The Fender Forum
NEW! LPF Facebook Page
LilyPix
Merchandise & Donations
NEW! Burst Serial Log Home Page
LPF Homesite
Results 1 to 39 of 39
  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    So, a couple of weeks ago I’m killing some time in GC, and I start talking to a guy who is looking for his first nice and cheap Gibson. Not exactly analogous, but we start looking at the bottom of the line and work our way up. There are some nice choices out there these days for under a grand. We get up to the Les Paul Traditional Pro and I start admiring the damn thing. Just for grins I play the thing, and it is very well built, and sounded good acoustically. Then one of the better sales guys in the store tells us about the new Trad Pro II with the boost circuit and push/push pots. Plus, it also has the coil split features. New item...None in stock…yet (bummer). I tell the guy, “that is a good guitar at a good price, but wait for the Pro II”. (he does)

    Well, damn! I start to think about these, and the idea of a “tool box” beater Les Paul grows on me. I already have my 50th Anniversary Historic R0 with flame and full gloss finish to die for, and it is loaded with ThroBaks and has all upgraded hardware, but who wants to beat on that investment piece? Not me! So I start looking on the web for a store that has one of these new LPTPII models. Found one with a 60’s neck on the way home from work…great! Stopped in and didn’t expect much. There it was…ugly tobacco with a 60’s neck. Nice guitar, overall, but I’m not sold on the color. Average tone, and even though I’m a slim neck kinda guy, the neck was pretty good. Have another one here I can try?

    Uhhhh…Then something happened that changed my life forever. There it was. A used Les Paul Traditional Pro II 50’s neck up on the wall that was a nice cherry burst color. I’m not a fat neck fan, but I’ll give it a go. Looks nice. The darker red color on the back and neck is just gorgeous. The moment I put that thing in my hands, felt the neck, and heard the tone and sustain (acoustically) out of that thing, I KNEW it was something special. It “spoke to me”, but it also felt better than any of my other Gibbys. I played the thing for a couple of hours and then “put it on my Spark card”.

    When I got it home, I pre-adjusted the pickup height, and I plugged it into my amp for a proper demo. The earth moved for me. Shit! A few more pickup tweaks and…That’s it! That is the old Les Paul sound that I never thought I could ever own. This is no honeymoon phase, and I am serious about this. No new LP I ever heard made this tinderbox honk. It has that special midrange honk that I have heard all my life (going back to the late 60’s). It’s that dry old wood quality that sounds like the wood would “burst” into flames if it got too close to a heat source. No new Lester I have ever owned, or played, came anywhere close to this. This is a fluke (or is it?). And the neck has this perfect roundness to it that feels like a real ’59 neck. Most comfy neck I have to date. And the radius is different…almost like 13 degrees, or something flatter feeling. Nice rolled edges, too. Fantastic low action like old Gibson guitars. The rosewood on this is awesome! The PLEK is great with no “pinging” in the well-cut nut. And the neck finish (now glossy from being played) feels like golden era finish. None of that plastic feeling crap, and no gummy feel either. No buildup on this finish. How is that possible? Very different from my other Gibbys. I scored a home run!

    Here are some obligatory pics (we all love those), and I’ll continue my review after.













    It has some nice blistering going on, but the burnt orange color is not as nice as what I would want. Minor thing, but I might see if Kim could do the top to look like this real '60 burst:



    That would be killer! I love that yellow center. I digress...

    It came setup to perfection (nice I didn't have to do it) with new GHS strings on it. The sales guy (Russ…good guy…knows his stuff) said he set it up with 10’s. Felt like 9’s to me, but I got some mileage out of them and changed them out to my usual Elixir 10’s. Holy crap!!! Could it get any better? The punch just came up a couple of notches. It is now even better. Perfect balance, and that old type honk is still there in spades, but now with force behind it. It delivers 200%. After a complete setup, I start to evaluate the coil splits and boost circuit. Here are my thoughts about the electronics:

    The Classic 57 and Super 57 pickups sound great! Will I try my ThroBaks in this guitar? Yes, I think so…just for shits and giggles. The bloom may come in time with age on the 57’s. I’m starting to hear that on my older guitars loaded with 57’s. Besides, good is good. How much better could it be?

