Gibson ES - Les Paul
2014 sees another semi-hollow Les Paul release, this time as part of the ES Series - the Gibson Memphis ES - Les Paul.
Gibson Les Paul Supreme 2014
This guitar combines the best features of two of their popular electric guitars, ES-335 and Les Paul. It sits in the same price range as the other semi-hollow Gibson ES models.
When Gibson unveiled the top-of-the-line semi-hollow Les Paul Supreme for 2014, I thought it was a neat idea and felt that the privileged few that can afford it are extremely lucky. Thankfully, the ES - Les Paul brings this same design concept to a more familiar price point.
As expected, this standard model does not have the extra aesthetic features of the Supreme model, but it does stay true to traditional Les Paul styling, no compromise was made on both the material used and looks.
The ES - Les Paul is basically a chambered Les Paul, but the official description says, "Far more than merely a “chambered Les Paul” or an ES-335 "shaped like a single-cut", this entirely new guitar is the result of painstaking assessment of what makes each of these legendary models great, and a careful marriage of features by the skilled luthiers at Gibson Memphis."
The guitar has a solid mahogany center block and laminated 3-ply maple/basswood/maple body, in keeping with traditional ES style guitar construction. The shape of the body follows the curves of its solidbody counterparts, and feature cream colored ABS binding on the top and back.
The glued-in neck is made of mahogany with maple spline, and is topped by dark rosewood fingerboard. It has a fretboard radius of 12", nut width of 1.67", and features Gibson's PLEK system. The LP-style headstock features mother of pearl Gibson logo and gold "Les Paul Model" water slide decal.
While the Les Paul Supreme was more liberal with pickup combination, the ES - Les Paul stuck with traditional humbuckers. Gibson opted for a pair of MHS (Memphis Historic Spec) Humbuckers that are described as vintage PAF replicas. These pickups are routed to the all-too-familiar 3-way pickup selector and independent volume and tone knobs. I was hoping that it would come equipped with split-coil features...
Other features of the guitar include Kluson single ring tuners, ABR nickel bridge and stopbar tailpiece, vintage style cream pickguards, and gold Top hat knobs. The guitar is available in light burst and black finish.
Depending on the success of this release, I won't be surprised to see a more affordable semi-hollow Les Paul in the future, maybe an ES-LP Studio! The new Gibson ES - Les Paul is expected to start shipping mid-July, with a price tag of $2,799. For more information, visit Gibson.
Tim Reede Apollo
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