||Download Example 1
Clean - Toggle between neck only, neck and bridge, bridge only. Recorded direct into Pro Tools.
||Download Example 2
Distorted - both humbuckers on, recorded through Eleven Rack into Pro Tools
||Download Example 3
Riffs - Bridge Pickup. Recorded with PRS Sweet 16 head & cab, Shure SM57, Pro Tools.
||Download Example 4
Solo - Neck Pickup. Recorded with Eleven Rack with Treadplate Red preset.
Whether you like Slash as a guitar player or not,
you can’t deny the fact that he brought Les Pauls
back into the spotlight at a time when pointy guitars
with Floyd Rose tremolos were the in thing.
When it seemed like every other rock guitar player
was playing a million miles an hour with their
hammer-ons and arpeggios, Slash’s guitar playing
reintroduced the bluesy element that seemed to
be missing from rock.
A major part of Slash’s tone was his trusty Les
Paul. In 1987, Slash was recording the basic tracks
for Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, and
he was having a hard time getting a good sound.
The band’s manager, Alan Niven, bought a Les
Paul for Slash to use in the studio. Slash promptly
fell in love with it and it ended up being his main
guitar for years. It’s no secret that this guitar was
not actually a Gibson, but a replica of a ’59 Les
Paul that was handbuilt by a California luthier
named Kris Derrig. Back then, Gibson didn’t make reissues, so this was the closest to a ’59 Les
Paul that Slash could get.
Over the years, there’s been huge fascination
about the gear Slash used on
Appetite, and that gritty, warm overdriven
sound has become somewhat iconic. Slash
has said that so many fans have asked him
about the Les Paul he recorded with that
he felt it was a good time to recreate the
guitar for those die-hards.
Under the Microscope
The Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul incorporates
many of the most sought-after
features of the original Les Paul Standards
from 1958 to 1960, such as a slim,
’60s-style neck profile and a body based
on a 1959 Les Paul, just like Slash’s original
guitar. It also features the new Seymour
Duncan Alnico II Pro Slash signature humbuckers,
a gorgeous, AAA-grade figuredmaple
top with a nitrocellulose finish, and
a rosewood fretboard with traditional trapezoid
inlays. Hardware includes a TonePros
Tune-o-matic bridge and a stopbar tailpiece.
The Slash graphic on the headstock
and case show the world how proud you
are of your cool axe.
One of the major thrills in receiving a brand-spanking
new guitar is just opening the
case for the first time, and this guitar did
not disappoint. The finish on Paul was absolutely
stunning! The highly flamed, two-piece
maple top features the exclusive “Appetite
Amber” or “unburst” finish, which replicates
how the sunburst finish fades over time and
leaves only a deep amber glow. I love the
way this finish looks and it really gives the
guitar a vintage vibe. Further, the guitar I
received definitely had one of the nicest
tops I’ve seen on a Les Paul.
After just admiring the guitar in its case for
a little while, I had to pick it up and play it!
I noticed a couple things right away. First
of all, I like the slimmer ’60s profile neck.
It felt really comfortable in my hand. And
the guitar was perfectly set up right out of
the case—easy playing and smooth fretting,
with low action. Just how I like it. You can
definitely dig in and do some wide bluesy
bends, but you could also play fast and
shred if you wanted to. The Appetite Paul
is a bit lighter than some other Pauls I’ve
played. Like all current Pauls with binding
(like the Traditional and the Standard), it
has nine strategically routed holes in the
mahogany body. When I first heard about
these weight-relief holes, I was concerned
about how they could affect sustain and
tone. However, Gibson says it has done
extensive testing showing that, as long as
the holes aren’t near the bridge or tailpiece,
they don’t adversely impact tone. It’s pretty
evident with the Slash guitar, too, because
there was plenty of sustain and resonance,
even when playing the guitar unplugged.
The Ultimate Test
I plugged the Appetite Paul into a variety
of amps, but naturally chose my Marshall
cabinet first for instant gratification. The
classic-rock sound just poured out of the
speakers. All the elements of the Les Paul/
Marshall rock tone were there—thick,
chunky, deep tones when playing chords,
and long, singing notes when playing leads.
I own a 2008 Slash Les Paul with Alnico II
pickups, so I was able to compare them
to these new Slash signature pickups. I
noticed that the new humbuckers have a
brasher, more aggressive sound with a dirty
tone, and a greater dynamic range that’s
really evident with a clean sound. These
pickups definitely have a boomier low end,
smoother mids, and a brighter, crisper high
end than the Alnico IIs in previous Slash
models, which seemed to have more of a
Although I’ve been a fan of earlier Slash
Les Pauls, I will admit that I was a little
skeptical about this Slash model at first, if
not simply because it can be considered a
replica of a replica. However, if you take
away the back story and just look at the
guitar for what it is, you’ll discover that it
really is a great guitar worth checking out.
It’s a well-built, high-quality Les Paul with
flawless playability and gorgeous looks.
Some players may not be crazy about the
Slash logo on the headstock, but it is his
signature model after all. Price-wise, it is comparable to
other Gibson USA
Les Pauls. And while
that price may be
out of reach for some
guitarists, you do get
what you pay for. The
Gibson Les Paul is a classic
for a reason. And with
its traditional specs and a
few modern enhancements, the
Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul is
an instant classic.
if you are a die-hard GNR fan or just
need a fantastic Paul.
you don’t have an appetite for
destruction and aren’t crazy
about the specs.