Few guitarists are as iconic as Slash, and he’s been a faithful Les Paul player throughout his career. Now, he’s become the first Global Brand Ambassador for Gibson, and there was talk for a long time about releasing a signature model. So, here’s that long-awaited Gibson Slash Les Paul Standard review.
While some might have expected one of those all-too-common gimmicky signature models, this thing is the real deal. Gibson doesn’t mess around. And this model doesn’t stray far from the standard Les Paul formula. It’s got a few interesting details though. So, let’s see how it delivers.
Gibson Slash Les Paul Standard Physical Features
- Body material: Mahogany
- Top material: AAA Flamed Maple
- Scale length: 24.75” (628mm)
- Neck: ’50s Vintage-profile Mahogany
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Frets: 22
- Nut width: 1.695” (43mm)
- Nut material: GraphTech
- Pickups: 2 Slashbuckers
- Tuners: Vintage keystone
Following the traditional formula, the Gibson Slash Les Paul Standard body is a resonant slab of mahogany. To give it a cooler look, there’s a flamed maple top.
The neck is a ’50s vintage design with a custom C profile, also made from mahogany. It’s quite wide and has a rosewood fretboard. Its shorter-than-average scale length makes the strings easier to fret.
Overall, it’s a pretty straightforward Les Paul. The bridge is a standard ABR-1 Tune-o-Matic with a stop-bar tailpiece, and the tuners are vintage-style Keystones for stable tuning.
Slash likes the Les Paul design and hasn’t made any notable modifications to the winning formula. However, he’s gone with a GraphTech nut for the extra tone, and there’s custom art on the headstock.
Now, the main thing that’s different about the Gibson Slash Les Paul Standard is in the Slashbucker pickups, which are essentially modified Burstbucker Alnico IIs. These hand-wired pickups with Orange Drop capacitors provide extra sustain and a very full midrange.
As usual, there are individual volume and tone controls for each pickup. Lastly, there’s a three-position pickup selector.
The Gibson Slash Les Paul Standard is available in November burst and Appetite burst finishes. Limited edition colors also include Vermilion burst and Anaconda burst. All have a high-gloss finish with visible flame maple woodgrain. So, they’re very pleasing to the eyes.
How the Gibson Slash Les Paul Standard Plays
High playability is a key selling point of the ever-popular Les Paul design. With Slash’s custom C-profile neck and the reduced string tension, it’s very easy on the left hand. So, it lends itself excellently to those fast runs and smooth bends that made Slash famous.
The neck width and string spacing make it easy to play cleanly even with big fingers. And the general simplicity and balanced design make it very player-friendly.
Since there’s no weight relief, it’s a pretty heavy guitar. So, playing while standing up for longer sessions may be a little uncomfortable.
In the sound department, the Gibson Slash Les Paul Standard really delivers. It has that mellow, resonant Les Paul tone with very rich mids. And the Slashbuckers make the most of it. There’s a nice subtle bite when you increase the volume.
That being said, it’s great for clean tones as well. Like any Gibson Les Paul, it has a very versatile tone that works for just about every genre.
Gibson Les Pauls aren’t exactly known for competitive prices, and the Slash Les Paul is no different, although it is one of the cheaper models in their roster. With a list price of $2,999, it’s quite the investment. If you’re a fan of Slash or Les Pauls, that’s a worthy price. Otherwise, it’s a bit overpriced.
Gibson Slash Les Paul Standard VS ESP LTD EC-1000 Duncan
ESP’s EC-1000 is one of the most popular Les Paul copycats. It looks and sounds similar, and it performs well despite the competitive price.
Let’s talk about notable differences. The Seymour Duncan JB/’59 humbuckers aren’t as powerful as the Slashbuckers, but they’re good pickups. The bridge is a locking Tonepros TOM, and the locking LTD tuners help provide very stable tuning.
Its components aren’t as finely selected and crafted, but that’s what makes Gibsons so expensive. Those who dream of a real Les Paul but can’t afford one can get a lot of joy out of an EC-1000. Check it out.
Pros & Cons
An in-depth Gibson Slash Les Paul review can be a lot to take in. Let’s summarize the key takeaways.
- Great build quality
- Powerful sound
- Looks like a rock legend
- Great playability
To a big Slash fan, this is probably the ultimate guitar. It’s a trusty Les Paul with impressive specs and a lot of power. Plus, the combination of vintage style and custom details like the artwork makes it a real show stopper.
The tradeoff for the beefy sound of solid mahogany is a hefty weight that can get cumbersome during long sessions. And it is an investment, although it’s far from the priciest Gibson Les Paul.
Final Thoughts on the Gibson Slash Les Paul Standard Review
Without a doubt, this is a perfect guitar for Slash fans. It’s got all the makings of a classic Les Paul and a few unique twists, and overall, it’s an impressive rock ax. But it is an investment, so it’s not suitable for every guitarist. But it’s definitely an appealing guitar.
Are you looking for alternatives? Check out my other electric guitar reviews.