Taking design and visual cues from the Les Pauls of the '80s and '90s, the Les Paul Traditional Pro II features powerful pickups with push/push for coil splits and boost circuit, '50s neck profile, Gr... Read More
Taking design and visual cues from the Les Pauls of the '80s and '90s, the Les Paul Traditional Pro II features powerful pickups with push/push for coil splits and boost circuit, '50s neck profile, Grover locking tuners, antique binding, period-correct pickguard, vintage Gibson top hat knobs, and the revolutionary Plek set up.
With all the fat, sweet, snarling Les Paul tone that purists love, the new Gibson Les Paul Standard Traditional Pro II sports a mahogany body with a thick maple cap for the perfect blend of warmth and clarity. The top is finished in high-gloss lacquer, while the back, sides, and neck have a smooth satin finish that feels great and lets the wood resonate fully. Each Les Paul Traditional also comes with Gibson USA's standard black snakeskin case.
The creme-colored pickguard has been a Les Paul staple dating back to the models of the late 1950s and the early 1960s. Many players, however, removed the pickguard from their Les Pauls to show off the beauty of the flame maple tops, prompting Gibson to stop installing the pickguard altogether. During the 1980s and 1990s, Gibson began reinstalling the pickguard in the factory, and the Les Pauls from this era once again arrived in stores bearing the classic, creme-colored pickguard. The Les Paul Traditional comes equipped with a period-correct pickguard, designed to protect the maple top.
Pickups: Neck - '57 Classic; Bridge - Super '57
Among the qualities that make Gibson's original "Patent Applied For" humbucking pickups so unique are the subtle variations between coil windings. For the first few years of their productions—1955 to 1961—Gibson's PAF humbuckers were wound using imprecise machines, resulting in pickups with slightly different output and tone. The '57 Classic and Super '57 pickups are the result of Gibson's drive to capture and recreate this characteristic. Introduced in 1992, the '57 Classic at the neck provides warm, full tone with a balanced response, packing that classic Gibson PAF humbucker crunch, inspired by those original PAFs that received a few extra turns of wire. The Super '57 bridge pickup debuts in the Trad Pro with a wider frequency response and increased output.
Both are made by Gibson to the exact same specs as the original PAFs, including Alnico II magnets, nickel-plated pole pieces, nickel slugs, maple spacers, and vintage-style, 2-conductor braided wiring. Gibson added poly-coated wiring, which improves consistency by eliminating thick or thin spots on the wiring, and wax potting, which removes all internal air space and any chance of microphonic feedback.
Both pickups offer coil splitting for single-coil sounds and a boost circuit via push/push switching in the volume controls. “Straight Split” coil-splitting offers pure single coil tone and differs from LP Standards and Studios that have a “Super Tap” coil-tap, which still has a small amount of humbucking. The boost circuit has a user-adjustable 10-dB boost for added power and frequency range for solos, single-note picking and dirty chording (depending on amp settings) and features true bypass that disengages the boost completely, ensuring pure passive Les Paul tone.
Revolutionary Plek Set Up
The Les Paul Traditional is the first model from Gibson USA to utilize the revolutionary Plek machine in setting up the guitar. The Plek is a German-made, computer-controlled machine that carefully measures each fret, along with the fingerboard height under each string, and then automatically dresses each fret, virtually eliminating string buzz and greatly improving the overall playability of the guitar. This pioneering process does in minutes what it takes a luthier several hours—sometimes even days—to accomplish. Every fret is accurately aligned, and the guitar is properly intonated, leaving the instrument "Plek'd" and amazingly playable.
To see the process of putting the binding on the Les Paul Traditional is to really appreciate the effort and attention that Gibson puts into each instrument. A lone craftsman will carefully glue and fit 2 pieces of binding around the entire body of a Les Paul. He then winds a single, very long piece of narrow cloth around the entire body until the entire surface is nearly covered. The body is then hung to dry for a full 24 hours before it is unwrapped and moved into the next phase of production. It has been done the same way for over 100 years. Some question the value of adding binding, but Gibson believes it is a fundamental part of our rich guitar-making history. The binding adds elegance to the Les Paul Standard, and helps protect the edges of the body. The neck binding is installed over the fret ends, which eliminates sharp fret edges and provides for a smooth neck and easier playability.
