Gibson Les Paul Less+ - Review

I recently bought a new old stock 2015 Les Paul Less+ and although this model has been around for a few years now I felt that as it is really not very well known I thought I would share my impressions of this guitar.

To be honest I never thought I would another Les Paul anytime soon, (well maybe a gold top with P90s, or a TV Yellow Junior, or a ………..) as I already have a 2003 Studio Plus, 2004 DC Faded Special and a 2004 Classic Gold Top. However a current back injury does not allow me to play the two aforementioned Les Pauls as they are too heavy. I also have a Gibson SG 61 RI but although a great guitar it is definitely a different animal to a Les Paul.

Searching for a lightweight LP I found the Less+ model and with some difficulty as these are now discontinued, and also not helped that I live in a 3sq mile British colony on the Southernmost tip of Spain without any music stores I managed to track one down at an online store in Germany.

After four long weeks of pressing F5 on the courier tracking page the guitar finally arrives. The new style ABS gold finished case looks very stylish and will probably stand the test of time better than the previous TKL ones, however I always had a soft spot for the older form fitted cases, especially the ones with the dark grey interior and the shroud cover.

First impressions are good, a quick look at the guitar reveals it is very well made with no visible flaws… confused by the G-Force system I decide to charge the battery module first before any testing. About an hour later the light goes green on the module I insert this into the G-force system and switch on. I strum the guitar and amidst a lot of whirring tuning does not seem successful. I try one string at a time and this does seem to work. However the D and G seem sharp this is confirmed by two different digital tuners. Perhaps I will wait for a few days for the new strings to settle in.

Further research reveals there is an “Accuracy/Speed” settings for the tuners… I can’t imagine anyone who would want an inaccurate tuner so I set it to maximum accuracy and also install a fresh set of strings which is quite a cumbersome process. Tuning Improves.

The guitar is very playable, although the slightly wider neck is immediately noticed, the action is well set and the guitar is very smooth to play especially in the upper registers. After a few practice sessions and several gigs I got used to it with no issues.

Sound wise it definitely sounds like a Les Paul make no mistake, however I don’t think it sounds as thick and creamy as my other two regular Pauls, more like a cross between an LP and an SG, it has its own sound.

The guitar is definitely very light on the shoulder especially more so as I am using it together with a Gibson Comfort Montana strap with memory foam.

I decide to give the G-Force tuners the benefit of the doubt but after one gig it is obvious that the system is not practical, accurate or fast and there is also the issue of possible failure or a discharged battery so I have changed these for manual Kluson type tuners, whilst at the same time changing the brass zero nut for a new titanium as provided by Gibson free of charge.

In summary if you want a lightweight Les Paul this might be the guitar for you but be prepare to change the tuners and nut to make it gig-worthy.

By Ernest H Slade