    The coil taps were originally set up to keep the inside coils active while grounding out the outside coils. Do I like that sound? Not especially. Maybe on the bridge pickup, but I wanted to try reversing that, so I did. The red wires now go to ground and the black wires to the pots. Big difference! It can approach the Strat neck tone…now. The single coil bridge tone is a bit thin. I think I want to put another push/push pot on the bridge pickup (tone control location) to reverse it back for the other tone option. Come to think of it, this will give me an “out of phase” option when using both pickups together. (Trad Pro III ?) I will try this soon and report back.

    My amp and effects rig has more gain then I will ever need, so the boost circuit really was not something I needed, but why not if it is included? Might be useful for sitting in on some gigs with dull sounding generic run-of-the-mill modern Marshall amps (laughs). This circuit is actually pretty neat. I do find it useful. You have to adjust the trim pot inside the control cavity to balance the tone some. Too low and you lose bass. Too high and it turns to mush. Somewhere in between you get a full low end with a bit more crunch bite, and that is where I find it beneficial. Now the classic LP tone turns to metal crunch tone with extra gain. Cool!

    Another plus is that I don’t have to change out the tone caps. It looks like they used tantalum “blue drop” caps, and they sound great. Little suckers, but I couldn’t improve that tone at all. I can even get some thick Reverend Billy juice going when dialed back to about 5 or 6, or so. Good choice, Gibson!

    The pots are not the best (a little loose), but get the job done. Does CTS make push/push pots? I doubt it. The volume pots kick in some good LP tone when dialed back, and at full volume the tone is wide open. I like 8.25 volume or so on the lead pickup for mid gain and tone. Dimed, I like between 7.5 and 9.0 on tone, but the crunch is amazing with everything open. The tone balance of this guitar is as good as it gets. I have never had one this perfect. No tone holes, odd peaks or defects!

    There is one more thing I want to do to this guitar to make it the ultimate tool box. Some are going to hate what I’m about to say. Can you guess what it is?




































    Yes…a robot tuner. I have a generation 1 Tronical system on my V, and it is a bit slow, but the new Min-ETune system is smaller and loads much faster. I watched the YT vids on this new system and I like the way it advances a rough estimate into the next tuning selection before you even strum a note for fine-tuning. Much better than the older system. With the solid 50’s neck on this guitar I think the different tunings will work fine without the neck relief going too far out.

    In conclusion, this may not look like an exact recreation of a ’59 Les Paul, but it sounds like a real one to me. I don’t understand it. No long neck tenon, two piece back (9 ½ pounds…weight relieved?), and chrome Nashville bridge plus standard zamack tailpiece. This is not vintage hardware! But who cares? The locking Grovers look nice and work very well, and the guitar build quality is flawless. Gibson must have taken note here and started doing it right. Maybe they used hot hide glue or a non-condom truss rod…or something. Whatever happened here, it works! And the price was less then $2K. Since mine was used, I basically stole it at much less than that. But sorry…this is not going to be beat on! With the Min-ETune installed it will be a workhorse, though. One of two or three I would take to gigs, and probably #1 if I didn’t need a whammy bar.

    Go try one of these if you get the chance. It’s a good choice with a lot of features that make a good Les Paul even better. It’s a no-brainer. Gibson did this one right.

