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Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul Electric Guitar Review

Gibson Slash Appetite Les Paul Electric Guitar Review

Gibson''s high-end recreations of Slash''s famous Les Paul copy is reviewed.

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

midrange tone.

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.

Buy if...
if you are a die-hard GNR fan or just need a fantastic Paul.
Skip if...
you don’t have an appetite for destruction and aren’t crazy about the specs.

Street $2900 - Gibson USA -