Before I introduce you to this used 2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus, with a traditional honeyburst finish, can I give you a brief history lesson ? – It is fair to say that the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, do not reflect Gibson’s finest period of history – Don’t get me wrong, in that all Gibson Guitars from this era are considered poor, as that is not the case – Yet a serious lack of attention to detail, various mass production methods, a curious supply of ingredients, along with a corporate management structure that was influenced by bean counters, ensured many mediocre, or even poor examples – Granted you can find some good guitars from this period, but you can also find many that are way below par – Yet original vintage models, as well as the new breed of Custom Shop vintage replicas, come with a price tag that is considered unaffordable by many – So is it possible to build a superior production Les Paul Standard ? – In 2002, following various price adjustments, coupled with a superior build quality, the Gibson team finally saw the light – To put it simply, Gibson Les Paul Standard’s built in 2002, until around 2008, represents a period of significant improvement – Sadly since 2008, we’ve seen an almost annual change to the product line, with some models and features better than others – But for many players, the period from 2002 to 2008 represents good news – Superior ingredients – Improved build quality – Improved playing performance – Enhanced aesthetic appeal that reminds us of LP’s from the late 50’s golden era – Without getting into the more expensive vintage replicas, it is generally agreed that Les Paul Standard’s from 2002 to 2008 are the best period to buy – Many wish this era would be reinstated and represent todays LP Standard’s
So let me supply you with a few key points regarding this 2002 Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus :-
- A lot of additional information can be found in the bridge pick up cavity – Internal markings state LP5+ and HB – HB indicates honeyburst, 5 indicates 50’s neck profile and + indicates upgraded figured maple top
- Traditional honeyburst nitro gloss finish on a figured maple top that is loaded with plenty of individual character
- One piece mahogany body with a one piece mahogany neck
- The 50’s neck profile measures .820″ around the top nut end and .981″ around the 12th fret – Not as fat as the R7/R8/R9 vintage replicas, but a touch more meat on the neck than many other LP’s
- Even grained + dark brown rosewood fingerboard
- Whole guitar weighs 9lbs and 14oz – A touch distorted in that LP’s of this era are tagged as weight relieved and not chambered – Weight relief generally means ‘Swiss Cheese’ holes, mainly found on the wings of the body – Chambered bodies have far larger cavities
- Kluson vintage style machine heads with tulip buttons and push in ferules around the string posts
- Condition wise, wear and tear is on the lighter side – One owner since new – Played yet cared for – I found a couple of minor nicks on the side/rim of the body and the figured maple top, yet such marks are skin deep and subtle – So certainly nothing untoward – Little, if any belt buckle wear on the rear of the body – Some of the usual tarnish to the hardware – A touch of fade to the honeyburst finish – Frets are fine – any merest hint of wear is not worth a mention and at this rate it will be many years before any fret dress work will be required
- Re-strung with a set of 10’s and set up with a sensible playing action – ie not shred metal low and not high – Frets polished plus lemon oil applied to the fingerboard
- Includes Gibson deluxe Les Paul brown case with handles and catches in good working order
- Fitted with Gibson pick-ups with the paf labels that probably indicates the Burstbucker Pro V’s – paf flavoured, with alnico V magnets – Neck measures 7.46K – Bridge measures 7.84K
Tonal character :- Do you start of with a cleaner amp setting, that is on the edge of overdrive, for that Pete Green character, or add more overdrive for that sultry Kossoff character, or add even more gain to take you in the direction of the Moore/Bonamassa house hold ? – These tend to be reference points that many of us judge LP’s by, or certainly the tonal characteristics many strive for when playing a LP – The pots are fully interactive, so leaving them on 10 will seriously limit the subtle, yet effective, variations that you can obtain by rolling them back, as required – Use these correctly and you can almost leave the amp alone, allowing you to control the emotion, soul and gain levels from the guitar itself, so maybe just utilise an additional gain switch or pedal when you require that ‘turbo’ boost – On hi gain amp settings, pinched harmonics are easy to find, whilst scorching lead licks possess a bite and edge, yet still retain a musical vintage character – Remember a softer voice can be found just by rolling off the volume pot a touch – From succulent warmth and soul, to a throaty musical bite this LP is packed with expression – The neck pick-up is sultry, whilst the bridge pick up has that throaty bite and bark, with tight focussed lows and smooth highs that sizzle, whilst possessing just enough mids to thicken up the overall voice – At all times you’ll find and LP with an open voice, with mids that do not overpower, yet still thicken up the overall character, excellent articulation and above all, warmth and soul – Further more it blossom and blooms when you play those moody blues licks – It is hard not to judge a 59 LP by playing a few Kossoff, Green or Moore style licks and when you do, you instantly know you are somewhat in the right direction – Yet try a few Robben Ford style licks and chords and it is equally jazz/blues flavoured with clarity, warmth and excellent note separation – It certainly captures all the key attributes that many LP fans desire and should offer years of satisfaction to any potential buyer
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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.