tag other than the fact that it has "Gibson" on the headstock. I'm not going to pay 2 grand for a name. Sorry Gibson, but I will always believe you're overpriced due to a popular name.
    leftinflinflon
    My epiphone cost about $700, great tone, great paint job, a little lighter I think, and if some wanker rips it off, well, i ain't gonna grieve tooooo long. I had a Les Paul Deluxe 1972 model, which Les Paul himself said was his favorite Gibson guitar. It was nice, but the truth be told, the meaningful differences are minimal.
    Chad11491
    It's not really that much. Anyone working a decent job ,it's like two weeks pay at MAX. So I don't understand, just save up. If you don't work at mcdonalds it's not super expensive. Most of the complaints about price are probably kids.
    EpiExplorer
    2 weeks ago it was a Custom. week after it was a traditional. Now its a traditional Pro. Why cant it just be 'Les Paul in red' or whatever..
    rgman13
    As a guitar salesman at guitar center I get to try out MANY guitars and aside from the name I found nothing about these guitars that warrant the price. It's beautiful and sounds god but I've played 500 dolar one that met the same criteria, and at significantly less weight. I can tell you the traditional pro is a guitar center exclusive Sam ash has one similar with a different name, and the customs and standard are still out there. I'm just not a Gibson guy, I don't think their name and "made in America" is worth the price they ask. Just my opinion. But glad the reviewer Is happy with his guitar, in the end that's all that matters.
    legend shredder
    Jadena wrote: Wow, alot of broke kids on UG. Stop whining over the price tag, try one out and dont think about the price tag, then you'll be able to justify the price.
    This ^ +1 You pay for what you get, its that simple. If 2K is too much for you, I'm sure Epiphone has something for you.
    Imptheshrimp
    I have absolutely no doubt that this guitar sounds and feels amazing, but price-wise, you might as well just get an ESP or LTD and save yourself a lot of money. Also this:
    MofoZofo wrote: At least these guitars are still made in America. Buy American. Buy japanese.
    Gibson1983
    How come you only paid $2,000 for that machine, it costs $3,400 on the Gibson website.
    KenG
    OT see one of the reasons why Gibsonbs are expensive, you need to take the plant tour! 400+ operations out of the 490 are done by hand vs mainly computer work on foreign built guitars. That adds significantly to the price. Also, setups form the factory are less than ideal and unfortiunately music store (even GW) don't bother to do any befor eputting the guitar out on the floor.
    LP94
    "I caved and walked out of the store 30 minutes later with the new love of my life (sorry Erin)." I lol'd xD
    ProgFolk12
    Very nice review, and nice rig So you find the burstbucker keeps up with the '57 classic? Interesting, I always though the general consensus was '57 classic > Burstbucker. Still I've never tried both together myself. And I never knew these got coil taps. Awesome, thank's for inspiring massive GAS
    OXL
    I wish I could spend that much cash on a guitar, I'm happy for the reviewer though, it must be a blast.
    stndrdprcdre
    Heard nothing but positive reviews for this guitar. Got a chance to play one at Guitar Center not too long ago. Felt and sounded great.
    metalxsymphony
    It's a great guitar. Couple cons: there are guitars that just are able to play better, faster music. More modern tones as well as modern riffs/playing, techniques etc. Les Pauls are great for the blues and classical rock and occasional metal, but just can't hold a candle to say, the SG or other guitar brands that are out there. Les Pauls have great sustains, sound tone, etc, but its pretty limited in what it can do.
    Dixie Wolf
    metalxsymphony wrote: It's a great guitar. Couple cons: there are guitars that just are able to play better, faster music. More modern tones as well as modern riffs/playing, techniques etc. Les Pauls are great for the blues and classical rock and occasional metal, but just can't hold a candle to say, the SG or other guitar brands that are out there. Les Pauls have great sustains, sound tone, etc, but its pretty limited in what it can do.
    Not necessarily true. I play a Gibson LP standard and it rips at metal. Withe the right set up, there is no problem playing anything from Dream Theater, As I Lay Dying, some George Lynch stuff, etc.
    MofoZofo
    At least these guitars are still made in America. Buy American.
    Buy japanese.