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Sabredog

Les Paul High Performance Love Thread

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I've had the 2016 Les Paul high-performance for a year and a half now.

 

I really like everything about the instrument. it's one of the first guitars I've had where I don't want to change anything.

 

I have owned five of the Les Pauls of the traditional type, I buy one every ~ three years and sell it immediately, and each one of them has had their own particular problem, which led them each to be liquidated.

 

the first one I had I only kept it for less than 30 days and returned it to guitar Center, it was a 2010 expensive $2500 quilt top gorgeous, I played it for several hours in the guitar Center, the tone was perfect. but when I got it home and played it for the next few days the ugly issue raised its head, the frets/binding were poorly done, extremely poor quality control of the binding. the binding was coming away from the fret ends, the guitar became almost unplayable overly rounded fret binding, the low E string and the high E string would simply not stay on the board super frustrating. that's the stupidest traditional feature I've ever seen ending the frets early and extending them with plastic binding, plastic frets.

I took it back after about 3 1/2 weeks and swore I would never get a guitar where the frets did not go over the top of the binding.

 

the second one I had was much better great fretboard playability and tone, it lasted about 11 to 12 months, because it was 13.5 pounds, basically that guitar cost me a lumbar disc, one day I could not pick it up, I have a guitar that I cannot pick up and play. that one was liquidated.

 

as I got to be a better player I revisited the Les Paul lineup, I got a nice Epiphone Les Paul mostly everything nice about it good tone reasonable weight, good fretboard, but then that gigantic bulky heel joint started infringing on my play I have learned to play high up on the neck, as I had several guitars where access to the 22nd fret was very well-designed. so the lack of flexibility of playing all the way up the fret board really upset me, and a rather boring finish, forced that guitar to be liquidated.

 

finally 2016 rolls around and the Les Paul high-performance models come in the shop, seem to address all of the fatal flaws finally after 10 years. I have to say this is one of the best guitars I've ever played. love the following features.

1. The guitar is 8.0 pounds phenomenally light, the modern weight relief chambered body seems to add tone sounds better than the 13 pounder, I'm so happy with the resonant nature of the guitar, amazing tone.

2. the axcess neck is genius, such fantastic playability completely up-and-down anywhere I want to put my fingers super easy access.

3. the cryogenically treated frets that go completely to the edge of the fretboard totally allow me to be expressive with vibrato or hard hammer ons without falling off the fretboard

absolute superior playability on the fretboard compared to a traditional.

4. the four push pull pots are Jimmy page dream come true the amazing tonal flexibility does not allow you to put the guitar down every musical genre seems to be playable.

5. the zero fret, is also greatly appreciated flexibility, the ability to completely set up any action for string height you desire between the titanium nut to the titanium saddle, the string attack and tone is beautiful.

6. the absolute premium high quality finish of the 2016 shows expert guitar luthier built my guitar, absolute top quality AAAA flame maple top, absolutely top-of-the-line mahogany neck and striped mahogany body, the premium woods used on this guitar explain the masterpiece playability and tonality. and gorgeous looking.

7. the automatic tuners work pretty well I don't love them or hate them I'm neutral.

I find them fun and interesting, and I appreciate the Star Trek scientific nature of trying to make tuning a thing of the past it's a nice concept. push a button your guitars in tune, the end

I expect the robot tuners will get better and better and better every year. it's forward thinking I wish player pundits would stop thinking backwards so many players want them to make guitars like they made them in the 1920s. nonsense. it really is like asking to go back to rotary phones,

I guess the only thing left to change is the headstock angle of 17° maybe they'll fix that someday. hasn't bothered me quite yet except for minor tuning stability.

 

 

the guitar is so flexible so well designed so well thought out addressing all of my problems, I just can't believe why more people are not raving about how good of a guitar it is.

I'm just not sure why you would buy a traditional the HP tone is the same or better, but without the Myriad of problems.

