Gibson Les Paul Custom - Ebony

Gibson Les Paul Custom - Ebony

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Les Paul Custom - Ebony, LP-Shaped Guitar from Gibson belonging to the Les Paul Custom model.

35 user reviews
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Gibson Les Paul Custom - Ebony tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer:Gibson
  • Model:Les Paul Custom
  • Category:LP-Shaped Guitars
  • Added in our database on:12/07/2004

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User Reviews Gibson Les Paul Custom - Ebony

Average Score:4.3( 4.3/5 based on 30 reviews )
 18 reviews60 %
 5 reviews17 %
 3 reviews10 %
 3 reviews10 %
Value For Money:

tonmazz's review"Gibson Les Paul - Great guitar period! "

Gibson Les Paul Custom - Ebony
This review is for a USA made Gibson Les Paul I bought from a local music store. Mahogany neck and body with a maple top and rosewood fingerboard. Black with gold hardware, Gibson 490R and 498T humbuckers. 2 humbucker, 3 way selector switch and all the rest of your typical Gibson Les Paul features. Got this for a great price as the dealer was on hard times and needed to move stock. Wasn't in the market for this but couldn't resist.


I have to say that newer Gibsons get a bad rap from many guys I know. Maybe with the new fret boards I can see that but this thing is a great playing and extremely well made guitar with the old wood. I have another custom shop Les Paul and it definitely gives it a run for the money. Very good attention to detail compared to some I see sitting in some of the chain music stores for sure.


The guitar plays perfectly but I will say this, I hate stock Gibson pick ups. Maybe for some styles of music, these are sufficient but for hard rock or metal, I definately needed something hotter than the stock pick ups provide. I swapped them out for a MotorCity Detroiter in the bridge and an Suhr Aldrich in the neck and holy moly this thing rips! I like the fact that it is significantly lighter than my other Les Paul but does not lose any of the great sustain and tone I can get from it with exactly the same pick up configuration.


Love everything about the look and feel. For the price I got it for, it was absolutely perfect and worth the money. I would never pay the $3,999 price tag that usually comes with these as no guitar is worth that kind of money. Being that I got it for a fair price, I will say it was well worth it. Having played many Les Pauls in the past, this is right up there with the best of them so in my own mind I put to rest the bad things that are said about newer Gibson products. As I said before, the pick ups weren't my thing so I swapped them out and now the thing is near perfect. In my case, I would easily recommend this guitar to anyone looking for a solid axe to play.
heads on fire12/27/2011

heads on fire's review"Classiest solidbody electric around."

Gibson Les Paul Custom - Ebony
Made in Nashville, TN, USA (older models made in Kalamazoo, MI, USA)
Color: Ebony, Alpine White, Wine Red, others
Body Type: Solidbody
Neck Wood: 1-piece mahogany, set and glued into the body
Neck Shape: rounded profile
Top Wood: Carved maple top
Back Wood: Solid mahogany back
Machine Heads: Metal tulip tuners
Fingerboard: Ebony
No. of Frets: 22
Scale Length: 24-3/4"
Position Markers: Pearl block inlays
Pickups: 490 Alnico (R) and 498 Alnico (T) humbucking
Controls: 2 volume, 2 tone
Pickup Switching: 3-way selector switch
Bridge/Tailpiece: Nashville TOM/Stopbar bridge/tailpiece
Hardware: Gold
Custom Shop case included
Bound fretboard, body top, and body back


This is a perfect guitar. For anyone that likes the Les Paul style, this is the bee's knees, the cream of the crop, the top banana. Nothing sounds, feels, looks, or plays quite like it. From year to year, there are little quirks, little tiny idiosyncrasies that one can look for, but for the most part, this is a guitar that has remained unchanged in design since the late 1950s. The neck plays like pure, silky butter.


Singing, smooth, sensuous sustain meets biting, bold, bright bombast. This guitar can play anything well, from rock, metal, jazz, reggae, ska, country... There are 3 basic tones out of this, as well as variety of variations with the tone pot, volume knob blending, etc, but this guitar can literally sound great in any style of music. I've played this guitar in all manner of setups, in Marshalls, Fenders, Mesas, Bogners, digital amps, solid state, through all kinds of pedals, and no matter what, this guitar's perfect tone soars through.


This guitar is the classiest solidbody guitar ever made, period. I don't think it's possible to compete in the solidbody realm in terms of sheer elegance mixed with simplistic design - this is a perfect guitar. Anyone that hasn't tried one out yet is committing a grave personal offense to themselves!

