Gibson Les Paul Supreme
Electric Guitar Review!
Gibson Les Paul Supreme a smokin' electric guitar!
If you decided to create an electric guitar with everything just a little better than it usually is, what would you call it?
The Primo? The Grande? The Fat Cat?
When Gibson wanted a Les Paul that was above average, they wanted to give it a name that indicated just how unique it was.
That’s how the 2003 limited-run Gibson Les Paul Supreme was born.
While most previous Les Paul versions were really just color improvements or minor cosmetic changes, the Les Paul Supreme veered from the established Gibson Les Paul tradition in several ways.
Introduced at a National Association of Music Merchants show in January 2003, the Supreme quickly and rightfully drew a lot of attention.
Everything about it was at least a little different from a regular Les Paul.
First, the maple on the top and back was highly figured -- or flamed, as it sometimes called.
The body was chambered and made of mahogany.
It featured custom binding on the top, back, fingerboard and headstock as well as an ebony fingerboard with split-block inlays and an ebony fretboard.
The headstock also featured the Supreme banner in pearloid, and all visible metal was gold in color, immediately telling audiences this guitar was uncommon.
But one of the most unique features was that there was no switchplate or control cavity on the back.
If you’re going to use beautifully flamed maple on the back, Gibson execs told reviewers, you don’t want to mar it with covers and holes.
Pulling it off proved an engineering challenge, but the company’s team accomplished it.
Also unique are the routed-out chambers between the two layers of maple.
Intended to adjust both the sound properties and the weight of the instrument, these chambers are unique to the 2003 Supreme model.
Both the quality of sound and the premium look of the Supreme got good marks from most reviewers at the time, but some players think the Supreme’s look goes over the top.
The heavily grained maple combined with all the gold bits make this instrument too showy or too gaudy for some players.
Still, the Gibson LP Supreme is meant to get attention, both for Gibson and for the players who are bold enough to carry one on stage.
After all, when you step on stage to play an electric guitar, you’re not really intending to hide.
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