 

anyway I'm curious about the next level HP who loves their 2018 or 2017 Les Paul high-performance, why do you like it? and or what features do not seem to be working for you.

I'm curious about the body mounted pickups, and how does that affect the tone. I think Gibson should continue to offer the old dinosaur models the traditional, but the future has to be high-tech guitars that offer fantastic playability, flexibility along with the remarkable Les Paul tone, that is the future,

 

cheers

there is no substitute for a Les Paul F# power chord. BOOM!msp_rolleyes.gif

nk8pJvF.jpg

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I've had the 2016 Les Paul high-performance for a year and a half now.

 

 

that's the stupidest traditional feature I've ever seen ending the frets early and extending them with plastic binding, plastic frets.

I took it back after about 3 1/2 weeks and swore I would never get a guitar where the frets did not go over the top of the binding.

 

 

 

Ahhhh, the nibs!

 

And I won't buy (even look at) a Gibson guitar without the nibs.

 

It is what makes (for me) a Gibson a Gibson.

 

But then I have never had any problem at all with binding on the Gibson's I have owned and still own.

Edited by Pin
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1. The guitar is 8.0 pounds phenomenally light, the modern weight relief chambered body seems to add tone sounds better than the 13 pounder, I'm so happy with the resonant nature of the guitar, amazing tone.

 

I have long suspected (well, more than just suspect) that chambering adds something to sound without fundamentally altering the tone.

 

Enjoyed your account of LP questing. I too believe development has to continue and HP models do that superbly. I dont have an HP, but one the despised 2015 prototypes. Its nice to compare the trad & the new. I have the full trad experience with my 339 and the wonderfully contrasting modern LP. I like both. Liking both is permissible. I gave myself permission so I know its ok.

 

Classy looking LP you have there. Enjoy it in good health.

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I don’t think the HPs get much love because of the tuners. Personally I am a fan of the HP lineup and have a HP SG and a Firebird Studio. I can’t convince myself that a HP Les Paul is a need.

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Ahhhh, the nibs!

 

And I won't buy (even look at) a Gibson guitar without the nibs.

 

It is what makes (for me) a Gibson a Gibson.

 

But then I have never had any problem at all with binding on the Gibson's I have owned and still own.

 

my first question is:

Do you have any intention of buying a new Gibson guitar? I think we can see the answer is absolutely not.

I understand the collecting of antiques, I just don't think there's any room to argue the nibs are a well performing feature. they might be cute, and if you play very simple music with no hammer-ons and no vibrato and no fast grabbing of a barre chords, you can make the instrument work. It is like buying a 1959 Bel Air it is very cool it's fun to drive once or twice per year, but most of the modern cars give considerably more driving pleasure in every aspect, it certainly gives a flavor of a specific driving era.

I only by cars that are extremely overweight heavy, have a high coefficient of drag extremely noisy, underpowered poor gas mileage, and have poor handling and poor suspension, because they're interesting to drive and pretty at 35 mph only.

I certainly don't think anyone can say the nibs add to a person's playing skill and tone, it has a certain vintage look and feel.

I think that's one of Gibson's problems trying to satisfy people that will never buy a new Gibson guitar anyway,

 

"I had a 1974 Gibson Les Paul and it works extremely well for playing a five note blues scales I would never consider buying another guitar that wasn't exactly like it."

that's why I say they can make the dinosaur models to satisfy all of the older people, who miss the 59 Bel Air of their youth,

let me tell you young whippersnappers a car is not a car without three-foot tall tailfins",

They should make 100 replicas of the 1959 per year but it should be a very small niche not their core line, they should move on, More HP models, which I think they are, but they don't want to offend those 100 players who will never buy another Gibson guitar anyway.

