Gibson Les Paul Traditional

Price Paid: 
Country of origin: 
Body wood(s): 
Mahogany body, figured maple top
Neck wood: 
Fretboard Scale: 
Number of frets: 

- PLEK fret job. This guitar played super right out of the box.

- Tone. The 57+ pickups deliver vintage Les Paul tones. Harmonically rich, warm and very full.

- Weight. The guitar is weight relieved but not chambered. This means it feels like a Les Paul hanging from your shoulder but you won't need to go see a chiropractor after every session.

- Nice figured tops. 


- Tone. The 57+ pickups have a fairly low output. For some they will sound too woolly. - Gibson's infamous (lack of) quality control. I had two. One of them was dead in the water tonally. You need to play these to make sure you have a good one. Same could be said for most brands though. - Electronics. The pots work like on/off switches. A more progressive taper would be nice.


The Traditional series is supposedly based off the Les Paul Standard of the nineties. In a direct comparison, there are some differences. First of all the stock pickups. LP Standards in the nineties came with 498T/490R pickups. While these aren't benchmark pickups, they lend themselves more easily to different styles. The 57+ in the Traditional pushes the guitar's tone firmly in a vintage direction. The tone is more complex and harmonically rich, so these pickups are in a sense an improvement. But still, if Gibson claims this guitar is a revival of the nineties Standard, it's a bit of a weird choice. The finish on these newer guitars feels more plasticky. Maybe it's the ten+ years of gigging with my nineties Standards, but I don't remember them feeling quite so artificial. Other than that, fit and finish is spot on. The tops on all Traditionals I've seen have been outstanding. I use this guitar primarily in a Thin Lizzy cover band. Run through a 2203 it fits the bill nicely. For harder rocking tones, you may consider a change of pickups. If, like me, you're not charmed by the changes Gibson made to the Standard, this is the best non-custom shop Les Paul out there.

Overall Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)