Gibson Les Paul Custom – How Good Is It? [REVIEW]

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

gibson les paul custom review

If you’re wondering whether getting the Gibson Les Paul Custom is a good idea or not, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that popular high-end model. It’s quite expensive, but is it actually that good?

The answer is YES! Gibson Les Paul Custom offers a truly exceptional quality. It definitely looks, feels and sounds like an axe from the highest shelf. Surely, all guitarists will be extremely happy after adding it to their own guitar collections.

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the LP Custom so good and so popular. Firstly, we’ll start with a quick overview of the specifications of that model. Additionally, we’ll compare it with a few other Gibson and Epiphone guitars and we’ll have a look at the biggest pros and cons of that model.

Overview – Specs & Pricing

Gibson Les Paul Custom is a high-end electric guitar designed for the most demanding guitarists out there. In fact, this is one of the most popular premium models manufactured by this brand!

What makes it so cool? Well, the guitar features a solid mahogany body with a maple top. It also has a comfortable mahogany neck with an easy-playing ebony fretboard. This is a big advantage of that model, because it allows you to practice and shred for several hours without getting tired.

Gibson decided to equip this model with a pair of superb pickups: 498T and 490R humbuckers. They sound absolutely amazing and they’re really versatile. No matter whether you’re into jazz, rock or metal, you can be sure the responsiveness of these pickups won’t let you down.

It is also worth mentioning that Gibson Les Paul Custom looks absolutely amazing too. It’s clearly visible that this is an expensive, high-end guitar. On top of that, this axe has a wonderful nitrocellulose lacquer finish which enhances the tonal qualities of that guitar.

When it comes to pricing, let’s be honest – it’s a really expensive guitar. It’s significantly more expensive than other popular models made by Gibson (such as Gibson LP Tribute, Standard ’50s or Standard ’60s). However, in my opinion it’s not overpriced at all. The best gear in the world is never cheap!

Here’s a quick sound demo – feel free to check it out below.

About The Pickups

As you’re already aware, Gibson Les Paul Custom has a pair of two amazing pickups:

  • 498T humbucker (bridge)
  • 490R humbucker (neck)

Both of them are equally awesome, but there’s a few things that differentiate them. The 490R humbucker sounds really close to the original PAF, so it has a subtle upper-mid bump which results with an extraordinary clarity and definition. It’s fantastic for all rhythm guitar parts.

At the same time, the 498T humbucker puts more emphasis on the mids and highs, so it’s an ideal choice for crunchy riffs and screaming solo leads. The sustain of that pickup is out of this world, so it’s a perfect choice for heavier styles of music.

About The Hardware

The manufacturer equipped the Gibson Les Paul Custom with the Tune-o-matic bridge with a stopbar tailpiece and Grover Kidney tuners which guarantee a really good tuning stability. This is really important, especially when you’re often performing live.

Of course, there’s also a classic 3-way toggle pickup switch along with two volume and two tone controls.

Pros & Cons

Just like any other electric guitar available on the market, Gibson Les Paul Custom has its own advantages and disadvantages. That’s totally normal! However, it seems pretty clear that the cons of that axe are really subjective, because it’s pretty much a flawless instrument.


There are a lot of things that can be considered as major advantages of that guitar. Gibson Les Paul Custom looks, sounds and feels like a real piece of art. It exceeds all the expectations and it’s perfect for professional guitarists. Additionally, it comes with a top quality hardshell case. Who needs anything else?


The main disadvantage of this Gibson guitar is the undeniably high price. This is probably the biggest obstacle that you may face if you’re thinking about adding it to your own collection. Surely, not many guitarists will be able to get it straight away without having to save up for a long time.

But even though it’s an expensive guitar, it’s totally worth it. I’m sure that anyone who’s searching for a high-end axe will be really satisfied after choosing the LP Custom. It’s a dream guitar!

Here’s an another demo.

Who Is It For?

Gibson Les Paul Custom is suitable for guitarists of all levels. You don’t have to be an experienced player to notice the uniqueness and the exceptionally high quality of that model.

However, since it’s a really expensive guitar, it’s mainly recommended for intermediate and professional guitarists.

This is a fantastic instrument to record and gig with. If you’re searching for a new guitar to record your next album with, Gibson Les Paul Custom is a safe bet. It cuts through the mix perfectly!

Of course, just like any other classic Les Paul model, this is a fantastic axe for rock and metal genres. Whether you’re a rhythm or lead guitar player, you will definitely enjoy the versatility of these 490R and 498T humbuckers.

Overall, I’m positive that the vast majority of guitarists will really enjoy playing on that high-end model. There’s just nothing to complain about apart from the high price. It’s a flawless axe which is a true piece of art!

Gibson Les Paul Custom vs Epiphone Les Paul Custom

As you’re already aware, Gibson Les Paul Custom is not a cheap guitar, so not everyone can actually afford it. That’s why a lot of guitar players decide to choose a much more expensive Epiphone Les Paul Custom. But can it actually compete with that high-end Gibson?