Nibs are such a high performance feature.msp_thumbdn.gif sorry I found the guitar to be almost unplayable. there's no margin for error no forgiveness, both the E strings, fall off the board or into the nib.

if I'm very careful and I play the guitar in a low performance mode I can make these fantastic nibs work, I might keep the string on the fretboard and make a note.I still don't understand somebody tell me why you love this feature.

gtymWAS.jpg

 

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I don't think the HPs get much love because of the tuners. Personally I am a fan of the HP lineup and have a HP SG and a Firebird Studio. I can't convince myself that a HP Les Paul is a need.

 

the tuners are easily replaceable, I think they're making that much more optional this year, instead of jamming the robot down your throat as a mandatory feature.

I am considering throwing some nice locking tuners on their, but but the robots are mostly transparent to me, they work pretty well, and they have yet to really bother me, I'm waiting for them to bother me, if the G string is to sharp, I seem to be able to tune it just like a regular guitar, but if I don't play it for a day or two I pick it up and push the button and it's magically in tune.

pretty damn cool.

 

but I agree determine your need, if you don't play much past the 12th fret, and you have a very strong back and a good shoulder,

 

the more traditional Les Paul is still very satisfying. my 13 pound monster was pretty satisfying to play, sometimes it's hard to see the benefits until you bond with the guitar.

 

the 8.0 pounds, and the axcess neck, the extended frets, were very surprising to me, I did not expect to like the guitar as much as I do.

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I am not sure there is enough there for me, personally, to want to spend $320 over a Les Paul Standard for a Les Paul Standard HP. The heel improvement would not affect me much as based on how I play lead in the upper frets, and I am not in love with all the HP finishes. But ... I have never tried those pickups with the DIP switches for "150 options", so who knows? I do know that my Les Paul has coil taps that I barely use because the natural tone of its humbuckers are so good, so it is hard for me to imagine being excited about the DIP switches. But I am a creature influenced heavily by Jimmy Page and Joe Walsh, so I am sure no one is surpised. Honestly, I am just kinda shocked to see that a 2018 LP Standard (not HP) costs $3300 from GC ... wow.

 

However ... I would like to say that even though it is not the guitar I would want, I think it is VERY COOL that Gibson has the HP model-line to dump all its bells and whistles into while still keeping its "traditional" lines intact. And I have the upmost respect for those players that love the HPs.

 

The guitar posted by the OP is absolute work of art, though. What a beauty!

Edited by 01GT eibach

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I guess I don’t need the HP heel as I have 19 Gibson Les Pauls in my collection currently and the heels don’t hinder me. If the heel helps you play, enjoy your HP.

 

I am not sure you read responses before replying to them. Reading Pin’s reply to you I don’t get how you perceive he is not interested in any new Gibsons.

 

Just as an FYI, Gibson has dropped all HP models except for LP and SG Standards. Perhaps if you want to stock up on nib free guitars, now is the time to scoop up some 16 and 17 models on clearance.

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I guess I don't need the HP heel as I have 19 Gibson Les Pauls in my collection currently and the heels don't hinder me. If the heel helps you play, enjoy your HP.

 

I am not sure you read responses before replying to them. Reading Pin's reply to you I don't get how you perceive he is not interested in any new Gibsons.

 

Just as an FYI, Gibson has dropped all HP models except for LP and SG Standards. Perhaps if you want to stock up on nib free guitars, now is the time to scoop up some 16 and 17 models on clearance.

 

it just seemed like every guitar he owned was 40 years old, and as many have pointed out we can only afford $900 guitars, I assumed he was done buying new guitars.

so of course it was an assumption, I did ask are you going to buy a new guitar

 

 

well any other guitar manufacturer, has figured out not to use any sort of nib and extend the fret naturally to the edge. every single guitar I ever bought was nib free, except for one special manufacturer.

 

technology and design moves forward because it's efficient and make sense its functional and rational, and real musicians demand it, therefore only one maybe 2 manufacturer in the world makes this low performance feature of nibs. it's funny to watch people defend it. I have no fear nibs are dying, and will be eliminated from the face of the earth.eusa_boohoo.gif long live nibs.

once the older generation phases out, there will be zero demand for this feature. or can be satisfied with the existing antiques. do we actually think you can buy a Gibson ever again after next year.

