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I love my new 50s Tribute Les Paul


David Vee

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I already own 18 guitars... my wife cringes when I even start talking about another one. Needless to say, when this model was announced, I was a bit skeptical of a low price point Studio model with untried reissue pickups and worn finish delivering the goods. I was equally skeptical of getting on a wait list to order a guitar sight unseen that had yet to be played/reviewed by anyone, anywhere. Then early reports of folks being dropped from the list(s) strengthened my resolve to find a 50s Tribute LP at a local shop...

 

Last weekend I walked into Sam Ash in New Haven, CT and found a Honeyburst that had just arrived at the store... any doubts I had about this Les Paul delivering the goods were removed once I played it. So, it was a no- brainer purchase (retail less trade-in of one of my Strats that had not been seeing much playing time) fitting perfectly into my guitar collection and more than holding her own with my 4 other Gibsons (1985 Les Paul Standard, 2008 SG Standard, 2007 Custom Shop '67 Flying V, and 2007 Custom Shop Larry Carlton ES-335).

 

I'm finding it's the type of guitar that's hard to put down... and easy to get creative with. It's that good. The finish/feel have grown on me (and this from a confirmed glossy-finish guy). The guitar plays like a dream!!! The tone continues to delight me thru various amps, although the best paring seems to be with my Fender '65 Princeton Reverb Reissue... we're talking tone to the bone, plain and simple. The neck is extremely comfortable and the fret work seems perfect. Surprisingly, the action and intonation were spot on with no further tweaking needed. I had to keep reminding myself that this guitar has a retail price tag under $1000.

 

As described in great detail elsewhere, the P90 reissue pickups deliver humbucker-like output power with single coil sweetness and bite. It's a distinct and familiar tone. Very touch responsive, and handle everything from the blues & jazz licks that this guitar was born to play, to classic rock licks on overdrive. The paring of the neck and bridge is again, dare I say, perfect. They blend well together in the middle position, and have a distinctive flavor individually. The neck is not muddy, nor is the bridge ice-picky. Smooth is a good word to describe them, but as I said, they can also deliver classic rock easily. The volume and tone controls add all sorts of fun to the mix... if I seem like I'm gushing about this guitar, I am.

 

I had posted a similar note on the 50s Tribute page, and would like to repeat (since the Henry J forum is not allowing me to start a thread or reply to threads) that this model has reaffirmed my faith in the "new" Gibson, and detractors (myself a former detractor) of Henry's leadership and marketing savvy need only play a 50s Tribute LP... it's a game changer. I also hope that the 50s Tribute model is indicative of Gibson's on-going commitment to quality and value at all price points. I apologize for ever doubting the man that runs the company that created this modern masterpiece.

 

To the team responsible for making such a fine, affordable guitar, I say take a bow - you've earned it. Well done!

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you are spot on with your description, especially the bridge pickup not being ice picky or as I would say brittle sounding. I bought mine to replace my 77 standard I sold a few years ago,I can't get over how sweet it plays, I am still getting used to the 50s profile neck but it feels good in my hands,and to those who scoff at chambered bodies, just play one it will change your mind, it feels very un Les Paul like when you pick it up but after playing it it remains true to its heritage.

Kudos Henry J and Gibson, now about that Firebird X..................

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I have to agree on this one.. this is a great guitar at a great price point. I picked up a new Gold Top on Friday and it is just incredible -- great cleans and killer crunch for power blues and classic rock. It nails the sounds it was designed for. I didn't think I would be a fan of a chambered guitar but it resonates and sustains really well and feels great strapped on with the lighter weight. The only thing I am not thrilled with on mine is the fact that the body is a 4 piece. But since finding a GT is near impossible I had to settle for the 4 piece back. The finish on the back of the neck is so thin I am sure it will wear through in a matter of months. That is actually ok with me but may be surprising to some. I like bare wood necks so I look forward to this wearing through - one of my strats has an unfinished neck and my 89 PRS wore through the finish years ago.

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I just picked up a honeyburst today. Beautiful guitar all around. Right out of the box it was almost in tune. I love the honeyburst finish. I got great tone thru a Vox Night Train & Marshall Class 5. I don't like the black or cherryburst finish. I like those finishes in gloss. I haven't see a goldtop in person yet.

 

Craig

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Love this guitar as well. I ordered one, site unseen, assuming I could easily sell if I didn't like it.

 

Awesome guitar for the dough. It's a bit weird playing a Les Paul that is so light, but this guitar sings.

 

I don't like the cheap top carve, and I wish the neck was a little fatter. That said, this one is a keeper.

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Glad to read the good reviews. I just ordered a white one today from Sam Ash. It's the only color they had but it looks great to me.

 

Thanks for the reviews !!

 

Stijn Vergeest

Gibson Europe Customer Service

00800-4GIBSON1

00800-44427661

www.gibson.com

service.europe@gibson.com

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  • 3 months later...

I picked up a Gold Top made 4th Jan 2011 a week or so ago from a local dealer. Its a great guitar. Sounds good, plays well looks great. Between this and my R8 Plaintop I reckon I can cover most musical styles.

Build quality is excellent and the back looks for all the world like 1 pce quarter sawn. Been over it several times with friends lights and magnifying glasses looking for joins and can,t find any.

Its a light weight Les Paul thats confortable to sit down with and play and thats a first in 40 years of playing for me.

 

I know people like to knock Henry but as someone who has played Gibsons for years the best ones I have played have all been made on his watch. The R8 is hands down the best guitar I have ever played (and I own 3 custom shop Time Machine fenders 56 & 60 Srats and 58 Tele). In terms of tone and playabilty the 50's Tribute Les Paul is a match for anything out there.

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Congratulations! [thumbup]

 

Did you just find it by chance? Are they that easy to come by? Or are they still as hard to come by as they were when they were first introduced?

 

I'm dying to get my hands on one of them but I fear they'll be hard to find when I go to the US in June. [cursing]

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