    PS – One point of contention: Why can’t I find the specs on Gibson’s web site. Info on the build is scarce on the net. It would be nice to know ALL of the details.
    Last edited by PHILBERT; 03-02-13 at 04:16 PM.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member shred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    That left turn at Albuquerque....
    Posts
    3,895

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Congrats, and great review... The Zebras look awesome too

    It's good to know you don't have to break the bank to get a killer LP. Congrats


    "I'm Yngwie J. Malmsteen... and I approve this message"

    Live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZI7HnHaKx8

    shred: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87DeIstQqac

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by shred View Post
    Congrats, and great review... The Zebras look awesome too

    It's good to know you don't have to break the bank to get a killer LP. Congrats
    Thanks, Shred. I would never think this would ever sound this good. It just makes no sense. For all we know about construction and materials, this should not happen!

    This has to be made of "Godwood" or something.

    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member JJC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,014

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    I like the review (and the guitar) - but don't mess with it too much, you might lose the magic!
    Jonathan

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by JJC View Post
    I like the review (and the guitar) - but don't mess with it too much, you might lose the magic!
    Good advice! I know what you mean. Can't leave well enough alone.

    The only thing I want for it is that Min-ETune system. $349 plus shipping from Europe is a bit much. I think I'll wait until they sell them in the States. Maybe I'll buy an LP Future in black, rob the tuner system, and sell it on the Bay as a Goth guitar.

    Cheers!
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member D'Mule's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,568

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Great review! Happy to hear about great modern guitars coming out of the USA factory.
    '94 Gibson LP CS Standard
    '02 Gibson LP '58 CA
    '03 Gibson Firebird CS Non-Reverse
    '05 Gibson LP '54
    '06 Gibson LP '58 VOS
    '12 Squier Bullet Strat
    '14 Squier '51
    '14 Epiphone Genesis Pro
    '92 Washburn D17SCE
    '70s Val Dez Classical
    5F1A Tweed
    V Series V1512
    #698 THD Univalve
    Crate V5 (OpAmp Mod)
    Crate V33 (SLO Mod)

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    But the forum is...still a great place to hang out if you want to chat about guitars or blindside and humiliate unsuspecting chumps with our endless supply of vitriol.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member DanD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,561

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Happy NGD
    "In Heaven all the interesting people are missing."

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Thanks, guys.

    I can't stop playing this thing! And I'm sooo tired. I'm now playing while sleeping.

    Cheers!
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,065

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    I have always avoided the Les Paul Traditional Pro because of the thin 60s neck. Are you saying they make a Les Paul Traditional Pro II with 50s neck?

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Kim R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Up where it's cold -
    Posts
    1,389

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    It's the sound that brings us back, not the specs.

    Great job!
    ______________________

    K

  11. #11

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    now why did you have to show me that!...just kidding..unreal guitar

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by papersoul View Post
    I have always avoided the Les Paul Traditional Pro because of the thin 60s neck. Are you saying they make a Les Paul Traditional Pro II with 50s neck?
    Yes Sir, they do. And it has a really nice feel to it. It is substantial, but to a thin neck guy like me it's round and comfy. Go try one! I think you will like it.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim R View Post
    It's the sound that brings us back, not the specs.

    Great job!
    Boy, is that the truth, Kim. I feel like I came full circle on this whole Custom shop and USA thing. Who cares where it was made? A good guitar is a good guitar!
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by stock_hippie View Post
    now why did you have to show me that!...just kidding..unreal guitar
    Thanks, Hippie. Did you ever get your Les Paul???
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member thunderkyss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    SouthEast Texas
    Posts
    593

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    glad you like your new guitar.

    I'm a fan of big necks.... that's where the tone is.
    My way Your way......................Anything goes toni..........eeeee.....ight

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member Stoj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    2,302

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Congrats Philbert, she sure has a great looking top

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Thanks, thunderkyss. This is a great neck carve. Feels perfect.

    And thanks, Stoj. This top came with an apparition. I just noticed it this morning. I was joking with Vintage 58 about it because his came with one too. Check this out. It's possessed!





    Looks like a demon or some sort of gargoyle, or something.
    Last edited by PHILBERT; 03-04-13 at 03:53 AM.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Kim R's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Up where it's cold -
    Posts
    1,389

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Sorry, the iPad died....