The truth is that Gibson Les Paul Custom is a better guitar, but it doesn’t mean that the Epiphone model is bad. In fact, Epiphone Les Paul Custom offers a surprisingly good value for the money.

The price difference between these two guitars is clearly visible. The LP by Epiphone is not premium, but it still offers a really good quality for the money. If you would put the same pickups (490R and 498T) into this model, it would sound very close to the Gibson LP Custom.

As you can see, it all depends on the size of your budget. If you don’t want to spend too much on a new guitar, choosing the Epiphone will be a really good idea. But if you’re searching for a guitar from the highest shelf, you should definitely try the Custom axe by Gibson.

Here’s a really good video that compares the tone of Gibson and Epiphone Les Paul Custom models – feel free to check it out below.

Gibson Les Paul Custom vs Standard

If you’re not satisfied with getting a guitar made by Epiphone, the chances are that you want an axe with a Gibson logo on the headstock. However, the LP Custom is not the only one good model made by brand – quite often, guitarists choose the LP Standard.

The truth is that it’s really difficult to clearly determine which one of these models is better, because they sound a bit differently. In my opinion, the LP Custom has a bit warmer and deeper tone.

Gibson LP Standard is also cheaper, so if you’re not okay with spending such a huge amount of money on getting a Custom model, it will be a good fit for you.

While the difference between Gibson and Epiphone Les Pauls was clearly visible, the difference between the Standard and Custom models isn’t that obvious. It all comes down to your own personal preferences.

Here’s a great video that compares the tone of Gibson Les Paul Custom and Gibson Les Paul Standard – feel free to check it out below.

Any Alternatives?

If you’re not satisfied with the overall quality of Gibson Les Paul Custom and you have a feeling that it won’t be a good fit for you, that’s not a problem! There’s still a lot of fantastic electric guitars out there that also deserve a lot of attention.

Of course, choosing a brand new axe will depend on your own preferences and most importantly, on the size of your budget. Still, here’s a few other models that you may also like.

Alternative Option #1 – Gibson Flying V

Gibson Flying V is an another fantastic high-end electric guitar suitable for rock and metal music. It looks completely different than the Gibson Les Paul, but it’s still absolutely iconic.

The guitar features a lightweight mahogany body, a SlimTaper mahogany neck and easy-playing rosewood fingerboard. Gibson also equipped this model with a pair of great sounding Burstbucker humbuckers. Surely, all lovers of heavier music genres will be in love with their versatility.

What’s important, the Flying V is significantly more affordable than Gibson Les Paul Custom. It’s not a cheap guitar, but it will be definitely much easier to save up to get that particular model.

Although not everyone likes that kind of body shape, it’s definitely one of the most legendary guitars of all time. I have no hesitation in recommending the Flying V to all guitarists who are searching for a high-end axe suitable for rock and metal.

Alternative Option #2 – ESP LTD EC-401

ESP LTD EC-401 is an another really good electric guitar designed for the most demanding guitarists out there. This is a mid-level axe, so it’s not a high-end model. But at the same time, it’s far more affordable than Gibson LP Custom.

The manufacturer equipped that model with a pair of really good EMG pickups – EMG 60 & EMG 81. These humbuckers are perfect for fat, crunchy riffs and fast, melodic solos. If you’re into shredding, this guitar will be a perfect fit for you.

Who is it for? Well, I’m sure that any enthusiast of rock and metal music will be really happy after adding this guitar to their own collection. It has everything you need – a great tone, a stunning look and a very comfortable feel. On top of that, it’s not that expensive. Who needs anything else?

Alternative Option #3 – Epiphone Les Paul VE

Epiphone Les Paul Special VE is one of the cheapest Les Paul guitars that you can currently find on the market. Of course, it can’t really compete with Gibson Les Paul Custom, but it’s still a really good choice for someone with a very low budget.

If you don’t want to spend too much on a new gear or if you’re an absolute amateur, this guitar will be an excellent fit for you. I had the pleasure to test it out on my own and I was particularly impressed by the comfortable neck of that axe. It has a satin finish which significantly enhances the overall playability.

The humbuckers used in that model are pretty basic, but they do the job very well. Surely, if you’re just starting out, this guitar will be more than enough for you. That’s why I highly recommend checking it out!


Where are Gibson Custom guitars made?

Gibson Custom guitars are manufactured in the United States.

What is the scale length of that guitar?

The scale length of that guitar has 24.75″.

Where can I find out more about Gibson guitars?

If you want to learn more about the guitars made by this legendary manufacturer, make sure to visit the official website of Gibson.


As you can see, Gibson Les Paul Custom is an absolutely amazing high-end electric guitar. I have no hesitation in recommending this model to all guitarists who are looking for a premium axe suitable for live performances and studio sessions. There’s an extremely high chance that it will be your favorite guitar.

What do you think of that model? Do you think that high-end Gibson are overrated? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts about it!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful and you found what you were looking for. If you enjoyed this article and you’re searching for more gear recommendations, you may also like: