Gibson Les Paul Tribute 2019 review

A stripped-back, authentic LP at an appealing price

(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

This stripped-down Les Paul may not be the most versatile single-cut out there, but it is a no-frills rock machine with vibe aplenty.


  • • Stripped-down but accomplished build
  • • Light weight
  • • Brash rock voicing
  • • Good price


  • • Bare-bones finish won't be for everyone
  • • Maple neck won't appeal to LP die-hards
  • • More versatile single-cuts are available elsewhere

What is it?

Image 1 of 4

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 4

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 4

(Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 4

(Image credit: Future)

Part of Gibson's revived 2019 line-up, the Tribute is one of the most affordable Les Pauls that the company now produces - in America, naturally.

Accordingly, there are compromises, with a maple - rather than mahogany - neck and a thinner body depth, topped off with a nitro-finished plain maple top, all sans binding.

What is here, however, is a pair of 490R (neck) and 490T (bridge) humbuckers with Alnico II magnets, while the company's Ultra Modern weight relief should keep your back happy.

Performance and verdict

The thin, C-shaped maple neck means the Tribute almost ends up feeling like a Fender, as opposed to the rest of the 2019 LP range's more D-like shapes, but it's certainly a comfortable place to be unless you're a Gibson die-hard.

A trim low-end makes for an aggressive punk attack, which will cover all manner of rock tones.

It's a very nice piece indeed and, if you've got the budget, makes an excellent back-up to your Standard, or a decent slide guitar.

Also consider

Of course, there is considerable competition in this price range, and plenty of rivals from the likes of ESP, PRS, and even Gibson's own sub-brand Epiphone will offer additional tones over the three-way humbucker sounds you'll find here.

But if you're looking to 'Play Authentic' - as Gibson would put it - this is your cheapest entry point to the world of brand-new Les Pauls, and its no-frills performance encapsulates the very essence of rock guitar.

MusicRadar verdict: This stripped-down Les Paul may not be the most versatile single-cut out there, but it is a no-frills rock machine with vibe aplenty.

Hands-on demos





  • Body: 2-piece mahogany with carved maple top w/ Ultra Modern weight relief
  • Neck: 1-piece maple, rounded neck profile, glued-in
  • Scale length: 624mm (24.6”) NUT: Graph Tech
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood, Acrylic Trapezoid inlays, 305mm (12”) radius
  • Frets: 22, medium jumbo
  • Hardware: Aluminium Nashville tune-o-matic bridge, aluminium stopbar tailpiece, Vintage Deluxe w/ keystone buttons – nickel plated
  • Electrics: Gibson 490R (neck) and 490T (bridge), 3-way toggle pickup selector switch, volume and tone for each pickup
  • Weight (kg/lb): 3.27/7.2
  • Left-handed: Not listed
  • Finishes: Satin Iced Tea, Satin Honeyburst (as reviewed), Satin Tobacco Burst, Satin Cherry Sunburst – satin nitrocellulose