Gibson 2014 Les Paul Futura

A single-cut with tons of tonal potential

After 120 years in the business, it's fair to say that Gibson knows a thing or two about guitar-making. So, for 2014, it's launched a whopping 29 new models, loaded with innovations, including this guitar, the Les Paul Futura.

Among the range there are four new pickups and plenty of eye-catching nitrocellulose finishes, plus Graph Tech nuts, easy-grip knobs and cryogenically-treated frets for long-lasting playability. The latest Min-ETune robot tuning system also features heavily in the new line-up, and each guitar even carries a 120th anniversary inlay at the 12th fret.

"Run your hands over the LP Futura's sultry curves and you're bound to pick up on the rock-solid build quality"

This model is typical of the Gibson 2014 approach: there are coil-splittable pickups and it packs an uncommon p-90 and humbucker combination with switchable 15db boost. As well as the finish we have here, you can get the Futura in Pacific Blue, Brilliant Red, Champagne and Bullion Gold.

Run your hands over the LP Futura's sultry curves and you're bound to pick up on the rock-solid build quality: the jacks, pots and switches feel reassuringly robust, as does the fretwork on the smooth rosewood fingerboard. It all makes for a supremely confident playing experience as you traverse the LP Futura's myriad coil-split and boost options, as well as its smoothly finished D-shaped neck.

The LP's Sidewinder P-90H can seem a little gloomy in comparison with a ballsy neck humbucker. It's great for chimey, crunchy chords, though, and in combination with the coil-split, produces snappy sounds that you'd never expect from a Les Paul.

However, the LP Futura is at its best when it's firing on all cylinders on the bridge humbucker - the tones are brash, obnoxious and in your face; flick the boost switch and you'll send any amp or overdrive pedal into meltdown, with a huge increase in volume and gain. The boost helps to bring the P-90 out of its shell, too, and there are some intriguing mixes of boosts and splits to be had.

Of course, we can't neglect the Min-ETune, which is as effortless as ever. Perfecting standard tuning is as easy as pressing the power button, strumming the strings and letting the tuners do their robot thang, while there are 12 alternate tunings available at the touch of a button.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

Impressively solid build. Well featured. Bridge humbucker great for distortion tones.

Cons

Finish options might not appeal to all.

Verdict

Combining cutting- edge tech with old-school playability, the Les Paul Futura is a modern-day tone machine.

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.

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