Gibson Les Paul Classic Plus w/ Baked Maple Fingerboard

Price Paid: 
$1899
Condition: 
New
Country of origin: 
USA
Body wood(s): 
Mahogany Back w/ AA Flamed Maple Top
Neck wood: 
Mahogany
Fretboard: 
Baked Maple
Fretboard Scale: 
24.75
Number of frets: 
22
Pros: 

The baked maple fingerboard gives this Classic a little more brightness than the standard rosewood boards found on previous Classic's, or those on Standard's, so it's a little bit different tonally, not quite regular maple but not quite ebony. Feelwise, those who play Custom's wouldn't notice much difference, as the baked maple feels just like ebony, to my hands.

The PLEK'ed fingerboard is something I really like, no dead spots, no buzzing, and the action is really low.

The 60's neck is really nice, this is the 3rd Les Paul I've owned, 4 if you count and Edwards, never really got it going with the 50's rounded on my Studio Premium Plus, the asymetrical neck of my 08 Standard was nice, but still too fat in some spots, but I definitely like the slim tappered 60's neck.

Comes with the 496R/500T hot ceramic pickups... I don't like them, but people seem to love these, so I guess it's a pro and I'm just not with it.

Cons: 

This troubles me, because I really just wanted to do a review of the fingerboard... From the neck joint down it's just a Les Paul, there are 4 other Les Paul reviews (or 3 I guess)... But alas, the good people at Gibson would not allow this.

The tuners are terrible... This guitar cost $2100 after tax! My $300 Ibanez SZ320 kept tune better. The tuners will be replaced with Gotoh Kluson style tuners. Unacceptable for a guitar this price.

The volume pots are terrible... To quote a wiseman... "This guitar cost $2100 after tax!". For one, the tone pots seem to be fine, but since Gibson decided to place them all on a circuit board of some kind, you can't just replace 1 or 2, I have to replace the entire thing! I complained, about the potential for this very thing happening, in my 08 Standard review, and it has come to pass. Neither volume pot works right, they scartch and pop, and being someone who likes to simply roll back the volume to get a clean tone, this is impossible to do right now with these pots. All pots will be replaced with Bourns Low Friction pots (or whatever good quality low friction pots I can get that fit the knobs).

The setup out of the box was atrocious... Not counting the Charvel's from Chub or the GMW, which were nicely setup new guitars but didn't have a "factory" setup... My EVH's came from the box spot on, my MIJ Charvel Pro Mod came out of the box spot on, even my Carvin's came out of the box spot on... Of all the guitars I've bought the last few years, this was the ONLY guitar I bought new, online, that needed a setup, in fact some of the used guitars I bought were setup properly.

The strap buttons, forget that they aren't locking... The button don't have that cotton cushion washer between the metal button and the guitars body... So when I replaced them with locking ones, part of the finish under the button buy the toggle came off. The new buttons still don't have them, I looked around, but hey, I'm not a billion dollar guitar manufacturer with a high tech shop.

I'm also a stickler for control cavity covers fitting snug, the covers on this guitar are very loose fitting

This is an update from the original post, as of 2/1/12 the paint has begun peeling off the body... Seen at the below link... COMPLETELY unacceptable, this is the first and only guitar I ever owned that had paint peeling off of it, and it's also the most expensive guitar I ever owned... Kudos to Gibson! http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn311/rob61872/Les%20Paul%20Classic%2...

Summary: 

Overall, I like the feel of the guitar, neck-wise, body-wise this specimen is a rather heavy guitar, an unacceptable weight for a chambered guitar. Sound-wise, after replacing the 496R/500T ceramic pickups with Suhr Doug Aldrich pickups, the guitar sounds great. I would be hesitant to buy another, and seeing how these issues manifested a month after first getting it, buying it in a store vs. online is not the issue. I can't give this guitar a rating of more than 3, and even that may be too generous of me, a person shouldn't have to spend $80 on new pots and tuners for $2100 guitar... It's a matter of principle, not price, and after just a month and a half the paint on a guitar shouldn't be peeling off, WTF is that? Gibson should be ashamed. I don't think it would have killed them to use a higher quality bridge or add some strap locks, so up the extra cost to about $110. Only buy if you're willing to spend some extra money upgrading some parts, and love watching paint peel.

Overall Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)