Taking design and visual cues from the Les Pauls of the '80s and '90s, the Les Paul Traditional Pro II features powerful pickups with push/push for coil splits and boost circuit, '60s neck profile, Grover locking tuners, antique binding, period-correct pickguard, vintage Gibson top hat knobs, and the revolutionary Plek set up.
With all the fat, sweet, snarling Les Paul tone that purists love, the new Gibson Les Paul Standard Traditional Pro II sports a mahogany body with a thick maple cap for the perfect blend of warmth and clarity. The top is finished in high-gloss lacquer, while the back, sides, and neck have a smooth satin finish that feels great and lets the wood resonate fully. Each Les Paul Traditional also comes with Gibson USA's standard black snakeskin case.
This guitar is in excellent condition. It plays well, sound great and the neck is fast. The neck was slightly sanded to give it more of a smooth glide, it's really unnoticeable however it's a great improvement on this guitar. I took a photo of the neck by the headstock. This a place where the sanding didn't quite make it so it feels a little uneven however it doesn't affect the playing and it's not noticeable. This is one small area of rash on the bottom side. I captured it in the photos. It's very minor.
The creme-colored pickguard has been a Les Paul staple dating back to the models of the late 1950s and the early 1960s. Many players, however, removed the pickguard from their Les Pauls to show off the beauty of the flame maple tops, prompting Gibson to stop installing the pickguard altogether. During the 1980s and 1990s, Gibson began reinstalling the pickguard in the factory, and the Les Pauls from this era once again arrived in stores bearing the classic, creme-colored pickguard. The Les Paul Traditional comes equipped with a period-correct pickguard, designed to protect the maple top.
Revolutionary Plek Set Up
The Les Paul Traditional is the first model from Gibson USA to utilize the revolutionary Plek machine in setting up the guitar. The Plek is a German-made, computer-controlled machine that carefully measures each fret, along with the fingerboard height under each string, and then automatically dresses each fret, virtually eliminating string buzz and greatly improving the overall playability of the guitar. This pioneering process does in minutes what it takes a luthier several hours”sometimes even days”to accomplish. Every fret is accurately aligned, and the guitar is properly intonated, leaving the instrument "Plek'd" and amazingly playable.
To see the process of putting the binding on the Les Paul Traditional is to really appreciate the effort and attention that Gibson puts into each instrument. A lone craftsman will carefully glue and fit 2 pieces of binding around the entire body of a Les Paul. He then winds a single, very long piece of narrow cloth around the entire body until the entire surface is nearly covered. The body is then hung to dry for a full 24 hours before it is unwrapped and moved into the next phase of production. It has been done the same way for over 100 years. Some question the value of adding binding, but Gibson believes it is a fundamental part of our rich guitar-making history. The binding adds elegance to the Les Paul Standard, and helps protect the edges of the body. The neck binding is installed over the fret ends, which eliminates sharp fret edges and provides for a smooth neck and easier playability.