    Anyway,

    Overall instrument design yields fairly predictable sonic results, e.g. Stratocasters, Tele's, Ric's, Les Paul's. All of us could separate clips from these guitars pretty easily; some are skilled enough to name the Gretch's too.

    I think that pursuit of the classic "flavors" of electric guitar morphed into a fixation upon detail over detail within these guitar families, and that subsequently became part of the "reissue" fascination - which doesn't necessarily address tone as much as it focusses on materials and specifications.

    Each to their own, but for me it's the sound of the electric guitar that became preeminent in the 50's, 60's, and 70's that defines the value of today's guitars. If an instrument can produce that sound when in the right hands, it's the right instrument. If not, lacquer, glue, and carve are left to those who appreciate design over function (which is okay too, but it's not the same thing).

    Edit: Yes, the two are related but not to the extent that we might insist they are. I am equally guilty..

    Great thread, IMO-
    Last edited by Kim R; 03-03-13 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Apple turned to sauce
    ______________________

    K

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kim R View Post
    Sorry, the iPad died....

    Anyway,

    Overall instrument design yields fairly predictable sonic results, e.g. Stratocasters, Tele's, Ric's, Les Paul's. All of us could separate clips from these guitars pretty easily; some are skilled enough to name the Gretch's too.

    I think that pursuit of the classic "flavors" of electric guitar morphed into a fixation upon detail over detail within these guitar families, and that subsequently became part of the "reissue" fascination - which doesn't necessarily address tone as much as it focusses on materials and specifications.

    Each to their own, but for me it's the sound of the electric guitar that became preeminent in the 50's, 60's, and 70's that defines the value of today's guitars. If an instrument can produce that sound when in the right hands, it's the right instrument. If not, lacquer, glue, and carve are left to those who appreciate design over function (which is okay too, but it's not the same thing).

    Edit: Yes, the two are related but not to the extent that we might insist they are. I am equally guilty..

    Great thread, IMO-
    True. To me, the whole reissue thing is about the cost of vintage. Would I have a vintage collection if I could afford it? YES! But even vintage guitars have duds and winners. So, I think it is really about something you like when all the parts and pieces make that tone you have lusted for all those years. Not every one is going to "hit the spot". And we learned what we liked by hearing "the masters" that made these models iconic. To that end, this is what drives the market. But is every slap-together guitar in the same basic shape going to nail those tones? I don't think so. Somewhere along the line you need quality materials and construction, and that is where (I think) the obsession comes from with exact re-creations.

    As far as my best guitars, most of them are under $2K, but specific choices were made to, hopefully, yield good tone. My Tele is a light swamp ash, Made in Korea, Fender with a birdseye maple neck. Not the best action (could be fixed), but drop in a set of inexpensive "top of the line" GFS pickups and it is everything a great Tele is about. Stunning tone, and great combo tones too. That said, I have tried many that miss the mark. BTW, I heard a few amateur Strat and Tele GFS demos on YouTube that made my jaw drop. Yeah...that's the classic sound. Their single coil pickups are VERY good, and won't break the bank.

    Another "cheapy" that is one of the most toneful and sparkly guitars in my collection is a $600 Les Paul Special Doublecut (yellow) with new P90's. This guitar always amazes me. It has body and great honkin' mids, but the "splash" and "bloom" (now that it has aged some) blows me away. I will NEVER give this one up.

    Although my ES339 is not exactly what I expected, as I think it is a tad too bright, I find this to be a great "indy" type guitar. You can twist the dials and get the most unique tones out of this guitar. There are many different tones you can get with it. It is a great compliment to my Tele and my LPSDC in a recording. And it is old enough now that the bloom effect is starting to come out. Nothing like good old degaussed (spelling?) magnets for bloom!

