main sponsor

Gibson Les Paul Classic Plus: A Lester That Was Born To Rock

It may have the usual solid build and high-class finish, but the clue is in the exposed pickups: this is one Les Paul that does NOT think it’s a jazz guitar.

Friday, 18. May 2012  -  by  Richard Purvis

It’s now almost three years since the great Les Paul passed away, but he’s still managing to get his autograph onto an awful lot of guitars. The range of models named in Mr P’s honour shows no sign of dwindling, and most of them stick fairly close to the formula first set down in Gibson’s 1950s golden age: mahogany body with maple cap, glued-in mahogany neck, tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece and a pair of humbuckers.

The Gibson Les Paul Classic Plus has all of those features, and our review guitar boasts a fine ‘vintage sunburst’ finish; the main reason it’s one of the more affordable Lesters on the market is its pickups: they’re ceramic, rather than the alnico types found on the Standard and Traditional versions.

We’re still dealing with a swanky-looking guitar, though. The medium-thin ’60s neck is bound and the pale mahogany finish makes this look and feel like an expensive piece of furniture. But it certainly doesn’t sound like a coffee table. Those ceramic pups are powerful beasts – especially the 500T in the bridge position – and you may find they drive your amp into overdrive at lower levels than you’re used to. The Classic Plus can still do vintage Les Paul sweetness, and there’s no lack of depth to the tone, but things can get a bit hot and bloomy for clean chords and delicate picking.

Distorted sounds in the neck position are fine, but once you try the bridge pickup with a heap of overdrive you won’t want to switch back – this is classic rock tone in a basket. It’s fat and beefy, but with a beautifully crisp attack from the maple top. Slash impersonators, step this way.

Compare these sound samples with the Gibson Les Paul Classic Custom, reviewed here.





Mesa Boogie Mini Rectifier, closed-back 2x12 cab with Celestion Vintage 30s


£1,599 UK, €1,742 Europe, $2,999 US


Follow Us

In The Magazine

20.04.2015 22:02The Who Hits 50: But Where Do They Go From Here?

The Who Hits 50: But Where Do They Go From Here?

Hampered by ill health, but never ones to retire shyly, The Who continue celebrating their 50th anniversary as they contemplate retirement.

Cat: Features
06.04.2015 23:14Don’t Call It A Comeback: Muse, Blur & Faith No More

Don’t Call It A Comeback: Muse, Blur & Faith No More

Guitar Planet grades the creative comebacks from three iconic artists who are attempting to give 2015 a much-needed injection of impetus.

Cat: Features
19.02.2015 22:10Album Round-up: Blackberry Smoke, Papa Roach & Venom

Album Round-up: Blackberry Smoke, Papa Roach & Venom

Guitar Planet takes on new albums by southern stars Blackberry Smoke, nu-metal icons Papa Roach and the legendary Venom.

Cat: Features
15.02.2015 19:345 Things We Learned From The Grammys

5 Things We Learned From The Grammys

The music industry’s glamorous state of the union address was delivered this weekend, but what did the Grammys have to say about guitar music?

Cat: Features
22.01.2015 21:33Enter Shikari – The Mindsweep

Enter Shikari – The Mindsweep

Enter Shikari renew their archly political assault while expanding their sonic horizons on The Mindsweep.

Cat: Album Review
go to Archive ->