Gibson Les Paul Custom Maple
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Gibson Les Paul Custom Maple

Les Paul Custom Maple, LP-Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the Custom Shop Les Paul series.

Public price: $5,503 VAT
Hatsubai 10/11/2011

Gibson Les Paul Custom Maple : Hatsubai's user review

« Very rare maple fretboarded model »
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These actually came about as almost a fluke. Chinese copies of Les Pauls started having maple fretboards, and then Gibson decided to copy the copies. It was pretty bizarre, but we were able to get something a bit different from the norm thanks to that. The guitar features a mahogany body with a maple top, maple neck with a maple fretboard, 22 frets, trapezoid inlays, pickguard, binding, hard tail bridge, two humbuckers, two volumes, two tones and a three way switch.

UTILIZATION

This guitar had been refretted, and the new fretjob was great. They didn't keep the binding ends, and if you ask me, that's the proper way to refret a Gibson. The binding ends really just get in the way, and I find it doesn't even look as good. It's also way more effort than it's worth to try to keep those. The finish on this was scuffed up a bit, but it was no big deal as this thing was meant to be played. The nut was replaced with a brass nut, and I have a feeling the guy before who owned this was either a Sykes or Malmsteen fan. The quilted maple top on this was really cool, and it popped quite nicely with the finish that was on it. The maple fretboard was pretty dark due to the wear and tear.

SOUNDS

This guitar actually had EMGs installed in it, so I'll be going by those instead of the standard pickups. The guitar had an EMG 81 in the bridge and an EMG 85 in the neck. The 81 in the bridge sounded thick, but it had enough bite to cut through without a problem. It worked awesome for metal tones; in fact, it was crushing. I was really surprised how nice it sounded. The 85 in the neck was super thick and worked awesome for those legato and shred leads. The clean tones were pretty awful on these, but that's fairly typical with EMGs. However, since it's geared towards metal, the clean tone doesn't really matter that much.

OVERALL OPINION

These are probably some of the coolest looking Gibson Les Pauls out there, but they're hard to find, and the consistency on them is very iffy. I've seen a few that are total boat anchors, and a lot of that has to due with the era in which they were built. The Norlin era, while having some of my favorite guitars, also has some of the worst overall. You really have to play these before buying.