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Reviewed by 9 customers
Displaying reviews 1-9
I have had my 2013 Trad Pro 2 for about 6 months or so. I purchased the Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish model from the Guitar Center in Lansing, Michigan. About 6 months prior to that, I had purchased a 2013 Gibson SG Standard from the same location. The SG has the 60's neck profile and the LP has the 50's neck profile. The SG has dual 57 Classics. Even with their similarities, they are completely different animals. When I went to buy my LP, there was a 2013 Les Paul Standard on the wall with the same finish, no pick guard and different electronics, for the same price. I went with the Trad Pro 2. It had the features I was looking for. A month after I bought it, I took it back to GC to take advantage of the discount for a set up. The technician set it up perfectly, and it has held dead straight and perfect through 3 subsequent string changes. No adjustments of any kind were needed. The 2013 Les Paul Trad Pro 2 is by far the best guitar I have ever owned. It was love at first sight and every day gets better. The adjustable boost pot will take some fiddling with to get it set right for your playing. This is my first experience with Grover locking tuners and I'm sold on them. A sunburst finish Les Paul, with the additional features of 10dB boost and true coil splits with locking Grovers for under $2,000? That's a lot of bang for your buck. The Super 57 in the bridge is a fairly hot pickup. I can tell a big difference in tone from a stock 57 Classic. And the Super 57 actually cleans up pretty well without loosing a lot of volume. Go into the store and play a LP Standard and then play a Trad Pro 2. If you do, you'll get the Trad Pro 2 and save yourself $1,000 over a 2014 or 2015 LP Standard. They are that good.
My new Les Paul Pro 2 Gold Top with available 50s neck option is a sensational guitar. Out of the box a perfect guitar. This model features Gibson's new 'plekking' technique making the frets absolutely perfect, level, absolutely ready to play. I suggest a complete setup with your guitar shop pro to make sure everything is absolutely perfect and you'll have an instrument fit for a lifetime, it plays beautifully, sensational sounds from the split pickups, real power from the 10db boost. There are a lot of new electronics, split pickups featuring Humbuckers, it's almost overwhelming and sounds absolutely wonderful. I am very, very happy with this guitar, get one before this special edition is gone, they are keepers.
I used to play guitar when I was a teenager. After a 20 plus year break, I decided to start playing again. I walked into the Guitar Center in Lansing Michigan back in October of 2013. That day I purchased a 2013 Gibson SG Standard in Heritage Cherry. The SG is a very, very nice guitar. Beautiful finish, amazing 60's profile neck that feels rally nice in your hands. However, something was missing. I still wasn't getting the tones I wanted. When I decided to start playing guitar again, I made a Bucket List of guitars I wanted to own. The SG was at the top of the list, second was a Les Paul. In March of 2014, I returned to Guitar Center. I went there originally wanting a 2013 Les Paul Standard, until I saw the Les Paul Traditional Pro 2. It was love at first sight. Heritage Cherry sunburst finish,50's neck profile, exposed zebra bobbin pick ups, coil splits, and a 10dB boost pot. The finish is stunning on the front, the rest of the body is a satin finish. It plays as good as it looks. The LP feels to be about twice the weight of the SG. The LP is a very stable instrument, compared to the SG. Tone differences between the SG and LP are like night and day. I can get any tone I want with the Les Paul Trad Pro 2. The only problem I had with it was that I could not get the battery door open. I took it back to Guitar Center and had the technician, Jet, shave the tabs on the door down a little. Problem solved. Everything about the buying experience was first rate. I went with the Trad Pro 2 over the Standard because of the value. No high gloss finish on the back of the guitar meant Gibson saved time and money on the finish, and put that money into things to make the Trad Pro 2 more budget friendly. No high gloss finish on the back of the body meant I got "free" Grover locking tuners. In short, 50's neck profile, 57 Classic in the neck position, Super 57 in the bridge position, true coil splits, 10dB boost pot, Grover locking tuners, high gloss Heritage Cherry sunburst finish all adds up to one great guitar for the money. I could not be any happier with it. I'm looking forward to seeing what my pair of Gibsons look like in 40 years.
Just picked up mine late last week. Had to drive 3.5 hours just to get to my nearest GC. It was completely worth the all day trip. This is the absolute BEST Les Paul that I have ever owned. It was ready to rock right off the wall at GC. Action was low and fast and when I played it through my Fender BDRI it was amazing. The construction was letter perfect redeeming Gibson of its past QC issues. The pups are just what I was looking for. I play Blues and some Classic Rock. Got both genres covered with this truly amazing guitar. Like others I was fearful of the "thicker" '50s neck. However it fit my hand like an old friend. When playing I get the feel of the strings through the neck like never before on any other guitar. Its almost like I can "hear" the guitar through my fret hand. Putting my guitar neck near my ear and strumming a chord it is much louder than any other of my guitars. IMHO Gibson got it right with this guitar. It is truly a tone monster. Very happy I added this to my stable of guitars. Way to go Gibson and thanks for such a quality instrument. Thanks GC for the reasonable price.