    So I am pretty happy with my collection of cheap (mid level) guitars. All I need is a good 335, which I do want to be very close to the "real deal" early 60's examples, and then maybe an EDS1275 for the Page songs that justify it. Do I have some I keep but don't use much? Yes, like my Jackson RR1 that is so perfect in build quality, and looks sooo cool. Doesn't sound all that full, though. I wish the wood was better. And I have an Explorer that is stock and a bit "wide" sonically, but someday I plan to "goth" it and put some EMG's in it...for that type of sound. Oh...and I still need my idea of the perfect Martin D45, which has to be the dream sound I have in my head (Neil Young influence up there ). I tried one years ago made of Madi and Italian Alpine Spruce that just blew my mind. That was "the one" for me, but I didn't have $6K+ at the time. I should have sold my car for that guitar! I may never find another one like it again...and the price keeps going up on them. The Rosewood from India just doesn't do it for me. Again...The quality wood makes the difference.

    Cheers!
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member Pat Boyack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    The Palace of the King
    Posts
    3,740

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    I don't know if this is the case for your guitar but a buddy of mine was doing warranty work on a Traditional and after a number of calls to Gibson about the split coil not working he found out that they don't split at all. Their so called "split coil" is actually a capacitor that just changes the sound. Too funny.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Boyack View Post
    I don't know if this is the case for your guitar but a buddy of mine was doing warranty work on a Traditional and after a number of calls to Gibson about the split coil not working he found out that they don't split at all. Their so called "split coil" is actually a capacitor that just changes the sound. Too funny.
    Hi, Pat. These actually do split. My screwdriver tap test on the pole pieces confirmed which coils were active. The green and white leads, which connect to the bridge between the inner and outer coils, ground out at the switch when it is in the up position. My problem was with what coils remained active...the inner. Not the best tone in those positions, so I flipped the red and black. Much better, especially on the neck pickup. I am going to put another push/push pot in and do a phase rversal option on the bridge pickup. Why not?

    The big question is if I want to try my ThroBak's in this guitar. I like the tone now, although the neck pup is not as clear as what a ThroBak could do (I think). At some point I will give this a try, but I want to really know these 57/super 57 pups before I make the switch. I still am really digging this Les Paul. Tone and play are a dream come true.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    UPDATE:

    I have completed the Phase Reversal (bridge pickup) push/push switch pot upgrade mod on the bridge tone (4th) knob. It is now a Les Paul Trad Pro III (joke, but might be so in the future). This produced some interesting results, and some tone changes that I didn't expect. Please note I reversed the red and black leads on the pickup connections a while ago, and this really improved the guitar in a big way. If you have one, you may want to do this so the outer coils are active in SC mode and not the inner coils. This made single coil tones MUCH more useful, but it did more.

    First, the out-of-phase combo tones are less dramatic than expected, but you can find that gutted mid tone sound that is used on some songs as an intro before the big hammer smashes you over the head. It works! Mixed humbucking and single coil can be interesting, but you really have to play with the balance to get it to work. Not too much happening with this otherwise.

    Second, and most surprising, is the difference in coil sound on the Super '57. These two coils are different animals to the point that reversed (as it came from the factory...black grounded and red hot) the humbucker tone changed, and was not nearly as defined as when the outer (closer to the bridge) coil was on the hot side (black). This could be because of pickup height tuning, as I really nailed the sweet spot on this pup, or maybe it is just better this way. This is a big difference, and the sound is much better now that I reversed the factory wiring, but I didn't expect there to be a difference.

    Third, the inner bridge single coil sound is not near as good as the outer. It is a little quacky, and can do a "Sweet Home" tone in a pinch (that's good), but lacks definition...unlike the outer coil. The outer coil has fantastic splash and (someday) will bloom when the magnets age. The trick is to roll back the volume to 6 or 7, and tone back to 7.5. This gets close to a cross of a Tele and P90 sound in splash and chime. Very useful! (It should have come from the factory that way.) It makes this guitar a different model. How cool you can switch back to LP tone for solo work, and then back to chime for rhythm.

