This is a review of a Les Paul Custom Apline White purchased from Thomann.
Firstly the service from Thomann was excellent. Very helpful communication by phone and email and a 4 day delivery time to the UK. The guitar arrived nicely packaged. I have bought from Thomann on 4 occasions now and have always had excellent service.
Back to the guitar.
Box/Case/Guitar: The guitar came in a sealed boxed that I think had not be opened since it left the factory in the USA. Inside was the newer Custom tan case and custom shop certificate passport. I think I prefer the older black cases but that just my opinion. The case doesnt include any candy at all. No lead,stickers,cloth etc. I like this though. Just minimal splendour. I love the Apline White finish with Gold Hardware. It's a fine looking instrument.
Build/Fit/Finish Quality: Having watched how Gibson builds guitars on YouTube and in particular the Les Paul Custom I was impressed with the build quality and finish. I know that a lot of the build is done by hand. The binding in particualr is a highly skilled process. I also know that the white nitro finish is a demanding process as white shows all airbourne impurities when spraying. I couldn't find any flaws at all in the finish. All the hardware was fitted nicely. There is a sense of "by hand" craftsman ship with this guitar. They will all be slighly different and unique. I like that.
The only one minor "flaw" I noticed is that there must be a tiny piece of dust/wood shaving in the chamber cavity. There's a very slight noise of something moving around in there. It's not too audible and doesnt impact playing at all. I will class this as a personality trait.
Setup/Playing experience. The out of box set-up was suprisingly perfect to my taste. The action was perfect, the fretword immaculate. It was nice to see fine tooling marks where the binding on the end of the frets had been dressed by hand. The guitar has good intonation and is resonant. The pickups were set up with good balance. This guitar plays like butter.
Sound: Im not going to be able to describe this well. Sound is too subjective. To my ears the the Custom has a wide array of sounds in the 3 pickup positions. All genres of music could be played on this from Jazz to Metal. The tone pots are very usuable and offer a lot of variation. I have 3 Les Pauls. A 2008 Standard and Les Paul Deluxe and now the Custom. They all sound different but fabulous. I would say the Custom has a more varied musical range of tones.
Richlite v Ebony - the big debate: Initially I was a purist Ebony fan. But common sense took over. I've played a few guitars (mainly acoustics) with Richlite and cannot fault it.
My guitar has a Richlite board (calm down its ok) and I think its a fine material. Yes its not organic or as aesthetically pleasing as Ebony but as functioning material I cant fault it. It looks nice, solid, stable and jet black and plays very smoothly.
Summary: The Custom is an outstanding instrument. It's a privelege to own and play. I would recommend trying one. Once bitten forever smitten though.
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