Gibson Les Paul Studio Gothic
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Gibson Les Paul Studio Gothic

Les Paul Studio Gothic, LP-Shaped Guitar from Gibson in the Les Paul series.

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MGR/M.C. Miranda 04/21/2002

Gibson Les Paul Studio Gothic : MGR/M.C. Miranda's user review

« Epiphone Les Paul Studio Gothic »
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I ordered my Epiphone Gothic Les Paul Studio from Musician's Friend for $399.99 having never played one before. The pictures I saw of it just looked so wicked it piqued my curiousity. I knew I couldn't afford the Gibson model, and seeing as I'm not primarily a guitar player I thought this Epiphone model would suit me just fine.

Fresh out of the box, I was amazed at how light it was. Its satin black finish was like a black hole - it sucked up any light that hit it. It's the guitar equivalent of the Night Goddess, Nox : dark, sexy, mysterious and utterly female. You'd know what I mean if you were holding one up against you right now. Carved top gives it gorgeous contours, and the ebony fretboard is a nice touch of class.

Though the fretboard has only a single XII inlay at the 12th fret, dot markers along the topside edge of the neck ensure that you won't lose your place.
The Alnico V stock pickups were brutal. I like the bite that comes in on its treble setting and the bluesy crunch that you get when you set the toggle on rhythm. They're much better than the stock pickups that Epiphone usually puts in its lower-priced models like the Specials, the Studios and its "E" series.

The one I have was made in Korea and comes with Grover tuners. Its Epiphone logo is on the headstock and on the truss rod cover with a spooky cross symbol above it.

My guitar came with the usual fresh-out-of-the-box symptoms. A little intonation adjustment took the buzz off the high E string, and the frets further up on the fretboard will need wearing in before I can get good bends.
More seasoned players will probably want to replace the pickups if they find the output not quite up to what they're accustomed to.
Having played mostly on Strat-style guitars, the body took some getting used to, especially with where I found myself placing my forearm while picking and strumming. I've got a tender spot where I've been resting my forearm along the top edge of the guitar.
The balance took some getting used to as well; a heavier neck tends to dip the headstock towards the ground if you let it hang.

For the price, this guitar is very well put together. Strap buttons may need to be replaced, and the toggle switch could forseeably give you trouble down the line, but the finish is flawless, and the mahogany body and neck make this guitar sing beautifully. Seperate volume and tone knobs for each of the humbuckers make this a step-up and intermediate player's guitar.
The satin finished neck give it smooth playability and it's surprisingly fast.

It's hard not to go straight into playing dark and heavy once you've got this guitar in your hands, but you don't have to be a Goth to enjoy this guitar. You don't have to be Azrael - the pale, clove-smoking wolfskin booted dude with the black nail polish to have fun with it.
This guitar was designed as an industrial sonic slicer or to be used to get the slam dancers going at the punk gigs but alternative and blues rockers alike will find something to love about this guitar. Any modifications you'd make will only add to the pleasure you'll get from the Gothic Les Paul, I know mine's definitely a keeper.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com