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Gibson Les Paul Black Beauty trully is "the fretless wonder".
Frets and action is so smooth and silky, it's a real pleasure to play.
Geting the bluesy, jazzy woman tone is as easy as rolling off the tone knob on the neck pickup. Played clean with just a hint of overdrive is where this baby shines...
The best feature for me is just how low the action can be set on it without buzzing. For smooth, soft jazz style playing, this setup really works well. The frets are very small and thus the name "fretless wonder". You only need a light touch to get a tone, and bending and vibrato are very easy to master on this guitar. My guitar is a 2008 with ebony fingerboard which is a joy to play, the new ones have richlite fingerboards, but I never tried those so I can't comment on whether they are equaly nice. I'm guessing not.
Pickups are 490R neck and 498T bridge. This gives the guitar a very versatile tonality. Everything from a smooth jazzy clean, to a classic rock dirty sound. The bridge pickup is perfect for classic rock, with rich harmonics and creamy overdrive tone. The neck pickup is great for blues and jazz. I mostly use the middle position with both volumes at 10 and bridge tone control between 4 and 6. This is called "the woman tone" by many, and is a perfect combination of both pickups for blues.
Aesthetics on the guitar are beautiful. The finish is nice and shiny, no runs, and the gold harware is classy. Speedknobs are smooth, and the body, neck, and headstock binding is flawless. The headstock inlay work (seen on the photo below) could be much better. I also cannot understand why anyone would put a nylon nut on a guitar in this price range.
This guitar has significant weight to it, but hey, be a man. Half of what you pay for here is the wood. Since they have put so much effort in choosing
the wood for this instrument, you should not complain about the weight.
That brings us to why this guitar is so great - the sustain. It's just incredible. Forever. I',m not sure what
is it exactly that contributes to such a long sustain, I'm guessing the wood, but trust me, it's not comparable to any other guitar I've tried or owned.
The neck profile is fatter but still feels very natural in your hands. I'm mostly a strat guy, and I thought it would be difficult to get used to this profile, but it was very easy. The weird thing for me is actually when I pick up a strat
right after playing this Paul. It's a lot more difficult to get uset to a thin neck after this one than the other way around, but this only happens when you switch guitars and continue playing right away.
All in all, If you can afford it, I would highly recommend this guitar to any player. I do believe that half the price is the name and half the price is the wood though. It is however a trend in the world that the price of instruments is only going higher and higher, so the longer you wait, it's probably going to cost more and more, but it's worth it. You will know it once you start to play it.
The looks, tone, sustain and feel of this guitar are just incredible.
The LP Custom is just one of those guitars. Every serious guitar player should try one. - Bluesmannus