Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Gibson LPJ 2013 first impressions


Recommended Posts

For a little over half a grand I wouldn't call this a "cheap" instrument (and there's guitars in this price range out there that offer so much more) but I've always been curious about Gibsons. I had some spare cash to burn this weekend and decided to get one out of curiosity. It's either that or gradually drink and smoke it all away so it doesn't matter :P

 

In case anyone's wondering, I'm not a blues guy or a rock'n'roll twanger, I'm a heavy metal/thrasher type of fella. I'm used to ESP's and Jackson's and so on. So, right now? This guitar feels extremely weird in my hands next to what I'm used to.

 

Cosmetically, I think the stripped down look of this guitar is stunning (I have the rubbed vintage model) it's what attracted me to the instrument in the first place. But superficiality aside, the tuners feel weak and flimsy and the neck is much chunkier than I anticipated too. This is actually the fattest neck I've ever played on before but I'm sure I'll adjust to it in time, I just wont even consider shredding on it.

 

The fingerboard is extremely dry to the touch and a bit rough around the edges too but for some reason, I like that. It makes it feel more 'organic' or something. I think, this will make a pretty decent rhythm guitar but nothing more than that.

 

I don't know who set up this guitar but they didn't do a very good job, at all. It came with high string action and needed a truss rod adjustment too. The Plek'd nut doesn't seem to make any difference to what I'm used to (because the fretboard came with all the usual buzzes and rattles one would expect from an instrument of this price range) so I'm not impressed with that either

 

Does it feel American made? Not in my opinion. I have several American made guitars and they're flawless. This instrument however, feels like it came out of a Chinese factory. So if this is a "low budget" taste of what a real American made Les Paul feels like then there's no way I'll ever spend thousands on one in the future.

 

But the pickups are surprisingly good and the guitar doesn't sound inexpensive or cheap at all. It could do with some upgrades but right now, after playing it for an hour or so... I'd say it's "not bad" and nothing more than that. Maybe I'll feel differently after I've adapted to it

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an update for anyone who's interested in purchasing this guitar.

 

This guitar makes no effort to disguise the fact that it's an incomplete job and it feels and plays like one too. No matter how many times it was set up or adjusted the playability and feel of this instrument remained unacceptable.

 

Problems:

Bad nut (so much for the Plek machine)

Uneven frets

Fret buzz and dead notes regardless of string height/truss rod adjustments

Rattle and other undesirable annoyances that made it a misery to play

 

The fretboard was brittle to the touch and I even cut my finger on one of the fret edges too. Frankly, I'm amazed that this instrument even made it out of the factory at all. Does Gibson USA even have quality control anymore?

 

However, I hate giving up on things so I handed it to my father who works as a luthier.

 

Now the instrument plays wonderfully and sounds magnificent. The tone woods in this guitar are among the best I've heard and I think that's what customers are paying for, excellent tone woods in a stripped down guitar that requires additional work to become a usable instrument.

 

In it's original condition it's certainly not worth the price it's going for, at all. But if you're willing to fork out extra to have the job completed by someone else the instrument becomes quite exceptional.

 

Avoid unless you can afford to have extra work done.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

Here's an update for anyone who's interested in purchasing this guitar.

 

This guitar makes no effort to disguise the fact that it's an incomplete job and it feels and plays like one too. No matter how many times it was set up or adjusted the playability and feel of this instrument remained unacceptable.

 

Problems:

Bad nut (so much for the Plek machine)

Uneven frets

Fret buzz and dead notes regardless of string height/truss rod adjustments

Rattle and other undesirable annoyances that made it a misery to play

 

The fretboard was brittle to the touch and I even cut my finger on one of the fret edges too. Frankly, I'm amazed that this instrument even made it out of the factory at all. Does Gibson USA even have quality control anymore?

 

However, I hate giving up on things so I handed it to my father who works as a luthier.

 

Now the instrument plays wonderfully and sounds magnificent. The tone woods in this guitar are among the best I've heard and I think that's what customers are paying for, excellent tone woods in a stripped down guitar that requires additional work to become a usable instrument.

 

In it's original condition it's certainly not worth the price it's going for, at all. But if you're willing to fork out extra to have the job completed by someone else the instrument becomes quite exceptional.

 

Avoid unless you can afford to have extra work done.

 

Don't mean to question your experience... Mine (released 6/11/13) came with absolutely no problems as you described. Further more, they couldn't have made a better setup for my needs. I am a producer and therefore couldn't care less of its look and feel, and its playability and sound is next to perfect for me. I own lots of more expensive guitars and had to spend quite some time setting them up -- all of them except this one.Its action is as low as it gets without buzzing unless you pick it real hard, the pickup balance is great and no truss rod adjustment was needed. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I think Gibson did a perfect job with mine, and after a month and a half of everyday use in my studio I'm still perfectly happy with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm afraid Val666 that I must agree with Andy Hardwake. Mine turned up and it was perfect. The set up was spot on with none of the problems you reported. I don't think it was the fact that it was an LPJ that was the issue, rather it was just a badly set up guitar, which could have happened whatever guitar you bought. I guess that's the risk you take if you buy mail order - it's always best to try first. Having said that, I bought mine blind...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have an LPJ. BUT I can say that Gibson quality control seems a bit shoty... particularly on their lower end guitars. They certainly aren't the best made guitars imho compared to like an ESP/LTD or something. However I really feel like they make up for it in the tone! I wouldn't trade my Junior for anything :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got an LPJ 2013 in Gold Top finish for about 3/4 month (now I'm sell it just because I have to travel and I preferred to keep my Les Paul Standard 2008, and my Blues King only).

I've tried a couple in the shop and one has very bad finish and setup, the Gold Top was near perfect.

At home a string change and a fast setup and in the evening a very nice blues concert, I've played it for more than 3 hours without fatigue and having a great time.

For the price is a nice LP, the sound is good more on the blues side than rock or metal.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I was in my local music store a few days ago when my eyes were drawn to a under $500.00 Gibson Les Paul the LPJ

Picked it up and immediately knew this was not an entry level guitar.

The weight, feel and the unplugged resonance told me this was a special guitar.

First Impression:This is a highly affordable American made instrument.

They say you get what you pay for however in the 2013 Gibson LPJ you get a great sounding guitar at chinese prices

The few guitars I had the pleasure to evaluate had none of the original posters defects

Kudo`s to Gibson USA

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I tried a 2013 LPJ , 2013 SGJ and a 2014 LPJ before getting my 2013 LP 60s tribute.

The 2013s were not great to me. They sounded ok and the ncks weren't bad, nothing some 000 steel wool wouldn't fix. but the bodies looked and felt like they just took them off the Cnc machines and sprayed the finish on with very little sanding between. I realize these are the least expensive Gibson's but in a US made gibson I guess I just expect a little more. I understand and expected 3 or 4 piece bodies and not as good a finish but wasn't expecting little to no sanding. The tributes and studios were way better.

On the up side, the 2014 LPJ I tried seemed to have much more time put into the sanding and finish. So hopefully that one was representative of all the new ones... If so I can see a SGJ showing up in the family later in 2014 :)-Jim

P.s. One caveat to this, these were the left over 2013 models so it's possible they were the bottom of the barrel ones not representative of the 2013 models...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...