 

 

 

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Those photos you posted of the fret show one that somebody cut too short.

No wonder you don't like nibs, I wouldn't if my guitar had a defect like that one, either.

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my first question is:

Do you have any intention of buying a new Gibson guitar? I think we can see the answer is absolutely not.

 

I understand the collecting of antiques, I just don't think there's any room to argue the nibs are a well performing feature. they might be cute, and if you play very simple music with no hammer-ons and no vibrato and no fast grabbing of a barre chords, you can make the instrument work. It is like buying a 1959 Bel Air it is very cool it's fun to drive once or twice per year, but most of the modern cars give considerably more driving pleasure in every aspect, it certainly gives a flavor of a specific driving era.

 

You do like to write absolute cobblers old chap.

 

But you are welcome to your tripe. That old fella B.B. King had such crap vibrato did he not? [biggrin]

 

Would I buy a new Gibson guitar?

 

Of course, just so long as it had nibs!

 

But I'm fine. You have your preferences and I'll stick to mine thanks very much.

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Clearly, there shouldn't be a gap between fret and binding. Clearly, if there is one, the fretboard has clearly extended and the guitar should be brought in to a competent luthier for check up and damage control. Clearly, the guitar can't be played at all if any of the strings keeps getting stuck in said gap.

 

Clearly, this is how it should look like (clearly, I never tire of posting prestige pics of my baby, which is, clearly the whole point of this post and I, clearly, didn't read any of the previous posts and/or followed the conversation):

 

QOa3o1Z.jpg

Edited by Leonard McCoy

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I've had a lot of Gibsons over the years but I've never seen one with a gap like that on the nibs.

If that's the OP's sole experience with them I can certainly see why he soured on them.

It might be the lighting but that looks like excessive fret wear from what is supposedly a brand new guitar.

Who knows but I've never had a problem with nibs separating from the frets in close to 45 years. Dumb luck, maybe.

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Guest Farnsbarns

When one makes a point and uses the technique of belittling anyone who disagrees, within the point, in advance, it tends to come across a little childish.

 

I don't think I notice nibs when I play my simple blues scale (which is 6 notes btw, that flat 5th is what makes it a blues scale). I think it's because I don't fall off the fret ends. Surely if we imagine the nib starts at the same place a metal fret end ramps off then by the time you've pulled the string that far it has fallen off the fret end anyway? Does a metal fret really give one any more room? I say no.

 

Obviously if the nib has come away from the fret that's a fault and needs repairing because not only will falling off the fret end sound crap as always but the string will also get stuck. It's also true to say that with a metal fret end that cannot happen so in that respect it's a better design which covers both players who do and don't fall of the fret ends.

Edited by Farnsbarns
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Clearly, there shouldn't be a gap between fret and binding. Clearly, if there is one, the fretboard has clearly extended and the guitar should be brought in to a competent luthier for check up and damage control. Clearly, the guitar can't be played at all if any of the strings keeps getting stuck in said gap.

 

Clearly, this is how it should look like (clearly, I never tire of posting prestige pics of my baby, which is, clearly the whole point of this post and I, clearly, didn't read any of the previous posts and/or followed the conversation):

 

QOa3o1Z.jpg

 

yes that one looks finished extremely well, but you can also see the playable area on the fret will not allow any downward bending or downward movement on that E string, it will fall of the board Im sure BB was careful to not do vibrato on the e strings. only the middle strings.

 

vibrato on the E string is not allowed by that design limitation. whereas on my HP you have about 10 string diameters more playing area, instead of 2 string diameters,

Same look with binding but much more playable. it is how all new guitars should be made.

