The Gibson Les Paul from the 50s is an amazing instrument. It is historical, because so many iconic songs have been written and recorded on it. It is iconic because it has been seen in the hands of so many famous musicians. And it is plain amazing because of the quality of its make. Of course Gibson wants to cash in on all of this, so they make the Gibson 2016 T Les Paul Studio 50’s Tribute guitar. Well, I don’t buy anything without looking at it first, so let us take a very close look at this one, and see what it is about.
First, let’s talk about the body. To be honest Gibson could not have done any wrong in this aspect. The Gibson Les Paul Studio, from the 50s, is a gorgeous model. The iconic Les Paul shape is easy on the eyes of the onlookers, and easier in the hands of the player. The instrument is comfortable and fun to play, so what else could you want? I know, the golden coloring. Because Gold is the thing you are getting when you get the model from the fifties. The tribute model does a great job of emulating that.
The body of the guitar is constructed out of mahogany. As I have said many times before, this is great news for everyone. Mahogany is a great tonewood with qualities that many other tonewoods would kill for. Fortunately trees cannot kill of their own accord. Anyway, the mahogany adds a great tone to the lower range of the guitar’s sounds. The tones are warmer and thicker because of it. It is also extremely sturdy, so that your guitar will stay together no matter how much punishment you dole out onto it. The weight relief system used in the guitar even relieves you of the stress of dealing with an incredibly heavy guitar!
The neck of the guitar picks maple as the hardwood to be made of. Maple is famous for its sturdiness, keeping together even in the face of a lot of force. This means your guitar won’t break in half as soon as you pick it up (I hope). The neck is set into the body, so that you will not have to deal with the ugly bolts at all. The fretboard of the guitar is made out of rosewood, which is pretty standard across the guitar board.
The guitar comes with an ABR Adjustable bridge with a stopbar tailpiece. This allows the guitar to adjust the tone of the guitar in an instant if he or she has to. The bridge also provides nice action and looks beautiful.
The nut of the guitar is synthetic bone, which, as I have said many times before, is not a bad thing. It is a well balanced pick for price vs string buzz, so a definite win here.
The tuners of the guitar take after the classic tuners from the 50s. This makes them look amazing and vintage. They are also rather steady, so that you won’t have to fiddle with them every time you try to play a song.
The guitar comes with a very nice setup of two humbuckers. The 490R and the 498T are located at the neck and the bridge respectively. These two humbuckers are actually rather versatile, providing you with sound you need in the moment. Whether this is clean, smooth sound for a slow, soulful song or a fast, strong and dirty sound for a rock and roll banger, you can have it out of these humbuckers. They are not going flat any time soon either, so awesome stuff!
The guitar also comes with a very standard control setup. Two knobs, each controlling the volume and the tone of the guitar and a lever that allows you to fiddle with your pickup configuration.
The sound is where the guitar shines. While the 50s models were mostly made with alder, the mahogany adds a little twist onto the guitar that is definitely enjoyable. Low tones sound amazing, mid tones sound warm and high tones are well expressed and soul wrenching. The guitar can go from clean to dirty in a second and all of this for a price that should be making us blush.
A great guitar for real! Whether you are looking for that vintage look and vibe in your music, or are just looking for a good, affordable guitar, you have it all in this model. Definitely recommended whether you are a beginner, intermediate player, or a professional.