Gibson Jimmy Page Les Paul Review

Gibson Les Paul Jimmy Page Review

There’s a story behind this guitar that some may find hard to believe. I purchased this guitar in 1996 from Musical Exchanges in Birmingham England and from the outset the guitar sounded awesome – this guitar was used extensively on the Rainy Days Album back in 96, the Live! Album and on some tracks from the Blue Moon Album of 1999.

There was one problem, it kept breaking top E strings. The guitar was returned to the supplier and they “fixed it” but within a week the strings were breaking again ( around 10 a week! ). The supplier changed the bridge from a brand new guitar and the breakages dropped down to three or four strings a week…. not really good enough because this guitar was used as a main instrument at that time. The supplier decided to order a replacement from Gibson and in the meantime loaned me the one that the bridge had come from. This guitar did not break strings but it had been extensively misused and had multitudes of lacquer cracks – common on Gibson guitars.

The loan guitar sounded so different to the one that I had bought that it was hardly usable and I decided that this must have been due to the misuse of that instrument. After around six weeks the new guitar arrived at the suppliers and I took the old one with me to collect the replacement. The new guitar looked fine and I was about to leave but something told me to “just checkout the sound” on the guitar.

The supplier had a Boogie Mark IV in stock so I plugged in, cranked the volume and…. the sound was as crap as the one that they had loaned me. I immediately spoke with Gary the man at the top in the store and demonstrated that the sound was not acceptable. Gary still had my old guitar – the one in the picture below – to compare and sure enough this guitar blew away BOTH of the other instruments in the comparison. Remember, these were exactly the same Gibson Model’s.

It was decided there and then by me that I was not going to let this guitar go back to Gibson at all, and he changed again the bridge from the new guitar to the one that he originally had. The supplier merely said that my guitar had a wiring “fault” and that his other guitars were the way the JP Les Paul should sound (!) …. but he did agree that “the others were not playable” when compared to my original guitar.

Today, the guitar will typically take out a string in around 3 hours continuous playing – not a problem if you KNOW this.

Well with a background like the one above – surely it’s time to sell this pain in the neck? Well no – it’s probably one of the best sounding guitars I have – with that custom Jimmy Page neck – and it really is – this guitar is a keeper. The prices on these is now rising. When Gibson bought out the new revision of this they and others slagged this one off as a ‘poor copy’ of Jimi Pages guitar – but that was not always the case. Originally they said this was an exact copy.

Who knows – and I don’t care. All I can say, is that if you want a REAL Les Paul – then this is as good as it gets – broken strings and all. I don’t really mind those they are cheap to fix. This guitar cost £2800.00 pounds in about 1995 so it was very expensive then. I have seen these fetching more than £5000 pounds in the UK in this condition if you can find one – most are tatty.

Jimmy Page Les Paul Review

Features: This awesome guitar was made in 2005 in the Gibson customshop series. The uneque features of this guitar are endless, mainley because it is based on Jimmy’s origonal #1 LP. This makes for some interesting features such as the eliptical 22 fret neck, this can feel strange at first however and isn’t for everyones taste, I found I got used to it within a day or two. A friend however who doesn’t usually play Les Pauls found it very tricky, it might be worth playing this guitar a while before you buy it. te neck is painted and varnished as with any Les Paul Standard form its design time but this does not effect the speed or sound. And the sound is very rich with this guitar the active humbuckers (Page signature also) have a huge range and a really high sustain due to the carved maple top and mahogany body. The aged rosewood fretboard also makes an eaisy playabitity for any music style. As with any other les paul you get the standars 2 tone and 2 volume dials and a three way selector, the selector is a nice feature as it is dampened so there is no clicking sound when it is moved. Also a uneque feature, the single push/pull pot which adds to the overall feel of this guitar.

Sound: As I’ve said this guitar fits any sound but it shines in 3 main areas of rock. The first is heavy distortion for sounds like Black Sabbath and Metalica this guitar’s high resinence helps get a really high sustain on loud vicious harmonics and tapping. The second is the classic rock sounds of Led Zeppelin, naturaly, but also of bands like Thin Lizzy and Deep Purple as well as the heavier classic sounds of Guns N’ Roses. The third particularly special sound of this guitar is its low gain acoustic sound this works exelently with the right pedal (to Switch from acoustic to electric sounds and vice versa) to play Stairway To Heaven for example. For its price range you expect alot from this guitar and it never fails.

Action, Fit & Finish: I can’t really find any fault with this guitar as it was ready to play with low – medium action and a fantastic set of tuner pegs (made by Grover) the finish is as beautiful as it looked during the old live Led Zeppelin DVD. The only thing I will mention again is the eliptical neck this was an un expected feature on this guitar for me. Though it does make playing eaisier if you can adjust to it but if not the it is a waste of a hell of alot of money.

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is a near as possible exact replica of Jimmy Page’s Les Paul from 1958 (I think) and it really feels like it is built to last in every aspect. I have used it live meany times already, once never using another guitar for the whole hour and a half non-stop show. everything about this guitar is exactly as I wanted it to be and I can depend on it in every situation, session or gig.

Impression: I already own 6 Les Pauls one of which is a 1962 Classic. This guitar rivals my Classic Les Paul very well in all styles that I play (just about everything for my session work). I really do depend on it as a main guitar most of the time. If it were lost or stolen I would need to buy another one simpally because there is no other guitar like it. It may be expensive but worth it every single time it is played it amazes the owner and the audience.