Gibson Les Paul Signature T, Vintage Sunburst.
Here is my personal review of the Gibson Les Paul Signature T, Vintage Sunburst.
I had been looking literally for years for a Gibson Les Paul that had the spec of my dreams. I was looking for:
Grover Tuning keys
'57 classic neck pickup
'57 classic plus bridge pickup
Vintage Sunburst AA flame maple top
cream color pickguard
Trapezoid fret marker inlays
The other features on this guitar were a welcome addition: the coil tap pickups, the weight relieved body, and the granadillo fingerboard.
I'll start with the cosmetics. The guitar is cosmetically stunning. The Mother of Pearl Gibson logo is "alive" with color. Each angle of view yields a different and glorious look at the Gibson logo, and the AA maple top is the best I've ever seen. Subtle, yet stunning. Perfect for me. The only doubt I had going in to this purchase was the granadillo fingerboard. I had never tried one, but I trusted Gibson and their choice for this part, as I know they had to move away from Indian Rosewood. Anyone who is concerned about feel, rest easy. It plays like a dream. Anyone concerned about look? It is gorgeous, and unique. The wood is not as dark as rosewood, but I actually like it better. Bending notes? Just as easy as on a rosewood board. Tone? No difference to my ears. If there is a difference, I am convinced that no human would be able to discern it.
Next, the Grover tuning keys. These are my all-time favorites for any guitar, and the feel of these while tuning is impressive and solid. The body has cream binding on the front, and the fingerboard is bound on the top and bottom, providing a consistent, classic look to the Les Paul. The silver hardware is flawless, and classic Gibson: the stop-bar tailpiece, and the tun-o-matic bridge.
The wood used for this Les Paul is Mahogany on the neck, mahogany body, and flame maple on the top. Each piece of wood is different, and inspection of these woods yields a very satisfied feeling each and every time I open the case. The weight is substantial, even with the weight relieved body. The science behind the weight relieved body has evolved to a point where I have no concern about compromising tone.
The pickups. In a word, wow. I wanted pickups that could nail the tone of classic Jazz players and also nail the tone of Jimmy Page, The Edge, Joe Perry, and Bob Marley. 10 out of 10 in this category. The '57 classics give me that starting "core tone" that I wanted. As I applied pre-amp drive, I explored the tone of "Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin. Correct tone on the Neck, Bridge and Middle positions are required for this song. I applied an AC30 top boost pre-amp, and it did not take much drive to send my pickups and amp (Fender) into sonic paradise. These are tones that I have never been successful producing for this or any other song. It is the '57 classics that do it. If anyone is concerned that these pickups are not powerful enough, these pickups will provide tone and volume that is astonishing. "Building up" with your tone from what these pickups provide gives a musician incredible tonal flexibility. For example, I can nail the tone of Bob Marley's "Is this love" Clean, clear, and strong. A pickup combo that is too saturated would not sound right on that song. As I proceeded to test each and every setting I had, I found that the wood is what defines the tone. You get the tone without sacrificing the sound of the wood of the guitar. That's about as good as I can describe it. I've used other pickup combinations where the sound of the wood goes away as you apply drive. When coil-tapped, I would describe them as sounding like a P-90. Think of the P-90 sound that the Beatles used on "Paperback Writer" and "Get Back" and you will undertand what I mean. That's what you can achieve when these pickups are coil-tapped. I could go on for hours about these pickups. 5 stars. 10 out of 10. However you review it, they are flawless.
Ok, moving on to the service aspect of the purchase. For me, looking at photos of the actual instrument that I was evaluating was a huge competitive advantage for Sweetwater, and as I had choices to look over, I was able to easily decide on my preferred instrument. When I called, I was connected with my sales engineer, Scott, who has an impressive grasp of the instruments, the sales process, and patiently led me through my questions and the flow chart of the purchase. When I made the purchase, I was provided with tracking information, and the original photos that appeared on the Sweetwater site for my records, or to share on social media.
When I opened the case, I was welcomed by Sweetwaters checklist of the 55 point inspection that the technicians performed prior to the shipment.
To top off the positive experience, I even received a follow-up e-mail that had the Sweetwater CEO's name stamped on it, which to me is a tremendous acknowledgement of ownership and signing off on their entire process.
Thank you Sweetwater for making my dream guitar purchase become one that I think about and smile. Gibson should be pleased that their instruments are represented, sold and serviced by your company