Gibson Les Paul Supreme

supremeGibson produce tons of Les Paul’s from signature models through to budget versions in loads of colors and finishes that it really takes something to catch your attention now when you see a Les Paul – the Supreme is aimed to do just that. Featuring a bucket load of luxury the Supreme is really something to lust after. 

With every part studiously selected to exude class Gibson have pushed the boat out. Based on a chambered mahogany body (for a ligthter weight and better resonance) the Les Paul supreme features AAAA maple top and back with fantastic seven ply top – three ply back binding.

With a Mahogany neck and Ebony fingerboard (with deluxe pearl-on-ebony fingerboard inlays) luxury is again piled on with gold tinted alloy frets; and an abalone, pearl, and brass globe inlaid on the Gibson LP headstock. Hardware is gold and as usual the Supreme features the traditional Les Paul fixtures and fittings in a Stopbar tailpiece, tune-o-matic bridge. Tuner’s are Grover locking tuners.

Electrics wise it’s packed with a 490R humbucker in the neck and a 498T in the bridge position. Gibson say of the 490 “feature tonal characteristics similar to the ’57 Classic, but deliver a slight increase in the upper mids, for a more contemporary humbucking sound. The special Alnico II magnet gives these beauties a singing quality that delivers on demand.” While of the 498 “With its higher output and emphasis on mid-ranges and highs, the 498T is the perfect rock pickup.”

While there are higher output Gibson pickups available (eg the Burstbucker) the supreme – doesn’t lack tonally – warm natural tone which is both articulate and deep (the chambered body also seems to add bags of sustain) – maybe not that versatile – but if you want Les Paul – then it delivers – crank it up and enjoy how Rock guitars were meant to sound.

As far as value for money goes – well this guitar retails at around $3,000 so it’s by no means cheap and perhaps this is where the problem lies – in recent years Gibson has taken a bit of a challenge on it’s quality control – the odd duff guitar has perhaps slipped through the net and tainted it’s image –for $3,000+ you need things to be perfect so it’s definatley worth trying before you buy – and checking out the finish, binding and the fretwork on the fingerboard to ensure that everything passes muster.

As a gigging guitar well – it’ll look the business but the finish and hardware will probably give you a few sleepless nights as well – when it comes out fo the box you just want to drool over it – I can well imagine a few tears if it picks up the usual dings and scratches that gigging guitars do –

Overall – well it’s a Les Paul – Iconic looks and Iconic tone – not much to go wrong really – with looks and finishing touches that put it towards the top of the Gibson tree. Gibson Guitars

Gibson Pete Townshend Les Paul Deluxe

deluxeDuring the Hey day of The Who – Pete Townshend’s Guitar of choice was the Gibson Les Paul Deluxe #9. In 2005 The Auctioneers Christie’s sold one of Pete Townshends Les Paul Deluxe’s for $45,600 as part of pop memorabilia auction.

Recently Gibson produced a limited re-release of this 70’s classic which features Pete Towsends unique numbering system which started out as handwritten stickers to differentiate between different guitars and tunings.

 

This Gibson Les Paul deluxe features a three piece maple top with a mahogany back, cream binding and chrome hardware.

The 22 fret neck features a signature Pete Townshend slim profile, perloid inlays and cream white binding.

This Les Paul Deluxe differs from traditional Les Paul’s by having a 3 pickup combination – this version features two mini-humbuckers and a single DiMarzio Dual Sound pickup in the middle position. The controls differ from the traditional also by having one master tone – three volume controls – two mini toggles which control the DiMarzio pickup one taps the pickup where the other puts it out of phase.

Unsurprisingly the guitar is able to faithfully re-create the classic 70’s Who sound with ease – the pickup configuration provides seemingly limitless possibilities from traditional crunch to a thin almost telecaster like bite, the maple body produces a wonderfully smooth sustain and whilst the guitar sounds great clean – it clamors for a bit of drive to unleash it’s potential.

Only 75 guitars were originally produced so these can be hard to come by but do seem to pop up on the usual auction sites occasionally – but do expect to dig deep as they are a collectors items and prices can range from $5,000 dollars up – however for an ardent Who fan – what’s money go to do with it?

Gibson Guitars