Gibson 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