Gibson Les Paul GT

A guitar that plays as good as it looks

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.

In use

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.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

The best tone and feel we've experienced in ages.

Cons

Generally quite heavy and cumbersome.

Verdict

Weighty with a suitably hefty price tag to match, but this is one of the best guitars money can buy.

Available Controls

2 x Tone 2 x Volume 3-Way Switch

Available Finish

Candy Apple

Back Material

Mahogany

Body Binding

Single-ply

Bridge

Tune-o-matic

Case Included

Yes

Country of Origin

USA

Fingerboard Binding

Single-ply

Fingerboard Material

Ebony

Guitar Body Material

Mahogany Maple

Hardware

Chrome

Inlays

Pearl Trapezoid

Neck Joint Location

16

Neck Material

Mahogany

No of Strings

6

No. of Frets

22

Pickup Switching

3 Position Blade - Bridge/Middle/Neck

Pickups

490R (Neck) 498T (Bridge)

Scale Length (Inches)

24.75

Scale Length (mm)

628

Tailpiece

Stopbar

Top Material

Maple

Width at Nut (Inches)

1.695

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.