    I have been full circle on the Super '57 pickup adjustments. I kept tweaking the bridge pup until at some point I went too high and it got a little hyper. (No, this is not a "meth" story! ) Anyway, I lowered it again and started over. THIS was educational. The sweet spot is where woody air (cool vintage vibe) meets strong crunch, and any higher loses the vintage vibe and goes into metal land. With the right balance you get vintage rolled back a little, and hard crunch wide open, plus the tone is nice and full...unlike when there is too much air. String definition is great in this sweet spot, but hitting the spot is a matter of very small fractions of a turn. Finding it on this pickup is a bit harder than standard 57's, but well worth it.

    To sum it up, I can't stop playing this guitar. It can do so much. I played it all weeked with great joy (didn't want to put it down). It does 10 distinct tones real well. The two outer single coil combo is real nice when the bridge is around 7 and the neck around 2. My only wish for the neck pickup would be less bass, and that is why I keep it on single coil mode most of the time. There is nothing bad about the range of tone this guitar has (no tone holes). That may be luck, but this guitar is a keeper...and my #1 for all things that don't require a whammy bar.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    I ordered (and paid for) the Tronical Tune Min-Etune direct from Germany on 3/21/2013 and it just arrived yesterday 5/4/2013. I wasted no time installing it on this guitar. After a full charge to the battery, I gave it a try. NICE!

    I followed the calibration instructions, and set accuracy to MAX. It is pretty fast, but even faster in single string mode, so I use that most of the time. I set up my custom tuning bank with the same stored tunings I have on my V. This neck handles the 'way out there' tunings pretty well. If I go from standard to something far from that, it may take two or three tuning cycles to get it perfect, but that is to be expected with any piece of wood. So I am as happy as a pig in shit with this thing. The accuracy is better than the first generation Tronical, and the speed is way better.

    Pictures to follow...stay tuned!

    Last edited by PHILBERT; 05-05-13 at 07:13 AM.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    I really like this thing.

    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    I know I'm most likely talking to myself here, but just in case anyone is interested in these really versatile guitars, here are some new details:

    The range of tones this thing gets was already pretty good, and flipping the red/black wires really improved the single coil tone, but yesterday I did something that really helped the bridge single coil tone become VERY usable...like a close Tele bridge tone. I thought my 4th string was being overpowered in humbucker mode, so I did some pole piece adjustments (raised) on 4, 3 (a little), 5 and 1 until I heard the right balance. Holy cow! Perfect LP tone, but what about the single coil tone now? YES! There it is...that Tele tone. If the guitar were made of swamp ash, it would be very authentic. So when I look at how many really good pickup tones I can get without even needing to chang my favorite volume and tone setting, I get these:

    Killer LP Humbucker Bridge Tone
    Slammin Hard Rock Humbucker Bridge with Preamp On (hard drive with less cream and more crunch and clarity)
    Great Tele-like Single Coil Bridge
    Strat Quack Single Coil Bridge on Phase Reverse (sort of "Sweet Home" like)
    Convincing Strat-like Single Coil Neck (I love this Strat neck tone!)
    Jazzy Humbucker Neck
    Chirpy Combo (SC neck and HB bridge...fantastic!)
    Perky Combo (SC neck and SC bridge...Tele-like combo)

    That is all just with the same vol/tone settings, but if you dime out the bridge controls you get:

    Metal Bridge Humbucker Tone (you might not know this was a Les Paul)
    Yeah...Preamp On Bridge Humbucker Stat Bridge Tone (strange, but very Blackmore-like tone!)

    Then you can get lost in the endless Phase reversal combo selections by playing with splits and balance. The thing about this guitar is it may be the only guitar I need on a gig...as long as I don't need a whammy bar. It really does it all, and does it well. With the added MinE-Tune, there is nothing tuning-wise it can't do. And here is the point...you get all this for much less than a Custom Shop Les Paul. Not that a Historic is bad, but this USA guitar is that good and much more versatile.