I am all about performance and flexibility of the guitar, looks are subjective to tone, I guess I'm learning a lot of people buy guitars mainly for their looks and it only has to meet some bare minimum requirement for playability.

UhK2zOv.jpg

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Guest Farnsbarns

yes that one looks finished extremely well, but you can also see the playable area on the fret will not allow any downward bending or downward movement on that E string, it will fall of the board Im sure BB was careful to not do vibrato on the e strings. only the middle strings.

 

vibrato on the E string is not allowed by that design limitation. whereas on my HP you have about 10 string diameters more playing area, instead of 2 string diameters,

Same look with binding but much more playable. it is how all new guitars should be made.

I am all about performance and flexibility of the guitar, looks are subjective to tone, I guess I'm learning a lot of people buy guitars mainly for their looks and it only has to meet some bare minimum requirement for playability.

UhK2zOv.jpg

 

You need to learn to do bends, vibrato and pull offs in the correct direction. That's away from the fretboard edge.

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You need to learn to do bends, vibrato and pull offs in the correct direction. That's away from the fretboard edge.

 

Yessir. That is totally correct.

 

Think of all the greats before us that have bent, hammered on, pulled off and vibrato'd there way into our hearts and minds with narrow fretboards and nibs!!! It's horrifying to imagine.

 

On my Tribute, with no binding at all (much less nibs) I tend to run off the ends a bit easier than my bound and nib'd one's. But, I know that and I play that one a little different than the others. No doubt, it's the setup/string spacing, that's that guitar.

 

if you feel like the only guitar you can play is the HP, that's fine. Just don't tell everyone else we must do the same, or be wrong.

 

 

 

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You need to learn to do bends, vibrato and pull offs in the correct direction. That's away from the fretboard edge.

 

except I don't have to learn different techniques for every string when I have a beautiful modern guitar, my PRS, my Fender Stratocaster, my Ibanez, are all high tech specifically engineered to make the guitar easy to play, transparent so that you can focus on music, instead of fighting with technique. and they all run the frets completely to the edge of the fretboard, none of the non-bankrupt companies offer this feature.

 

Paul Reed Smith has stated it He designed the guitar so it disappears in the players hand, they're doing nothing but playing music, without having to think about the guitar limitations.

 

 

The increased playable area of the frets on my HP, finally brings Gibson in line with the best guitars in the world for modern musicians, playability wise.

 

the traditional LP slows you down especially after you've played fast and smoothly on really good guitars. on the Trad you have to be very careful to delicately and precisely play the E string.

 

that's why I took the one back after three weeks, I had a PRS at the time, played the two guitars side-by-side for 20 days in a row, it was a shock, to see how superior the fret over binding was playing so effortlessly in a head-to-head competition.

 

I have heard Slash, say that he likes fighting with the Les Paul that it makes him focus, that you have to be very careful precise fretting and twisting your body to play up high on the neck, and it makes him focus and work really hard and makes him satisfied to get the notes of the guitar. but he plays guitar 24 hours a day seven days a week.

 

 

I do not like fighting with my guitar.

 

I certainly do not begrudge someone seems to find the nibs such a critical part of the guitar experience.

 

but I've never heard a rational well thought out, well written description of how and why they bring so much pleasure,

 

I remember the first time I saw them in the guitar Center I thought they were not pretty and were unfinished looking, So the old veteran guitar center guy told me it was decorative and those guitars were for collectors and not for playing, if you wanted a guitar to play music on he recommended the Les Paul studio version. so maybe I got poisoned that day.

 

but I am an engineer and highly functional designs actually are the most beautiful looking things.

9jEiOAp.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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but I've never heard a rational well thought out, well written description of how and why they bring so much pleasure,

 

 

That's very easy to supply.

 

The "playing feel" of a bound neck with well finished nibs is second to none and better than the feel obtained (example: my Yamaha SG2000 - a very fine guitar if I might say so) that with a guitar without a nib finished neck.

