Gibson Les Paul Standard
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Gibson Les Paul Standard

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

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King Loudness 04/27/2011

Gibson Les Paul Standard : King Loudness's user review

« Should not be called the "Les Paul Standard" »
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The "2008" model USA made Gibson Les Paul Standard takes the classic Les Paul silhouette and feature set and updates it with various "improvements" such as an extremely chambered body construction, '50s asymmetrical neck, locking tuners and PCB mounted electronics with a locking output jack.

The core features of the classic Les Paul are still there which is nice. It still features a mahogany body and neck, maple top, rosewood fretboard with 22 frets, tuneomatic adjustable bridge with stopbar tailpiece, dual Gibson Burstbucker humbuckers, the standard LP control layout of a volume and tone control set for each pickup and a three way toggle switch to select neck, bridge, or both pickups at once.

Basically, this guitar takes the classic Les Paul layout and gives it some upgraded features that, to some act as improvement upon the Les Paul design.

UTILIZATION

The Les Paul is not the most ergonomic guitar by any means. The design is somewhat "clunky" when compared to some modern takes on the single cut solidbody. The body, other than a slightly curved top, has no contouring whatsoever, so the ribs and neck joint can cause discomfort on occasion, especially, if you're more of a superstrat type player who's used to very light guitars. The chambering on this one helps the weight issue, but I found that it adversely affected the tone of the guitar and I did not like that. The upper fret access was never great on LPs and this guitar is no exception.

Getting a good sound out of the new LP Standard is not that difficult. My big problem was the chambering of the body. Though it definitely made the guitar easier to play for extended periods of time, it sounded more like a hollow body guitar (IE: Gibson ES335) than a classic thick, raunchy Les Paul tone. It wasn't too bad but when compared to a Les Paul Traditional it was a very different sound to my ears. Not bad, just different and not what I was looking for in a Les Paul.

SOUNDS

I've tried the LP Standard with various Fender, Marshall and Mesa Boogie amplifiers. It sounds like a Les Paul should... for the most part. The cleans are thick and darker, great for jazzier or bluesier textures. The mid/classic gain tones have a nice classic sounding bark that only an LP can deliver. High gain tones had a great raunch to them that was accented by the slightly hotter Burstbucker pickups that were in the guitar. Compared to say. a Les Paul Classic with ceramic 496R/500T pickups, they aren't as hot, but they have more punch than the '57 Classics in a Traditional.

My biggest gripe with the tones was the body chambering. Hollowing out a guitar is going to take away some of the resonance and thickness that a good solidbody has when put through an amplifier. The end result is a guitar that sounds good, but sounds a bit more hollow and warmer than I'd like in a Les Paul. In the end I opted to buy a Traditional simply because the tones were more what I wanted from a Les Paul.

OVERALL OPINION

All in all I think the Les Paul Standard 2008 from Gibson is not a bad guitar, but ultimately they should call it something else. The myriad of feature changes makes it very different from what a Les Paul Standard should be and ultimately this LP is more like a modern take on the classic design.

The price on these is high, about $2600 CAD, and I don't think that's a great value for the money. I tried many of the 2008 Standards and opted to buy a Traditional Plus instead, which ran me $2300. If you want a more classic Les Paul tone, look into a Traditional or a used Classic. If you want something more modern or you need a lighter guitar, give the Standard a look. It wasn't for me, but give one a whirl for yourself and see what you think.