Gibson Les Paul Standard 2015 Flame Top
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Gibson unveiled sweeping new changes to their electric guitar lineup in 2015, including a new brass zero-fret nut design and G-Force electronic tuning system that came stock on most models. On top of the new nut and tuners, the 2015 Les Paul Standard also features a new wider neck profile, updated bridge design, removable pickguard, and a limited edition logo and hologram commemorating Les Paul's 100th birthday.
This Price Guide is meant for Sunburst and Wine Red Candy finishes.
Years of Production: 1952 - 1960, 1972 - 1975 (as Les Paul Deluxe), 1976 - present
Body Style: Single cutaway solidbody
Wood Composition: Mahogany body, Maple top, Rosewood fingerboard
Design Elements: Two humbucker pickups, trapezoid inlays, four push-pull control knobs, three-way pickup selector, white pickguard, bound fingerboard, brass nut, electronic tuners, tune-o-matic bridge
Notable Les Paul Players: Jimmy Page, Slash, Neil Young, Alex Lifeson, Pete Townshend
GIBSON LES PAUL STANDARD 2015 H3
I’m sure everyone’s seen or at least heard an LP in action from Led Zeppelin to Joe Bonamassa to Kiss to Guns N’ Roses. It’s typically thick and fat and great for rock and blues. It’s come in many incarnations over the years. This 2015 Standard would have to be one of the fastest necks I’ve played, great for shredders or those preferring lighting low action. Gibson have pushed the fact that these guitars have improved specs in that aspect with lower frets, improved plekking and intonation and their patent applied for brass ‘Zero fret’ rather than a standard nut helping with this silky smooth and low action considerably. If anything the wider neck (with same string spacing) gives you something to hold onto but is offset with the super low action making it easy to play for chords, single note lines, bends and whatever else you’ve got in your trick bag.
Gibson have gone for their own Rhythm and Lead BurstBucker Pro humbuckers with Alnico 5 magnets in this guitar. As standard, these pickups are clear and punchy with lots of room to sweep from rounded vintage sounds to brighter tones. Added capabilities are on board also now thanks to the push/pull pots giving you coil tapping with the volume pots, and phase changing and pure bypass on the tone pots. Never fear, you can still get those classic LP tones, you just also get a bigger range of single coil sounds too.
Les Is More
Bells and whistles aside, I really like this 2015 Standard. The Heritage Cherry Sunburst Candy finish is beautiful and I have to mention the candy cherry back with some serious sparkle in it. Obviously more hidden than the top of the guitar it adds something new and hip that really works and fits with the overall colour scheme. Playing wise, she’s a sleek and fast machine that still feels classic rock. Right there you’ve got a solid LP. Then factor in the new additions (whether you like or use them or not) and it’s a guitar that Gibson have tried to make comfortable and usable in the first place with some added functionality. Go the LP!
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Gibson 2015 Les Paul Standard
For 2015, Gibson's annual makeover of the Les Paul Standard is more radical than ever. We take a close look at the latest iteration of the firm's flagship solid body model...
The new line-up of Gibson's USA production guitars is full of change. Are you ready? First off, the Tronical-designed Min-ETune 'robot' tuning system has been rebranded as the G Force Tuning System and is standard - not optional - on all the guitars, with the exception of the Derek Trucks SG and Firebird.
Then there's the Zero Fret Adjustable Nut - a first for Gibson - wider necks and thicker rosewood fingerboards, pearl inlays, lower frets and improved Plek set-up and intonation.
All the models have proper gloss nitro finishes and come in a new-design TKL moulded case; plus a Les Paul 100th birthday signature on the headstock; an 'improved contact' output jack and "more robust cables" for a "stronger signal strength".
On top of that there's an upgraded Tune-O-Matic bridge with titanium saddles, a slot-in/pull-out removable pickguard... Oh yeah, and a totally overhauled neck profile and weight-relieved body.
As the definitive Les Paul, the Standard has gone through some changes over the years, not least recently!
This year's model uses a very classic-looking AA-grade figured maple top that certainly isn't over-dramatic, paired with an 'enhanced' body contour that subtly dishes.
Under the hood is the modern weight relief and centre-joined 'ultra low' density mahogany back - it's still no lightweight, though. The neck profile is the 'slim' profile but asymmetric, putting more beef on the bass side (20.8mm at the 1st fret, 22.5mm at the 12th). The fingerboard is classed as 'dark' and there's purple streaks to the grain.
A neat addition is the easily removable no-screw pickguard, which via three small prongs slots into the cream pickup rings, leaving no open screw holes as the standard fixings do when you remove it.
As you'd expect, there's the classic four-control layout with dual Burstbucker Pro humbuckers, with their slightly unmatched coils - a difference of about 200 turns - and Alnico V magnets.
We have tuned coil-taps via the volume controls' pull/push switches, but we also have pull/ push switches on the two tone controls - pulling up the bridge pickup's tone sends that pickup straight to the output jack, bypassing the tone and any interaction of the other controls; the neck pickup's tone, with the switch pulled up and both pickups selected, puts them out of phase.
Overall, the gloss finishing is really good: typically Gibson in that it's not mirror-perfect, but it's clearly thin, crisply coloured and also pleasantly non-sticking on the neck backs.
The Candy finish on our review model refers to a subtle metallic gold fleck that's barely visible under normal light, more noticeable - still very subtle - under a brighter illumination.
The Standard is a seriously classy performer, though, that feels rich and sophisticated in every position.
Played clean, even the full humbucking tones have a three-dimensional, bell-like complexity that may redefine your expectations of how much clean mileage you can get from a Les Paul Standard. The single-coil voicings are, likewise, a more expressive step up from those of the Studio and Deluxe.
Additional sauce here comes courtesy of the 'straight out' setting, providing a little more raunch, and you get a honky, out-of-phase tone that's useful should you need a T-Bone Walker or pseudo-Varitone-type lead voice to slice through a mix in the studio.
Back in full humbucking mode, crank up your amp or add a nice overdrive pedal and the Burstbucker Pro pickups excel for the kind of classic lead tones that the likes of Clapton, Page, Kossoff and many more used to define the vocabulary of rock.
The Les Paul Standard may be priced dangerously close to a used R8 or R9, but in the heat of battle with a hot, loud amp you'd struggle to get a cigarette paper between the tones on offer here and their Gibson Custom equivalents. Not for the first time, we encounter a crop of new Gibsons (having already reviewed the 2015 Deluxe and Studio), in which the Les Paul Standard sets the standard when it comes to sonic quality.
There's plenty here to alarm the purists - not least that if you want to buy a new Les Paul Standard that doesn't have a brass zero fret, board-mounted components, G Force tuners and non-traditional fingerboard dimensions then you'll have to shell out at least £3,199 for the 'entry-level' Gibson Custom Plaintop R8.
However, our recent conversations with Gibson indicate that the company's 2015 USA model simply isn't aimed at the same players who lust after vintage accuracy - onboard self tuning, more beginner-friendly fretboard dimensions and the like are symptomatic of a conscious decision to appeal to a new generation of guitarists.
Less controversial are improvements in the fit and finish, but it remains to be seen whether the people Gibson is targeting have the funds to splash out on the Standard. The Standard is a real 'heart purchase', but we'd suggest that it's priced in a ballpark that's accessible only to older, well-heeled beginners, rather than the next generation of guitar heroes.
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Les 2015 gibson paul standard
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