Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded 2016 T

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Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded 2016 T



The Les Paul Studio Faded 2016 T is one of the more affordable Les Pauls, and unlike, say, the very stripped-down CM 2016 T, it’s a fully kitted out, ready-to-rock, twin-pickup beastie. In many ways it’s like an old-school Standard or the current Traditional minus the fancy wood and paint job, instead rocking a faded finish that lets the wood breathe, and gives you the feel of a really well-worn vintage guitar. The body is made of mahogany, and in the case of the review guitar it seems to be a single piece of wood although the spec allows for multiple pieces. The top is book matched plain maple. The neck is one-piece mahogany with a light rosewood fingerboard and 22 frets, and the inlays are trapezoids (a nice concession to fanciness when they could have gone with plain dots to knock a couple extra bucks off: trapezoids really do enhance the ‘real Les Paul’ vibe. Ditto the pickguard). The pickups are a matched set of BB Pro humbuckers with Alnico V magnets and a vintage output level. They’re connected to the standard two-volume/two-tone/one-pickup-selector arrangement. 



It’s quite amazing but of the four guitars we tested on the day these came in to Gibson, this Studio Faded was the best-sounding of the lot. And that’s saying something because they all sounded great. This had more punch and body, more dynamics, and a little more hair in the top end. This made it a really great hard rock guitar, and perfect for nasty blues. I guess the lack of a thick finish allows the wood to breathe a little more. The apparently single-piece body probably helps too. Whatever it is, there’s something in this guitar that expresses a very no-nonsense vibe that filters through into your music. And there’s also something about its look that makes you want to play harder too. It’s a blend of aggressive and classic, and it works brilliantly.



If you want a true Les Paul but you’re on a bit of a budget, this will get you the tone and most of the look. Gibson scores a huge win with this one.