    Control cavity shot with 4 push/push switches and neck treble bleed circuit. (lower right is the bridge added pickup phase switch)


    I can't say enough good about the stock 57/Super 57 4-wire pickups, but these little guys are just perfect for tone controls. The rolloff is just right for LP tone and "Woman Tone" in the neck. There are many sweet spots that just ring right for LP tone...depending on how much top-end you want. Wide open is going a bit beyond LP into good general hard rock tone, but it should be noted that dialing back on the volume also adds some LP-like tone. All in all, these stock hardware parts all work very well together. I doubt you could improve anything with Luxe caps or "Superpots". It is as good as good can be. I wouldn't even think of putting ThroBaks in, or changing the tailpiece or studs. I would be afraid of spoiling what I already have!

    Stock caps that have a great rolloff with very LP-like tone. (who makes these? TDK???)


    The Nashville bridge was removed, Nashville (brass) posts were filed and new (old style) wire ABR1 fitted. It was easy to do and this gave the guitar more punch and a nice low mid and bass increase. Not too much, but an improvement. If only I could have a piezo pickup in the bridge, THAT would make this the absolute ultimate guitar!

    Nashville bridge to ABR-1 conversion for bigger tone. (Nashville posts filed)


    Gibson's info on the neck tenon for the Trad Pro. (different from previous short "rocker tenons"...tighter fit...more contact area)


    No Trad Pro II web page, but last year's Trad Pro I web page:
    http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Elec...ional-Pro.aspx

    I have a nice collection of discrete guitars, and they all are optimized for the best tone I can get from them, but I love all the tones I get from this one Les Paul. I NEVER get tired of the sound of this guitar. If I want a quick tone or dynamic change, it is all there and easy to switch in. Gibson really did right here, and with some minor mods you can have it all in one guitar. I wouldn't be talking it up so much if I didn't feel this was the "deal of the century" guitar. It really is that good.

    OK...now that I put everyone to sleep... ...carry on!
    Last edited by PHILBERT; 07-21-13 at 09:51 AM.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  26. #26

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    I've always loved the regular USA 50's neck profile. Probably my favorite one, actually. I wish they'd put it on an ES-335.

    That 'satin' finish that comes on the Trad Pro's back/neck is also great. Looks almost gloss as it is a smooth and polished satin, not that 'spattered' faded that they had on some models. Perfect, really, and would love it on any neck.
    "There's only two things wrong with you, and that's your face." - Greg Koch
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Minibucker View Post
    I've always loved the regular USA 50's neck profile. Probably my favorite one, actually. I wish they'd put it on an ES-335.

    That 'satin' finish that comes on the Trad Pro's back/neck is also great. Looks almost gloss as it is a smooth and polished satin, not that 'spattered' faded that they had on some models. Perfect, really, and would love it on any neck.
    I had to take a break...total tonal Havona...mind overload!

    Agree on all points. Especially the 50's profile. Perfect! The back of my neck has become full gloss. And the top was already full gloss...and easy wipe clean with no dull oil deposits from hands or arm rest. Why is that? I almost thought it was poly, but Gibson says Nitro.

    The rest is satin, but like you say, not that splattered rub-off crap from early 2K's. Very durable. I bet it will also buff to gloss. I just enjoy it as is. The color on the back/sides/neck is also rich dark cherry. Love it!

    Sorry, I can't stop gushing over this. If my primary computer was still working (BSoD), I would make and edit a video demoing all these great tones. If I can script a list of quick changes, I might do it on a single take. That is going to be work. I am not as polished as good ol' Greg Koch.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  28. #28

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Is it as light as the regular Trad Pro?

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Les'isMorePaul View Post
    Is it as light as the regular Trad Pro?
    Uh Oh!

    Don't let BigAl hear that!

    I believe the only difference between a Trad Pro and a Trad Pro II is the push/push controls, boost circuit, and new Super 57 for the bridge pickup on the Pro II. Did you mean regular (non-GC exclusive) Traditional?