As a long time player, pro guitar tech, and recording engineer I've had the opportunity to play some great Les Pauls over the years; this guitar is one of the best incarnations Gibson USA has come up with. The first thing that caught my eye was the beautiful Honey Sunburst finish over the beautifully figured Maple top; it's not a AAAA Flame or Quilt, but absolutely glows. It has the vibe of a vintage axe, gently faded, and warm. The '50's neck fit my hand like a glove, and plays like butter! The Plek has to be the greatest thing to happen to guitars; it allows you to get seriously low and fast action. The guitar played wonderfully at the store; but, like any guitar, needed to be dialed in once I got a set of fresh strings on it. The tone of this guitar is nothing short of incredible; the switching options allow you to get a single coil sound that is reminiscent of P-90's (If you really want that tone, flip your pickups so the adjustable poles are towards the middle of the guitar) giving you versatility for stage or studio. The Super '57 and Classic '57 give up the quintessential Les Paul tone; sweet and clear when played clean, downright bluesy and nasty when you kick in the distortion. Weight wise, it's a traditional Les Paul... Some are heavy, some not; this one isn't a backbreaker. Unplugged, it has fantastic ringing sustain; just what you'd expect from an axe bearing Les Paul's name. This is a MUST have guitar for any serious player!
Until trying this guitar, Gibson has just been a high price tag. I found this model to provide exceptional value. To compare this guitar to my other Gibson, a 1998 Les Paul DC Std, there are night-and-day differences. I like the 50's neck as it fits my hand better and seems to sustain like there's no tommorrow. The pickups are hotter and more responsive than the 490/498. And the best difference, the satin finish on the back (to reduce cost) is slick and fast. Feature-wise, the locking tuners (which you normally see on trem guitars) make sting changes faster and are a nice value. The push-push coil taps are fast and give you more tone options. The 10db boost is just ok - it provides an option, but it is not the same sound as a high-output pickup (JB, Tone Zone, etc) - YMMV based on your rig. Finally, the honeyburst is light and just breath-taking. Absolutely a piece of art. I compared this to a used 2008 standard which was selling for the same price as this new model, and there was no comparison. The Traditional Pro II slayed it.
I have owned some great Les Paul guitars over the years. VOS Custom, Custom Pro, Classic Plus, Traditional Plus, and the new 2012 Standard Gold Top. I went to my local Guitar Center to try out the Traditional Pro II. They had a Honey burst with a 50's neck. I compared it to an original Traditional Pro, a Traditional Pro II with a 60's neck, and the new 2012 Standard. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the appearance, tone, and playability. There was something really special about this guitar and I had to have it. I ended up taking home the Honey burst Traditional Pro II. After getting it home, I compared it to the Les Paul guitars I listed at the beginning of this review. The Traditional Pro II out performed them all. I believe it is the combination of the one piece back, the 57 Classic and new Super 57 Classic pickups, Grover locking tuners, plek'd frets, and 50's rounded neck. This guitar has all the classic vibe of a high quality Les Paul. The modern features of locking tuners, push/push pots, and the db boost makes it that much better. Even the satin finish is smooth and fast. It performs very well with different tunings . The guitar always stays in tune. The volume pots are excellent. I love everything about this guitar. It's now my number one goto. The Traditional Pro II is without a doubt, the best Les Paul I've ever owned.
Great guitar. All modern accoutrements, with a classic vibe. The neck feels fantastic on this thing, my fingers just fly.The fit and finish on it was quite good, but once it was set up, wow. I love the coil splitting, and the high output pups. This isn't your grandfather's LP, it's a modern machine with vintage appearance. Bravo Gibson, you finally did something right. :)
I have owned a few Les Paul's in my time. A 1997 Les Paul Classic Plus, Custom Shop Custom Pro, '68 VOS Les Paul Custom, new Les Paul Standard(2012), and Les Paul Traditional Plus. The Traditional Pro II out performs them all. While I was at Guitar Center, I compared it to a Tradition Pro, Traditional Pro II w/60's neck, and a new 2012 Les Paul Standard. It out performed all of them. I ended up with a Honeyburst with a 50's rounded neck. The guitar was set up perfectly. I didn't have to make any adjustments, which is rare. The finish is flawless. I wasn't sure if I would like the satin finish on the neck at first. After putting it through the paces, the neck felt smooth and comfortable. My hand never felt fatigued, and I don't have large hands. The lockingtunerss are a great feature. The guitar stays in tune. Even that pesky G string that always seems to slip on most Les Pauls. Not on this one. Coil splits with push/push pots is a brilliant idea. I don't know why Gibson didn't come up with this idea sooner? The db boost pot is another great feature. The trim pot is set to the center from the factory. I tried it full on. It was way more than I ever would need. I actually set it just below center. It gave me just the right amount of push to the preamp on my amp. Where the boost is really helpful is on the clean channel of the amp. It creates a nice crunch that idynamicic to the strum of the pick. The guitar is heavy, a solid build. The Super 57 classic pickup is a powerful pickup. Right up there with the 500 ceramic pickup. Only cleaner and warmer sounding. It doesn't have that hollowed out sound of a burstbucker pro 2 or 3 pickup. I've tried it with different tunings. Drop D, 1/2 step down. It performed perfectly. The volume pots actually do what they are supposed to do. I can roll off the volume and clean up the tone without the sound dropping out. I love everything about this guitar. It has all the features anyone could ask for. It plays and sounds incredible. It is very versatile. I would put it up against any Custom Shop Les Paul any day. The best part is, I didn't have to pay the Custom Shop price tag.
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