Launched alongside the Goddess, the Gibson Les Paul GT is perhaps best described as a Les Paul on steroids, with bloodshot eyes and whisky on its breath…
The GT is a 'traditional' Les Paul that has been customised to deal with the rigours of the live circuit. All the standard tonewoods are present and correct, from the mahogany body with arched maple top to the set mahogany neck and ebony fretboard.
The hardware is visually familiar too, with a tune-o-matic and stop bar as the bridge configuration and 490R and 498T humbuckers hidden beneath stylish chrome covers.
Flames lick ominously across the moody paintwork, and parallelogram inlays glint like blades from a Stanley knife. It all looks fantastic. The GT's other embellishments, include chrome Grover locking tuners to hold your pitch and Dunlop straplocks to stop the GT from hitting the floor.
While the presence of the straplocks initially made strapping on the GT feel like a bit like a bondage session we enjoyed our time with this guitar. Alongside the glorious fingerboard and stunning scope for expressive play, however, there are points that need to be flagged up.
We might have scoffed at the reduced bulk of the Goddess, but it's worth remembering that a full-blown Les Paul is bloody heavy. Combined with the thicker '50s neck profile, you may find the GT reduces your scissor kicks to a tap of the foot, and encourages you to play with soul rather than speed.
As you'd expect, the levels of sustain are simply awesome making the GT peerless when it comes to soulful blues-rock and lower-tempo metal.
It's worth mentioning that this guitar also features a coil tap feature (activated by pulling on the tone pots) that splits the humbuckers and brings in a singlecoil tone. It's a versatile feature, but we doubt that anybody who's paid three grand for the ballsy Les Paul tone will want to perform a castration.
There's no doubt that the GT is an expensive axe but shop around and you'll see some good deals. The concept of a Les Paul built for 'the road' is an ingenious one and we reckon the GT is one of the finest instruments on the market. In fact, it's the best thing you can buy before your dad realises his credit card is missing.