    Well I thought mine was 9.5 pounds. For some reason I was weighing myself and then holding the guitar to calculate the difference. Why not just put the guitar on the scale? (Duh!) So it reads 9.0 pounds on the money. I can live with that.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  30. #30

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by PHILBERT View Post
    Uh Oh!

    Don't let BigAl hear that!

    I believe the only difference between a Trad Pro and a Trad Pro II is the push/push controls, boost circuit, and new Super 57 for the bridge pickup on the Pro II. Did you mean regular (non-GC exclusive) Traditional?

    Well I thought mine was 9.5 pounds. For some reason I was weighing myself and then holding the guitar to calculate the difference. Why not just put the guitar on the scale? (Duh!) So it reads 9.0 pounds on the money. I can live with that.
    I was going by the link you sent.

    "The average weight of a Les Paul Traditional Pro body is 5.88 lbs."

    Just would seem incredibly light for an LP.
    Maybe too light if I was prepping to pull it off a stand and expected something more "substantial?"

  31. #31
    Les Paul Forum Member PHILBERT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,610

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Les'isMorePaul View Post
    I was going by the link you sent.

    "The average weight of a Les Paul Traditional Pro body is 5.88 lbs."

    Just would seem incredibly light for an LP.
    Maybe too light if I was prepping to pull it off a stand and expected something more "substantial?"
    I think they were refering to the body alone. Add the neck and hardware and you are up to 9 lbs.
    Phil http://philbert.lh.net/cool.gif

    "Sometimes life is a beach."

    http://youtu.be/ttqhJy9UA9Q

    (warning: 1080P full screen HD content with wide stereo sound. High speed connection advised.)

    http://youtu.be/ybDROZZphAQ

  32. #32

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    My 2014 Traditional Pro II in Heritage Cherry Burst w/ a 50's neck. I got her about 3 months ago. I can't say enough good things about this guitar. There isn't one thing that I dislike. The way I describe it to people is, My 2009 Trad+ sounds like Jimmy Page and my 2014 Trad Pro II sounds like Slash.




  33. #33

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Nice! Congrats and play her in good health!
    Midnight Blues

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Australia - Japan
    Posts
    16

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    That is one beautiful Trad. Enjoy.
    2014 Gibson LP Traditional
    2013 Gibson LP Traditional
    2012 Fender Strat USA
    2013 Fender Strat 62 MIJ
    2014 Fender Strat 54 VSP laquar MIJ

    VOX AC15
    Roland Cube 40

  35. #35

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    My 2014 LPTP2, gold top. My third try, this one works perfectly and sounds great.

  36. #36

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blues View Post
    Nice! Congrats and play her in good health!
    +1!

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member BubbaBurst's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rocky Mountains
    Posts
    5

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Quote Originally Posted by PHILBERT View Post
    Gibson must have taken note here and started doing it right. Maybe they used hot hide glue or a non-condom truss rod…or something. Whatever happened here, it works!
    There's a lot of unpredictable mystery mojo voodoo when it comes to great guitars. All Les Pauls have a certain identifiable sound, but some of them verge on magical. Congrats on finding a good one!

  38. #38

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    Philbert,
    Thanks for the great review! Tons of very useful information here. I just bought a used 2013 TPII today, so I'm still learning about it. I'm going to try your mods, and I'm really interested in doing the phase reversal mod.

    Where did you get the push-push pot for this? Also, do you have some information on how you wired it?

    Thanks again!

    - Mike

  39. #39

    Re: NGD - Les Paul Traditional Pro II - WTF?!

    I got a 2014 Les Paul Standard Traditional PRO II in "Merlot". I've been playing Les Pauls for over 30 years now and never owned one newer than an '82, but when I touched this LP, Dang! It has that "old school" feel and tone to it (and then some). I never would have thought it possible any more, maybe it's a "fluke" but yup! I have one and she's here to stay!!!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Scroll Down And Click On All Of Our Sponsors' Logos For Their Websites!