This Les Paul Junior bass draws influences from Gibson’s storied EB-0, but also benefits from the addition of some new refinements.
The short-scale bass is often misunderstood. Though the instrument was originally marketed for beginners, experienced bassists quickly discovered the ease of play and huge lows these axes provide. Guitarists also realized that the feel of a short-scale bass was similar to that of a 6-string guitar, making it a viable tool for players who wanted a taste of the low end, but didn’t like the idea of getting used to a longer neck. Hot on the heels of their Thunderbird short-scale model, Gibson USA has released another short-scale bass, this one in the form of the famed Les Paul Junior DC. This Les Paul Junior bass draws influences from Gibson’s storied EB-0, but also benefits from the addition of some new refinements.
The Les Paul Junior DC bass is one of several Gibson USA basses the company is unveiling this year. Along with the Thunderbird short scale (release in March) was an oversized Les Paul bass. Bassists rejoice—we’ll be seeing the Explorer and Flying V basses making their long-overdue return this year as well. And according to Gibson, 2012 also promises to be a big year for basses.
Put simply, Gibson’s LP Junior DC bass is a stunning looker. The mahogany-slab body is finished in the company’s gorgeous Pelham Blue nitrocellulose finish with a deep, baby-blue sparkle and luster. The instrument’s 30.5" mahogany neck is set into the body and topped with a rosewood fretboard housing 20 medium-jumbo frets. And the large, shamrock-style Grover tuners work in tandem with an adjustable 3-point bridge that’s also found on Gibson’s Thunderbird models.
Being a short scale with large tuners, I assumed immediately that the instrument would be rather neck heavy, but it wasn’t as evident as I thought it would be. The neck only drooped slightly after standing up with the bass and a nylon strap, and was extremely comfortable to hold in that position.
The appeal of this bass comes not only from its simple, classic look, but also from its no-nonsense electronics layout. Positioned at the neck is a huge TB Plus humbucking pickup, which is visually reminiscent of those giant humbuckers that sat in the neck position of the company’s infamous EB-0 bass. Because a muddled high end is a common issue with neck humbuckers on basses, Gibson added a ceramic magnet to bring out more snap and highs. An alnico magnet-powered TB Mini humbucker is located in the bridge position for raunchy midrange and tones with a crisp upper end. Each pickup has its own Volume control for various amounts of blending, along with a single Master Tone control. Personally, I would have preferred separate tone controls for further tonal shaping, as some situations call for less highs on the bridge, blended with a sharp, neck tone.
Don’t Call Me Junior!
There’s nothing quite like a good short-scale bass. Even with the incorrect “beginner’s instrument” moniker, some of the most famous players in rock, blues, and R&B have used the super-fat low end these models deliver to carve out intense grooves—Jack Bruce being the first that comes to mind. The downfall to many short-scale basses is that they aren’t known for having a ton of upper-end cut. That said, Gibson’s baby-blue rocker put that assumption to the test, and won in a landslide.
Running into a TC Electronic Classic 450 head and matching 2x10 cabinet, the Les Paul Junior DC’s neck humbucker delivered a surprising amount of meaty high end—and I do mean surprising. It wasn’t sharp and bright—it was more of a thick, rope-like grind that cut through like a knife. The low end was huge and expansive, aided by the neck’s short scale, which allows the strings to vibrate with less tension. I had to drop the neck pickup’s Volume control down about 1/4 turn from full-blast to keep the sound at a manageable volume level—otherwise, it was just overpowering.
The bridge pickup served up its own spectrum of tones, leaning towards a rounded midrange and tighter lows. The output wasn’t as hot as the neck pickup on its own, but a slight blend with the neck pickup poured out some delicious, late-’60s heavy-rock tones. This is where some of the best sounds from this bass originate—setting up the basic tone with the amp and the bridge pickup alone, and then gradually bringing in the neck pickup to fill in the extra space. As I worked through various levels of pickup mixing, I came across a really cool John Paul Jones-esque rock tone just by working with the neck pickup’s volume to get varying degrees of dynamics. Bringing in the neck pickup more yielded a fat low end—à la “Dazed and Confused”—and dropping it right after the iconic riff transformed the tone into one that was perfect for the song’s lead-heavy, driving chorus.
Short-scale basses are instruments that don’t get nearly enough love from players. And the Gibson Les Paul Junior DC is one that deserves some serious attention—whether you’re an experienced bassist or a guitarist looking to transition to the 4-string. On a short-scale model, the low end can be much wider and stronger than what’s normally heard from longer-scale basses, so keeping an eye on your amp’s bass control is a must. If you’re after a comfortable bass with a cool look and killer rock tones, it’s a must look.
Watch the video review:
you’re a bassist in need of bigger lows or a guitarist who wants a bass with somewhat the same feel as your 6-string.
the high-tension feel and snap of a long-scale bass is what’s needed.
Street $1229 - Gibson USA - gibson.com
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
Belltone P-90 Foil-Tron Pickup
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.