 

Now is what I have said irrational? No, it isn't. Is it an objective testable statement? No, it isn't. It is my subjective opinion which is as valid as yours any day of the week. It is not better than yours but nor is it worse.

 

I am very happy for you to hate nibs and carry on hating them for the rest of your life but I resent being told I can't bend, do vibrato or otherwise do anything than show crap technique that inevitably will manifest on a nibs equipped guitar. Because it isn't true.

 

And I can also do all these things on my Les Paul 25 / 50 which is a fully nibbed "fretless wonder" - flat as a pancake style - fretboard of the same kind as on B.B. King's "Lucille" ES355 (but without the inlays going all the way up the neck).

Edited by Pin
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except I don't have to learn different techniques for every string when I have a beautiful modern guitar, my PRS, my Fender Stratocaster, my Ibanez, are all high tech specifically engineered to make the guitar easy to play, transparent so that you can focus on music, instead of fighting with technique. and they all run the frets completely to the edge of the fretboard, none of the non-bankrupt companies offer this feature.

Paul Reed Smith has stated it He designed the guitar so it disappears in the players hand, they're doing nothing but playing music, without having to think about the guitar limitations.

The increased playable area of the frets on my HP, finally brings Gibson in line with the best guitars in the world for modern musicians, playability wise.

the traditional LP slows you down especially after you've played fast and smoothly on really good guitars. on the Trad you have to be very careful to delicately and precisely play the E string.

that's why I took the one back after three weeks, I had a PRS at the time, played the two guitars side-by-side for 20 days in a row, it was a shock, to see how superior the fret over binding was playing so effortlessly in a head-to-head competition.

I have heard Slash, say that he likes fighting with the Les Paul that it makes him focus, that you have to be very careful precise fretting and twisting your body to play up high on the neck, and it makes him focus and work really hard and makes him satisfied to get the notes of the guitar. but he plays guitar 24 hours a day seven days a week.

I do not like fighting with my guitar.

I certainly do not begrudge someone seems to find the nibs such a critical part of the guitar experience.

but I've never heard a rational well thought out, well written description of how and why they bring so much pleasure,

I remember the first time I saw them in the guitar Center I thought they were not pretty and were unfinished looking, So the old veteran guitar center guy told me it was decorative and those guitars were for collectors and not for playing, if you wanted a guitar to play music on he recommended the Les Paul studio version. so maybe I got poisoned that day.

but I am an engineer and highly functional designs actually are the most beautiful looking things.

 

What kind of music do you guys do?

 

rct

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They should make 100 replicas of the 1959 per year but it should be a very small niche not their core line, they should move on, More HP models, which I think they are, but they don't want to offend those 100 players who will never buy another Gibson guitar anyway.[/size]

 

 

Sabredog, Gibson learned the hard way in 2015 that the Gibson faithful are still calling the shots (if they had any doubt). The vast overall majority want 1959 specs.

 

Gibson knew that the 2015 policy (of modern specs) was a huge risk, and they lost out massively on sales as a result. At the end of 2015, when the 2016 sprint run models were appearing, shops were discounting the 2015 models heavily. My LP was a 49% reduction from list price.

 

So you, me and any other HP fans are very much in the minority.

 

When I first came here it shocked me how passionate the traditionalists are. I didn't understand it. I'm only just starting to now. I decided to stick around and discovered that they are incredibly knowledgeable about guitars. There are some excellent players, luthiers and professionals here. Most are generous with their help & time too. I have learned quite a bit here.

 

You've made your views known in the OP. I recommend engaging with those who disagree with you. Intolerance is a dead end! ](*,)

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Additional tone is always better. More tone!

 

I think that's what the nib's really do, they hold the tone in. Without them, it just runs out the ends of the frets, lost forever. The only thing more important than that is the hide glue.

 

 

 

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9jEiOAp.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do find it ironic that to make your point about modern high performance design you posted a photo of an obsolete aircraft.

 

 

 

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