Hatsubai's review"Your standard Custom"

Gibson Les Paul Custom - Ebony
Gibson releases tons of these guitars every year, and they're probably one of their more consistent guitars. I find that they tend to be put together a bit more than your normal Standard, even though they're all made in the same factory by the same guys. Maybe it's just in my mind. The guitar features a mahogany body with a maple top, mahogany neck with an ebony fretboard, 22 frets, trapezoid inlays, pickguard, binding, hard tail bridge, two humbuckers, two volumes, two tones and a three way switch.


The guitar had some nice inlay and binding work. There were no fillers anywhere, and you could see that they took their time with it. The nut on this was cut properly, and that's a fairly rare thing to see from Gibson. I normally find their nuts to be roughly cut and need some extra work once they get to the shop. The frets on this were good, and I was able to get some nice and low action without much of an issue. There was some slight choking out on certain frets, but it wasn't a big deal given how low I had the action. The rest of the guitar is pretty much your standard Les Paul but with an ebony fingerboard instead of the standard rosewood one.


The guitar had EMGs swapped into it. It had the EMG 81 in the bridge and the EMG 60A in the neck. The 81 was great for metal, and it worked super well with this guitar. It could do In Flames to a T, and that was something that I was real happy with. Boost a 5150 and plug this guitar in -- instant Bjorn tone. However, it lacked the versatility that you'd normally get from a stock Custom due to these pickups. The neck was a 60A, and it worked great for cleans. It's a bit fatter than the normal 60, and I find it has a little more character for lead tones as well. It has an almost single coil tone to it at times, but it's somewhat beefy thanks to the natural construction of the guitar.


These are some of my favorite Gibsons due to the extra bite they tend to have. Gibsons can be a bit too thick at times, and the ebony board really helps keep that in check. It may seem like a small piece of wood, but I always felt it has a big impact on tone. I'm not normally a big fan of ebony as a tone wood, but it works quite well on these guitars. Maybe I'm just too used to how Customs sound to hear the harshness that I hear in other guitars.
King Loudness08/30/2011

King Loudness's review"A beautiful Les Paul"

Gibson Les Paul Custom - Ebony
The Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty is a guitar that was originally designed in the fifties as a classier, more upmarket version of the goldtop model that was called the "Standard." The guitar has gone through a few feature changes since then, but the core specs are still quite similar to a late fifties example. It features all mahogany construction (no maple cap as per the Standards) an ebony fretboard (as opposed to rosewood on the Standard) block inlays, 22 frets, Grover tuners, tune-o-matic bridge with stoptail, and a pair of Gibson humbuckers (The modern Custom is loaded with the 490R in the neck position and a 498T in the bridge.) It's topped off with a really classy black finish with gold hardware and a multiply binding all around the guitar that really helps to bring out the elegant vibe of this guitar. The Gibson Les Paul Custom is (fittingly) now constructed in Gibson's Custom Shop plant in the USA.


The Les Paul Custom is not a guitar that I'd consider to be ergonomic particularly. The modern Custom is not chambered like many modern Les Pauls and thus it is quite a heavy guitar in general. It's not an instrument I would want to play for multiple 2-3 hour sets to be sure! It certainly is a guitar that you feel when you're playing, so if you're one of those cats who digs having a "real heavy Les Paul," the Custom is definitely worth looking into. The Les Paul shape/design is not one that lends itself naturally to things like shred or fast playing (you do have to work a bit harder on one of these) but it is certainly an easy guitar to play if you're a fan of the feel of Gibsons. The shorter scale is one that I've come to love for my own playing style, so it's all a matter of preference. The upper fret access is a bit of a chore on this guitar considering that it's not particularly light or sculpted near the neck heel, but again, when the guitar was designed, things like uber-fast playing weren't in vogue at the time and hey, it worked well enough for our pal Les Paul himself!


I've tried a few Customs through a whole plethora of different amps with great results. Because of the heavier weight and all mahogany construction of these guitars, it's got a great thick tone that is definitely different and unique to the guitar. Compared to the Les Paul Standard, it's definitely darker and has a much more pronounced low end. The lack of a maple top takes away a lot of high end sparkle, and the ebony fretboard is definitely a bit harder and sharper sounding than the rosewood used on many other LPs. I love both guitars for their tone, but they;re fairly different sounding guitars that work well for different application. I would say the Custom is a better guitar for precision work (IE: jazz, modern metal, shred) where notes really have to stand out with a clear voice. The more forgiving nature of the Standard is more suited to blues and classic rock styles.


All in all I think the Gibson Les Paul Custom is a guitar for the ages and is well worth considering if you want a great Les Paul to compliment a Standard or sound unique and cool on its own. At about $3,800 new they are not cheap, but you can find them quite easily used for about $2,400 without issue. They're great guitars that have a voice that is separate from the Standard but is definitely the voice of a real Gibson Les Paul guitar!

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