Gibson Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess
Gibson Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess

Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess, LP-Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the Custom Shop Les Paul series.

Public price: $6,115 VAT
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James... 12/26/2011

Gibson Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess : James...'s user review

« Bad pickups great guitar »

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Viceroy brown finish specified and approved by Alex
1 Piece Mahogany Back
Figured Maple Top
1 Piece Mahogany Neck
Bound Rosewood Fingerboard
12" radius
Pearloid Trapezoid Inlays
Green Key Tuners
Graphtech™ Ghost® piezo system-equipped Floyd Rose® licensed double-locking tremolo system
496R ceramic-magnet neck humbucker
498T Alnico V bridge humbucker
3 Volume controls: 2 push-pull volume pots for series/parallel wiring of each respective magnetic pickup, 1 volume pot for piezo
1 Master Tone control: magnetic
pickups only
3-way toggle pickup selector switch (magnetic pickups only)
Dual output jacks:
“Regular” – magnetic and piezo signal outputs combined
“Life-O-Sound” – piezo signal output only (“Regular” then has magnetic signal output only)


As a big Rush fine I had some reservations about buying this guitar still... The fact is, the resale value on this is always going to be terrible. And if you're reading this review you should know that. If you ever want to sell yours, don't buy it.

The guitar itself is basically a Les Paul with some uh...modifications. To be exact, this appears to be a Les Paul Standard with some modified chambering. And the finish is pretty nice too. Can't complain about the flame. Obviously this is going to be a lighter les paul due to the trem. The control setup is pretty weird at first to get used to. After a couple hours playing with it you get the hang of things. I appreciate how they integrated the piezo into the traditional les paul knobs instead of adding a bunch of switches and ruinging the look of the guitar. The hardware all seems great. There's not a lot of skimping on this axe and the price should prove it. Gibson has been suspect to cut corners but not here.


You can say goodbye to the classic les paul sustain of course. The trem essentially takes away that advantage. Oh well. First of all I am not a big fan of the pickup set used for this guitar. The neck is okay for solos but not much else. It's not useful for cleans to my ears. The bridge is pretty harsh. I can see it working for certain styles but I like a smoother more ceramic response in my humbuckers. I just don't see how Alex uses these though. Maybe I got some of the notorious bogus gibson failure pickups.

The piezo on the other hand sounds really good and the control set works great. It sounds better than the Petrucci piezo system to my ears. Really clear and balanced.


Build wise, I think this guitar is worth the price. Better than your typical Gibson underachievement. If I didn't know better I would say it was custom shop. It plays quite well. Unfortunately the stock pickups are kind of meh, which is unacceptable for an artist guitar like this. Although it's not like I'll be hurting the resale value if I put some new pickups in it. The hardware and electronics are top notch though. I'm on the fence about returning mine. If I keep it I will definitely be replacing the pickups.