Here is a super-clean Les Paul Less Plus in Desert Burst nitro lacquer. Tinkering with an iconic instrument is always tricky: Can you make it better and will it outrage the purists? For the 100th anniversary of Les Paul's birth the Les Paul Less Plus is a little of both, and is worth serious consideration.
This 2015 Less Plus Features:
Mahogany body with Flame Maple top, 7.2 pounds
Slim weight-relieved contoured body
Desert Burst finish
Once piece Mahogany neck with Rosewood fretboard
12” radius, 1.795” nut width
.818" first fret, .963 12th fret
Zero fret adjustable nut
Hand-wired pots and caps (no PC board)
57 Classic Alnico 2 neck pickup, 7.9K
57 Plus Alnico 2 bridge pickup, 8.3K
Gibson Chrome covers added by owner
Individual volumes controls, master tone
Coil split switch
Hipshot conventional locking tuners
Original G-force tuners are in the case
Tune-O-Matic bridge with titanium saddles
Plek fret finishing
Gibson molded hardshell case with build certificate
Full fret dressing and setup performed at our shop
The 100th Anniversary Less Plus packed a lot of features that departed from the traditional Les Paul. First and foremost is slimmer weight-relieved body with a rear contour. At only 7.2 pounds, it's a good 2 pounds lighter than many full thickness LP's and while the impact on tone is debatable, lighter weight instruments hold great appeal for many players. There is also a wider C-profile neck that reminds us somewhat of the wide PRS shape. The profile is not particularly beefy, and the extra width does not seem out of place. And if you have larger hands, you'll have more room to work with. The zero-fret nut is adjustable, adding an additional dimension of action and intonation adjustment
On this model they passed up on the PC board internal assembly, opting for hand-wired components, and a separate coil split switch instead of a push-pull pot. This arrangement makes maintenance much easier, and the full-sized potentiometers are a reassuring sight for guitar techs. They also did not mess with the pickups, going with their '57 series Alnico 2 pickups. The moderate output and softer Alnico 2 magnetic pull guarantees smooth tone, a looser vintage feel, and plenty of harmonic richness when gained up.
The bridge-too-far for many players was Gibson's insistence on using the G-Force automatic tuners on many Gibson models. We won't debate the merits, but the response was swift and mostly apoplectic. This guitar was changed over to Hipshot locking tuners, but if you are adventurous, the G-Force tuners are in the case.
Whenever Gibson dares to tweak the formula, there is bound to be blow-back from traditionalists. But this is a very nice guitar that is light weight, well appointed, and is built with top notch hardware and electronics, For a lot of players that don't instantly bond with a traditional Less Paul, it might be just the ticket.
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